The author has done a good job, providing advice on selecting, using, maintaining and updating laptop computers. He has avoided covering Linux based laptops confining coverage to Microsoft Windows and Mac laptops.
NAME: Laptop Manual
CLASSIFICATION: Book reviews
AUTHOR: Gary Marshal
BINDING: Hard back
PRICE: GB £17.99
SUBJECT: Computers, portable computers, laptops, operating systems, technology, history, symetric multi processing, virtual processing, data store, Internet
DESCRIPTION: The author has done a good job, providing advice on selecting, using, maintaining and updating laptop computers. He has avoided covering Linux based laptops confining coverage to Microsoft Windows and Mac laptops. That is unfortunate now that Linux distributions such as Ubuntu provide very stable, fast and capable environments that are as easy to use as MS Windows and Mac, generally more secure and available as free downloads that package an amazing range of applications. This very low cost and ease of use has resulted in a rapid expansion of the user base. Linux is as much a debate as the MS Windows verses Mac debate which is covered in this handbook. However, the handbook will still provide a very valuable source of information for MS Windows and Mac users. The first portable computers were really intelligent terminals that enabled computer users on the move to dial in to remote computers very very very slowly. The next stage of development was the luggable computer, much larger and heavier than a brief case, still very slow in communication, but able to perform a range of Personal Computer functions. The next major advance was achieved when GRiD patented the clamshell design and built the first readily portable PCs. These machines were premium priced product used on the Space Shuttle and for a range of military and engineering purposes. They were almost as capable as desktop machines of the time but in cost performance they were only really suitable for use by specialists with deep pockets. From there the laptop as we know it today has developed. The availability of docking stations and RAID capability has made the laptop as capable as a contemporary desktop or tower PC when mounted in the docking unit. Even when removed and used remotely, it has much the same capacity as popular PC configurations with the added benefits of being portable and being freed from total dependence on mains power. With the availability of miniature fuel cells, laptop computers will be completely freed from reliance on mains power and the limited performance of batteries. The author has provided all of the important information that anyone would need in moving from static computing to a laptop. Even and experienced laptop user will find this manual useful. It is well written and benefits from the typical Haynes format of lavish illustration in full colour. What is particularly nice about the manual is that it describes important tasks in a way that those who are not fully computer literate can learn to maximise the performance of their laptops. Although computers have made huge advances in design and capability, most are still only used cautiously and a great many are still not adequately protected before connecting to public networks, or maintained for maximum performance. It is still very common to find a PC user who has never defragged a hard drive, cleaned the registry and delete unnecessary files with the result that the machine becomes progressively slower and more likely to develop faults. The common reason for this is that many users are deterred by what they think is a complex technical operation. Readers of this manual will develop the confidence needed to keep a laptop at peak performance and protected from the most likely risks. Highly recommended manual.