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Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software Paperback – October 21, 2000
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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.
About the Author
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.
Continue browsing in the Microsoft Press Resource Center for books on everything from essential skills for beginners to technical references for IT professionals and developers.
Top Customer Reviews
Have you ever wondered just how your computers really work? I mean, really, really work. Not as in "an electrical signal from memory tells the processor the number to be added," but what the electrical signal is, and how it accomplishes the magic of switching on the circuits that add while switching off the other circuits that would do other things with the number. I have. I have wondered this a lot over the past decades.
Yet somehow over the past several decades my hunger for an explanation has never been properly met. I have listened to people explain how two switches wired in series are an "AND"--only if both switches are closed will the lightbulb light. I have listened to people explain how IP is a packet-based communications protocol and TCP is a connection-based protocol yet the connection-based protocal can ride on top of the packet-based protocol. Somehow these explanations did not satisfy. One seemed like answering "how does a car work?" by telling how in the presence of oxygen carbon-hydrogen bonds are broken and carbon dioxide and water are created. The other seemed like anwering "how does a car work" by telling how if you step on the accelerator the car moves forward.Read more ›
Petzold attempts, and largely succeeds at, writing a book that leaves the reasonably intelligent layperson with a thorough comprehension of each layer that comprises a modern electronic computer (binary coding -> electronic representation -> transistors -> logic gates -> integrated circuits -> microprocessors -> opcodes -> assembly language -> high-level language -> applications). At times, the reader must follow along carefully, but Petzold tries to avoid needless complication.
Code is a well written and very entertaining explanation of the digital electronic technology that has become an integral part of our daily lives. Short of getting a degree in electrical engineering, this book is your best bet to understand how it works.
My oppinion is that the book is _great_ up to about the middle of the book, after which he just condenced all the rest of the information which would otherwise takes thousands of pages to describe in as much details as he described how to build a physical logic machine... I think that if someone isn't a "techie" or isn't in the computer field, they may have some hard time understanding a few minor points... but overall, this is a GREAT book.. one of a kind.
Greatly recommended for everyone's library... I can honestly say, I always told people "a computer is nothing more than zero's and one's"... but until I read this book, I couldn't BUILD one... now I can (given time! :).
P.S. This book is perfect for those who didn't necessarily go to college and learned everything on their own... it covers some CS, CE, and EE. Those who went to college with either of those majors probably learned the greatest part of this book... but it's a great review.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wow - I thought I had an idea or two about the birth of the computer and its development, but the author tells of the journey in such detail, with such fundamentals, that it was... Read morePublished 2 days ago by Nicholas Palubinski
Very informative, very comprehensible. Shows how computers are built and how they are working starting from the most simple electric circuit.Published 3 days ago by Rafal Paszta
Probably due for a refresh, this book nonetheless captures an amazingly broad swath of computer history and guides the reader through the construction of a computer from the ground... Read morePublished 20 days ago by Robert Labrenz
I cannot add much that hasnt already been said. Ill just add that despite the book's age, the information is still relevant. A must read!Published 24 days ago by A. Gillis
Definitely something for hobbyists to read for electronics history and how codes were invented long long ago. The explanation of logic gates was a little confusing though.Published 26 days ago by Amazon Customer
Loved this book. I still can't believe it takes the reader from the most simple circuit possible to a complex computer system. Read morePublished 29 days ago by RobDavies
I am shocked by the amount of effort put into Code. You can tell this book was fabricated to the curious and tech savvy learners who wish to better grasp the bare essentials of... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Wyatt
I'm an electronics engineer so basically I was not expecting to find much new stuff of this book when I first browsed the table of contents, however after some reading I've got to... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Agustin