Our look is the result of reader comments, our own experimentation, and feedback from distribution channels. Distinctive covers complement our distinctive approach to technical topics, breathing personality and life into potentially dry subjects.

The animal on the cover of PC Hardware in a Nutshell, Third Edition, is a scallop. The scallop is part of the pecten family, which includes other bivalve mollusks such as clams and oysters. Also called the fan shell or comb shell, scallops can be found on the sandy bottoms of most oceans, in both deep and shallow water. Scallops do not usually stay attached to rocks. Instead, they either rest on the ocean bottom or swim by rapidly opening and closing their shells. The water ejected by the movement pushes them forward and allows them a freedom of movement unusual in bivalves.

The scallop's shell is made up of calcium carbonate and other minerals embedded in an organic matrix secreted from a layer of tissue called the mantle. The upper and lower halves of the shell connect at a straight hinge line that can measure from one to six inches. The shell's paired valves have sharp edges and undulating ridges that radiate out in the shape of a fan and range in color from red to purple, orange, yellow, or white.

Sarah Sherman was the production editor, and Audrey Doyle was the copyeditor for PC Hardware in a Nutshell, Third Edition . Matt Hutchinson and Claire Cloutier provided quality control. Reg Aubry, Derek Di Matteo, and Jamie Peppard provided production assistance. Nancy Crumpton wrote the index.

Hanna Dyer designed the cover of this book, based on a series design by Edie Freedman. The cover image is an 18th-century engraving from the Dover Treasury of Animal Illustrations. Emma Colby produced the cover layout with QuarkXPress 4.1 using Adobe's ITC Garamond font.

David Futato designed the interior layout. This book was converted by Andrew Savikas to FrameMaker 5.5.6 with a format conversion tool created by Erik Ray, Jason McIntosh, Neil Walls, and Mike Sierra that uses Perl and XML technologies. The text font is Linotype Birka; the heading font is Adobe Myriad Condensed; and the code font is LucasFont's TheSans Mono Condensed. The illustrations that appear in the book were produced by Robert Romano and Jessamyn Read using Macromedia FreeHand 9 and Adobe Photoshop 6. The tip and warning icons were drawn by Christopher Bing. This colophon was written by Colleen Gorman.

The online edition of this book was created by the Safari production group (John Chodacki, Becki Maisch, and Madeleine Newell) using a set of Frame-to-XML conversion and cleanup tools written and maintained by Erik Ray, Benn Salter, John Chodacki, and Jeff Liggett.