Peer-to-Peer LANs: Networking Two to Ten PCs

COMPUTER BOOK REVIEW  

356 words

Title: Peer-to-Peer LANs: Networking Two to Ten PCs; 
 Thomas W. Madron; John Wiley & Sons; ISBN: 
0-471-59091-6;  304 pages, US$26.95. CAN$36.50

Reviewer: A. T. Connellan, "The author issues warnings 
where necessary, and recommendations where proper.
A well worthwhile purchase" 

A Common-Sense Approach To A Home Network

We're all familiar with the presence of LANs 
[Local Area Networks]. Business offices, newspapers, 
libraries, and medical clinics use them to hook up work 
stations to a central computer to lower costs and increase 
efficiency. What most of us don't realize is that a 
Peer-to-Peer LAN can be a simple and economical 
method for a small business or even for family 
members to utilize that sophisticated hardware/software 
in the den without leaving their private areas of the house. 

At a time when the computer industry is adopting some 
of the less attractive traits of the auto industry like 
overselling and calculated misrepresentation, what 
a pleasant surprise it is to find an expert using a 
modest, common-sense approach to provide a 
working understanding of the subject of networks. 

Thomas W. Madron is the well-respected author 
of three other authoritative works on networking 
all published by John Wiley & Sons. This book, 
about the simplest form of computer network, 
is written for people who don't claim to be expert, 
just keenly interested with a need to make their 
computer investment cost-effective at the office, 
and at home. 

In straight from the shoulder fashion the author explains 
how even that old XT/AT, or 286 can be used as a client 
[the one in the bedroom] and lighten some of the load 
on the server [the one in the den] by looking after 
some of its jobs like running the printer, or as a fax, 
all the while utilizing the servers programs.                 

The author assesses the three most common Network 
Operating Systems [NOS]; LANtastic, NetWare Lite, 
and Windows for Work-groups, and provides a step 
through installation guide for using either telephone wire, 
or RG58 [it's the type of round wire that connects a wall 
cable outlet to the back of a TV]. 

What is particularly helpful are the simplified diagrams 
and the cautionary advice given in easy-to-understand 
language. He issues warnings where necessary, and 
recommendations where proper. The Appendixes 
and Glossary support what is probably the best text 
on the subject available for people like you and me. 


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