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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
I had been searching for a book that perfectly explains the inner workings of computers, starting from scratch.
This is EXACTLY the book I had wanted. Read more
This book will really make you understand. What I loved about it is that this book does not restrain itself on explainging complex subjects, you really have to think while reading... Read morePublished 5 days ago by Mario
This is a good book. I am teaching a class and using this as the text. It's at a pretty good intro level and many of the students seem to like it a lot. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Amazon Customer
This is a pure gem. The author basically takes you on a journey of code and computer evolution through different periods and different applications. Read morePublished 15 days ago by B.K.
This book builds you up from the ground so you gain a decent understanding of computer systems. The only negative is that the last few chapters are beginning to show their age and... Read morePublished 16 days ago by Rich Hummel
Excellent introduction to computing starting from the ground up. I read it as a Kindle Edition which struggled with some of the diagrams, but it was still possible to follow along. Read morePublished 18 days ago by Jarrod Baker
Fantastic book for those who don't have a computer science or electrical engineering background. Very well written, conveying concepts in a way understandable to the layperson. Read morePublished 25 days ago by LW
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 1 month 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 1 month ago by Rafal Paszta