A mediocre book which panders to Microsoft (2 Stars)\n\nAs a PC Assembly book, this is modestly useful, but there are a lot of\nPC assembly books out there. (Incidentally, I have not found a current\ntitle as concise and well written as "PC Hardware Configuration Guide\n: For DOS and Solaris" by Ron Ledesma, which is ten years old and\ntherefore of historical interest only.) It's expensive and there is\nvery little difference between building a commodity Wintel PC for\nserver, workstation, home PC or Gaming use other than which specific\ncomponents to choose.)\n\nWhere it falls apart is its complete dependence on, and unsupportable\nand flatly wrong statements urging the user to use, Microsoft Server\nsoftware. Usually, a legal copy of Windows Server and associated\nsoftware client licenses and applications will exceed the cost of the\nhardware in a low end server installation, and it will usually use\nthose resources far less efficiently and securely than will a\nUnix-based operating system. I suspect this is simply because he is\nlazy or because he wishes to curry favor with Microsoft-aligned\norganizations, although he well may think that the average reader is\njust too dumb to learn Unix.\n\nIn this era, no one without basic Unix skills can consider themselves\nlegitimately fit for any type of IT professional status. While I do\nnot believe that Unix operating systems are always the best choice for\nserver service-AS/400, VMS, and several others in addition to\nMicrosoft Windows have legitimate places in many business\nenvironments-if one is seeking to minimize total costs and use\nlow-cost commodity hardware efficiently with "Sweat Equity" over\nexpensive consultants or spending a large amount of time learning\narcane skills-Unix-based Open Source operating systems and\napplications (such as Apache) are the legitimate default, not Windows\nServer. The only advantage of Windows Server over Unix-based NOSes,in\nfact, is in its ability to provide certain services to Windows\nclients: it is never easier to _correctly_ and _securely_ deploy. And\nit almost always requires substantially greater hardwware resources.\n\nIn short, there are better PC hardware books and, if you really do\nneed Microsoft NOS, better Microsoft books. And there's probably a\nbetter than even chance, if you are inclined to read this book, that\nin fact you don't need Microsoft.