This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

Comment

← How do computers work? Book recommendations please

Graxan's Avatar Jump to comment 18 by Graxan

I'm a systems engineer and I'd have to agree with other posters here that such a book does not exist - there's too much to know.
You would first need to understand Binary and Hexadecimal number systems and their notation in the computer industry as this relates to processor design, memory and storage, programming and the generational langauges and also networking and the backbone of the internet IP addressing. Then you need to touch on logic gates as previously mentioned and how they relate to their physical counterparts - valves,transistors integrated circuits and microprocessors etc. You'd also have to do a little programming to understand concepts such as variables and nested loops and case statements - which again are maths related anyway. Then there's the history of mainframes, mini computers and pcs and how they became a successful home appliance and follow the history of companies like IBM, Intel and Microsoft. There's more but i'd get boring. You'd then have to relate all of this to how computers are used today and the fact that they have become 'magic boxes' as also mentioned before and perhaps decide for yourself whether much of this is worth knowing. As an example, many proffesional programmers use pre-written code that don't know how it works. I suppose it analagous to wanting to know how the alphabet came to be and why each character was invented. You don't need to know these things to write...but as usual I digress.

I'd get separate books that deal with subjects individually.

Tue, 04 Jan 2011 01:15:07 UTC | #572930