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Home Networking Simplified - Cisco Press

Home  Networking Simplified - Cisco Press - PCSTATS
Abstract: This 393-page soft cover book falls into the lower-priced category of computer guidebooks, which certainly makes it an easy addition to your tech library.
 79% Rating:   
Filed under: Networking Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Cisco Press Jun 23 2005   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Networking > Cisco Press Home Networking Simplified

Diagrams in full colour

The book steers away from metaphors to describe networking concepts, relying instead on hand-drawn cartoonish diagrams to provide examples of the concepts being explained in the text. These diagrams are attractive to look at, but often contain dense amounts of information laid out in no particular order. The overall effect is to give the reader no place where he or she can easily review the concepts being explained.

The photographs used throughout the book alternate between commercial product shots (of exclusively Linksys hardware) and 'action shots' giving examples of various ports and procedures. The latter, and there's not really a nice way of saying this, are terrible. The photos are non-uniform in size, colour, poorly-lit and often blurry, giving the impression that Home Networking Simplified was rushed to press. Fortunately, these pictures are comparatively rare in the text and are not essential to the subject matter.

The practical how-to sections (such as for setting up a network card) interspersed throughout the book use an interesting format. Since Home Networking Simplified covers the Windows 98/ME operating systems as well as Windows 2000/XP, the authors have included a relevant screenshot for each OS at every step of these guides. This means that users of all operating systems get the same amount of information which is great. It also means that the screenshots are rather small, which was alright for us, but might be hard for readers with visual difficulties. The step-by-step guides themselves are done well throughout the book, and necessary details are explained.

As we stated in the introduction, some of the subject placement in Home Networking Simplified seems a bit strange. The most glaring example of this is the fact that the authors make very little mention of broadband Internet until chapter 7 of the book. Someone who knew nothing about computers or the Internet might well get the impression that using a dial-up modem was the only/best/easiest way to connect to the Internet by reading through the first few chapters.

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Contents of Article: Cisco Press Home Networking Simplified
 Pg 1.  Home Networking Simplified - Cisco Press
 Pg 2.  Flipping Through Home Networking Simplified
 Pg 3.  — Diagrams in full colour
 Pg 4.  Geek Squad Commentary

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