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Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software Paperback – Illustrated, 11 October 2000
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- ASIN : 0735611319
- Publisher : MICROSOFT PRESS; 1st edition (11 October 2000)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 400 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780735611313
- ISBN-13 : 978-0735611313
- Dimensions : 15.24 x 2.54 x 22.61 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 13,727 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the Author
Charles Petzold has been writing about Windows programming for 25 years. A Windows Pioneer Award winner, Petzold is author of the classic Programming Windows, the widely acclaimed Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software, Programming Windows Phone 7, and more than a dozen other books.
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Top reviews from Australia
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The first few chapters I've been skimming quite a bit because the concepts are very simple and some of the paragraphs are somewhat repetitive. It does give you a good understanding of how the simple concepts build up to form complex systems. But that's only what I've read so far.
Top reviews from other countries
I purchased this as I had started to do a little coding myself but wanted to know how everything worked underneath the hood. This answered those questions to enough of a depth that satisfied my needs - very happy with this book.
I am an amateur programmer and wanted to understand how it all works. I still don’t fully understand because I probably lack the intelligence but a smarter person would be able to grasp the theory using this book.
I can only recommend this book to people who are not satisfied with 20 min. youtube summaries and want to dig deeper.
I own a great many awesome CS books. But this one went to the top of my list very quickly, perhaps just barely 20 pages in. It's not a description of who did what, or how a particular piece of technology works. It's a story of how our modern world came to be. And it's a brilliant story.
Petzold challenges the reader right at the start - assume you're 10 years old and in your home, trying to talk to your friend on the other side of the street. Of course, you don't have a phone or anything like that. You need to use technology which is freely available and will not wake up your parents. Step by step, you discover Morse code (discarding several options prior to reaching this stage). Then you solve various challenges, like assuming your friend does not live in a direct line of sight.
Little by little, we learn about Braille code, simple flashlights, relays, then go on to more ambitious concepts like logic gates, flip-flops and, ultimately, a fully functional computer made of relays and other simple components (which is, I should point out, purely fictional, of course). And I enjoyed every step of this journey.
The book is written with the general reader in mind, it does not target software developers or engineers. I cannot say how someone with no prior computer knowledge would find it; it is beyond my ability to imagine myself without everything I've learned since I began my career path as a programmer. Perhaps the point where assembly is introduced would be a bit too much, or the descriptions of Intel's 8080 and Motorola's 6800. But hey, we do get from flashlights to computers within 400 pages, so it can't all be a smooth ride.
Also, I should mention, the reader is bound to notice how old the book is :) Many technologies that were all around us at the time of writing are already gone and that was barely 20 years ago...
All in all, I probably didn't learn much I didn't already know, but if I ever recommend a computer book to a non-programmer this would be it. Very enjoyable and informative. You will not regret buying this.