ADAMS STREETWISE SMALL BUSINESS START-UP, by Bob Adams (Adams Media Corp., 407 pp., $16.95 paper.) There are lots of books out there offering help to people who want to start their own businesses. No single book can tell you everything, but this one is comprehensive and well-organized enough to qualify as a good start. Author Adams passes the test of experience, having succeeded or failed at founding various enterprises, from a bicycle-rental business to phone-directory and tourist-map publishing.
The book will walk you through the following topics, by chapter: (1) Strategy, (2) Marketing, (3) Sales, (4) Advertising, (5) People, (6) Money, (7) Legal, and (8) Office.
Each of these topics could be a book in itself. The chapters are loaded with concise, straightforward information that can help you with various issues, such as how to: decide what business to enter; calculate how much to pay if you are buying someone else's company; develop a business plan; decide what types of advertising to do; hire and compensate workers.
Still, if you are serious about starting a business, this book is only a start. For example, if you're pondering what type of legal status will be appropriate, the book offers only a few short paragraphs describing two important types: S Corporations and limited-liability companies.
-- Mark Trumbull
DICTIONARY OF PC HARDWARE AND DATA COMMUNICATIONS TERMS, by Mitchell Shinier (O'Reilly & Associates, 516 pp., $19.95 paper.) If you really need to know what an inverse multiplexer is, this book is for you. Seriously, although not everyone needs the level of detail offered by this technical dictionary, its very existence illustrates the complexity of the technology revolution. The information age now means being able to send a trillion bits of data a second, as demonstrated in Japan recently. That's equal to 300 years worth of a newspaper. To provide any kind of data to anyone anywhere, systems must be able to talk to each other. Different kinds of hardware, software, and operating systems have to be able to communicate. A lot of the terms defined in this book have to do with such multilingual technological chatting abilities between different systems. The terms range from the realms of software and the digital video to wireless communications. Some information specialists I questioned confirm that the book is very comprehensive - and technical. It will need frequent updating.
-- David Mutch