Reviews of the "Encyclopedia of Networking and Telecommunications," Third Edition (published June 2001)

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The Encyclopedia of Networking and Telecommunications, Third Edition.

These are reviews submitted by readers or independent reviewers. You can also read some excellent reviews at Amazon.com


"Tom. I have read about one third of your book and I can tell it is your writing. It is clear, conscise, and understandable. You have a way of making complex subject matter understandable. I have read and used many of your books in my IT career." --Steve Wood, IT Architect/DBA, American Electric Power

"I'm very satisfied with the book. I'm working as a solution manager at Ericsson. I'm working with customers and in the area of mobile internet. The combination of telecom and network is perfect. The best is that all areas that I'm interested in are covered and the amount of "text" for each content is perfect. I tryed the last months to find a book that suites me and I'm really glad that I found this one. I also like the layout of the book that makes it easy to use. I really enjoyed reading the book the first two weeks I had it and it seams that it will be a good investment for the future. The combination of the CD-ROM and webpage is also good. Summary: Your book should have the highest raiting. Good work !!" --Olof Forsberg, Account Manager, Portals and Internet Applcications, Ericsson Sverige AB, Stockholm

"I needed a technology refresh on all the new concepts and terms buzzing around (e.g. SOAP). I was looking for a course or a conference or a book. Last Sunday I found your Encyclopaedia of Networking & Telecommunications book, and have been thoroughly enjoying it, jumping from topic to topic. Its just what I needed. New (and old) technology concepts explained at the right level and with reference details if I need a deeper understanding. I also like the diagrams/illustrations. They simplify the explanations and aid in the rapid understanding of the concepts. All of a sudden I feel on top of the technology maze again. Thanks for providing a single source where technology managers can go for quick but comprehensive information." -- Clinton Ritchie, London UK Clinton Ritchie Director, Systems Planning & Development Operations & Systems ICO Global Communications, London.

"Tom, I just finished writing a review for Amazon. A book like this needs the widest circulation possible. Thanks for writing it. I'm a recruiter and I work for an agency, not a company. One thing I forgot to mention which strikes me as important, is the method I am using in reading the book. It's ironic when I say book, because I'm using the CD and then linking to different web sites to get detailed information I'm seeking. In my business it's all about learning acronyms which is complicated in and of itself (how many technological acronyms have been coined in the last 20 years?). But to learn an acronym without knowing its function is frustrating. To learn one acronym without relating it to competing acronyms is embarrassing ie: CORBA, EJB, COM/DCOM. The links you provide at the end of each section is where I'm finding the value of the book. It's becoming a true journey for me. I have so much to learn and feel I've finally found a source which is pointing me in the right direction." -- Jim O'Shea, Recruiter.

The following is a review by Rob Slade, an independent book review and author of several books, including "Guide to Computer Viruses" and "Viruses Revealed." Visit Computer and Technical Book Reviews for more information

This is a worthy reference. The listings cover the topic, and the descriptions are reliable. If explanations are not always of specialist level, that is only to be expected. This is an encyclopedia, not a specialty tome. No bias is detectable either for or against any particular vendor or operating system culture (with the possible exception of frequent citations to the Google search site). A number of specific products and companies are listed (or discussed in related entries), but the items included are important, and it would be difficult to identify any left out that should have been incorporated.

The explanations are clear, easily understandable without a significant technical background, and concentrate on fundamental concepts. Related entries are listed, sometimes quite extensively, although there is no indication (such as the use of italics or a special typeface) when a term used in one listing is defined elsewhere. The writing itself is easy to follow, and there is enough humour to lighten the reading load without detracting from the issues under discussion.

The material is not deep, in most cases. There is, for example, a gloss over the creation of MS-DOS outside of Microsoft, as well as the origins of SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language) in the earlier GML (Generalized Markup Language). In the latter case, this simplification means that the importance of function, in generalized markup, is submerged in the discussion of formatting. However, an encyclopedia, and a networking encyclopedia, at that, is usually seen as giving a "once over lightly" precis of a subject, so a lack of profundity is not to be disparaged.

A fairly important aspect of the work is the inclusion of Internet and Web references for further research. Of course, many books nowadays contain Web references, but Sheldon has included some very important and valuable resources. There are also a substantial number of citations, frequently half a dozen or more in a single article. In many books, this many URLs (Uniform Resource Locators, page 1293) would indicate an attempt to pad material without doing research, but the listings in this work were obviously chosen with care. Most point to established organizations, increasing the probability that the URLs will still be good by the time the book makes it into print. There are also frequent directions to the Linktionary site, which also acts as an update reference. (Unfortunately, as of this writing, the site is not fully available. When the site is complete, considerable material that was excised from the print version will be added back.)

I could quibble about certain items, but the points would be petty. In common with most technical security people I would object to the assertion that an attacker is "commonly called a hacker." In fact, the entry on page 84 uses the phrase twice in one paragraph. But when you start complaining about that level of detail, you know that there isn't much to criticize. (The article on "Hacking and Hackers" gives more balance, in any case.)

The entry for virus is short, but at least doesn't make any serious errors. And, in a general text, that appears to be quite an accomplishment.

The end pages of the book contain praise from an extensive fan club. Overall, this acclaim is justified. The book is a very useful resource, suitable for any level. The novice will find introductions to a variety of topics, with basic but reliable explanations. The professional will find starting points and further resources for a variety of technologies that may lie outside their area of particular expertise. The material is quite up to date: surprisingly so, given the scope of the work. The similarly sized, CD-ROMed, and priced "Microsoft Encyclopedia of Networking" (cf. BKMSENNT.RVW) does not compare in range of topics, quality of research, or depth of coverage: Sheldon wins on all counts. I have no reservations about recommending this work as a useful communications reference.

copyright Robert M. Slade, 2001

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