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D is for Digital: What a well-informed person should know about computers and communications Paperback – September 23, 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Brian Kernighan is a Professor of Computer Science at Princeton University. He is the co-author of eight other books, including the computer science classic The C Programming Language.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 238 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 23, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1463733895
  • ISBN-13: 978-1463733896
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.5 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #180,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I teach an introduction to computing course to non-CS students at a well-established Canadian university. I am pleased to say that I have found my new textbook. It doesn't come with a set of PowerPoint slides, nor a bunch of ill-considered problems and exercises at the end of each chapter, nor is it cluttered with brightly-coloured but otherwise useless figures, but it is precisely what its subtitle says it is, "What a well-informed person should know about computers and communications." And the price is unbeatable by a long shot. I look forward to building my course around this well-considered book by a computing pioneer.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In the preface to this book, Kernighan poses a question: What should a well-informed person know about computing? He answers this question first by breaking the field down into hardware, software, and communications (with data a possible fourth category), and then by walking through some of the most important concepts in these areas, describing them in a lively, accessible way. The book is targeted at readers without a computer background, but it's a short, fun read for the more knowledgeable as well.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Superb introduction to computers for thinking adults - the perfect book for those who wonder what computers are, how they work, why they're important, and what profound ethical problems portend. Readers learn the rudiments of programming, basics of binary representation, and more.

Thoroughly delightful!
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Format: Paperback
If you've ever found yourself wondering just how the internet and other popular computer technologies work, this book is for you. Kernighan does something very difficult:

1. He gives you real technical understanding
2. He is easy to understand, even for someone with no technical background

This is my go to recommendation when someone asks how they can learn more about the technologies that govern our lives. We run our lives online these days, so the kind of overview D is for Digital provides is more important than ever.

p.s. Code by Charles Petzold is a great companion to this book. Read both books and you'll know more about computing than most people.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am not computer literate. My son is a software developer and this book helped me to understand what he does and how difficult it can be.

I enjoyed this book because the author wrote about technical details and and explained them in layman's terms with a sprinkle of humor.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a book for anyone who knows computer technology to give everyone who doesn't understand. The number of conversations I could have short-cutted by saying "Have you read Chapter N, section Y?" because it is better written than I can do. Mr Kernighan never talks down to the reader and never babies the reader either. That is a tall order to meet.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Perfect book for a non-techie English major like me who wants a better understanding of computing and what lies “beneath” the surface of your laptop, smart phone or Apple watch. Kernighan organizes the book in 3 sections-- hardware, software and communication/the Internet.--although it’s laid out so that you can skip through and read it in a non-chronological fashion. The book is comprehensive—covering everything from the elements that make up a computer (ex CPU, RAM, storage), to the basics of programming and software development, to the inner workings of the Internet and the World Wide Web (spoiler note: the Internet and the Web are not the same thing!) Kernighan helps demystify some of the jargon around technology and shows how computing is affecting—and changing—all of our lives today. An important read!
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Format: Kindle Edition
I love this book -- I had the pleasure of taking a computer science class (for non-COS majors) at Princeton with the author, and this was the book we used. It's a fantastic introduction to computing and covers all the bases. It's a quick read and also reads more like a narrative than a textbook. I'd highly recommend it. Once I'd finished with the course I passed my copy onto my middle-aged mother; she is the resident techie at her office now! It doesn't matter whether you know nothing about computers or are a proficient user, this book is incredibly informative!
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