Bigelow's PC Technician's Troubleshooting Pocket Reference

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9780070069886: Bigelow's PC Technician's Troubleshooting Pocket Reference

This troubleshooting reference guide for the PC repair technician features hundreds of code tables, commands, symptom summaries and charts. It covers drive, input device, modem, motherboard and peripheral troubleshooting, as well as system configuration. The book includes an A+ certification checklist to help pass exams.

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Review:

I don't know where the folks at Osborne buy their clothes, but on my planet a pocket is only slightly larger than a hand. I can put my wallet in my pocket. I can carry three or so Zip disks. But I've tried and tried, and I just can't jam in all 600+ pages of Bigelow's PC Technician's Troubleshooting Pocket Reference into any pocket I have. The thing is an inch and a half thick--definitely not pocket-sized. It's satchel-sized. It's put-it-under-the-tire-to-keep-the-trailer-from-rolling-downhill-sized.

Form factors aside, Bigelow's book lives up to its title; it's all troubleshooting information. Wonderful! This book assuredly was not meant to be read front to back. It works like this: start with a problem, and then look up the solution. Bigelow divided the book into sections for various parts of the PC or devices that are connected to it. You look up the device, read about it, heed some general maintenance wisdom, and then peruse the various "symptoms" and cures. Very nice, and just about the best information on troubleshooting that I've seen.

There are two problems. The first (again) is the book's size. Simply put, it's not a pocket-sized book. Osborne should forget that aspect, and publish the book in a size that easily lies flat. Trust me, the information is valuable enough to sell the book; don't get cute with the size. The second is that I'd like to see the symptoms summarized before they're presented. That would make finding specific information easier, and I wouldn't have to thumb through several dozen symptoms/solutions before finding what I want.

On the key subject of disk partitioning, this book fits the bill--but only in troubleshooting partitioning problems. On that subject, Bigelow does a fine job, and even suggests third-party solutions. In fact, the book does contain many third-party solutions, as well as advice on what to do in Windows for troubleshooting.

This book is not for everyone. Most of the introduction is aimed at computer technicians or troubleshooting professionals. But at $19.99 it's a good investment. At the very least, it'll make you the hero on your block, when it comes to troubleshooting PCs. --Dan Gookin

From the Back Cover:

Keep the answers you need at hand anywhere! A compact, ready reference for on-the-job PC repair and maintenance. When you need to quickly diagnose PC repair and maintenance problems and suggest cost-effective solutions, you don't have time to wade through mounds of text and theory to get the answers! You need this small, pockey-sized book packed with essential code tables, commands, symptom summaries, and other frequently needed information-all at your fingertips. Not a miniature textbook, this compact, easy-access pocket guide fits into any toolbox and packs in the quick reference tables and charts you need to make fast work of any field PC troubleshooting and repair job. Here's some of what's inside: Easy-to-use format to help you diagnose problems right on the job in every major area of the PC; Full coverage of troublshooting, reference information, and tables with only a minimum of supporting text; Hard-to-find DOS reference notes with essential commands and system configuration; Modem, motherboard, video, drive, input device, and peripheral troubleshooting guidelines. Written primarily for professional PC repair technicians actively working in the field of troubleshooting and repair, as well as support/help desk technicians, this handy little book is a true PC pocket reference guide specifically designed for on-the-job use.

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