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Book Review PC Home Magazine for Upgrading Your PC

An assortment pile of jig-saw puzzle pieces

PC Home magazine, February 1998, Issue 66, p74.

"PC technology moves on so fast that you can never keep up. You buy a PC for Christmas and a year on it's out of date and struggling to run the latest software. 

"You can't afford to buy a new one, in fact, you may still be paying for the old one! So, what do you do? In this situation many people resort to upgrading their old kit with the new go-faster components: bigger hard disk drives, more ram, overdrive processors, 3-D video cards, ever-faster CD-Rom drives and so on. 

"My own PC for instance, has been upgraded with an overdrive processor, more ram, a SCSI card and SCSI hard disk, and a Zip drive. Upgrading is never easy and there are many potential pitfalls and traps to beware of — it's easy to end up with non-compatible components.

"Upgrading your PC in Easy Steps by Brian Austin from Computer Step aims to guide you through the upgrade process, and unlike most technical computer manuals, it won't cost you an arm and a leg.

"The chapters include Motherboards, CPUs, Ram, Hard Drives, CD-Rom Drives, Sound Cards, plus several general topics on maintenance and fine tuning. The format of each upgrade chapter is pretty much the same.

"First there is an overview of the component. For example, in Hard Drives there is an explanation of what a hard disk drive is, how it stores data, a little history and different drive types, and how to buy the right drive for your system.In the margin are notes and quick tips to read.

"Then the chapter moves on to describe the process of installing the upgrade you've bought. It's mostly text and fairly brief, but the explanations are quite clear and easy to follow for competent PC users.

"Where necessary there are labeled diagrams and photographs of the component, but no actual hands-on plugging in shots. Again there are handy tips, things to remember or beware of in the margins.

"This is one of the best upgrade books I have seen recently. There is plenty of information, it is up to date, cheap and easy to read.

"It doesn't assume much technical information and you don't need to be a computer expert to carry out the upgrades.

"If you're the sort of person who can wire a three-pin plug, change the oil filter on a car and fix the kid's toys when they're broken, you can upgrade a PC."

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