Scott's Reviews > Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software

Code by Charles Petzold
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's review
Feb 09, 2007

it was amazing
bookshelves: computerscience
Read in December, 2006

Code crams all the knowledge of how modern computers work from start to finish such that a person with absolutely no knowledge of computers can understand. I was amazed to find out that the technology existed to make a fully functional modern computer, albeit severely limited in memory and speed, back in the early 1800s using relays. Modern computers didn’t develop in a vacuum and suddenly appear in the early 1950s, they have a long and varied history from the development of Braille, telegraph, Morse code, vacuum tubes, Boolean algebra, transistors, von Neumann architecture, and Church/Turing thesis. Even with an undergrad computer science degree I didn’t have the full understanding and deep appreciation of computers as a whole until reading this book. I now feel confident I could go to radio shack and build a computer from scratch and I’m almost tempted to do so after reading Code.

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