Cover image for Peter Norton's new inside the PC
Peter Norton's new inside the PC
Norton, Peter, 1943-
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
New inside the PC
First edition.
Publication Information:
Indianapolis, Ind. : SAMS, [2002]

Physical Description:
ix, 625 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
"User level: Intermediate"--P. 4 of cover.

Includes index.
Subject Term:
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QA76.8.I1015 N66 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



No competing book provides a more in-depth understanding of the working principles and operations of the computer to a general audience. Ensures maximum productivity by providing an intimate working knowledge of the personal computer at all levels. Uses the unique "Peter Norton" approach: expert advice in a user-friendly, hands-on exploratory mode. Topics covered: Inside IBM-standard PCs, processors, disks, memory, peripherals, networking (including the Internet), and the newest developments in 3-D audio and video.

Author Notes

Scott Clark has been the director of Peter Norton's computer books for over twelve years. He has written for many of them and has edited almost every book in the series. He was the primary author for the best-selling sixth edition of Peter Norton's Inside the PC, and made major contributions to the seventh and eighth editions. He has among his other titles, Peter Norton's Complete Guide to Norton SystemWorks, and The Effective Executive's Guide to Microsoft Access 2002. Scott has been a visiting professor of website design and Internet technologies at Fullerton College. He lives in Southern California in a house full of Stickley furniture and Disney memorabilia.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Norton's covers a lot of ground in very small print, intending to reach novice through advanced users. Beginners would be better served, however, by additional images or by a simpler title such as Larry Magid's The Little PC Book (Computer Media, LJ 4/1/02). On the other hand, intermediate users may appreciate the extensive glossary and classic "Peter's Principles," notes, and tips scattered throughout, as well as the convenience of having topics from networking to motherboards to data storage explained in one place. PC hardware titles become dated quickly; purchase to replace older editions. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
Part I The Glass Boxp. 7
1 The Desktop PCp. 9
The Three Main Partsp. 10
The System Unitp. 10
The Displayp. 21
Input Devicesp. 21
Inside the PCp. 22
2 Portable PCsp. 23
From Luggables to Laptops and Beyondp. 23
Hardware That Is Almost Unique to Mobile PCsp. 33
Lessons Learned from Portable PCsp. 35
Extending Your Battery's Lifep. 38
Summaryp. 43
3 PDAs and Handheld PCsp. 45
Put a PC in Your Pocketp. 45
Ancient Historyp. 46
The PalmPilotp. 47
Linux By the Handful--Agendap. 59
Windows-Centered Devicesp. 60
Comparisonsp. 63
4 Understanding Bits and Bytesp. 65
What Are Information and Data?p. 65
How Bits and Bytes Cast a Hex on ASCIIp. 70
Reducing Bits, Bytes, and Real Lifep. 78
Summary and Looking Aheadp. 79
Part II Inside the PC: A Closer Look at Componentsp. 81
5 A First Look at Motherboards and Processorsp. 83
Safe System Unit "Surgery"p. 83
A Platform to Build Upon: The Motherboardp. 89
Understanding PC Processorsp. 101
Major and Minor Improvementsp. 110
Summaryp. 111
6 Video and Monitorsp. 113
It's Just No Good if You Can't Get the Information Outp. 113
Basic Characteristics of Videop. 114
How Images Are Painted on the Screen (Overview)p. 121
Getting the Colors Rightp. 131
How to Talk to a Video Displayp. 132
Understanding Display Technologiesp. 133
Summaryp. 141
7 Disks and PC Data Storagep. 143
Traditional PC Disk Drivesp. 143
The Origin of IDE, EIDE, ATA, ATAPI, and Morep. 149
The Really Good Bus with the Really Bad Name (SCSI)p. 153
Mixing IDE and SCSI Disk Drivesp. 157
Summaryp. 158
8 Removable Storagep. 159
Variations on the Theme of PC Storagep. 159
The Multiple Dimensions of PC Storage Technologiesp. 159
Removable Magnetic PC Data Storage Devicesp. 160
Removable Optical PC Data Storage Devicesp. 166
Magneto-Optical PC Data Storage Devicesp. 174
Electronic PC Data Storage Devicesp. 176
Summaryp. 179
9 Serial Portsp. 181
Talking Through a Tiny Pipe: Serial Portsp. 181
A Series of Serial Portsp. 184
IEEE 1394 FireWirep. 190
What if You Need Lots of Serial Ports?p. 192
Summaryp. 193
10 Parallel Portsp. 195
The Faster Pathp. 195
"Printer" Ports Aren't Just for Printersp. 200
Printer Ports Aren't Even for Printers Anymorep. 200
Summaryp. 201
11 Networking--Wired and Wirelessp. 203
What Is Networking?p. 203
Why Network?p. 204
Types of Networksp. 205
The Parts of a Networkp. 211
Ethernet--The Everywhere Networkp. 215
Alternative Small Networksp. 217
Wireless Networkingp. 218
Summaryp. 220
12 Modems and Broadbandp. 221
Reaching Outp. 221
"Yodeling" PCsp. 221
Cable Modemsp. 230
Keeping It Purely Digitalp. 233
Which Way Should You Go?p. 238
Summaryp. 239
13 Input Devicesp. 241
The Keyboard Is "Key"p. 241
Alternatives to Typing: Voice Recognitionp. 251
The Point Is Pointing (Mousing Around)p. 255
Some Other PC Input Devicesp. 261
Summaryp. 265
14 Printersp. 267
The Purpose and Power of PC Printersp. 267
Page Description Languagesp. 268
Printing Technologiesp. 269
Getting the Color (Almost) Rightp. 280
Summaryp. 286
Part III Inside the Black Boxes Inside the Glass Boxp. 287
15 Motherboard Magicp. 289
Processor Architecturep. 289
The "Intel-Compatible" Chipsp. 292
The Architecture That Goes Around the CPUp. 312
Interrupts: The Driving Forcep. 319
What Is a DMA Channel?p. 324
Keeping Up with the Clockp. 326
System Buses: ISA, PCI and AGPp. 330
Measuring Performance via Benchmarksp. 343
Summaryp. 344
16 Kick Starting--The Boot Processp. 345
What Is the BIOS?p. 345
CMOS and Other Programsp. 347
POST (Power-On Self-Test)p. 350
Device Drivers and Firmwarep. 352
BIOS Fault Tolerancep. 354
How Your PC Wakes Up and Prepares Itself for Workp. 354
Speeding Up Your PC's Boot Processp. 363
Common BIOS Tuning Optionsp. 365
CMOS Securityp. 368
The Current BIOS Industryp. 368
Summaryp. 369
17 Understanding PC Memoryp. 371
The CPU's Essential Playgroundp. 371
Various Flavors of RAMp. 378
Various Flavors of ROM and NVRAMp. 387
Addressing Memory: Intel's Segmentsp. 390
Not All Memory Is Equalp. 393
Your PC's Memory Needs Managingp. 398
Understanding Windows Memory Usep. 406
Memory Management Softwarep. 409
So How Much RAM Do You Need, Really?p. 410
Summaryp. 410
18 Storage: How Does Data Get There?p. 411
Hard Disksp. 411
Hard Disks are Different from Floppiesp. 441
Making Sense out of Chaosp. 445
RAID Systems--Sense and Sensibilityp. 447
Optical Discsp. 448
Learning About File Formatsp. 453
Data Compressionp. 457
Summaryp. 459
19 Advanced Networkingp. 461
Layers in the Network Strategyp. 461
The NIC Needs a NOSp. 462
TCP/IP: The Internet's Babelfishp. 466
What Is the Internet?p. 466
Assuring a Quality of Service--Tomorrow's Internetp. 475
Summaryp. 475
20 Video Accelerationp. 477
Vector Versus Bitmapped Images: Rasterizing and Renderingp. 478
How PCs Create Compelling Visual Imagesp. 481
The RAMDACp. 488
More About AGP: Is it Really Faster?p. 488
The World of 3Dp. 492
Summaryp. 499
21 Inside Tomorrow's PCp. 501
A Changed Worldp. 501
Sure Betsp. 504
Your Own Glass Boxp. 505
Part IV Appendixes
A Operating Systems: The Middleman Between You and Your PCp. 509
What Is an Operating System and Why Do You Need One?p. 510
DOS Is Dead! Long Live Windows!p. 516
Understanding Your Choices for Your PC's Operating Systemp. 522
Summaryp. 526
B Understanding How Humans Instruct PCsp. 527
Harnessing the PC's Power to Help Mere Humansp. 527
Dividing Up the Workp. 538
How Not to Keep On Reinventing the Wheelp. 540
Helping Ordinary People "Program" Their PCs Easilyp. 543
Summaryp. 545
Glossaryp. 547
Indexp. 581