- File Size: 148 KB
- Print Length: 59 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: July 20, 2011
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B005DPIKPE
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Not Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#268,422 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
- #213 in Kindle Store > Kindle Short Reads > 90 minutes (44-64 pages) > Computers & Technology
- #257 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Computers & Technology > Programming > Software Design, Testing & Engineering > Software Development
- #915 in Books > Computers & Technology > Programming > Software Design, Testing & Engineering > Software Development
How to Count (Programming for Mere Mortals Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
I've read programming books and how-to guides and even a couple of books on computer science but they either didn't address basic concepts or did so only as a precursor to more "practical" information. "How To Count" benefits from being focused on one small but crucial subject: what computers do with numbers. Steven Frank explains all concepts clearly and concisely with just the right amount of detail, packing a lot of education (and even entertainment) into a very short book. Now that I've read it I'm already thinking about computers differently and with a deeper understanding.
Now I can answer questions like: why is the volume of my hard drive measured in gigabytes? Why was it so hard writing that computer script that involved fractional numbers? Why is my 10mbps internet connection so much slower than I thought it would be? What the heck is going on inside my computer anyway? I work with computers every day but couldn't really answer these questions until I read "How to Count".
I can't wait to read the next book in this new series.
Programming for Mere Mortals was advertised as "...a series of books designed to introduce the concepts of programming from the ground up to a reader who has never written a line of code." I purchased this book with the intention to continue reading the "series" once I finished the first book. Once I did finished it and proceeded to locate the second book to continue my journey I was disheartened to learn that no other books in the series exist. The publication date was July 20, 2011 - one would think that additional titles or at the bare minimum a second title would exist in order to warrant the use of the word "series" in the product description. Unfortunately this is not the case.
Because of this, I cannot recommend this book to anyone who was looking to read this as a first entry in a long line of "Programming" books. That is because it isn't. As of this writing, it is a standalone book. The very tip of a huge iceberg. I finished this book excited for what was to come and was disappointed. My recommendation is, if 2.99 is no object, then buy it. If you are hoping your 2.99 will buy you a substantial key with which to unlock the world of programming, you may feel slighted as I was.
Onto the book itself. As a standalone book, the content is great. If you were only interested in the first step of a 1,000 step process then you've come to the right place. Steven Frank is excellent at taking concepts which, superficially seem confusing and tough to grasp and presents them in a way that made me want to keep reading and I was excited to absorb all I could.
I will admit that I am somewhat a computer nerd with no formal computer science training, so several of the ideas within: bits, bytes and the capacities of computer hard drives/memory were not mind bending but Mr. Frank did go into some additional detail which I was previously unaware of.
Without being a master programmer and without having read any of the subsequent books in this series, I truly feel like I am prepared for the next level and I do applaud Mr. Frank for making feel this type of confidence despite not giving me the opportunity to continue and nurture it.
I was going to give 3 stars but felt I should be more generous because the content was not too bad. The price was just maybe one dollar too much because I did not realize I finished the book! You can probably read this in one or two hours. Maybe over a couple cups of coffee.
I learned a few things but not as much as I thought I would. I think 20% of this short book was very useful information for me, and the rest, I am not so sure of.
There was an attempt to describe transmission speeds and data volume but I thought it was neither here nor there. Techies will think it is redundant and oversimplified, and newbies will get confused over it. That's my take.
I thought this book was actually targeted at technical people who somehow overlooked key fundamental concepts of computer engineering, but in fact it seems to try to target a wider audience. I am not sure how I feel about that because I am not a non-techie, and I could predict that my non-techie friends would be confused by some of the material.
I hope that the rest of the series will be more focused in addressing the "missing link" content, and be more focused to target techies instead of try for all audiences. I am disappointed there was no linkage between the number systems and how, for example, you might have a transistor/diode logic gate to perform the binary arithmetic. That was something that I ASSUMED would be covered, to explain how this number theory all ties to actual computer STUFF.
I think your enjoyment and response to this material will depend a lot on your background. I'm a techy but not a programmer, so to me this felt like a fun exploration of how the devices I use everyday think and compute. It was enlightening and certainly worth the modest asking price, even if I'm not sure where I could possibly use my newfound knowledge of hexadecimal and binary.
If you're a nerd, but not a programmer, this is worth looking at. I'm quite interested to see where this series of short books is going and what concepts and ideas Mr. Frank will tackle next.
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