Author: Kyle MacRae
Publisher: Haynes, 2007
Aimed at: Beginners who want to maintain their PCs
Pros: Good introduction to hardware for beginners
Cons: Cannot be comprehensive
Reviewed by: Harry Fairhead
This isn't one of those doorstop sized books on every detail of computer hardware since the first PC hit the scene. If you need something complete then you need to look elsewhere. This is a short account of the current state of PC hardware which sets out to provide a "Step-by-step Guide to Upgrading, Repairing and Maintaining a PC" as specified in it subtitle.
Of course such a book is bound to date given the speed at which things progress but it covers enough of the core not to suffer too much if the more esoteric things improve. This 4th edition reaches as far as multicore processors and Vista - but not, reasonably enough, Windows 7.
It has some very nice looking colour photos and enough non-technical discussion of the different modules that make up a PC for it to be useful to almost any beginner. It covers everything from a motherboard upgrade, replacing a disk drive, various interface cards and even covers some essential details of the operating system. As well as helping you to upgrade your machine it will be of use if you want to build your own from parts or if you are trying to track down a fault. However, there are bound to be aspects of things that it doesn't cover and for that there is the web. This is a good beginners introduction to hardware.