Customer Reviews of Upgrading and Repairing PCs
If you want to Learn PC Hardware - This is THE Book
Many people within the industry have long considered Scott Mueller's Upgrading and Repairing PC's the quintessential hardware guide; I whole heatedly agree. There is not a week that goes by that I don't pull this book off the shelf to look up something. Mueller updates his book yearly to reflect the changes within the industry. Perhaps the thing I love the most about Upgrading and Repairing PC's is that it is a combination tutorial and reference guide. The well-organized chapters and subheadings make it easy to find the info you want and need. Within a chapter, you can merely peruse through it, or study the sections you need to read for the objective at hand, whether that is a: 1) general overview of a topic, 2) specific hardware installation or troubleshooting solutions, or 3) the nitty-gritty details of the subject. (Also, the index is outstanding so you can find what you need.)
This is a very long book. The reason is that while Mueller updates the book every year with new information reflecting the latest technology and standards, he does not remove the old material, making the book a priceless tool when dealing with legacy systems. Conversely though, this information may appear to be - as one reviewer wrote - "just filler" at other times. Additionally, there are a plethora of reference pages - tables of pin configurations for various interconnects for example -- that one would not "read" when reading through the book, but are invaluable when troubleshooting or installing hardware. Because this book is an ever-growing entity, there are, unfortunately, a few typos and "broken links" (i.e. inaccurate cross-references). I have, however, never found any blatant technical inaccuracies that one reviewer alludes to.
Mueller has a great writing style. It is easily understood without treating the reader as a "dummy" or "idiot". "Upgrading and Repairing PC's" attempts to do a lot. It tries to be both a tutorial and a reference. A very difficult combination to pull off; Mueller however does so wonderfully. It attempts to cover a lot of material; and it does so very well.
This book is well worth the money. I have been a faithful reader of this book since the 8th edition, having purchased every edition since. As you read the other reviews for this book, you will see that many people have done the same. (Also, see the 45+ reviews written on the 11th Edition) Repeat buying is the biggest compliment and review any single book can hope to have. When so many people are willing to spend their money every year to have the latest edition, not much else needs to be said about the quality and superiority of this book.
Oh, I almost forgot... there are some wonderful & useful utilities on the enclosed CD.
A must have for anyone who is more than a casual user
I've been into computers for twenty years now, and from the early days of my Commodore 64s and TI-99 4/As I've always tried to know what's happening on the inside as on the outside. I started building PCs after I bought my first in 1993- that one I didn't take apart until I had paid off the loan I had taken out to buy it. Since then, however, I've always tried to understand the hardware which has been in a constant state of innovation since day one. And Scott's books have been an indispensable part of that process. Between a friend and I, we have probably six copies of the various editions of `Upgrading and Repairing PCs', ironically, they also come with this book and can be found on the DVD-ROM in PDF format.
What's nice about it is Scott writes like he's actually talking to you- his text is clear, easy to read and not at all wordy while still conveying the information he wants to bring. Anyone who is more than a casual PC user will find this book ideal for learning or understanding why PCs do what they do and what all the various components do when they talk to each other. On the other hand, not everyone needs to know the pin-out configuration for a Socket 423 Pentium 4 CPU- I don't, but it's nice to have. Mr. Mueller takes us through the history of computers and PCs, then the tome takes off- broken down into categories from motherboards and busses, then into the various components like sound cards, video cards, hard drives (IDE and SCSI), network cards, USB, Fire Wire and ports, modems- you name, he covers it in tremendous detail. One of the handiest sections is on RAM and all the different types from SIPS, DIMMS, SIMMS, and DDR types, Scott covers it all, explaining it in easy to understand terms while providing comprehensive coverage for more advanced users.
It the DVD alos has 2 hours of video in which he gives a great over view of what's covered in the book, with segments laid out like chapters. As a reference guide to answer question that users might have, enabling them to identify and understand what they've got in their machine, this is the book. The downside for us and the upside for Scott, is you almost need to buy one every year to keep current, but as I said, I do like the idea of putting old issues on DVD so they can be referenced as well. For the advanced user, it's essential and required reference.
This book is amazing - not only does it contain everything current a person could ever need to know about current PCs (and if something new does come out, the author will talk about it on the included website), but the author is kind enough to include any previous edition of the book on the included DVD. I had thought that I was fairly knowledgeable about computers, and reading this has boosted that knowledge considerably. No repair tech or computer builder should be without this.
One of the most respected authorities in the PC industry! I bought the 6th edition of his book back in 1995 at Best Buy and I've been buying updated editions ever since. Scott goes into such amazing detail, but yet he doesn't "talk over your head". The guy is so geeky that he programmed the ROM chips in his car to get better compression! Lots of cool little stories like that are in this book.
My only complaint would be that he puts the PDF of the book one edition behind the current one on the CD. So if you buy the 16th edition you will find the 15th edition in PDF format on the CD. Also, the PDF cannot be copied or printed from because it uses Adobe's copy protection features (enabled by QUE).
I recommend this book to all my students and co-workers.
How many computer how-to manuals have you read and come away from with a sense of awe? Scott Mueller's writing style is wonderful. His ego has no need to bamboozle us with unnecessary techno-babble and geekaneese. When techno-babble is necessary, he explains and clarifies so that it is understandable. I came to this industry rather late in life (I changed careers in my mid thirties when a PII 300 was the baddest chip on the block) and read this book cover to cover. In my case, the background information he provides on chips and systems from the 286 on up to present day was especially helpful. With an understanding of the hows and whys of original computer design, the hows and whys of modern computer architecture become clear. Why is memory designed and configured the way it is? Why are hard drives laid out the way they are? Should you go with SCSI or IDE? The answers to these and countless other questions are answered in this book.
When I started repairing computers, I found this to be an invaluable resource that I returned to countless times. I concur with those that say if you can only have one technical reference manual, this is the one to have. If you want to understand computers, buy this book. It's the best value on the planet.
I own the 5th, 8th, & 10th Versions and am ordering the 11th for my workplace.