Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software

Book by Charles Petzold

Charles Petzold Windows Pioneer

This book explains computers and computing in more usable terms than more technical books on the same subject because it focuses on history and scope rather than technical depth.

What do flashlights, British invasion, black cats and swings have to do with computers? In CODE, they show us ingenious ways to manipulate language and invent new ways to communicate with each other. And with CODE, we see how this ingenuity and our human drive for communication has led to technological innovation over the past two centuries.

Code The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software PDF

Using everyday objects and familiar language systems such as Braille and Morse code, writer Charles Petzold creates a vivid narrative for anyone who has ever wondered about the secret inner life of computers and other intelligent machines.

It is a cleverly illustrated and eminently intelligible story, and as you go along, you will find yourself given a real context for understanding the modern world of computers, digital media, and the Internet. Whatever your level of technical savvy, CODE will captivate you - and perhaps even awaken the technophile within.

Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software book review

In Code, the author - Charles Petzold - builds a computer from the ground up. The concepts he presented were fairly easy to grasp. That's not to say that it didn't take a bit of thinking or reviewing to understand everything completely, because it did. But overall it was fairly simple. I rated this book five stars out of five, but I shouldn't say that this book was perfect, because it was not. I found that perhaps the biggest obstacle to understanding some of the concepts was that the author would go on sometimes irrelevant and untimely tangents. Funny thing is - I didn't notice this until I found myself having to review some of the concepts from previous chapters.

Another negative thing I found was when he introduced Machine Code, to the chip you have built up to that point, the author makes too much of a jump, it would have been a lot more helpful if he would have explained at least some of the hardware that made this machine code possible. It wasn't until I went back to this chapter to think over this concept and how it was possible that I understood how the machine codes could work. But overall I love this book (although I haven't finished the last chapter quite yet), I now understand the basics of how a computer works.