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Charles Petzold's latest book, Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software, crosses over into general-interest nonfiction from his usual programming genre. It's a carefully written, carefully researched gem that will appeal to anyone who wants to understand computer technology at its essence. Readers learn about number systems (decimal, octal, binary, and all that) through Petzold's patient (and frequently entertaining) prose and then discover the logical systems that are used to process them. There's loads of historical information too. From Louis Braille's development of his eponymous raised-dot code to Intel Corporation's release of its early microprocessors, Petzold presents stories of people trying to communicate with (and by means of) mechanical and electrical devices. It's a fascinating progression of technologies, and Petzold presents a clear statement of how they fit together.
The real value of Code is in its explanation of technologies that have been obscured for years behind fancy user interfaces and programming environments, which, in the name of rapid application development, insulate the programmer from the machine. In a section on machine language, Petzold dissects the instruction sets of the genre-defining Intel 8080 and Motorola 6800 processors. He walks the reader through the process of performing various operations with each chip, explaining which opcodes poke which values into which registers along the way. Petzold knows that the hidden language of computers exhibits real beauty. In Code, he helps readers appreciate it. --David Wall
Topics covered: Mechanical and electrical representations of words and numbers, number systems, logic gates, performing mathematical operations with logic gates, microprocessors, machine code, memory and programming languages. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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.
great introduction to computer architecture! It's a layman's terms history of how computers were developed.Published 2 days ago by Matt
Clear and helpful read, the author definitely understands the material well enough to explain it in simple terms. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Aaron Iglesias
This book does a beautiful job of showing and explaining the basics of circuits. It starts at an appropriate place, and has a great build up to teach the user what they need to... Read morePublished 11 days ago by Daniela Howe
Awesome read for programmers and IT professionals of any level. Suitable for anyone trying to understand how computers work and what programming is.Published 16 days ago by Isaac
One of the best books I've read in a long time. Very thorough and concise. It is what my wife would call a "living book". Read morePublished 24 days ago by The Philip
Amazing book to understand how computers work at a very low level.Published 27 days ago by Ignacio R.
I can't say enough good things about this book. It is quite technical, yet at the same time amazingly readable! Read morePublished 1 month ago by ComputerEconomist