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Building the Perfect PC: From Low-Cost, Vista-Ready Systems to Fire-Breathing Game Machines--New From MAKE Magazine

December 18, 2006

Sebastopol, CA--First the crew over at MAKE Magazine--the "Bible of the DIY movement"--lit a big ol? bonfire of enthusiasm for the growing community of garage inventors, backyard scientists, and DIY enthusiasts around the planet, now they?re showing us how the Perfect PC is the one that any of us can build ourselves in our own basement. With instructions for crafting a budget PC for about $350 to creating a fire-breathing, high performance system running Vista and all the latest games--Robert and Barbara Thompson's new edition of Building the Perfect PC, Second Edition (O'Reilly, $34.99) aims to inform and inspire anyone with the DIY itch and a little patience to start flexing their PC-building muscles.

"This was a year of major change in PC components," notes coauthor Robert Bruce Thompson about why he put together the new edition. "New technologies proliferated, including an entire new processor architecture from Intel, the triumph of the new PCI Express video interface standard over the older AGP, new types of memory, and even including new power supply standards. Nowadays, PC builders have to be much more careful about choosing the proper components, and this book is their guide to doing so."

Additional fun do-it-yourself projects include:

  • Configuring a PC appropriate for your own needs
  • Choosing the best and most cost-effective components for it
  • Designing and building a low-cost SOHO server system with a 2 terabyte subsystem for a residential environment.

"Increasingly, building your own PC (or paying a screwdriver shop to build it for you) is the only good way to get a high-quality system," adds Thompson. "The typical mass-market PC you find at a big-box store is the computer equivalent of a Yugo at a Chevrolet price, whereas a home-built PC can be the equivalent of a Rolls-Royce for not all that much more money."

Straightforward, easy-to-grasp directions and full-color illustrations make this detailed, step-by-step reference accessible to DIY computer builders of every skill level. So if you've always wanted a customized, super-charged, quality machine with high-end components--get this one-stop guide and make one yourself.

About the Authors
Robert Bruce Thompson is also coauthor PC Hardware in a Nutshell. Robert built his first computer in 1976 from discrete chips. It had 256 bytes of memory, used toggle switches and LEDs for I/O, ran at less than 1MHz, and had no operating system. Since then, he has bought, built, upgraded, and repaired hundreds of PCs for himself, employers, customers, friends, and clients. Robert reads mysteries and nonfiction for relaxation, but only on cloudy nights. He spends most clear, moonless nights outdoors with his 10-inch Dobsonian reflector telescope, hunting down faint fuzzies, and is currently designing a larger truss-tube Dobsonian (computerized, of course) that he plans to build.

Barbara Fritchman Thompson is also coauthor PC Hardware in a Nutshell. Barbara worked for 20 years as a librarian before starting her own home-based consulting practice, Research Solutions, and is also a researcher for the law firm Womble, Carlyle, Sandridge, & Rice, PLLC. During her leisure hours, Barbara reads, works out, plays golf, and, like Robert, is an avid amateur astronomer.

Background and Market info about Building the Perfect PC:

Additional Resources:

Building the Perfect PC, Second Edition
Building the Perfect PC, Second Edition
Robert Bruce Thompson, Barbara Fritchman Thompson
ISBN: 0-596-52686-5, 422 pages, $34.99 US
1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

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