Book Review - Building The Perfect PC By Robert and Barbara Thompson
I buy my computers already built because "I don't do hardware". I have never understood how all the cables and slots fit together. But I may change that habit after reading Building The Perfect PC by Robert Bruce Thompson and Barbara Fritchman Thompson (O'Reilly).
Chapter List: Fundamentals; Choosing and Buying Components; Building a Mainstream PC; Building a SOHO Server; Building A Kick-Ass LAN Party PC; Building a Home Theater PC; Building a Small Form Factor PC; Index
As stated above, I have never done well with hardware. But my son has absolutely no qualms about swapping things in and out, sometimes for no real reason other than to open up the box and do it. Some of that must be rubbing off, as normally I wouldn't even be interested in a book like this. Now I'm glad I got it. The authors do an excellent job in explaining what each component is, how it works, and what considerations you need to keep in mind based on the type of system you want to build. After explaining all that, they take that information and apply it to building five specific types of systems, one of which probably comes close to your needs. And most important, there are pictures! Lots and lots of pictures of components being installed, screwed in, plugged in, and fired up. For those of us who haven't done a lot of hardware assembly, we appreciate that. :-) Armed with this book, you could easily walk into a store like Fryes and walk out with everything you need to build your own PC from scratch, *and* have it work when you get done.
A superb, well-done book that will end up being the basis of at least one father-son project in this household. If I had found this book about six months earlier, I might have ended up building my son's computer instead of buying it.