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Book details of 'Telecom & Networking Glossary: Understanding Communications Technology'

Cover of Telecom & Networking Glossary: Understanding Communications Technology
TitleTelecom & Networking Glossary: Understanding Communications Technology
Author(s)Robert Mastin, Aegis Publishing Group Ltd, Aegis Publishing Group
PublishedFebruary 1999
PublisherAegis Pub Group
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The Virtual Bookcase Reviews of 'Telecom & Networking Glossary: Understanding Communications Technology':

Reviewer Rob Slade wrote:
The book is intended for non-technical newcomers to the telecom industry, such as new hires, managers, suppliers, vendors, policy makers, decision makers, investors, or anyone else. (Why all of these people are considered non-technical is a bit beyond me.) Neither the introduction nor the material itself seems to present a clear picture of a specific area of concentration, yet the content is too narrow to cover the full range of telecommunications. Some terms, such as "accounting rate," are quite terse and rely on undefined terms ("call termination charge") for full understanding. Others, such as "asynchronous transfer mode (ATM)," carry paragraphs of trivia, but do not provide the promised "big picture" understanding. ISDN (integrated services digital network) gets a two page editorial. Some are missing obvious, but perhaps non-essential details: why does ARDIS expand to Advanced National Radio Data Service? While relatively few entries are affected, it is worth noting that numbers are spelled out and listed in alphabetical order, so that "eight hundred (800) service" appears in the "E" section. (There is no entry for "toll free.") The book contradicts itself in a number of places. Application program interface (API) is defined properly on page 14, but is clearly misused in the discussion of Internet telephony. We are told that X.25 "data packets vary [in size] during the course of a transmission" on page 16, but that "packets on an X.25 network are fixed in length" on page 64. (Neither of these statements is really accurate.) A significant number of the terms are either relatively archaic (in a fast moving industry) or probably outside the range of non-specialist experience or operation, such as AUTODIN. Acronyms usually are not defined, but point to the expanded phrase for the explanation. Not all acronyms are included, however. For example, synchronous digital hierarchy is listed, and the acronym SDH is noted for it, but there is no entry in the glossary for SDH. On the other hand, "MIS" is simply defined as "Abbreviation for management information system." The choice of slang terms for inclusion is odd. "Cells on wheels" probably won't ever be used or heard except by cellular network repair people. "Choppiness" is both obvious and unimportant, as is "dial-a- porn." The only computer or Internet related slang is "spam." As noted in a number of places above, definitions of computer or Internet terms suffer in accuracy even in comparison to the rest of the book. The explanation for "Universal Resource Locator" (and the more common expansion of URL uses "uniform") only refers to Web sites, whereas the really important aspect of a URL is that it presents a consistent addressing format for almost all Internet applications. (And there is no entry for "virus.") Even given its advantages in size and price, I find it hard to think of anyone who would benefit from this glossary. I remember the days when works of similar size and scope were handed out by the boxload as freebies from networking and communications companies. I don't recall them being either this limited, or this error prone. copyright Robert M. Slade, 1999

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Book description:

This helpful guide de-mystifies the arcane language of telecommunications and data networks so that non-technical end users will gain a clear overview of how to put the technology to use in solving every day buisness challenges

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