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Posted August 24, 2009
I bought this required book for a college class my freshmen year last year. I am not in school for networking and had to take a class as a filler for my first semester so I took networking.
I absolutely hated this book. First off, I'm very good with computers and networks. My main career path is to become a programmer and database developer but I know a good thing or two about networks and have installed them before with multiple devices and routers. I thought I knew the terminology well and alot about ports and networking, but maybe I was wrong. Or maybe this book sucks at explaining anything.
This book is crammed with pointless, confusing, and missing pieces of information. This book should NOT be considered an introduction to networking. I think it's ridiculous that any instructors or professors use this book for introducing networking to students. This book is meant for intermediate to advanced students who have a good knowledge in the terminology and methods behind networking. A second or third networking class after an introduction class this book would suit.
What this book is, is basically a study guide for a networking certification. In fact, it says that right in the first chapter! Then it goes on about different types of cables, area networks, lan lines, and blah blah blah blah!
I ended up failing my networking class because the teacher wanted us to read the entire book in on semester and I didn't know the terminology well. Luckily, I did very well in the rest of my classes for programming, which I actually wanted to go to college for.
If you have a deep interest in networks and/or plan on getting a degree or certification for networking, than this book is for you. But if you are not interested in networks and have a different career path, do not take a filler class like I did that uses this book. It's very confusing.
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Posted April 22, 2009
If you're looking for an informative and logically ordered book, this is not it. The author seems to repeat simple information 2 or 3 times, thus adding greatly to the number of pages in an already heavy book while more complex concepts are only explained once. To add to the confusion, the review questions at the end of each chapter seem either too simplistic, or focus on trivial information that is buried deep in an obscure paragraph in the middle of the chapter, or the question offers choices that do not exactly match up with the answer in the book, leaving you to make the best guess. You can never get every answer right unless your brain is very attuned to this author's teaching style. One gets the feeling that you must memorize every single word and paragraph in order to pass the questions at the end.
The basic concepts as they are covered are a little better to understand as the examples do not depend so much on experience and a hands-on knowledge. But for the most part, this book seems geared to students who already have a decent amount of experience and merely need to learn the particulars to pass the certification. Due to the author's awful teaching style, I wouldn't recommend this book for that purpose either. Indeed, some of the information seems either wrong or out of date. I often found myself having to check with internet sources to get the information or just for plain clarification. No course book is perfect, but this one fails because the mistakes are too numerous.
If Tamara's point in making it hard to find information is to make you think about the answer, she has only made it more tiring to read through and harder to focus on what needs to be learned. I shouldn't have to read the same paragraph 4 times to understand what information is being conveyed.
It really is necessary to have quite a few more illustrations to complement the text, and the text could have been reduced if the information had been written more elegantly.
What is also extremely irritating is the constant gender switching that takes place. She will often use the feminine to describe a person in leadership, and then use the masculine to describe a person who is in a more menial or less important position or often someone who has made a mistake. It is the norm now to refer to various traditional male job roles interchangeably with the female attribute, but she seems to take almost every opportunity to mention a person's sex when it could have easily been written to be gender neutral. This is incredibly distracting because it breaks up the flow when you find yourself having to re-read the sentence because of this. The IT industry is male dominated, therefore the text ought to reflect the current trends or just be neutral.
Overall, this book is not worth your time or your money, even though it still manages to inform and teach, especially in the beginning. But you will be needing another book to study if you want to pass the certification test, I can almost guarantee it.
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Posted July 9, 2010
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