Handbook of Computer Networks: Another Bidgoli goldmine

* Handbook offers wealth of insight

Prof. Hossein Bidgoli's latest achievement was to herd, ah, coordinate, 291 academics and other scientists into collaborating on the new Handbook of Computer Networks. This three-volume set includes chapters on every facet of networking.

In the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling, Hermione Granger manages to attend more than one class at a time by using a Time Turner, “a small silver hourglass worn on a chain around the neck. It's a very powerful and dangerous magical item that literally turns back time for the user, one hour per inversion of the glass.” 

I suspect that Prof. Hossein Bidgoli of the California State University at Bakersfield has managed to obtain one of these highly sought-after devices.

Bidgoli, professor of Management Information Systems and winner of the 2001 - 2002 Professor of the Year Award at his institution, “is the author of 43 textbooks, 27 manuals, and over five dozen technical articles and papers on various aspects of computer applications, information systems and network security, e-commerce, and decision support systems,” according to his latest book. He is the editor-in-chief of The Internet Encyclopedia (2003), The Handbook of Information Security (2005), and The Encyclopedia of Information Systems (2002), among other reference works of interest to readers of this column.

His latest achievement was to herd, ah, coordinate, 291 academics and other scientists into collaborating on the new Handbook of Computer Networks (2007). This three-volume set includes chapters on every facet of networking and is organized logically as follows (with just a sampling of topics):

Volume I: Key Concepts, Data Transmission, and Digital and Optical Networks

* Part 1: Key Concepts (e.g., data communication basics, protocols, public switched networks, data compression)

* Part 2: Hardware, Media, and Data Transmission (e.g., modems, routers, modulation, spread spectrum, multiplexing)

* Part 3: Digital and Optical Networks (e.g., digital radio, optical sources, optical fibers, optical multiplexers, SONET)

Volume II: LANs, MANs, WANs, The Internet, and Global, Cellular, and Wireless Networks

* Part 1: LANs, MANs, and WANS (e.g., Ethernet, token rings, packet switching, frame relay, ISDN, DSL)

* Part 2: The Internet, Global Networks, and VoIP (fundamentals, history, DNS, TCP/IP, SMTP, QoS, security standards)

* Part 3: Cellular and Wireless Networks (e.g., cellular, mobile, global, location management, international, CDMA, TDMA, CSMA, satellites, wireless ATM, routing protocols, monitoring, interference)

Volume III: Distributed Networks, Network Planning, Control, Management, and New Trends and Applications

* Part 1: Distributed Networks (e.g., client/server, groupware, middleware, grid computing, clusters, P2P, SANs, fault tolerance, distributed databases)

* Part 2: Network Planning, Control, and Management (e.g., capacity planning, traffic management, risk assessment, intrusion detection, malware, e-mail threats/vulnerabilities/management, VPNs, perimeter defenses, authentication, backups)

* Part 3: Computer Network Popular Applications and Future Directions ( e.g., ASPs, videoconferencing, telecommuting, online banking, distance learning, e-commerce, EDI, online communities, biological concepts in network design, nanotechnology, molecular communications).

I have placed a PDF file of the scanned front matter of the set on my Web site for readers to examine.

As with the other works edited by Bidgoli, I believe that organizations will find the $750 price tag a modest investment in a valuable resource for bringing a wealth of insight into their corporate knowledge base.

Full disclosure: I have written exactly one contribution to a work by Bidgoli and have received review copies of the reference works mentioned in this review. I am also an editor of a reference work published by Wiley, which publishes the Handbooks mentioned above. Otherwise, I have no financial relationship with Bidgoli or with Wiley.

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