This guide is designed to prepare students to pass the A+ certification exams and master PC repair. Jean Andrews brings her clear, conversational writing style to the area of PC repair, making tough technical topics easier to understand. No previous electronics experience is required to read this volume.
Good, but Out-of-Date
By Derjubster on Jul 02, 2004
. If you have a chance to pick up a copy of this 3rd Edition, you'll find it very well written, nicely illustrated, and RICH with relevant technical information... You'll also find it very much out-of-date... This 3rd edition was published in 2001, which means most of the material in it is vintage 2000 (FOUR years old!)... Okay if you are still using Windows9x or NT4 and just need a very good architecture based desk reference... But, the material in the 3rd Edition maps to the 2000 A+ exam, NOT the 2003 A+ exam, and is consequently unsuitable for current A+ certification preparation, especially the software component, that focuses heavily on supporting Windows XP and is NOT included in this 3rd Edition... The 4th edition of this textbook was published in 2003, and the latest edition (at this writing), the 5th edition, has been available since February 2004 (I have it; it's EXCELLENT!)... ALL editions are also available, at extra cost, with a Lab Manual, a PC Pocket-Sized Troubleshooting Guide (EXCELLENT!), Computer-Based A+ Training CDs (HIGHLY recommended), an A+ Course Prep Study Guide (MUST HAVE if you're prepin' for A+), and a 22-piece Basic Toolset including a Digital Multi-Meter, that is good, very reasonably priced, and you'll need if you have zero tech tools... If you're lookin' for a very good architecture based desk reference for Windows9x or NT4/2000 only, try to find this one used... BUT, if you are looking for an architecture based desk reference that INCLUDES Windows XP, Pentium4, 800 MHz buses (NOT 133) and a more updated mapping to the 2003 A+ exam, buy the 5th edition... You can find it at course dot com/pcrepair... Oh yeah, almost forgot... The CD that accompanies this 3rd edition does NOT have a free copy of 'Nuts & Bolts' on it even though the textbook says it does...
Poor editing, ancient material included
A Customer on Jun 14, 2003
This book contains far too much on old parts that are no longer made or used, and not nearly enough on current information needed on the job. You can learn what they have in here about Windows XP simply from Windows XP's own help system. This chapter is so elementary as to be almost useless to a tech. Even an XP newbie can learn this much on their own. I *sincerely* hope that NO PROFESSORS ORDER IT!!!! This is apparently the only thing that will make them notice that they need to take this book apart from page 1 through the final page and totally rewrite it. And, if you are a teacher, you are going to have to do a lot of work to overcome the limitations of this book. They did a terrible job of editing it, and if you, as a student, are using it for the A+ course, you will find yourself trudging through dreary page after page of stuff that is no longer relevant. How many customers have computers that are older than 1995? That would make them 8 years old. How many years does a hard drive last on the average before it begins to fail simply from "old age." When it does, what does the *average* user do? Fix the computer?? Or just go get a new one at today's cheap prices? That should give the author and publishers a very large clue as to what they need to do on the next edition. If you are new to tech stuff, you will not always be able to tell which parts to pay the most attention to because it can be hard to tell what's new and what's old. This book needs a *very* significant weeding with careful removal of what's no longer very relevant. It requires significant additions of the latest information. At the absolute least, the old material should be confined to a section labeled OLD MATERIAL, READING NOT NECESSARY! If you go with this book, and your teacher doesn't teach you the newer stuff, you are going to struggle when you get on the job because you will require a lengthy amount of on the job teaching before you know what you are doing. This will hold your income to a lower level than it would be if you knew more. It also could mean that your employer will not be happy with you. Now that I have beaten up on the publisher, the editor and the author -- which they *richly* deserve -- I will add that the book does do a good job of presenting some of the material clearly, and usually provides some interesting stuff that helps you retain what you just read. So, it is not a total waste. The author obviously has considerable talent, and should *put it to good use* and turn this book into what it *could* be instead of what it is today. If the publisher won't go along with that, then there is probably a good one who will. But at this point, you have to be willing to put up with a heck of a lot of nearly useless old details if you're going to plunk down your cash and buy this book. Oh, and by the way, you can ignore the glowing review from the publisher or publisher's friend which you are likely to see on this site. I mean, they do want to sell books, don't they?? How likely are they to dwell on the negative points and the quantity of old material in here? Not likely, in my opinion. (Sorry guys, but you know perfectly well that this is true.)
Enhanced A+ Guide to Managing and Maintaning your PC
By Amazon Customer on Dec 16, 2005
The book was delivered in great condition. I had it already from a class I was in and never got the cd cause I bought it from a friend, so I wanted the cd and the xp book to go with it. I love the book and thinking of looking to see if they have an updated version also.
Book Badly Needs Weeding Out OLD Material
By Kelliann on Jun 14, 2003
I am using this for an A+ course at the college. I have the 3rd ed. with XP update. The explanations are good, and the reminders throughout are good. The material is so seriously in need of weeding out the ancient stuff that I can't even believe it's still in there. This book devotes pages and pages on end to stuff we will NEVER be likely to see today and on the rarest of occasions that we do, we can refer it to someone who was involved in computers a few decades ago so we can have room to absorb all the tons of new information out there. And, there's plenty of time later to delve into historical aspects of computer parts (I mean from the 1980s and even some of the early 1990s... parts that are not even MADE anymore!) The book is lacking in the most up-to-date information. The added chapter on Windows XP pales beside Windows XP's own HELP system or even the simplest how-to information on XP. This author, editor, and publisher need to sit down and do an exhaustive total rewrite of this book instead of simply removing a bit of stuff here and there, and adding in a bunch of new sentences and paragraphs to represesent a swipe at the newest information. How can a tech do a decent job if a course does not provide the latest? What are you going to do, sit there and say "duh" when a caller or customer needs help with a new computer? The publisher should be ashamed for continuing to sell edition after edition of this book - it must be one heck of a cash cow and as long as professors order it, that is just how long they will sell it. I hear there is a 4th edition, which I have not seen but based on what they did in the first three, I would not trust for an instant that they did the job they SHOULD do in updating it. What's even worse aboout the situation is that the student *can't tell* what is too old to be much use any more and what is new enough to be very useful. Or, you read and read and read, and at the very end of something a tiny sentence adds: "and this part isn't made anymore." I am not saying you don't need to know a very good amount of historical information about computers and their innards, because you clearly DO. But you don't need it in the exhaustive, mind-cluttering detail that this book hands out. If you are a teacher and considering ordering this book for your students, my advice is: DON'T until you get your own copy and decide for yourself. If it is still a kluge of old stuff with a bit of the new padded on top, then you are going to face a huge amount of work on your own if you want to give your students the most up to date information they need to be successful working as computer techs. Otherwise, you turn out students who are going to suffer on the job and be held back in pay range until they eventually do learn what they need. And that's a waste of everyone's time and money plus a huge disservice to the business that hires them AND the customers who rely on them. If you buy this book, be sure you an return it and get all of your money back if you don't like it.