Book Review - Upgrading and Fixing Laptops for Dummies by Corey Sandler
While I may be getting more comfortable with opening up my desktop machine, I'm still less-than-thrilled if the laptop starts acting up. Upgrading & Fixing Laptops for Dummies by Corey Sandler does a very nice job in covering the hardware components of laptops and how to make sure they keep working when you need them to...
Part 1 - Putting a Computer in Your Lap: A Field Guide to the Common Laptop; How to Treat a Laptop
Part 2 - Explaining What Could Possibly Go Wrong: Things That Go Bump in the Night (or Day); When to Repair and When to Recycle; Surviving Basic Training; Brain Matters: Memory, Microprocessors, and BIOS
Part 3 - Laying Hands on the Major Parts: Easing In to Hard Disks; Floppy Drives: Relics and Memories; Going Round and Around: CD and DVD Drives; Tripping the Keyboard Fantastic; Putting Your Finger on Pointing Devices; Seeing the Light: LCDs and Video
Part 4 - Failing to Communicate: Networks, Gateways, and Routers; Feeling Up in the Air; Modems: The Essential Translators; Breaking Out of the Box: PC Cards, USB, and FireWire
Part 5 - The Software Side of Life: Installing a New Operating System or Migrating Upwards; Adding or Removing Software, for Better or for Worse; Essential Utilities for Laptop Users
Part 6 - The Part of Tens; Ten Quick Solutions; Ten Essential Dos and Dont's; Ten of My Favorite Things
Many of my cohorts in the IT world are long-time laptop users. They're consultants, they're on the road a lot, and they live and die with their laptops. The vast majority of these people have probably done most of the things in this book at least once, and there might not be much new information for them. But take my dad. He's past retirement age, he travels around, and he got a laptop so he could "check email while they're on the road". For him, it's all a confusing jumble of technology that doesn't make a lot of sense. A book like this would allow him to understand the core parts of the laptop, know how they should be maintained, and more importantly know when things aren't working quite right. For instance, defragging a hard drive is second nature to me. For him, it's "de-what?". Clean the screen with Windex? No, Dad... Why can't you play a DVD? Because you have a CD reader... not a DVD reader. Things like that... :)
If you're more at ease with technology, you still might find some benefits here. I fortunately haven't had many issues with my laptop. But what if the screen started to fade? This book would give me a clue as to what was happening and what options I might want to pursue. Water spill on the keyboard... repairable? (The kids did it, and in this case it was.) While you might not find the exact answer you're looking for here, it will at least reduce your stress level as you figure things out.
Nice book, fun read, and the material just could prevent some problems down the road...