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Overview

Paperback Edition

What do flashlights, the British invasion, black cats, and seesaws have to do with computers? In CODE, they show us the ingenious ways we manipulate language and invent new means of communicating with each other. And through CODE, we see how this ingenuity and our very human compulsion to communicate have driven the technological innovations of the past two centuries.

Using everyday objects and familiar language systems such as Braille and Morse code, author Charles Petzold weaves an illuminating narrative for anyone who’s ever wondered about the secret inner life of computers and other smart machines.

It’s a cleverly illustrated and eminently comprehensible story—and along the way, you’ll discover you’ve gained a real context for understanding today’s world of PCs, digital media, and the Internet. No matter what your level of technical savvy, CODE will charm you—and perhaps even awaken the technophile within.

Subscriber Reviews

Average Rating: 4.75 out of 5 rating Based on 4 Ratings

"From flashlights to modern computers" - by Anonymous on 05-JAN-2014
Reviewer Rating: 1 star rating2 star rating3 star rating4 star rating5 star rating
This book is nothing short of genius. Petzold takes the reader through the evolution of computers, from batteries, light bulbs and relays, all the way up to modern computers. The style of writing is anecdotal, engaging and interesting, whilst covering an impressive depth of knowledge. This book is akin to a computer science cirriculum boiled down to the essential, important stuff, while written in a very readable form. It doesn't assume any mathematical or technological prerequisites, and doesn't bother much with theory. Anyone interested in understanding how computers really work under the hood should read this book. Even for experienced hardware/software professionals, this book can add a lot of value by unifying the knowledge and experience you already have.
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"Back to basics" - by Pragmatopian on 26-SEP-2011
Reviewer Rating: 1 star rating2 star rating3 star rating4 star rating5 star rating
If you want to understand how computers work at a fundamental level this is a very readable account and I would strongly recommend it.

The early chapters should be understandable to a very broad audience, although the complexity of the concepts introduced necessarily builds as the book progresses. Some of the extended examples (e.g. of how logic gates are assembled into more complicated circuits) felt a bit laboured, but I understand why they were included.

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"This is my Dream Come True Book... " - by Malli on 17-JAN-2011
Reviewer Rating: 1 star rating2 star rating3 star rating4 star rating5 star rating
This is exactly my approach to any new technology. Learn It From The Roots. I am so Fortunate to have found this Book at Barnes and Nobles. Thanks to them for stocking such a Master Piece.
No Professor / Lecturer will teach you like this. If there is one then No Curriculum can have this well organized concepts (STEP by STEP).
My word of Advice / Caution - Never Jump To Pages. Go One-by-One. Its worth the Time. After 28 years of living, I found this book at this stage of my life. Never is too late so I am happy.
This wont appeal to the "Learning = Money" minded.
I never studied any book this sequentially, I am on page 130, Yep End of Chapter 11. Took 40-45 days (35 min a day)
I read so many Step-by-Step, For Dummies, Idiots guide, beginning Programming, How to get started but None, i repeat, NONE has gotten me to the Basics of the Basics.
Buy One People! If you want to know the Roots!

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