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One Digital Day: How the Microchip is Changing Our World Hardcover – April 28, 1998


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

YA-Sponsored by the Intel Corporation, this series entry is written in veneration of the microprocessor. More than just a humble chip of silicon, it has become a sometimes invisible but indispensable feature of daily life in the global community. According to the introduction, "Today there are nearly 15 billion microchips of some kind in use-the equivalent of 2 powerful computers for every man, woman and child on the planet." Photos illustrate their uses in everything from laptop computers to automobiles, from telephones to refrigerators. One interesting picture shows illiterate elderly South Africans receiving government pensions following identity verification by fingerprint scan. Another shows businessmen in traffic-strangled Bangkok completing their work in mobile taxicab offices, then delivering finished products by cellular-dispatched motorcycle messengers. The volume records countless other uses for the microchip from entertainment to medicine, with more advances being developed hourly. With such a dizzying rate of technological evolution, this beautiful photo-essay will soon become little more than a glimpse into the archaic past. Nevertheless, it is a fascinating and thought-provoking glimpse.
Robin Deffendall, Bull Run Regional Library, Manassas, VA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Photojournalist Smolan and partner Erwitt (creators of the "Day in the Life" series and 24 Hours in Cyberspace, LJ 11/1/96) are back for a bow with One Digital Day, born on July 11, 1997, when 100 professional photographers scoured the globe to document how the microchip has transformed human culture with great speed and pervasiveness. Smolan and Erwitt have achieved their goal in grand style, using many full-page photos and spare text to ease that premise home. Favorite moments include the electronic dressing rooms of the New World Department Store in Shanghai and the amazing and very bionic Oklahoma City volunteer fire chief Ken Whitten, but for pure glee nothing quite matches the shot of Army Lieutenant Frank Holmes, mugging for his wife and newborn, linked by computer from his station in Bosnia to the desktop of his loved ones in North Carolina. Recommended for all public libraries.?Geoff Rotunno, "Tri-Mix" Magazine, Goleta, CA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 223 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Business; 1st edition (April 28, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812930312
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812930313
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 10.5 x 14.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,188,365 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 22, 1998
Format: Hardcover
The San Diego Union-Tribune 05/12/98 by Robert Hawkins
Real miracle of microchips: What people do with them
I remember when my father first brought a handful of microprocessors home. He was the new engineer responsible for improving their production. They weren't attached to anything, just processors. Defective ones at that. At the dinner table, my father excitedly traced the circuitry paths through the bed on which the microchip -- the "brains" -- would lie, explaining to me just what it was a microprocessor did, from an engineering perspective.
And it was impressive. But it also seemed so right, so natural, so logical, so within the reach of the bright minds of science. Impressed, yes. But I was not awed.
I've always had great faith in the technological process, how things are accomplished. I find it interesting that a single microchip today can hold 20 million transistors. And I'm fully confident that the number will continue to rise until it runs smack into the laws of physical nature. So be it.
There are now 15 billion microchips in use today around the world. OK, that's interesting. But what does it mean?
Over this past weekend I learned the answer, or part of it.
It means that Army Lt. Frank Holmes, stationed in Sarajevo, Bosnia, can talk face to face with his wife, Amanda, and baby daughter, Morgan, 5,000 miles away at Fort Bragg, N.C.
It means that 320,000 itinerate and functionally illiterate pensioners in the KwaZulu region of South Africa will get their monthly checks because a computer can read their fingerprints.
It means that 5-year-old Amy Stewart, blind since birth, can keep up with other students in her first-grade class because a computer converts her lessons into Braille.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 10, 1999
Format: Hardcover
It's been said a picture is worth a thousand words. If that's true, then perhaps the 200 photographs in ONE DIGITAL DAY: HOW THE MICROCHIP IS CHANGING OUR WORLD by Rick Smolan are worth millions of microchips.
In 24 hours, Smolan's team of the world's best photojournalists canvassed the world and captured pictures and accompanying stories which illustrate just how one little microchip -- something that didn't exist 30 years ago -- has changed, influenced and altered our world.  In so doing, the invention of the tiny microchip has succeeded in bringing the globe to us inside our homes and offices.
In the introduction, Michael Malone gives us a rundown on the microchip and how it is moving closer and closer to "the center of our lives." Malone estimates close to 15 billion microchips are currently in use.
Malone reminds us that, even though we might not have a PC in our home, should the microchips we use daily be stricken from our lives, we would be dumbfounded. Quite simply, we take their existence in our lives for granted in many ways.
Got a microwave? A telephone? A television for watching that Sunday football game? How about that streetlight outside? Without the microchip, your car wouldn't even start, writes Malone. Pretty amazing for a "tiny square of silicon the size of a fingernail," indeed.
What's it all about, Alfie? For all its wonder, the microchip is made up of metal, fire, crystal and water. During manufacturing, Malone notes a single speck of dust can mean disaster. In fact, he writes, the water used to rinse the surfaces of finished chips is more pure than water used for open heart surgery!
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By Newton Ooi on September 20, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Of all the things changing in the world today, few are as accepted globally by more people than the microchip and the electronic devices powered by microchips. Yes there are those we do not own a computer, and vow never to own one, but even those individuals use the microchip as part of their everyday life; whether it be in the car they drive, their household appliances, the electronic doors at their work, or just waiting at an intersection for the cross sign to change. This book documents, with big pictures, the extant to which computer chips are used in various facets of life around the world; and not just in rich countries, but in poor ones as well. The text is fairly easy to read, and gives just enough information on how microchips are made to convery the basic ideas. Overall, a good book, and better than other books of this type.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 10, 1998
Format: Hardcover
From Kirkus: The ubiquitous microchip is celebrated in some 200 color photographs, taken in the course of one day (July 11, 1997) by approximately 100 photojournalists scattered around the globe. While we may take it for granted that the microprocessor has infiltrated and altered almost every element of life having to do with technology, it's still startling to see how pervasive its influence is. A portrait of Thai monks gathered `round a computer to study the teachings of the Buddha, of a Chinese sailor steering his junk and blithely chatting on a cellular telephone, or of a group of rural South African pensioners lining up at a computer that will identify them by their fingerprints before issuing a monthly check are likely to surprise even a jaded technophile. Much of the book, however, focuses on the specific ways in which the microchip is expanding life's possibilities, with a heavy stress on how microchip-driven technology is helping to cure disease and enhance the lives of those with a variety of disabilities. The upbeat message throughout is hardly surprising, given that the project was sponsored by the Intel Corporation. Still, as a primer on cutting edge work in health, the environment, And other sciences, and as a vivid tour of the world's obsession with all things technological, One Digital Day is breezily effective. (First serial to Fortune, CNN TV special) -Kirkus Reviews END
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