If you haven’t guessed already, my real job is not this website. My real job is working with computers and being an IT person. I am currently studying to get my A+ certification. No, it doesn’t mean I am a really good student; I don’t know why they called it that.
Anyways, this is actually the second time I have read this book. The first time I read it I was getting my IT degree and now I am reading it again. It’s not exactly riveting, but it is one of the better IT books I have ran across. The thing is, this book brand new is over seventy dollars. That is an insane price for a book. Ok, we all know that text-book companies and colleges have students by the…well, by the something, when it comes to text-book prices. I actually remember paying $150.00 for a text-book for one of my classes in my first degree. Oh, that was awful. It’s hard to watch that much of your money being put down on a single book. If you have to have this book for a class there is a solution.
See this book? Yes, I know it’s not called the same thing. Do you see the author’s name? Yes, that’s right these two books are written by the same person, Jean Andrews. You may be thinking, “So what?” Well, the ‘so what’ is that these two books aren’t actually different books. They’re the same thing! Guess what? This book, is WAY cheaper than the first book I showed you. Awesome right?
So if you must have the first book, you could probably get away with buying the much cheaper book. I kid you not, it has the same exact information. I have pictures to prove it.
Currently, I have in my possession both of these books. The first book is actually mine. I didn’t have to pay for it because the school I got my IT degree from has this awesome book grant for people associated with the military.
See this picture over to the left? That is a selection from the more expensive book. It’s in color and it has these nifty little tabs that tell you what information is going to be on what test. That is pretty good information.
Maybe you would think this book is actually worth seventy dollars. I mean, it does include a disc in the back. That disc, by the way, is Jean Andrews herself showing you how to install motherboards and RAM. She’s an interesting person. You don’t get many women in IT. I am not trying to be sexist, I am just stating the truth.
Now, I know I already told you these two books were exactly the same thing and that I had proof. Here’s my proof. This is a selection from the other book, the cheaper one. Are you having deja vu? You should be. It’s exactly the same thing. It’s just in black and white.
So basically it costs over forty dollars more to put color in this book and slap a hard cover on it. Oh, yeah, and to also change the name of the book.
IT students everywhere..BUY THE CHEAPER BOOK!
Ok, enough of my comparison and semi-rant about text-book prices. Let’s actually get to the book review.
This is a huge book. Anything that is going to be on the A+ essentials exam and several other A+ exams is in this book. Jean Andrews is a little long-winded. She can keep going and going and going when it comes to writing about computers.
The chapters are broken down into logical segments. There are chapters about operating systems, chapters about peripheral devices and chapters about managing users on the PC. Jean Andrews does it all!
Both of these books come with a disc, brand new anyways. That disc is Jean Andrews showing you how to do various things with computers. No, unfortunately she doesn’t show you how to do hilarious pranks or hack other computers, she just shows you how to do various maintenance items. No matter what Jean Andrews is doing at the end of whatever it is she says, “And that’s how you__________.” Whatever she has done is inserted in the blank. She says it EVERY SINGLE TIME. I kind of think it’s funny. I can just imagine her providing other ‘how to’ videos. And that’s how you skin a squirrel. And that’s how you roast a turkey. And that’s how you become the dictator of a third world country. The list goes on.
It may label me as a super nerd to notice this at all, but whatever.
If you are taking a course I think this book is a very good resource.
What I liked: Even though I kind of denounced the price of my book earlier, I do like the colors. I think color in a textbook makes it easier to find what you are looking for. We don’t see in black and white after all. I also like the little tabs that tell you what will be where. That way you don’t have to read something that isn’t going to apply. Unfortunately, most of the book applies to the A+ exam.
I liked all the pictures and diagrams. They are very helpful.
What I didn’t like: Apparently, as an IT person, I am expected to know what every piece of technology for the past thirty years looks like. Well that is fine and dandy except there are not examples of all of those technologies in this book. If I have to recognize things by sight I better have some pictures to look at.
This book is huge. Gigantic. Colossal. I kind of wish I had like a cliffnotes version of it instead. I think that would make it easier to understand.
Overall, I like the book, but not enough to actually pay for it. If you have to choose one or the other, pick the cheaper one. You won’t regret having some extra money in your pocket. By the way, there was some company offering the first book for 15 dollars in the e-book format. I would seriously find that. Fifteen dollars is even cheaper than the twenty something Amazon charges for the A+ 2006 book.