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Keywords: Over-clocking, hardware, PC configuration

Title: PC Hacks

Author: Jim Aspinwall

Publisher: O'Reilly

ISBN: 0596007485

Media: Book

Level: Introductory

Verdict: A useful book for anyone interesting in maximising PC performance


PC Hacks is the sort of dangerous book that should be kept out of the hands of those of us who find tweaking and hacking our machines one of the work-displacement activities par excellence. Sometimes it feels like there are two types of PC-user, those who view the machine as a tool to be used, and those who view it as an entity in constant need of attention. You know who you are…

As the title should make clear, this is a collection of tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your PC. That means how to squeeze out that last bit of performance - be it via BIOS settings, over-clocking the CPU, changing hardware configuration or changing operating system settings. In other words a whole range of hardware, firmware and software changes and settings are covered in the 100 hacks included in the book.

Obviously many of these hacks depend on the particular BIOS you have installed, on the type of hardware you have and which operating system you are using. That said the book is not specific to any one set of devices or systems. There are hacks here for different versions of Windows (from 98 through to XP) and some coverage of Linux, so most PC systems should be covered.

For those of us who also have to keep old bits of kit alive the coverage of older versions of Windows is particularly welcome. A few more Linux hacks would have been welcome though, as would have been coverage of a few useful open source tools.

While most of the book is devoted to maximising performance, the final chapter of the book includes a range of topics devoted to configuring a new machine. These hacks include hardening a system to protect against viruses, trojans and other malware.

If you are interested in learn to hack you machine to get the most bang for your buck then this is a book definitely worth investigating.

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Contents © TechBookReport 2005. Published May 23 2005