Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software

4.6 out of 5 stars 1,571 ratings
ISBN-13: 978-0735605053
ISBN-10: 9780735605053
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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.

About the Author

Charles Petzold wrote the classic Programming Windows®, which is currently in its fifth edition and one of the best-known and widely used programming books of all time. He was honored in 1994 with the Windows Pioneer Award, presented by Microsoft® founder Bill Gates and Windows Magazine. He has been programming with Windows since first obtaining a beta Windows 1.0 SDK in the spring of 1985, and he wrote the very first magazine article on Windows programming in 1986. Charles is an MVP for Client Application Development and the author of several other books including Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software.


Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ 073560505X
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Microsoft Press (October 23, 1999)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 393 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 073940752X
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0735605053
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.85 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.34 x 1.38 x 9.57 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 1,571 ratings

About the author

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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.

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
1,571 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on January 22, 2021
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1.0 out of 5 stars Missing letters and diagrams.
By John Cook on January 22, 2021
So much for buying the paperback. The very first thing I noticed was the large "Y" (I presume) to start Chapter 1 is missing. Upon closer inspection several large letters to start other chapters are missing. Upon even closer inspection, several diagrams are missing and only the top letters in several sentences are missing. Not great for a book full of diagrams. Thanks Microsoft Press.
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53 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on September 13, 2016
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Reviewed in the United States on July 24, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on November 17, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on June 17, 2016
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Reviewed in the United States on February 7, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on March 10, 2021
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Reviewed in the United States on January 4, 2021
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1.0 out of 5 stars Missprinted characters, good book, but prin quality is really poor.
By Carlos Cárdenas on January 4, 2021
It's a very good book. But it misprinted. Some chapters have issues with the starting characters (not printed). It doesn't affect the reading, but it's not the print I expected from Amazon. Also paper and book quality is quite low compared with other books I've purchased from Amazon in the past months.
As I read more and more, it becomes unreadable because of this. So yes, it does affect the reading. Sadly a waste of money.
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6 people found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

TJ
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book - really easy to read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 25, 2019
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26 people found this helpful
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Harald
5.0 out of 5 stars The basics... are not basic
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 6, 2020
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13 people found this helpful
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Filip Kolev
5.0 out of 5 stars It tells a story, not mere facts
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 14, 2018
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15 people found this helpful
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ztfk
5.0 out of 5 stars This book pissed me off
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 25, 2021
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7 people found this helpful
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Julius
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT PERFECT BOOK!!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 7, 2018
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12 people found this helpful
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