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Chris Bourne

The Hacker's Handbook written by Geof Wheelwright and Ian Scales and published by Longman is a machine specific guide to getting on-line. Available for the Spectrum, Commodore 64 or BBC user, this particular Hacker's Handbook shares its title with a slightly more exciting publication (not to be confused these two).

Although one shouldn't judge a book by the number of pages it contains, this handbook is less than half as thick as Ray Hammond's contribution to the pool of communications knowledge and does smack rather of the quick cash-in book. For the Spectrum user, it offers more specific advice than the On-Line Handbook and as such it would be useful to the total novice.

The authors do provide a sound overview of the equipment and services available, and are honest in their opinions. Their book is an undemanding, short and sweet introduction to the world of communications.

Overall, however, Messrs Wheelwright and Scales have produced a very thin book, which has been bulked out by lots and lots of pretty graphics and screenshots which do little to augment the information contained in the text. Quite why a book which is called 'The Hackers Handbook' should dismiss the subject in less than a page, and take a very 'grown up' perspective in so doing is beyond me, Oh well....