Book details of 'Essentials of Data Communications'
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The Virtual Bookcase Reviews of 'Essentials of Data Communications':
Reviewer Rob Slade wrote:
There are many good, even classic, general telecommunications texts.
To be strictly fair, I should note only those published at the same
time as, or earlier than, the one I'm reviewing. Even with that
proviso, I can still say that Tanenbaum's "Computer Networks" (see reviews
), Stallings' "Data and Computer Communications" (see reviews
), and Minoli's "Telecommunications Technology Handbook"
) all far exceed Stamper's work. Even McNamara's
venerable "Technical Aspects of Data Communications" (from 1988) presents a superior picture of basic
Stamper does try to cover the fundamentals, but even his introduction,
in chapter one, is a confusing mix of foundational concepts and
irrelevant (and outdated) examples and applications. Chapter two, on
the physical and data layers, is reasonable but limited. The
discussion of networking, in chapter three, starts off much the same,
but soon wanders into trivia. Chapter four, ostensibly about LANs,
contains a number of topics (such as backup) that have nothing to do
with communications at all, and chapter five seems to be an attempt to
duplicate the same material. Chapters six to nine show some awareness
of basic concepts of networking and internetworking, but hidden in a
confused mass of verbiage and extraneous detail. Some simplistic
thoughts on security and data communications applications finish the
book in chapter ten.
This work is noted to be an "integrated text and software package" on
the basis of some slide shows included on the accompanying disk. The
slide shows basically reproduce some illustrations included in the
book (or, one might say, the book reprints all of the slides). The
figures are as non-illuminating as all too many objects of the type.
However, when the "computer based training" tries to improve matters
with animations, the results are even worse. Where the graphics are
simply incomprehensible (unless you already know what is going on),
the animations sometimes present material in erroneous ways, seeming
to present incorrect ideas and concepts.
This book is stated to be a course text. Why anyone would choose it
over other available works is beyond my comprehension.
copyright Robert M. Slade, 2002
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