Friday, November 14, 2008

#37 - Fiber Optics Technician's Manual

Another tech book I picked up just for my own research and development. I work with fiber optics on a daily basis but have never been trained to build fiber cables and it is something that intrigues me. Most network people work with fiber optics and never give it a second thought beyond is it single or multimode? Fiber optics transmits data at very high rates over a microscopic-thin piece of plastic or glass using light from an LED or laser beam. The production of the less-than-hair-thin flexible glass core is a marvel in itself. I could go on but I'll spare you the geekery... Let's just say I find fiber optics fascinating. So much so that I read technician's manuals about it for fun. Yes, I know.

The Fiber Optics Technician's Manual ended up not being quite what I had expected and while it could possibly be useful as a textbook it is hard to say if it is as useful in the real world. It has some great information though and is very accurate but at times it gets mired in minutia and math/numbers a bit too weighty for what it is trying to accomplish. I've heard that there is a new addition (3rd I believe) which adds the practical application and installation information, so I'm guessing my critique was accurate and shared by many others but I have not read or seen it to make an assessment. As it stands I can't say it is recommended outside of a classroom or possibly if you grab the latest edition.

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