Media praise for PC Hardware in a Nutshell

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"Anyone who runs a hardware help desk, or who is responsible for presentations on hardware-related topics, should have this as a primary reference. 'PC Hardware in a Nutshell' is not just a catalogue of components, it contains a broad range of information about how various systems work and their relative merits, and background discussion of hardware-related topics that won't be found in other literature."
--Major Keary, PC Update, June 2004

Reviews From Previous Editions

"Do you want to know how to upgrade the memory on your computer? Or to add a video card or an extra hard drive? Husband and wife team Robert and Barbara Thompson run their own business showing people how to deal with hardware. This book brings together all their valuable advice into one resource."
--Roy Johnson, mantex.co.uk

"An excellent book for individuals who want to know more about PC hardware or are interested in building their own PC."
--Mark Kyrnin, PC Hardware Guide, about.com, Feb 2003

"A well-written, practical guide to buying and using PCs. It's loaded with real-world advice presented in a concise style that clearly delivers just the information you want, without your having to hunt for it."
--Kirk Steers, PC World, Feb 2003

"The most practical book of its type and recommended for any PC hardware enthusiast or professional."
--Mike MacCana, Australian Personal Computer, Jan 2003

"This book is a winner, and worth every penny."
--Tom Andrews, Journal of the Tucson Computer Society, Jan 2003

"'PC Hardware in a Nutshell' provides actual insightful information and entertaining comment on a very technical subject. Opinions of the authors are clearly noted as well as direct references to facts stated in the book. While I hold O'Reilly books to a fairly high standard as a whole, I was very surprised as to the quality of PCHN2."
--David R. Hannum, Southeast Ohio Macromedia User Group, Jan 2003

"An essential reference for any user who has the confidence to open a PC."
--Major Kearny, PC Update, Dec 2002

"In this superb new release from the O'Reilly publishing company, authors Thompson and Thompson produce the 2nd edition of their most wonderful work on computer hardware that stands above many existing hardware works now on the market."
--Dale Farris, Golden Triangle PC Club, January 2003

"Best of Computer books 2002...a keeper, highly recommended."
--Keith Schengili-Roberts, Computer Paper, January 2003

"'PC Hardware In A Nutshell' 2nd Edition is the absolute definitive reference you'll want along side your keyboard and mouse...highly recommended read to keep your anxiety level in check when it comes to computer related techno-speak...In my opinion this book is an invaluable reference for newbies, computer hobbyists, and computer enthusiasts alike."
--Bruce Pechman, Atlanta PC Users Group, Nov 2002

"An essential reference for any user who has the confidence to open a PC; which is the watershed between those who won't touch anything--other than the on/off switch, keyboard, or mouse--and those who are at least interested in a PCs innards...exceptionally practical with plenty of handy advice."
--Major Keary, Book News, No. 16, 2002

"One of the things that separates true techies from the rest is a willingness to dive into the guts of a machine to add new components...But given the ever changing nature of computer technology, to retain expertise in the area of PC hardware means keeping up with the latest specs on a bunch of different technologies. Or you can simply buy this book...easily the best of its type. It epitomizes what O'Reilly has come to be known for; publishing well-written books about technical subjects that users can easily understand and implement....a must-read...If you are looking for a good guide for when you are under the hood of your PC, or want to know what to look for in future upgrades, you can expect to save a lot of time of time and hassle by getting a copy of this book first. Highly recommended. P.S. Hey Mr. O'Reilly, how about an equivalent book for Mac hardware?"
--Keith Schengili-Roberts, The Computer Paper, Dec 2002

"Sure, you can try to find information about every arcane aspect of your PC online. But frankly, there are times when it's tons easier to just grab a book off the shelf, go to the index, and do a little old-fashioned paper-based research. 'PC Hardware in a Nutshel'l by Robert Bruce Thompson and Barbara Fritchman Thompson fills that role quite well. At roughly 780 pages, 'PC Hardware in a Nutshell' is a touch lighter (and much less overwhelming) than Scott Mueller's 'Upgrading and Repairing PCs.' 'Upgrading and Repairing PCs' is in its 14th edition, and at 1,632 pages this epic tome can be used to press flowers when you're not reading it. 'PC Hardware in a Nutshell' covers a lot of the same ground but has a different feel, and we think it's easier to digest for folks who don't already consider themselves computer experts. Good stuff! "
--Patrick Norton, TechTV, Nov 2002

"Do you want to know how to upgrade the memory on your computer? Or to add a video card or an extra hard drive? Husband and wife team, Robert and Barbara Thompson, run their own business showing people how to deal with hardware. This book brings together all their valuable advice into one resource. And it's much more than a quick reference. They provide a practical guide for those who wish to maintain, upgrade, and even build computers. It's full of tips and recommendations on the selection of hardware; advice on fitting; and warnings about what to avoid."
--Roy Johnson, Mantex.co.uk

"You may know everything about that Photoshop or Dreamweaver program, but dare you open up the case behind your computer to replace a sound card or add a new serial port? The latest edition of 'PC Hardware in a Nutshell' improves upon the original with more details, some modernized graphics, and discussion of almost all the additional components to hardware that the industry has added in the interim. You can use this as an informative encyclopedia (basic definitions of everything from device drivers to chipset buffers) as well as a practical user guide ('Upgrading the System BIOS'; 'Installing a Floppy Disk Drive'). It's all here."
--North Bay Multimedia Association Newsletter, August 2002

"In this book, we get the benefit of the extensive experience of the authors, who tell us in plain language what will work and will not work."
--Ed Laskowski, Vista PC Journal, August 2002

"O'Reilly's straight-shootin', no-holds-barred, quality-focused PC hardware book is back, in a Second Edition that's even more indispensable than the first.

The "Hardware Guys" -- Barbara Fritchman Thompson and Robert Bruce Thompson -- have updated PC Hardware in a Nutshell to reflect pretty much everything that's come down the pike in the two years following the first edition, including Athlon XP/MP microprocessors, USB 2.0, and the "Big Drive" initiative for ATA drives larger than 137 gigs.

Want someone to make sense of all the DVD writable/rewritable standards and give you some decent advice about buying one? Look here. Want honest and specific advice about the latest motherboards and chipsets from both sides of the Pacific? Look here. Want troubleshooting help? There's even more of it than in the first edition.

Want to put together your own PC? The Thompsons walk you through it in extraordinary detail (how to make sure your system's multiple fans are working together, not at cross-purposes; why you should only use three screws instead of four if you're mounting a drive in a cheap case; which add-on cards generate the most heat and should be given the most breathing room).

In the first edition, the authors ended most chapters with an "Our Picks" section offering specific hardware recommendations. But hardware changes so fast that they've revamped these sections to be a bit more general and moved the specific advice to the book's companion web site. Don't worry: The book's as opinionated as ever, and when the Thompsons don't like something (Sound Blaster Live! PCI cards, generic memory), believe us, they say so."
--Bill Camarda, consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer, August 2002

"Our Favorite Things: Further good news for us illiterates: From O'Reilly & Associates we have the help of this handy trio 'PC Hardware in a Nutshell' by Robert Bruce Thompson and Barbara Fritchman Thompson, 'Optimizing Windows for Games, Graphics, and Multimedia' by David l. Farquhar, and 'Learning Web Design' by Jennifer Niederst."
--Warren Berry, Newsday, Dec 16, 2001