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From the PublisherTelecommunications and Data Communications Handbook…covers the entire telecom landscape, from wireline to wireless, from copper to radio and fiber, from electrical to optical, and from the customer premises to the cloud. It discusses voice, data, fax, video and multimedia technologies, systems, and applications in great detail, and in the LAN, MAN, and WAN domains. The handbook explores every relevant technology, standard, and application in the telecom and datacom space….It is exceptionally well-written in Horak’s plain-English, commonsense style, making it just as helpful to the neophyte and layperson as to the serious student or seasoned IT professional. Horak makes liberal use of well-constructed graphics to illustrate system and network architectures, topologies, and applications.
It is hard to make a valid direct comparison to this book. The Irwin Handbook of Telecommunications, by James Harry Green, is good, but less complete, less technical, and drier, if such a combination is possible. The Voice & Data Communications Handbook, by Regis “Bud” Bates, is written at a lower level; and, the Essential Guide to Telecommunications, by Annabel Dodd, at a much lower level. These latter two books are breezy reads and appeal more to a mass market than to a serious student or professional. The Telecommunications and Data Communications Handbook compares more correctly to some of the more seminal works of Gilbert Held or James Martin, but covers a much wider range of subject matter and is a much easier and more pleasant read.
The Telecommunications and Data Communications Handbook is written for the academic and professional community, but is just as relevant to anyone who needs to understand telecommunications system and network technologies and their meaningful applications. It is an exceptional work that should be on every IT professional’s bookshelf…when not in his or her hands.
–John R. Vacca (The Internet Protocol Journal (Cisco Systems), December 2008, pp. 38-40)
There is finally a guide to telecommunications and data communications that non-engineers can understand. Popular author Ray Horak provides comprehensive, up-to-date information in plain English, instead of confusing technotalk….Complete with a discussion of the current regulatory and business environments, including divestiture and revestiture as well as mergers and acquisitions, this is the ideal reference for non-engineering professionals in the end-user, carrier, content or service provider, manufacturing, regulatory, or financial communities. (IEEE Communications Society, August 2008)
"…a thoroughly researched and comprehensive survey of telecom and datacom technologies and services, from the most basic to the most complex. Horak sets the technologies in context, providing an excellent level of detail on the origin and evolution of fiber optics, cellular radio, digital carrier systems, TCP/IP, and the Internet, as examples…. We think that anyone with a compelling need for a complete and accurate understanding of telecommunications can benefit from it." (ASCDI News)
We recently received a copy from Ray Horak of his "Telecommunications and Data Communications Handbook" This (literally) weighty tome contains almost 800 pages of current technology, and, maybe more importantly, the historical basis for how we got to where we are today. From frequency division multiplexing to the invention of the Strowger switch by a disgruntled undertaker to the origin of wire "gauge," the book is a great trip down memory lane for us old-timers and a necessary piece of technology background for neophytes. However, the book isn't just history. It's more of an encyclopedia that includes current topics as of the publication date in 2007. As such, is serves as a great foundation for topics like application delivery and virtualization. As we move forward with new ideas, this historical context is mandatory to making sure that the mistakes of the past aren't repeated. And this book is a great resource for providing that context.
—Steve Taylor, Columnist (Network World)
The Handbook is the sort of thing one either has to, or should, read at the beginning of a career in communications. That applies to just about any segment: wireless or wired telecom company, cable TV, satellite or data communications. The Handbook reminds me of the James Martin books I once pored over. More than once, I'd add.
—Gary Kim, founder and CEO Dagda Mor Media and Contributing Editor (Cable.TMCnet.com, July 14, 2008)
I recently had the pleasure of reviewing Ray Horak's?Telecommunications and Data Communications Handbook. The book's 791 pages, divided into 15 chapters, cover everything from legacy technology such as basic telephone switching to leading edge technologies such as DWDM optical networks, 3G wireless networks, and IPTV converged video. I have read other Horak books in the past, but this one is the most comprehensive one that he has done to date.
You would be hard pressed to find a topic that was not discussed in the almost 800 pages of the book. Overall, I found the book to be a well written wealth of knowledge. I plan to use it as the text for my undergraduate course in telecommunications in the spring.—Walt Magnussen, Director of Telecommunications, Texas A&M University (ACUTA: Journal of Communications Technology in Higher Education, Summer 2008)
It has not been easy keeping pace with the rate of development in telecommunications and data communications; a book that presents a comprehensive overview of the wide range of communications systems and networks is most welcome. This book discusses the various aspects of issues in telecommunications and data communications, describing the terminology involved, and visiting their histories when appropriate. It is organized into 15 chapters, preceded by a preface explaining the author's intent, an elaborate acknowledgment, and a concise biography of the author. Two appendices and an exhaustive index complete the book. The book is very well written and accessible to the average reader. Although some of these ideas can be found in other books, this one presents all the current information on telecommunications and data communications.
—William Oblitey, Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) (Computing Reviews, May 6, 2008)
Readers wanting to gain insight into the terminology of the field would be advised to consult this outstanding reference book. (American Reference Books Annual, March 2008)
A must-have acquisition for both beginners and practioners highly recommended. (Choice, February 2008)
Although the book is written for reasonably astute engineers, analysts, regulators, attorneys and other telecom professionals, Horak develops each topic in a common sense and patient manner so it is informative and useful to a student or relative newcomer to telecom.—Mark Simon, President, Evince Media (Telecom Reseller, May/June 2008)
This book is the top center of my telecom book shelf. Although I have only had it for a few months, some wear is already beginning to show because of overuse. It is organized simply and logically into 15 chapters, from the fundamentals to regulation. There are diagrams and illustrations as necessary, but not enough to make it look like a comic book. Most technology books fall into one of two categories inane or arcane. Horak's book is written in clear English, understandable by the unwashed masses, but covers highly technical concepts without glossing over the necessary details. Best of all, even though Horak is a Bell veteran, the book is acronym friendly. (Bell heads have a tendency to cling to acronyms, even converting them to verbs on occasion.) Horak uses acronyms, to be sure, not gratuitously; they are an essential part of the telecom scene. If you can only have one book on voice and data communications, this is the book to have.
—Gene Retske, Senior Vice President/Editor (The Prepaid Press, May 15, 2008)
"an exhaustive survey of communications technologies supposedly for non-engineers. I write supposedly because the book frequently gets technical. Its value to engineers and management is as a starting point, and the topics covered include everything from CATV and fax through to VoIP, WiMAX and ZigBee every corporate IT library should have copies. Highly recommended."
—Mark Gibbs (Network World, May 5, 2008)
While Telecommunications and Data Communications Handbook may not be a book that will appeal to everyone, everyone in the telecommunications industry should read it. It provides a concise guide to the telecommunications industry and is written in a way that even non-technical types can understand.
If you have had to try to understand how Broadband network services work, or Frame Relays, or even mobile communications, then Telecommunications And Data Communications Handbook is the book for you. If you work in the telecommunications industry, then you need this book.
—T. Michael Testi (BC Books, October 31, 2007)