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How Computers Work (7th Edition) 7th Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 142 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 002-9236730338
ISBN-10: 0789730332
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Updated to include all the recent developments to the PC and complete with a CD-ROM, the third edition of How Computers Work is like a cool science museum in a book. But make no mistake--this is not a book for children. How Computers Work aims to teach readers about all the intricacies held within the machine, and it's a daunting task. The author, Ron White, doesn't dumb down his material; instead he provides thorough and substantive definitions. The pages of fun and colorful graphics ease the tension, though, and bring the abstract concepts--the difference between RAM and ROM, for example--into real life.

The book has incredible depth, explaining everything you could want to know about your computer, with each piece of hardware being given full treatment over two to five pages. (Macintosh and UNIX users should be aware, though, that the book's model is the "Wintel," a Windows PC with an Intel microprocessor.) The book is well-structured and can easily be used as a reference resource beyond the first reading. --Jennifer Buckendorff --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

How Computers Work shows you how chips, software, memory, and hardware work using detailed four-color drawings. An interactive game-like CD-ROM takes you directly inside your computer. This book is completely updated and revised to include the latest technology developments.

An updated introduction to the workings of the computer explores the basics of microchips, hardware, software, and computer memory, providing an entertaining and informative tour of every part of the computer, from hard drive and processor to mouse, monitor, and keyboard. Also takes you through the workings of digital cameras, ebooks, Bluetooth, and much more. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: How Computers Work
  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Que; 7 edition (October 15, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789730332
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789730336
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.8 x 10.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (142 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,888,413 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Ron White has written an expanded of edition How Computers Work. The Millennium Edition offers readers a totally updated and refreshing view of computer technology that will take them into the next century. Readers are treated to new graphics, new insight into computer operations, new developments in the computer industry, and new technology to incorporate into their personal and business computing!
This new edition of How Computers Work is a beautifully illustrated and designed book that clearly and concisely explains the overall operation of computers. Readers will learn how individual computer components work, how the Windows operating system and a number of software applications work, how various audio, graphics, and video technologies work, and how a number of essential peripheral accessories work. Readers will also pick up on some helpful information about the Y2K phenomenon.
Readers are taken on a breath-taking journey through the operation of the bios, cache, chips, memory, ports, hard drives, CD's, diskettes, zip drives, graphics boards, sound boards, modems, monitors, mouses, joysticks, printers, surge protectors, back-up power supplies, digital cameras, scanners, and much more. White includes discussion of cutting-edge Pentium technologies and how Web browsers, e-mail, networks, virtual reality, multimedia, and data compression work.
This book is perfect for company employees, for students who may be using computers for the first time, and beginners starting out with just an interest in computers. This book is great for classroom use and will also make a fine gift for the first-time computer buyer! It is must reading for anyone wanting to learn more about the computing scene. The CD included with the book offers a cool multimedia interactive tour no one should miss out on!
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Format: Paperback
I work in the IT / Computer Repair industry, and I personally feel that this book is very helpful to most individuals, especially those who have little familiarity with computer systems, internal structures, gadgets and whatnots.
I found the detailed and heavily-illustrated sections regarding chipsets, processors, memory buffers, etc. to be very helpful. Most computer manuals are very technical and assume you know a computer inside and out, already (despite constant development in the industry and the fact that by the time a computer hits the shelves it is out-dated).
These "How Computers / Internet," etc. books are wonderful manuals for those who just want to know "how the heck does this crazy thing work, anyway ?!?!"
You won't be able to pass your A+ Certifications with this series of books, but you will understand much of the jargon people throw-around in the office, and you will see flow charts of "How Computers Work."
I sincerely appreciated the diagrams of a Techtronix Printer!
Suffice to Say, if "a picture is worth a thousand words," this book is pricesless for the novice and very helpful for the beginning (uncertified) Techs in the computer repair field. The usual Black & White Illustrations in computer manuals aren't exactly condusive to really getting a feel for the stuff you might be yanking out and replacing. However, this book is full of numerous full-color, full-page illustrations.
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Format: Paperback
Some people are content to spend their lives not knowing or caring what is under the hood of their car, inside their watch, or in their TV sets. To them, the end product is all that matters. Other people are not content with that - they want to know how things work. What magic is taking place that allows them to watch events thousands of miles away or toast their bagel.
There are few inventions as imposing as the personal computer to understand. Integrated Circuits, ISA connections, Hexadecimal code, and many other seemingly complex words float around in descriptions of hardware and software. This book demystifies the PC - with flare.
Each component of the PC - CPU, drives, printers, mouse - is described with a down to earth, step by step description and exceptional illustrations. It is just technical enough to allow the power user to be satisfied, but easy enough to understand so us non-Computer Science majors can gain some knowledge.
My only criticism involves the CD - the layout was good, but it only included some of the information in the book. Had it been more comprehensive, I would have enjoyed it more.
This is similar in quality to "The Way Things Work" by David Macaulay. "How Computers Work" will answer the questions you've had about computers, and many that you haven't thought of. It is the perfect mix of information and illustration. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
Around the year 300 BCE a significant book appeared. It was titled Elements, and it contained everything the Greeks believed about geometry and mathematics. Euclid, the far-seeing author, could hardly have imagined that it would become the standard text in the field for the next two thousand years. In our time, information and technological advances move a little faster. Regretfully we acknowledge that the blazing fast desktop computer we buy at Christmas will be a tortoise by summertime, and ready for the scrapheap in two short years. To paraphrase Sam Goldwyn: Today's state-of-the-art knowledge is tomorrow's yesterday's news. That's why, every year, I treat myself to a new edition of How Computers Work. This beautiful-looking guide is one of the most compelling and information-packed computer books in print. The large and colorful illustrations (by Timothy Edward Downs and Stephen Adams) make the book a pure delight to study. Ron White's explanations, simple and direct, rise to the challenge of matching pithy words with the best in illustrative art. In 45 chapters, each one taking on a specific system of the computer, we learn the inner workings of CPUs, storage, multimedia, modems, printers, and all the other important gizmos inside and connected to, what my mother calls, "that little box that hums." Sorry, Mac users: this book is about what's known as "Wintel" computers: PCs that run Microsoft Windows and use Intel-compatible processors. Written for beginners and intermediate level users, this Millennium edition is almost one hundred pages larger than its predecessor. And it's been updated to include new technologies such as fingerprint and voice recognition, Pentium III and MMX processors, MP3 music and digital audio.Read more ›
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