The Barnes & Noble Review
Long before telecom became the flavor of the month, professionals relied on Newton’s Telecom Dictionary. Later, dot-commers used it to figure out what on earth they were trying to sell. Now that those days are history, the survivors still swear by this book.
It’s not your ordinary dictionary. It’s an insider’s view of telecom technology and the industry that grew around that technology, then collapsed, then crawled back to life. Unlike some dictionary authors, Harry Newton doesn’t assume you know the backstory. He explains everything from the very beginning, making his book a wondrous resource for folks without engineering degrees (sales/marketing/PR types, managers, customers, and so forth).
If Harry’s got an opinion -- and he’s got plenty -- you’ll hear it. (“Backhoe Fade: Signal loss caused by some moron who forgot to call before he dug.”)
Get out your glasses, though, the print’s a little small -- because there’s so much content here. Nearly 22,000 definitions, covering everything from the Internet to physical phone company infrastructure. This 20th edition was put to bed in early 2004, so if it’s new, chances are it’s in here.
Harry being Harry, he’s also tossed in a few other goodies you wouldn’t find in a mere dictionary. For example, there’s a quick guide to the areas of telecom that currently offer the best opportunities. There’s a brief disaster recovery guide. There’s even a 13-page collection of dollar-saving tips -- and not just for telecom buyers but also for PC buyers, investors, even frequent fliers. Bill Camarda
Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2003 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks for Dummies, Second Edition.