As you get further into the book, it gets very technical, to the point where you are…moreThis book pretty quickly gets into electricity and basic circuits.
As you get further into the book, it gets very technical, to the point where you are actually building a computer and programming it.
There isn't any math, but definitely electronics and computer science.
I would not recommend this if you "in general have no inclination towards the sciences".(less)
Hence I don't think that this book can be considered in any way outdated — even the final chapters that talk about PCs in late 90s are written in a general fashion and do age quite well.(less)
I was a little hesitant due to the year of release. Being at least some 11 years old that's a lot of time in the tech world. Ultimately though that doesn't matter. I defy any developer/programmer/system builder to read this book and not blitz through it lapping it up. Yes if you've done ...more
It starts really slowly with the first chapters, but then things get more and mor ...more
After reading this book, I can see behind the pixels on my computer screen. I know what I'm really looking at. So many layers of abstraction are removed by learning about how logic gates can be arranged as processors and RAM, how code is simply a representation of those microscopic switches being flipped, and how pixels are simply a graphical interpretation of the state ...more
The first two-thirds or so of this book follows a double track. One track covers the ways in which meaning may be encoded into messages ...more
What a ride! A book about computers “without pictures of trains carrying a cargo of zeroes and ones” — the absolute no-nonsense book on the internals of the computer. From circuits with a battery, switch and bulb to logic gates to a thorough description of the Intel 8080. Great way to fill blanks in my computer knowledge.
The book takes the approach of constructing the computer “on the paper and in our minds” — that's great when you're at least a little familiar with the topic, maybe not so when...more
In fact, because of this book, I know many things about how a computer really works that I never did before. I think this book is great for anyone, except Electrical Engineers who would be bored. Having some background in computers probably makes this book easier to get through, but Petzold assumes nothing and starts from scratch. He does a good job of makin ...more
While the subject matter is not a new thing to me - far from it - the way the author goes about telling the story of how modern computers came to life is exciting, engaging and fun. He starts with morse and braille, talks about the principles of mathematics and information, explains the critical concept of switches, and finally moves into the world of circuit boards and binary data, cultimating in ALU. After that, he discusses the idea of analytical ...more
This book contains the best, most accessible explanation I've seen of how computers work, from hardware to software. The author manages to cover a huge range of topics—electricity, circuits, relays, binary, logic, gates, microprocessors, code, and much more—while doing a remarkable job of gradual ...more
What is so good about this book: it is written in ...more
This book explains, in as much details as you could possibly hope, and then some, how a computer works.
Since I've been a professional software developer for about two decades, the title of the book, Code, gave me an impression that it ...more
For a while I have been frustrated about my understanding of computers. I underst ...more
I probably learned more about architecture from this book than the quarter in my Architecture & OS class at university.
That said, I have a couple of complaints.
One is that I feel the author covers the initial ...more
The summary on the back of the ...more
I found the "big picture" to "the actual details" ratio very suitable for a casual read. There are some parts that require more attention though - especially when the author explains the details of a data flow in the computer or the way Intel 8080 chip works. Nevertheless that's an inherent characteristic ...more
We start with some really boring, basic things about the most elementary circuits. It gets a pass because it's necessary if you're coming in blind, but I've taken courses in things like the physics of transistors, so I wasn't a fan personally. The same goes for assorted later sections on number systems (already overly familiar with Binary and Hex, thanks).
Then we move into how you take very simple components and constr ...more
This book broke it down in such a way that I now understand it completely. The author starts of small and slow, and gradually builds up, from explaining how different number systems work as well as why we have so many, and the shortcomings of each (hex, binary, decimal, et ...more
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