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Book details of 'Encyclopedia of Networking, Electronic Edition'

Cover of Encyclopedia of Networking, Electronic Edition
TitleEncyclopedia of Networking, Electronic Edition
Author(s)Thomas Sheldon, Tom Sheldon
PublishedDecember 1997
PublisherMcGraw-Hill Osborne Media
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The Virtual Bookcase Reviews of 'Encyclopedia of Networking, Electronic Edition':

Reviewer Rob Slade wrote:
Yes, it's an encyclopedia. The entry size is about the same as for Shnier's "Dictionary of Communications and PC Hardware" (see reviews) and larger than that of "Newton's Telecom Dictionary" (see reviews) which only means that I think Shnier got his title wrong. But this is certainly of encyclopedic size. Entries may be lengthy, but they are not technical. The level of information would suit the needs of a manager who needed to know what type of animal a cell relay was, but doesn't provide the detail necessary to work with a particular topic, or to make informed decisions for planning or purchasing. Corporate or political items seem to be of greater interest than technical ones. You are almost as likely to find an entry for a proprietary product as for a basic standard (although the entries for products do tend to be shorter). Reports are often incomplete in the practical areas: for example, the description of finger is accurate, but the paragraph does not mention that most sites have now shut finger service off. In the explanation of firewalls we learn a lot more about pre-sixteenth century history than the actual workings of proxy servers. Under hypermedia we hear more about how Sheldon actually heard Ted Nelson speak one time than about the details of Xanadu. (There is no entry for Xanadu.) The author sometimes lets his imagination run away with him, as in the case of a kidnapping detection device that would require the implantation of a device with a GPS (Global Positioning System) *and* a transmitter big enough to reach someone useful *and* a battery big enough to power the whole thing, in your kid (see IP [Internet Protocol]). In his attempt to make descriptions simplistic enough for managers, Sheldon also seems to have become a bit cavalier with the facts. IRC (Internet Relay Chat) users do not have to be on the same server, although they do have to be on the same IRC network. An entry for ActiveX generally accepts the Microsoft party line on security. It may surprise pre-1980 users of Apples and PETs that Microsoft started the personal computer revolution. For the sake of the reviewer's blood pressure, we will draw a merciful veil of darkness over the entry on viruses. The author makes no attempt to give the acronym expansion for BNC connector. There is no entry for Kermit or for the important V series standards. The entry for PGP (Pretty Good Privacy, a widely used de facto encryption standard) states that it is designed to integrate with email clients and uses a graphical interface to ease the process of encryption. In fact, while recently integration products have appeared, and graphical versions of PGP itself, for a long time the "command line only" interface was a stumbling block to its universal acceptance. (That and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, of course.) The author makes a very tentative attempt to note the etiology of the word "hacker" as a skilled technologist, but thereafter continues to use the term in a negative way. Hacking, cracking, spoofing, sniffing, and phreaking are conducted by "internal malicious users and the underground community of pranksters, hardened criminals, industrial spies, and international terrorists." Methinks Sheldon has been reading too many thrillers. AIX and AS/400 are listed under IBM AIX and IBM AS/400 but SNA (Systems Network Architecture) and SAA (Systems Application Architecture) are listed as themselves. DES (Data Encryption Standard) has an entry, but is actually explained under cryptography. Acronyms, even when not words, are ordered as if they were words, rather than as collections of initial letters. The end of each major article gives related entries, of course, but often provides URLs (Uniform Resource Locators) for sites that might have a bearing on the topic. The majority of these appear to be company home pages. copyright Robert M. Slade, 1998

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Book description:

The first edition of this blockbuster networking guide sold 30,000 copies and became the industry standard, and the second lives up to all expectations with a fully searchable electronic version of the book on CD-ROM! Up-to-the-minute material includes: crucial Internet technology updates; network security information; definitive, encyclopedic descriptions of network terms and concepts.

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