Electric Review

Culture & Criticism Since 2003

Tech & Trade

New Releases From Cengage

New Releases From Thomson-Delmar


Cover courtesy of Cengage Learning.

The last 25 years have seen vast changes to the mechanics of the modern medical office. In light of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, healthcare providers were required to adopt  electronic medical records (EMR) protocols. In turn, The Paperless Medical Office provides an erudite primer on how to use the online system that countless medical offices now rely on to manage patient billing and healthcare records.  Ferrari (Solano Community College) has done an expert job at building a text that fosters confidence in the reader. Sharply honed instructions allow for the medical office administrator to quickly master information and then transfer it to the clinical setting. From that point, readers segue to the Harris Care Tracker System which provides hands-on experience working with electronic medical records. As Ferrari shows, this system is meant to be used for patient registration, billing and internal clinical records (in addition to the maintenance of health records). I believe Congress’ ultimate goal in pushing for electronic medical records was to build a streamlined system in medical offices that would cut down on errors while helping patients take a more active role in the management of their healthcare information. Still, some 5 years after the launch of the program, many medical offices still struggle to transfer from paper to a purely digital format. However, Virginia Ferrari’s  treatise can ease some of the burden, offering both a clear road-map and practical direction on how to navigate the course to “paperless.”

Of Related Interest


This title offers a comprehensive guide to medical coding procedures, presenting the latest CPT-4 diagnostic and procedural code sets in addition to a comprehensive outline of regulatory guidelines in a direct, no-nonsense style. The current edition includes well-paced illustrations, coding assignments and in depth case studies that collectively allow the reader to build an intimate relationship with the course material as they prepare for certification in the field. An indispensable volume for today’s medical office.


A natural companion to the preceding title, Understanding Health Insurance serves as the bible of reimbursement, first expanding on the material in  HCPCS CODING and then placing it in the context of ‘billing.’ Vital information on minefields such as compliance and coding for medical necessity is included – not only does Green provide practical ‘how-to’ direction, she also presents a well-reasoned primer on staying in step with the myriad regulations that impact this area of study. Online access to SimClaim™ CMS-1500 claims completion software is a component to this edition.

INTRODUCTION TO FIRE PROTECTION. Robert Klinoff. 4th Edition. Cengage Learning.

Cover courtesy of Cengage Learning.

The recent immense conflagrations that have decimated parts of the American west have renewed the country’s focus on how to combat the threat of fire. Accordingly, Cengage has made some significant contributions to academic publishing on the subject. Klinoff’s Introduction To Fire Protection is a benchmark reference, and one that will serve fire science instructors with sparkling efficiency. What makes the text so relevant is the fact that it is written from the perspective of a veteran firefighter who has lived in the trenches. In turn, his narrative immediately gives students a credible overview of the skills necessary to enter the profession, the information coming from someone who’s ‘been there and done that.’ Topics of coverage include Fire Science education and the selection process; careers in the field; public fire protection; the physics of fire; fire prevention; codes and ordinances; training for the discipline; and emergency operations. The text has been carefully constructed to stress clarity, thus readers will find it easy to navigate and digest. However, what’s best about  Introduction To Fire Protection is found in the way Klinoff is able to show new arrivals to the discipline the demands that are levied on a professional firefighter. There’s a huge responsibility that goes along with protecting the public against this unpredictable opponent called fire, and that fact comes through loud and clear in multiple sections of this book. As stated, Introduction To Fire Protection is a benchmark reference that should be considered as a front-line course text in all entry level Fire Science courses.

Of Related Interest

CASE STUDIES FOR THE EMERGENCY RESPONDER. Psychological, Ethical and Leadership Dimensions. S. Joseph Woodall. Jeffery Thomas. Cengage Learning.

 Any person considering a career as a police officer, emergency medical technician or firefighter needs to be aware that these professions carry with them stressors that greatly exceed other disciplines. In addition to being able to handle yourself in life and death situations, emergency responders must be masters at dealing with different people from different backgrounds, immediately gaining their trust and respect in the face of catastrophe. Obviously, this is a tall order that requires intense study and training. To this end, Emergency Responder offers a series of case studies for practitioners, teaching the art of problem solving in still-developing situations. The authors’ decision to employ the “case study” format is key to promoting a deep understanding of the concepts in play: by showing the reader what to do via real-time scenes, retention of the material is more readily attained.

FIRE BEHAVIOR AND COMBUSTION PROCESSES. Raymond Shackleton. Cengage Learning.

Cover courtesy of Cengage Learning

The blaze that consumed Santa Rosa and Sonoma (California) on October 8, 2017 didn’t follow the classic pattern of a wildfire – driven by unpredictable winds and inordinately warm weather, it burned down entire blocks of houses in a matter of minutes. But that is the way of fire – it is wholly unpredictable. Accordingly, responders have to understand the nature of how a fire starts, reacts and spreads before they can competently protect the public. And this is just the territory Shackelford’s text covers, explaining the many ways a fire can behave and the things the firefighter must do to contain the destruction. In sum, this is information every firefighter needs to know; thus, Fire Behavior is an  appropriate text for both the classroom and for every fire department’s continuing education program.

Also of Note From Cengage’s Tech and Trade Shelf

INTRODUCTION TO VETERINARY SCIENCE. Third Edition. James Lawhead. Meecee Baker. Cengage Learning.

In this text, Lawhead and Baker look at the discipline of veterinary science from every angle, examining the profession from both academic and ‘field’ vantage points. Topics of coverage include comparative anatomy and physiology (including an overview of cell biology and an analysis of all organ systems); the basics of nutrition; the principles of disease; diagnosis and treatment; surgery; and how to  prepare for a career in the field. Introduction To Veterinary Science is notable for two reasons: first off, it carefully looks at the treatment of both large and small animals, showing the student that their focus cannot only be on common pets, but also must include farm/agricultural animals. In addition, the authors place the material in a real-time context, appending practical examples that show students how to apply what they are learning.  Finally, Lawhead and Baker include analysis of the cost-impact inherent to certain courses of treatment. Inclusion of this data teaches the student that their role is not only to know when to recommend treatment, but also, to know when not to recommend it.

INTRODUCTORY HORTICULTURE. Ninth Edition. Carroll Shry Jr. H. Edward Reiley. Cengage Learning.

The Shry-Reiley treatise provides an incisive overview of horticulture, including discussion of plant science;, plant propagation; pest management; greenhouse management and crops; plants in the landscape; the vegetable garden; the small fruit garden; and nut crops. A well-designed chapter on the business of horticulture has also been included, documenting the many pieces that have to come together to turn an idea profitable. Meticulously researched and thoughtfully presented, Introductory Horticulture is a natural front-line course text for the undergraduate classroom.

LEADERSHIP. Personal Development And Career Success. Fourth Edition. Cliff Ricketts. John Ricketts. Cengage Learning.

Cover courtesy of Cengage Learning.

What makes a President? A General? An NFL quarterback? A newspaper editor? Just what makes a leader? The qualities incumbent to leadership are myriad and varied, encompassing many different personality characteristics – some acquired in the classroom, some inherited from parents. In turn, Leadership proves to be a seminal reference dedicated to showing how students can begin to develop foundational skills that will usher them into successful professional careers. In outlining the process, Cliff and John Ricketts look at the question of leadership from multiple perspectives, looking to guide students slowly through the process so that they experience each element building onto the next  – the goal is to bring home a complete skill set. Topics of coverage include the primary leadership categories; personality types and how they relate to human behavior and concepts of leadership; learning styles; the process of developing leaders; sound communication skills; the elements of public speaking; extemporaneous public speaking; promoting managerial leadership skills; personal development; how to motivate others; and how to become an employable person. The scope of this text mirrors just what the student needs to bring to the table if they intend to be a leader instead of a follower: In sum, students who want to manage and lead must show well-rounded backgrounds that feature a variety of skills. As Cliff and John Ricketts write, it’s all about working for the collective good rather than just the self.

by John Aiello

Two Exemplary Textbooks For Blue Collar Trades

AUTOMOTIVE HEATING & AIR CONDITIONING. Mark Schnubel. 6th edition. Cengage Learning.

The modern car is a complicated machine propelled by a series of systems that function much like a human body. Augmenting the mechanical elements of the vehicle are a technological grid of sensors and computers that regulate everything from fuel mix to air flow and engine speed. One of the more overlooked components of the machine is the heating and air conditioning system, however, it is absolutely vital to maintaining a comfortable and safe cabin temperature. Automotive Heating & Air Conditioning presents as a two-part manual that addresses the system in comprehensive tones, allowing mechanics in training to gain a true understanding of the fundamental principles that govern this area of study. Topics of coverage include a historical overview of heating and air conditioning in automotive applications; clutches and compressors; troubleshooting the refrigeration system; a primer on the components of the system; and temperature and pressure fundamentals. The text also includes data on the newest refrigerant in use – R-1234yf. Schnubel proves himself to be an accomplished technical writer  as his clear, cohesive style allows mechanics-in-training to immediately absorb what they’re reading. The narrative is augmented by photographs and illustrations that provide a visual road-map and illuminate the guts of the heating/air conditioning  systems. Case studies and ASE style questions (plus an ASE-style practice test) prepare the student for certification in the field. A true cross-over manual,  Automotive Heating & Air Conditioning is meant to be taken from the classroom to the garage and referenced in the course of bench work.

Of Related Interest

WELDING: PRINCIPLES AND APPLICATIONS. Larry Jeffus. Eighth edition. Cengage Learning.

Cover courtesy of Cengage.

Like the preceding title, Welding is a text for a blue collar profession with a long and rich history. Although most of us never think about it, we could not live in this modern society without technicians being able to weld metal (think: automobiles; airplanes; kitchen appliances; bridges; hand-rails). Here, Jeffus has created a go-to coursebook that first presents the basic principles of the trade and then shows the student how they are to be applied to professional work. Moving from basic arc welding to more advanced techniques, Jeffus addresses both AWS SENSE Level I and Level II programs as students   work toward certification in the field. Originally published in its fledgling edition almost 3 decades ago, Jeffus’ treatise is regarded as the ‘bible’ of the discipline by welding instructors and commercial practitioners alike.

GRAMMAR & WRITING SKILLS FOR THE HEALTH PROFESSIONAL.  Third edition. Doreen Villemaire Oberg. Lorraine Villemaire. Cengage.

Cover courtesy of Cengage.

Being able to communicate effectively is a prerequisite for success in any health-related profession. Sadly, learning the elements of composition is also one of the more over-looked skills in this particular curriculum. Nonetheless, changes that have taken place with how health records are maintained  now make it imperative for medical providers to write in a clear and comprehensive manner meant for the digital age. In Grammar & Writing, Oberg and Villemaire provide a rudimentary primer on how to write a sentence and then build a paragraph into a series of paragraphs that can serve as a viable summary of a patient encounter. In turn, the authors take great care to show the reader that attention to detail is their mantra. Topics of coverage include basic grammar and parts of speech; advanced principles of grammar; and the writing process itself. A well-developed section on resumes and cover letters has also been included, and this information will prove vital to the student-reader on the cusp of his first job. Too many times, people who work in health care take report writing for granted. And this is a gargantuan mistake: One nebulous piece of information can result in an error that costs a patient their life. Aside from the legal ramifications, the lesson to be learned here is that whatever a provider writes down in a record becomes part and parcel of the patient’s life story. Thus, the lines have to be clear and they have to be accurate.  Grammar & Writing sets out how to show the young doctor or nurse just how to get there.

Of Related Interest

HIPAA FOR HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS. Second Edition. Dan Krager. Carole H. Krager. Cengage.

This is a sound primer on the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act useful in both classroom and professional settings. Krager and Krager segue from an analysis of HIPPA to real-life applications that adeptly show the reader that this is not some abstract information for lawyers to wade through, but instead, a vital part of the 21st-century healthcare industry.

ESSENTIALS OF HEALTH INFORMATION MANAGMEENT. Principles and Practices. Third Edition. Mary Jo Bowie. Michelle Green. Cengage.

The digital age has made health information management complicated territory to traverse. Today, health records are maintained in electronic form, and with that change came a plethora of new regulations to which providers must adhere. Accordingly, Bowie and Green do an outstanding job of covering this, in addition to HIPPA, data integrity and security, and ICD-10-CM implementation. What’s notable about Essentials beyond its breadth is its crisp and accessible presentation. This is not easy subject matter to digest, but the authors are able to dissect it at the core, making the narrative as interesting as possible.

Thomson-Delmar Learning is a distinguished leader in academic publishing known for its ability to merge traditional academic disciplines (nursing, paralegal, agribusiness) with the technology and trade worlds (fire prevention, computer science, automobile technology) – this reference center for instructors in a multiplicity of disciplines spanning the breadth of the university curriculum. Here, The Electric Review spotlights a sampling of Thomson-Delmar’s key titles on the tech and trade side of the ball –each of these selections noted for their classroom potential and strict adherence to sharp and penetrating analysis. Simply, specialists in these areas require textbooks that outline data in clear and concrete terms, guides able to escort college-level readers through often complicated labyrinths of material with seamless efficiency. As we move into the third quarter of the year, we also pay tribute to these outstanding books.

THE STREET MEDICS HANDBOOK. Owen T. Traynor. Patrick R. Coonan. Thomas J. Rahilly. Jonathan S. Rubens. Thomson-Delmar Learning.

This is both an important professional reference and classroom manual predicated on outlining vital information for “pre-hospital emergencies that paramedics and EMT’s do not encounter on a daily basis.” Here, the reader is presented with a text that steps outside the box to help those healthcare professionals on the frontlines deal with routine calls that morph into unforeseen emergencies. There is a vast amount of material covered in these pages, including common occurrences like allergic reactions and cardiac arrest, in addition to discussion of near drownings; exposure to infectious diseases; sexual abuse and rape; smoke inhalation; response to terrorist calls; and central nervous catheterization. The Street Medics Handbook is noted for its organization and for the clarity of its presentation, with the ‘problem-oriented’ design meant to immediately test the student’s retention of the material. Published in a handy, pocket-size format that allows it to find a place in the EMT’s coat pocket or fanny-pack – an indispensable reference for all practitioners of street-based emergency medicine.

by John Aiello

Of Related Interest

EXAM PREPARATION – FIREFIGHTER I AND II. Andrea Walter. Marty Rutledge. Chris Hawley. Thomson-Delmar Learning.

This text is mandatory reading for students entering the fire academy, as it outlines the essential information on those fire-fighting techniques which must be mastered in order to pass the certification examination. Based on Bloom’s TaxonomyExam Prep escorts the reader through myriad topic areas, including comprehension questions, practical application of theory and problem-based analysis. In addition, three 100-question exams are included to allow prospective firefighters a ‘rehearsal’ of sorts as they gain practical experience with various testing formats. Finally, students are challenged with an epic 200-question examination that provides a final ‘practice run’ (encompassing a survey of the most advanced areas of fire-study). The 2007 edition includes both an enlightening chapter on test-taking strategies, as well as a CD containing all the aforementioned exams in a tidy computerized format.

by John Aiello

FIREFIGHTER’S HANDBOOK. Essentials of Firefighting and Emergency Response. Second Edition. Thomson/Delmar.

Given the unique challenges of life in the 21st century (highlighted by the horrific events of September 11, 2001), the way that firefighters confront their duties has changed dramatically. Now, it’s not just fires and downed power lines that have to be considered. Instead, emergency workers must deal with toxic materials, bio-hazards and explosive threats – as the war on terrorism is fought on every front. In this comprehensive volume, student firefighters get a full preview of the job and the standards they must meet in order to gain certification. The real selling point to this book (aside from the expert review of every facet of Fire Science) is that this one book offers students training data for both Firefighter 1 and II and Hazardous Materials, in turn reducing the applicable information to a single volume for quick and easy reference. As previously noted, Firefighter contains a broad array of data, including chapters on the history of American Fire Science, explanation on the organization of fire departments and alarm systems, analysis of fire ‘behavior’ and what to expect with different kinds of fires, standards of safety firefighters must maintain, an overview of the various tools firefighters use, rescue procedures, knots and ropes, hazardous materials and terrorism awareness (to cite only a partial list). Further, Firefighter is set apart from other similar offerings by its formatting: photographs, graphics and highlights serve to augment chapters and bring important data to the forefront of the student’s consciousness, creating the idea that these are not isolated theories, but instead, a body of information that must be thoroughly digested in order for true competence in the field to be attained. The job of fighting fires and working on an emergency crew is chock full of life and death challenges. Accordingly, young students of the discipline must understand that this field requires a commitment to life-long learning. And The Firefighter’s Handbook is the place where the journey begins.

This book is a perfect text for both Firefighter I and Firefighter II courses at both the academy and community college levels. The data on hazardous materials is especially timely given the current state of the world, adding to this volume’s long-term value. Further recommended to all college-level libraries as a general reference text.

Order from amazon.com.

FUNDAMENTALS OF BASIC EMERGENCY CARE. 2nd edition. Richard Beebe. Deborah Funk. Thomson Delmar Learning.

Now in its second edition, Fundamentals offers the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) a detailed and comprehensive introduction to the concepts of emergency medical care. In the last decade, this field has evolved tremendously, and there are now increased demands on EMTs. This text by Beebe (a 30 year veteran of EMT medicine) and Funk (an emergency physician and emergency medicine instructor) collects the most recent data pertinent to the field, covering the full spectrum of emergency medical care in a clear and well-organized manner. Beginning with an overview of emergency medical care, Fundamentals moves into a review of basic anatomy and physiology. From here, we embark on a journey into the core of the subject — with the authors going into the fundamentals of emergency medicine, including information on infection control, shock, respiratory support, cardiac arrest and trauma care (as well as several chapters covering childhood emergency care). In addition, case studies have been provided which allow the student to actually use the skills they have learned to address the scenarios they are likely to encounter in the field. These case studies, set against the stories from professional EMTs that augment the chapters, demonstrate to the young reader in clear and concrete terms how EMTs have reacted when confronted with specific ordeals. Instead of reading like “filler,” these unique features make Fundamentals a vital and current text, giving the student a true “hands-on” sense of what this field is like (showing the student exactly what expectations they must satisfy after assuming a career that will require them to provide medical care “on the fly” in a variety of places under a variety of difficult circumstances).

Recommended for all emergency medicine courses at the college level. Should further be considered by Fire Science programs as a supporting class text.

Order from delmarlearning.com.

by John Aiello

THE EMT-BASIC EXAM REVIEW. Kirsten M. Elling. Thomson-Delmar Learning.

Elling’s text covers the final step in the EMT’s curriculum, allowing students the opportunity to review essential information for the certification examination. Organized so as to meet the requirements of the DOT National Standard CurriculumEMT Exam Review covers an amazing 1,500 questions in 33 chapters, testing the EMT on both the cognitive and affective elements of the DOT National Standard Curriculum. What is note-worthy about this exam review is that is seeks to cut beyond surface retention, looking to help students come to grips with the core-elements of the EMT program. It is a fact of life that EMTs in both rural and urban settings must cope with sudden emergencies, thrust into chaotic and dangerous situations where ‘anything can happen.’ In light of this, anything short of absolute mastery of this course material will jeopardize patient survival (average competence in this profession is simply not acceptable). Thus, Elling’s EMT Exam Review should be required reading in all EMT programs throughout the nation.

by John Aiello

WHY-DRIVEN EMS REVIEW. Second Edition. Bob Elling. Kirsten M. Elling. Mikel A. Rothenberg. Thomson-Delmar Learning.

Why-Driven EMS Review (now in its second edition) presents a series of questions and answers meant to supplement the basic course materials in use in all EMS programs. Formatted in accordance with the DOT Paramedic curriculum objectives, this text stresses in depth analysis of core data so as to move the student toward a deeper understanding of both the course material and their role in the healthcare process. Topics of coverage include general principles of pathology, pharmacology and medicine administration; patient assessment and the art of the physical examination; body system specialties (including cardiology and neurology); traumas, rescue and crime scene awareness; and the roles and responsibilities of the EMS provider in the healthcare process. Like the title featured in the preceding review, the idea of the textbook is to cut beyond a basic ‘surface’ understanding of the EMS curriculum. Instead, the authors strive to expose the student to the ‘why’ or reason behind the actions they are taking. Bluntly, if EMS students can develop a true understanding/appreciation for what they are doing, a better patient experience is likely to result.

by John Aiello

Previously Featured

PHYSICAL AND TECHNICAL SECURITY. Robert Gruber. Thomson-Delmar Learning.

In this post 9-11 age, thoughts of terrorism reign supreme. In the short span of a half-decade, America has become a nation that is driven by a need to secure its edges and eradicate its vulnerabilities. In this textbook, Robert Gruber (an instructor at Northern Virginia College with an impeccable Naval intelligence background) introduces us to the nuts and bolts of physical and technical security, with deep analysis of both the theory and practical sides of the topic. Physical and Technical features a comprehensive overview of the ways that both corporations and government can approach individual security needs, including discussion of the electronic components prevalent in the field; communications systems; test equipment; video/optics; alarm systems; computers/software; transmission line theory; tools and their usage; access control (locks and keys); technical surveillance countermeasures; and risk analysis. Readers will quickly notice that Gruber is a masterful academic writer whose true strength is in being able to convey the fine points of his subject matter in clearly defined terms. For example, Gruber’s chapter on technical surveillance not only touches on the methods of espionage, but also dissects the inner-sanctum of its purposes and objectives: The idea is to paint the student-reader with a complete picture of the reasons why we need advanced security systems while also outlining the ways these systems are built and implemented. In addition, Gruber provides complete chapter summaries (as well as a compendium of key terms and discussion questions) as a means to promote retention.

Recommended to college-level instructors in under-graduate Administration of Justice courses focused on teaching the fundamentals of security. Further recommended to libraries in the college sector as a general reference text which will have long-term value.

by John Aiello

BLUEPRINT READING FOR ELECTRICIANS. Delmar Learning in Partnership with NJATC.

This text allows both practicing and apprentice electricians to develop necessary skills required to decipher blueprints. The ability to read a blueprint is often overlooked by contractors; however, it is literally the most important skills-set any builder can possess. The inability to accurately read a blueprint jeopardizes everything from water lines to sewer systems, placing the entire civic planning system at risk. Here, readers are exposed to myriad concept-drawings, sketches and plans and then immediately tested on retention through various blueprint-reading exercises.

Instructors will note that the material presented here is applicable to both the commercial and industrial communities –absolute required reading for all student-electricians looking toward a career in construction. In addition, students in advanced electrical engineering programs will also benefit from exposure to this material in this form, as it tests understanding of fundamental principles in a practical, ‘hands-on’ fashion.

by John Aiello


This handy guide-book has been created to help users of SAS 9 become familiar with the nuances of the software as they hone study habits in order to successfully pass the Base Programming Certification Exam for SAS 9. Hezaveh, a mathematics instructor from Georgia who is also an SAS-certified practitioner, has formatted this manual to insure ultimate readability. Accordingly, each particular study topic has been given its own chapter of focus – an approach that provides both a conceptual and practical summary of pertinent material as a means to promote long-term retention. Additionally, an analysis of key facts is included at the end of each chapter (along with practice questions in the same format in which they appear on the certification exam) so as to test the reader’s comprehension of the data. Primary areas of coverage include accessing data; creating data structures; managing data; generating reports; and correcting errors. Notable for its clear-style and strict adherence to this singular mission – that being to help student-readers gain a deeper understanding of SAS 9 as they prepare for the challenges of the SAS 9 certification exam.

Go to wiley.com for further information.

by John Aiello

FIRE PREVENTION: Inspection and Code Enforcement. 3rd Edition. David Diamantes. Thomson-Delmar Learning.

The steady increase in building throughout the country should immediately bring our attention back to practical concerns for safety: It’s not enough that the housing market drive the economy to prosperity, it is also necessary that we ensure that each new structure adheres to strict building and fire codes. Here, Diamantes (a fire protection consultant and Code Trainer from Virginia) has developed the consummate handbook relating to fire-prevention through code enforcement. In turn, Diamantes’ text includes very detailed examination of the right of entry; the inspector’s enforcement authority; the permit system; building limits and types of construction; and routine maintenance of fire protection systems. In addition, the treatise looks beyond the cores of the model building and fire prevention codes and strives to dissect the legal, economic and political considerations intertwined with the fire inspection process. Instructors will note that the strength of Fire Prevention comes by way of its organization, as readers are presented with a tidy three-part format that allows for the complete study of code administration, inspection and enforcement – the idea is to show the student in real terms that inspectors are charged with the ultimate task of preventing fire and preserving human life. Accordingly, in order to excel at this assignment, inspectors must be able to administer the intricacies of the fire code and then apply this data to the strict procedural requirements of enforcement.

Although we are recommending this selection as a primary course text in all fire inspector training programs, it should also be strongly considered as in-office reference manual by all county building inspectors, noted for its comprehensive tones and fresh perspective. No would-be fire inspector should be released from their academic program without having digested this material.

by John Aiello

Of Related Interest

THE EMT-INTERMEDIATE EXAM REVIEW. Bob Elling. Kirsten M. Elling. Thomson-Delmar Learning.

This is a must-have for all recent graduates of EMT programs seeking certification in the field. Here, Elling and Elling provide a study guide that meets the DOT National Standard Curriculum – a handbook comprised of well-over 1,000 practice study questions that provides cogent and fundamental reconsideration of the core-principles of the discipline. As students in all medical-related fields know, coursework comes at a hurried pace; many times, key information is lost amongst the fields of the mind suddenly weighted down by a vast assortment of statistics and formulas. Accordingly, review manuals such as this one serve to offer students logical, personalized and in depth refresher courses – books allowing readers to re-familiarize themselves with key areas of focus and absorb the data at their own pace. No EMT student on the threshold of their certification exam should by-pass this review as it could very well be the difference between passing and failing.

by John Aiello

MASTERING THE CPAT. A Comprehensive Guide. Al Wasser. Donna Kimble. Thomson-Delmar Learning.

For aspiring firefighters, the Candidate Physical Ability Test is a major hurdle that causes much consternation, with students in the discipline fearful of what will be required of them in terms of strength and conditioning. In Mastering The CPAT, the authors attempt to strip some of the mystery away from the test by reviewing its aspects (and then suggesting a proper training regimen that will bring students closer to acceptable levels of physical competency). As Wasser and Kimble stress, no student will be able to conquer the CPAT obstacle unless they are fully conditioned – and this means both mind and body. Accordingly, information on developing positive habits for nutrition, fitness-training and mental discipline is imparted in a clear and compact style that allows student readers to quickly absorb the ‘lecture.’ Here, Wasser and Kimble speak in an intimate tone that is born of experience and knowledge: These are not two writers who have been hired to develop a textbook on a subject they know nothing about. To the contrary, both are well-acquainted with the physical demands a career in fire-fighting presents, and their text reiterates this understanding page by page.

by John Aiello


Unfortunately, a career in emergency services is not just about the ambulance call, not just about extinguishing the fire. Unfortunately, every call presents possible legal consequences that could bring you into a courtroom in front of a judge. This text (written by a practicing attorney who is also a firefighter with over 30 year’s experience), examines the possible legal ramifications inherent with these professions. Topics of coverage include OSHA; the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act; employment discrimination; sexual harassment; civil liability; criminal law/procedure; and negligence. Instructors in fire-fighting programs should give serious consideration to adding this text to their curriculums as a supporting manual: Students need to be taught from the onset that their ‘chosen profession’ is framed by myriad expectations which are governed by various statutes. In turn, Varone’s treatise makes this point absolutely clear – his voice born of a life-long experience that has merged the worlds of emergency service and the law with an elegant flair.

by John Aiello

HAZARDOUS MATERIALS CHEMISTRY. Second Edition. Armando S. Bevelacqua. Thomson-Delmar Learning.

In this age of terrorism, the threat of an enemy using some form of biological warfare has increased ten-fold. Thus, it has become paramount that scientists and emergency service workers understand the chemistry behind hazardous materials so that threats can neutralized without the loss of human life. Here, Beveacqua (A Lieutenant in the Orlando Fire Department) examines the fundamental chemistry and toxicology of hazardous materials so that the initial line of defense can effectively assess situations before they escalate to a point of crisis. Topics of coverage include chemical structures and physical effects; inorganic compounds; organic compounds as related to organic structure, non-polar compounds and polar compounds. In addition, a science officer’s reference is featured. This selection is noted both for its organization and the author’s ability to address extremely complicated layers of data in a sharp and incisive way without ever sacrificing the reader’s ability to immediately comprehend the presentation. This second edition contains a chapter on infrared spectroscopy which offers in depth analysis of ways HazMat specialists should respond to chemical emergencies.

This text is applicable as either a primary or supporting manual in any courses premised on defending against chemical hazards.

Order each from amazon.com.

by John Aiello


This ground-breaking series from John Wiley will no doubt change the way the academic world perceives the engineering profession. No longer should we view the practice of engineering as separate from the health of the world. Instead, the key is in joining our footsteps with the footsteps of the earth on which we stand. Here, Myer Kutz has embarked on a new and original path as he attempts to shape future engineers into ‘environmentally conscious’ practitioners whose collective mission is intertwined with the long-term path of the planet. In this 3-part series, Kutz (a world-respected author and information-services consultant) sets out to show students that it is indeed possible to design and manufacture ‘environmentally friendly’ products that conform to regulatory standards while promoting strict quality-control.

ENVIRONMENTALLY CONSCIOUS MECHANICAL DESIGN: Demonstrates that the design phase is the cornerstone of the engineering process, and too, the cornerstone of the ‘environmentally conscious’ mission. Simply, the cycle of any product is determined at the time the engineer begins to shape and mold his idea into ‘being.’ In turn, deleterious impact on the environment will be substantially mitigated if the engineer plans well, taking into account the effect of his work on the populous and its collective community. This volume is filled with fantastic insight, as Kutz looks into key concepts such as design reliability and design durability in terms of the environment. The lesson?: That all of us, together as one, carry an obligation to not destroy the world’s renewable resources – this obligation that extends from our schools and homes to the manufacturing centers of each and every continent.

ENVIRONMENTALLY CONSCIOUS MANUFACTURING: Shows students and young engineers how to design products while keeping a trained eye on the environment. This volume offers detailed exploration of metal working and metalworking fluids; metal finishing; electroplating processes; particulate emissions; and air quality. Here, Kutz stresses that it is possible to run a profitable business and still adhere to the idea of the ‘bigger picture’ – the key to it all is in creativity and in thinking outside the box, the key to it all is in looking at how our actions will effect the next 10 generations (and not just the ink of the bottom line).

ENVIRONMENTALLY CONSCIOUS MATERIALS AND CHEMICALS PROCESSING: The final installment of the series continues the course of its predecessors, eloquently addressing the question of how to find the best chemicals and materials to build the products we need. In retrospect, this is both the most important and most difficult aspect of the journey, since the long-term effects of chemical properties on the earth are often not fully realized for decades. Thus, engineers must be able to assess potential trouble-points at an early stage, working to mitigate hazards throughout the industrial process. This volume focuses on a vast assortment of topics, including metals, chemicals and plastics, in addition to building and packaging materials. Readers will also find pertinent discussion of ways to reduce waste and control pollution endemic to chemical plants.

Recommended as an in-office resource for all engineers involved in product manufacturing. Further recommended as a classroom text for courses looking to marry the study of engineering with an environmental consciousness. Finally, imperative to all college-level libraries as a general reference text.

CARPENTER’S CALCULATIONS MANUAL. Roger Tarbox. R. Dodge Woodson. McGraw-Hill.

Here, Tarbox and Woodson have createda guide that speaks to the way that carpenters and contractors learn: instead of hammering out explanations in long-winded passages, Carpenter’s uses illustrations, photos and charted tables to convey its information – truly a change of pace in this era of over-explained “how-to” books.

The authors – both master carpenters – offer a manual that everyone who picks up a hammer (both professional and amateur) should own, for it provides in depth guidance on how to approach, plan and complete a building project.

The majority of the errors that carpenters make are a product of miscalculations being made and guess-work gone awry. Carpenter’s offers an answer to this, for it takes the builder step-by-step through the process of putting up an edifice. From data on how to formulate the foundation to direction on joist calculations to instruction on figuring stair rise, Tarbox and Woodson strip away the confusion and present tables and charts augmented by artful illustrations – follow the directions as they are laid our here and carpenters will circumvent potential problems before they ever occur.

The result of this will be cleaner jobs that waste less resources and come in on budget. The result will be less waste in the building trade and more efficient workmanship. Given the boom in the housing market across the country in addition tothe record number of folks applying for contractor’s licenses these days, and this text couldn’t be more timely.

Recommended as a general reference text in all libraries – both at the college level and in the public sector. Further recommended to high school instructors as a teaching text for wood shop classes at both the beginner and advanced phase.

Order from amazon.com or go to mcgraw-hill.com.

MARKETING MASSAGE. From First Job to Dream Practice. Monica Roseberry. Thomson-Delmar Learning.

During the last 20 years, massage has become an accepted part of the medical landscape, a useful and beneficial addition to rehabilitation therapy. Here, Roseberry (a well-known speaker and massage therapist from the San Francisco Bay Area) has written a deeply-layered text on the fine points of building a massage practice. In Marketing Massage, Roseberry provides a step-by-step guidebook to getting started as a massage therapist. As the author points out, obtaining the proper level of education and compiling the necessary skills to treat patients is only half the battle to creating a successful career. To the contrary, one must also be able to find (and keep) patients in order to achieve success in what has become a fiercely competitive field. Accordingly, Roseberry’s treatise advises massage therapists on how to market their skills to prospective employers, with information on writing an effective resume and surviving the interview process. In addition, several chapters are dedicated to teaching fledgling massage therapists on how to market their skills in a way that not only will attract patients but will also satisfy client expectations. To this end, Roseberry covers everything from the business card to the appointment book – the key to the equation is in reaching out to the patient and engendering loyalty/trust through a detailed approach that not only strives to heal but also efficiently uses time. Roseberry’s writing is laudable for being economical and well-reasoned, careful to illuminate concepts with sharp explanations that stress key points in a clearly-defined manner. Readers of this title will gain much insight into the ways that a successful massage practice is built, touching on subtle points of the marketing process that appear routine but, in reality, set the true foundation for steady business growth and ultimate success.

Recommended to all recent graduates of massage programs looking to break into the business at a level that will have impact and lead to eventual ownership of their own practice.

Order from Thomson-Delmar Learning.

by John Aiello

Electrical Sciences

NFPA’S POCKET ELECTRICAL REFERENCES. Charles R. Miller. Jones and Bartlett.

This guide proves indispensable to any technician involved in the electrical industry. In NFPA (published in a handy pocket-size format so that it can be specifically carried on the job), both the practicing electrical engineer and the practicing technician now have a go-to reference on electricity and its governing properties. Here, readers will find everything from frequently referenced 2005 NEC tables to myriad mathematical formulas that apply to the nuts-and-bolts of the everyday profession. Charles Miller, a nationally recognized authority in the field, has organized this material so that it can be used to help a practitioner ‘on the fly’ complete his project. Topics of coverage include an assortment of wiring configurations for three and four way lighting switches (in addition to data and phone jacks); conduit bending (with notable illustrations to emphasize key pints); voltage calculations; conduit and tubing fill tables; load calculations; discussion on conductor sizing; and expansive analysis of Ohm’s Law. Finally, Miller has augmented his treatise with a summary of first aid procedures to be followed should emergency strike in the field. Well-presented and impeccably researched, NFPA proves to be a perfect tool-box companion for all electrical professionals (this book that allows busy workers to keep up with changes in the discipline without having to re-enter the classroom).

by John Aiello

In Brief: Jones and Bartlett Electrical References

A USER’S GUIDE TO ELECTRICAL PPE. Based on NFPA 70E. Ray A. Jones. Jane G. Jones. Jones and Bartlett.

Also in pocket-size format, this tiny manual surveys true life and death information on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). For electrical professionals, the specter of electrocution and fatal injury is always present (as amazing amounts of deadly current are often being contacted in dangerous confines). Simply, the only thing for the electrician to rely on is the barrier he’s created between body and voltage. This manual by Jones and Jones explores the protective clothing, tools and equipment available to the electrical professional, in addition to pertinent instruction on how to properly use each of these items. The authors have also included details on compliance with OSHA standards, rendering this slim volume as comprehensive as it is practical.

by John Aiello


Stallcup’s is simply the authority in terms of summarizing electrical calculations for the classroom and the working professional. Students seeking certification in the field will find this an invaluable reference tool that surveys the main principles of electric currents (presenting the data in relation to basic Code calculations). Topics of coverage include how to calculate branch-circuits feeder and service loads; conductor ampacities; the sizing of overcurrent protection devices; raceways and cable trays; motors and motor circuits; A/C and refrigeration equipment; generators; and transformers. Countless illustrations help to evince key-points of understanding, providing the reader with an added instructional tool.

Order each from Jones and Bartlett.

by John Aiello

IMPROVING ALMOST ANYTHING: IDEAS AND ESSAYS. Revised Edition. George E. P. Box. Foreword by Dr. J. Stuart Hunter. John Wiley.

Another standout science text from the ageless John Wiley and Sons, Mr. Box’s manuscript analyzes ways that researchers can improve myriad scientific processes and, in turn, enhance aspects of quality in the broad fields of manufacturing and technology. Box’s Improving Almost Anything is premised on ways science can intervene with the goal to improve processes as they relate to the theory and application of product design. In his treatise, Box analyzes the underlying philosophy of the scientific method in order to reconnect students with their own personal impulses of creativity. Basically, Box leads his readers back to themselves, trying to inspire advances in technology and research by leading students back to the ‘wheel’ whereby they might find new ways revitalize product quality. The book is divided into five key parts (Part A, “Some Thoughts on Quality Improvement,”; Part B, “Design of Experiments for Process Improvement;”Part C, “Sequential Investigation and Discovery;” Part D, “Control;” ,Part E, “Variance Reduction and Robustness” ) which come together to bring the student back to the point where scientist morphs into inventor, driven by the insatiable need to make the whole of the process (from design to production) more stable and efficient.

Recommended as either a primary or supporting text in any course that explores the marriage of science and technology as each relate to product design and quality control.

DIGITAL TELEVISION. Technology and Standards. John Arnold. Michael Frater. Mark Pickering. Wiley-Interscience.

Though this selection, readers are introduced to the evolution of television services (from traditional analog to the advanced realms of digitization). In terms of scientific literature, most of the existing library pertaining to this discipline is dedicated to analysis of analog systems – and thus is becoming obsolete. Accordingly, this text fills the void that the changing technology has left on classroom resources, offering both instructors and students a comprehensive reference which eloquently expands on digital television and its intricate framework. Topics of coverage include video (and MPEG-2 as related to video broadcasts); audio (and MPEG-2 as related to advanced audio coding and Dolby AC-3); and Systems MPEG (which covers modulation transmission, data casting and digital storage media command and control). This text, which also contains a vast array of tables and illustrations, is at the head of its field and serves as an indispensable reference which supersedes all existing books in this arena – the only record of its kind to cover the advances in digital television with such in depth precision. Target: This textbook is appropriate as a classroom aid for all advanced engineering students. In addition, recommended to practicing technicians who work in the vast digital video (and digital audio) industries.

Go to wiley.com for further information.

by John Aiello


In our t-driven society, the cell phone has become a necessary appendage for every pair of hands; over the course of the last decade, it has literally altered the shape of the world. Accordingly, the scientific community has been called upon to refine and streamline these systems of communication (‘AAA’ representing “authentication, authorization and accounting” as these concepts relate to mobile network systems). Here, the Nakhjiris offer a cogent reportage of the standards in place that insure secure network access for mobile users. In the course of their treatise, the authors further explore basic design concepts in use by the Mobile Networking industry. We have noted this selection because the authors are able to draw a box around the perimeters of their subject and then attack it issue by issue in order to allow readers to develop a foundational point of understanding. The importance of network security in an ‘age of terrorism’ has caused much scrutiny to be placed on management of this industry. In light of this, AAA And Network Security serves to provide planners and researchers in both academic and professional capacities a way in which to completely access pertinent data in a logical and clearly defined manner.

by John Aiello

Also Of Note From John Wiley This Quarter


In today’s competitive world of the internet, a business’ ability to integrate different media is often the difference between success and bankruptcy. And in the world of science, the development of wide-reaching multimedia systems often allow for researchers to interpret data at the most in depth of levels.

Here, the authors of this new text from Wiley have created a fundamental guide book that introduces the concepts of multimedia communications to the advanced student of science, engineering and information technology. To this end, the complexities and intricacies of this premise are set forth with spectacular clarity as the authors examine the various independent systems that must be linked together in order to create a multifaceted communications network.

Accordingly, Rao and co-writers dissect layer-by-layer just how the skills of the programmer must marry with different components of technology (graphic design, audio, video, text presentation) in a seamless union. After presenting a generalized introduction, the authors concentrate on analyzing the technologies that are vital to the creation of myriad communications systems. The underlying idea of this text is to demonstrate that a convergence must take place between technology and the capabilities of the user before man can move toward maximum application of his information systems.

The authors write in copious detail, and expand nicely on each division of the multimedia puzzle, with information on the elements of standardization frameworks (ITU-T, MEDIACOM 2004, and ISO/IEC MPEG-21 frameworks); the processes of application (including ITU, ISO MPEG, ETSI, DVB, ATSC, and IETF multimedia applications); the segments of the middleware strata (including media coding, conversion and media-streaming middleware); and an overview of the network strata (with discussion of quality controls and system management).

At its best moments, Intro To Multimedia serves as a crossover title with deep value to a wide demographic of readers, including graduate-level students in computer science and electrical engineering (in addition to research scientists who are charged with the development and maintenance of ever-evolving multimedia communications networks). As a compendium of the latest research in the field, this book will prove indispensable to both the student and the practicing scientist.

Recommended as a primary course text in graduate-level computer science courses which focus on how to develop and maintain multimedia systems — an integration of various technologies that flow together in a ubiquitous medium of exchange and communication.

by John Aiello

Also Of Note From John Wiley This Quarter


This treatise exemplifies the true strength of John Wiley and Sons – for 200 years, Wiley has dedicated itself to taking rarefied areas of study and synthesizing them into clear and concrete classroom presentations. Here, Clark presents an authoritative analysis of the fine-points of tidal-electric engineering (these concepts now of ever-increasing importance given the dire projections for a 21st-century energy crisis). Elements examines the idea of tidal power development from all relevant perspectives, with pertinent discussion of its economic factors, in addition to a full risk assessment and exploration of its environmental impact.

Target: Appropriate frontline teaching text in all advanced power-engineering courses (noted for its amazing breadth and for its incisive analysis – traits that make it indispensable for the college-level library as well).

Go to wiley.com for further information.

by John Aiello

Of Related Interest


Directly related to the preceding title, Electric Power Planning is a crisp addition to the Wiley canon, serving to examine the electric power planning industry as it morphs from a completely regulated marketplace into a business model of deregulation and broad reach. Accordingly, Mazer analyzes the electric power market from multiple vantage points in an effort to teach readers that deregulation of the industry places more of a burden on the individual to ensure that power systems function with maximum safety and efficiency. Topics of coverage include utility operations and traditional planning approaches; asset management; investment analysis; risk management; and environmental considerations. Noted for its acute examination of both the scientific and business elements of building electric power systems.

Target: Recommended as a primary text in all engineering courses premised on teaching students how to plan and implement efficient power systems. Also functional as a reference for attorneys and public policy analysts who work in the field.

Go to wiley.com for further information.

by John Aiello

RFID. Radio Frequency Identification. Steven Shepard. McGraw-Hill.

This manuscript by Steven Shepard (a Vermont writer with deep expertise in international telecommunications) marks the first technology text to explore radio frequency identification from both the consumer’s and supplier’s perspectives.

Basically, RFID is the foundation of the wireless communications industry and it stands at the forefront of a market that is expected to boom in the next decade. Shepard’s text covers the topic in broad terms and he escorts the reader through the subject with amazing deftness – giving us an over-view of the business side of RFID and then segueing into its pertinent technical aspects: explaining each of the components of radio frequency identification and then noting how these labyrinths interlock to create a multi-layered system.

Throughout the course of his treatise, Shepard is careful to thoughtfully address security issues that could develop as a result of using high-grade radio frequency systems – especially important at a time when threats of terrorism dominate. Mr. Shepard should be commended for his work here: the writing is crisp and clear, bringing the ability to dissect an ultra-complex topic and speak to it in practical terms.

For the majority of the populous, the way theirelectronic gadgetswork is secondary to the fact that they actually work. However, RFID is written in a way that illuminates howadvances in technology have revolutionized our lives and will continue to instigate change as we move deeper into the 21st century. Since the industry is predicted to generate over 10 billion in earnings over the next decade, the information contained here is vital to beginning to understand the changing aspects of our world. Interesting not only for the wealth of technical information presented, but also for the social issues that are revealed as a result of the way we now communicate.

Recommended to all college-level libraries as a general reference text. Also should be considered by technical science instructors whose courses over-lap with this subject matter. A burgeoning area of study that is addressed in concrete and thorough terms.

Order from amazon.com or go to mcgraw-hill.com.

Spotlighting John Wiley Technology

WINDOWS VISTA FOR DUMMIES. Preview Edition. Andy Rathbone. For Dummies/John Wiley.

Like it or not, change is a fact of life with the PC – as user-demands spawned by gains in technology mandate that Windows ‘keep up with the times’ it in fact created. In turn, Vista is on point to be the first system-upgrade in Windows since the launch of XP. In addition, the Office features we all have come to depend on will also be upgraded. Accordingly, Rathbone’s preview serves as a handy primer outlining changes from XP to Vista, further analyzing things users will need to know in order to be able to effectively navigate these swelling seas of information. Here, tech-writer Rathbone covers everything you will need to know to assess how the Vista upgrade will affect your ability to optimize your system. After a tidy refresher course of Windows basics that “everybody thinks [they] know,” we embark on a journey into the major changes coming with Vista, including navigation through Windows-based folders; use of desktop and sidebar features; location of lost files; creating documents and utilizing editing features; upgrades to office 2007; and an indispensable chapter on how to keep your system from going down. If you’re thinking about upgrading to Vista now or at some point in the future you will require this book: It’s an easy-to-follow road-map through the webs and intricacies of what promises to be the most fluid Windows operating program to ever hit the bins.

by John Aiello

Of Related Interest

PCS FOR DUMMIES. All-on-one Desk Reference. Mark L. Chambers. For Dummies/John Wiley.

Anybody who owns a personal computer needs this book – in today’s tech-driven landscape, it’s as necessary as a dictionary or the phone book. Readers will find Chambers an obvious master of the PC who possesses the innate ability to write in sharp clear tones. And, since many of us boast only a limited understanding as to the nuts-and-bolts of computer systems, unobtrusive writing is usually the yardstick with which such manuals are measured. Here, Chambers wraps up “8 books in one,” covering PC Hardware; the specifics of Windows XP; use of the Internet; Microsoft Works; Office 2003; optimizing enjoyment of music, movies and photos; system upgrades; and the basics on how to establish a solid home-network. What makes this title noteworthy is its breadth: Instead of forcing users to buy separate books for each sub-topic, Chambers has created a single volume which provides all home users and small business owners with snapshots of the fundamentals in bite-sized chunks.

by John Aiello

Of Related Interest

WEB DESIGN FOR DUMMIES. Lisa Lopuck. For Dummies/John Wiley.

As everyone knows, the internet has literally changed the way the world does business. Entities like Amazon, Google and E-Bay have changed the face of commerce and advertising, further altering the shape of the media. Accordingly, many small businesses are now driven by a need to have a presence on the internet. And that presence can only be realized through effective web sites. Here, Lopuck (a web design consultant) presents an effective guidebook that surveys how to shape a web site to fit your particular needs and the particular demographic you are trying to reach. Topics covered include creating a user- friendly design that facilitates easy navigation; designing web graphics; managing the finished site; and tips on how to maximize traffic and bolster the impact of your web presence. As Lopuck notes, the first thing any web-based business owner should do is assess who is likely going to be coming to the site and what their reasons are for being there. Once this is done, it then becomes imperative to tailor your site to meet your reader’s needs. No PC user should venture into the world of the web without having a basic knowledge of what they are getting into – and this Dummies guide provides a perfect introductory course. If nothing else, having this basic knowledge of web design will allow you to work with a designer more effectively, likely saving you money along the way. Priced at under $30, this is an investment internet-based business owners would be ill-advised to pass up.

by John Aiello

CRYSTAL XCELSISUS FOR DUMMIES. Michael Alexander. For Dummies (An imprint of John Wiley). As the personal computer has evolved, so has the need for better operating programs. Today, PC users want to be able create different panels of data into order to make their systems run more efficiently. Here, Alexander (a Microsoft Certified Application Developer with well over a decade of experience building better ways for users to compile and catalog information) presents a handy and affordable manual that anyone with basic competency should be able to digest. As Alexander notes in his introductory chapter, “Crystal Xcelsius bridges the gap between data analysis and presentation” – its mission to allow users with basic skill levels to be able to synthesize data and build purposeful presentations. In short, the goal of Crystal Xcelsius is to create more self-sufficient computer users who do not have to rely so heavily on commercial web designers to meet their office needs. Basically, Crystal Xcelsius is an interactive program that has myriad functions. Among other things, the program enables users to build dashboards with gauges and sliders and implement color to explain data – immediately promoting interaction between audience and author. The key with these types of guidebooks is that they must speak clearly and present direction in simplified and sharp terms: The point is for readers of varying skill levels to be able to comprehend the presentation. Wiley’s Dummies series is respected throughout the world for this fact, and Alexander’s contribution is especially noteworthy for the way it takes a complicated and cutting-edge topic and reduces it to digestible portions. Accordingly, this text is recommended to all PC users who might be considering adding Crystal Xcelsius to their arsenal.

by John Aiello

Of Related Interest

ORACLE – PL/SQL FOR DUMMIES. Michael Rosenblum. Dr. Paul Dorsey. John Wiley. Also part of the Dummies series, this text presumes some level of understanding of basic code and its role in the functionality of the computer. Accordingly, Oracle provides a complete and comprehensive overview of the PL/SQL programming language as a way to help programmers be able to effectively write code that avoids bugs and system meltdowns. Rosenblum and Dorsey have basically created a course outline which provides developers with the fundamental information they must master in order to communicate via PL/SQL. Again, it should be stressed that this is not a beginner’s manual; simply, it is impractical to think that someone who is not familiar with computer languages will be able to pick up this text and start writing useable code. Instead, this book is geared towards advanced students of the discipline who might need a refresher course to reconnect themselves with advances in the field. As withthe entire Dummies series, notable for the way it conveys material in a clear and compact manner.

by John Aiello

Of Related Interest

WEB ENGINEERING. Edited by Gerti Kappel;. Birgit Proll. Siegfried Reich. Werner Retschitzegger. John Wiley. In keeping with the road the Oracle title forges, Web Engineering speaks to the other side of the spectrum: Rather than focusing solely on software design, web engineering focuses on ways the engineer applies theory in order to design, implement, operate and maintain myriad web applications. Most readers know that as the capabilities of the internet increased, so did the buzz of traffic. In turn, wed designers and engineers are increasingly under-the-gun to do their jobs faster and more efficiently — at less than last year’s cost. It is all a 24-hour-a-day challenge, to say the least. Here, Kappel and co-editors examine the process of web engineering in thorough terms, deftly linking theories of design with issues of practical application in a text that writes a bridge from the classroom to the corporate office. Broad in scope and impeccably researched, this book will be of long-term value to systems engineers looking for ways to cut costs while simultaneously increasing services.

by John Aiello

GEEKS ON CALL. PCS: 5-MINUTE FIXES. J. Geir. E. Geir. J.R. King. John Wiley. If you have a PC (even for play and not the home-office), then you should own this book. It is an outstanding primer allowing the general user to maintain their computer. Information is included here on how to get to ‘know’ your PC and it capabilities and functions; how to use your PC effectively; in addition to an invaluable chapter on troubleshooting common operating glitches and background on popular programs like Microsoft Word, Outlook and Excel. Well-written and sharply organized, with a format/design geared to readers with limited technical abilities – the idea here is for novices to be able to increase their over-all skill level in a short amount of time. At a cover price of $15, this book should be on racks in stores that market computer systems to the public.

by John Aiello

ADOBE PHOTOSHOP CS2. VISUAL ENCYCLOPEDIA. Stephen Romaniello. John Wiley. The internet has literally changed the way the world communicates. Initially, the web was thought to be a big email center offering a pathway to instant communication. Well, after a decade, it certainly is that – and a whole lot more. Today, the internet is a publishing force as writers and artists have used it to level the playing field and get work out to large segments of the community. In addition, sites like Dabble.com have come along to bring video and film to the steps of your home PC. In turn, such advances in technology have given each of us the opportunity to have an identity on the internet. To this end, Adobe Photoshop is an invaluable tool providing an encyclopedic reference on how to use Photoshop in conjunction with the PC in order to create illustrations and graphics of high impact. Simply, the ability for businesses to reproduce magazine-quality pictures and immediately upload them onto the world-wide web has changed the direction of publishing, altering the way companies advertise/market themselves. In Adobe Photoshop, Romaniello has drafted a visually-based one-stop manual that shows readers how to use Photoshop to its fullest capabilities, as Romaniello’s text is quite informative in terms of demonstrating how to enhance color quality and definition and implement automated image adjustments. Even though the book is geared toward the graphic designer, it will also be of use to practicing graphic journalists as well, providing the definitive Photoshop reference now available.

by John Aiello

Of Related Interest

FLASH 8 ACTIONSCRIPT BIBLE. Joey Lott. Robert Reinhardt. John Wiley. Focused on readers with at least a working knowledge of code, this book provides comprehensive insight into the marvels of Flash 8. In their treatise, Lott and Reinhardt cover all the ground that would enable anyone with a fundamental background in writing code to build interactive platforms – platforms rich with animation and layered with graphics. On today’s internet, the ability to captivate and amuse and challenge users is what sets the successful site apart from the also-ran. In turn, the landscape of the web in 2006 hungers for motion and quick bursts of animation. Accordingly, Flash 8 is the key to these hidden doors of wonder. Like its title implies, this will serve as a ‘bible’ for code writers looking to investigate how to manipulate the face of Flash 8 with the very essence of their own creativity (comprehensive and cutting edge, providing the latest on this ever-evolving subject).


Charlie Gere notes that in August, 1952, at the perceived beginning of the Cold War, pianist David Tudor performed John Cage’s famous “silent piece” (4’33”) in Woodstock, New York’s Maverick Concert Hall, playing to a confused and (perhaps angry) audience (while just five years earlier, Captain Chuck Yeager flew his X-1 jet faster than the speed of sound).

In a sense, both Yeager and Cage were exploring the same frontier: Yeager, by symbolically rupturing the wall of sound; and Cage, by remapping the boundaries of what humans perceive as sound.

In particular, Cage showed the “need to pay attention to the immediate environment and to be able to produce the noise it produced as signal.” In a way, Cage seems to have anticipated the digital world – a noiseless universe where something is always happening [this] “point where technology overhauls culture and brings the very existence of history and the human into question.”

Some twenty years after Cage’s breakthrough, Rock-and-Roll pioneer Lou Reed released Metal Machine Music, “consist[ing] of four sides of feedback, constituting an act of extreme aural violence.” Reed’s response to Cage was to fill silence with electronic feedback “so as to demonstrate, perhaps, that in the twenty years that separate the two pieces, the environment had become entirely mediated by electronic information communications technologies.” [p. 110.]

Such inroads into the heart of technology, according to Gere, were the product of the nuclear hysteria of the Cold War. For example, during World War II, Norbert Wiener worked at Bell Laboratories on an electronic gun-sight system used to predict the path of an enemy plane: “The development of complex, real-time systems…was a reaction to the capacity to wage war and wreck destruction at distance and at great speed.” [p. 109.]

And Gere goes on:

“These Cold War technologies began to find civilian applications in relation to the economic and social crises of the late 1960s and early 1970s. The deregulation of finance following the collapse of the Bretton Woods agreement in the early 1970s was accompanied by the increasing application of real-time computer technology to financial trading. This in turn enabled the globalization of finance. The expansion which has accompanied this globalization is on a scale which now dwarfs the financial activities of most nation states….”

(Page 109)

This book is part of Berg’s “Cultural Machine” series, and it is advertised as an examination of the role of art in the age of “real time” information. However, in actuality, “real time” information systems have been with us for a long time now (at least since Charles Babbage’s nineteenth century calculating engine which contained the rough outlines of the modern computer).

In fact, more than fifty years ago, Alan Turing published “Computing Machines and Intelligence,” an essay now readily accessible on the Internet. In his piece, Turing asked the public to consider whether machines can be taught to “think.”

Now (as Gere points out in his superb final chapter, Short Films About Flying), the last fifty years of “real-time” information systems may have dehumanized us to a point where we have, in the words of Gene Younglood, “left the natural world and all of its values…[as] technologies such as television displace the individual from participant to observer of the human pageant, and thus we live effectively ‘outside’of time . . .” [p. 169.]

In essence, as Gere’s treatise shows us that technology has us by the throats. Think about it: We have been doomed to perpetually relive events such as the sight of those planes flying into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 — right there with the victims, moments before impact, living the horrors of their final moments.

As Jacques Derrida has pointed out, because of television and those digital video cameras that operate from the eyeball of your cell phone, such events will now never be over.

Recommended as a supporting text in Sociology or Popular Culture courses that analyze the impact of technology on the evolving culture. Further recommended to all libraries in the college sector as a general reference text.

Order from Palgrave.

by Frank Aiello

© Frank Aiello. All rights reserved.

Frank Aiello is an attorney who has practiced law in California since the 1970s, including criminal defense, civil and probate work. He holds a History degree from the University of California at Berkeley, and a Law degree from Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco; he has also studied Anthropology, Sociology and Political Science extensively. Reach him via The Electric Review.

Electronics Handbooks From McGraw-Hill

TEACH YOURSELF ELECTRICITY AND ELECTRONICS. Stan Gibilisco. McGraw-Hill. This is a multi-purpose text, and it serves a diverse group of readers: computer technicians, students and mechanics will find this material indispensable to their daily courses. In the end, the value of this book — beyond its broad coverage of the subject — is in its style: Gibilisco presents the material in a clear and compact way, emphasizing simplicity, steering his readers through these intricate concepts and toward a full and practical understanding of them. Beginning with the physical concepts of electricity and moving through its basic components, the author takes us step-by-step through the process of how current is created, transformed and moved. Careful illustrations augment his lectures, and then self-quizzes test our depth of knowledge and how well we absorbed the material. A seasoned instructor, Gibilisco recognizes that people absorb information at different rates, and thus he has designed Teach Yourself as the ultimate self-study guide — the reader allowed to move at his own pace and learn in a way that is conducive to life-long retention.

Recommended as a teaching text for all introductory college-level courses in electronics. Also suitable as a general reference text for all college and public sector libraries.

Order from amazon.com, or go to books.mcgraw-hill.com.

ELECTRIC MOTOR HANDBOOK. H. Wayne Beaty. James L. Kirtley Jr. McGraw-Hill. The advent of the personal computer has made the study of electricity and electrical components all the more important. Today, an estimated 3 out of 5 homes have implemented computer systems, and we rely on these instruments in all facets of our daily lives. Accordingly, a true understanding of this topic is necessary for students pursuing science and computer-related degree certification. And that’s just where Electric Motor comes into play: In this text students of the discipline will find a wealth of information about all kinds of electric motors and the way that they have been applied to various industries world-wide. Beaty and Kirtley have done an exemplary job in surveying the subject and then creating a manual that is logical and relatively easy to read. In the course of their analysis, the authors discuss the kinds of electrical motors in use today, the ways in which they function, tests to conduct to insure best performance, and ways that motors are designed for different applications. Simply, Electric Motor covers the full spectrum in terms of analyzing the components that drive so many different kinds of systems – from the work place to the home office, and everything between. Seasoned technicians and under-graduate students alike will be served equally well by this handbook as it offers real insight into the ways the engines of the world turn.

In short, Electric Motor should be required reading in all training courses that explore these subjects. Further recommended as a general reference text for both college and public sector libraries.

Order from amazon.com, or go to books.mcgraw-hill.com.

Of Related Interest

ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT HANDBOOK. Philip Kiameh. McGraw-Hill. This handbook makes a natural companion for the Electric Motor Handbook, as readers are presented with a manual that outlines the diagnosis, testing and maintenance of various forms of electrical equipment. Appropriate as a teaching text, and also as a ‘bench’ reference for the professional technician who will be able to rely on this material to assist in trouble-shooting and repairs.

Highly recommended to both college and public sector libraries as a general reference text.

Order from amazon.com, or go to books.mcgraw-hill.com.


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This entry was posted on June 27, 2013 by in Reference and tagged .
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