Oh how I love this book. In the preface to the 2000 softcover edition, Petzold wrote that his goal was for readers to understand how computers work at a concrete level that "just might even rival that of electrical engineers and programmers". The 5th edition Programming Windows was published in 1998 in the era of Windows 98, Windows NT and Internet Explorer 4. And while it does get pretty complex, Charles doesnt avoid it. In brief: be prepared to skim through at least 25% of this book! And through CODE, we see how this ingenuity and our very human compulsion to communicate have driven the technological innovations of the past two centuries. I can think of very few issues with this book – although the last chapter does read rather strangely, as if the author was trying to fit far too much into far too little space (trying to cover multimedia, networking, WIMP interfaces and more in one chapter is a bit of a tall order though! For example, I didn't understand hexadecimal numbers (or indeed what base 4, base 8, etc) numbers meant before I read this boo. I feel like I could clearly explain all of the major concepts to someone else, which I think is a key test of true understanding. From logic gates, to adding circuits and subtracting circuits and from clocks to flip-flops and RAM you gradually work up to a full, programmable computer which you have basically built by page 260! How approachable is this book for a someone with no background in math, electronics or computer science, and in general no inclination towards the sciences? If you ever wondered how a computer worked then buy this and read it – even if you think you already know (unless you’re, you know, a chip designer at Intel or something! Revisited C source code for Charles Petzold's Programming Windows 5th Edition ISBN-10 157231995X. Petzold spends a long time laying down the basic blocks of electrical engineering before progressing to how bits flow through a circuit board and control things. Starting from workings of an electrical circuit and building up to various logical elements with gradually increasing complexity. I write on a daily basis actually makes its way through the magical land that is a computer and returns pleasantries to a human being behind the screen, I sat down with this "Code" book. It's both a narrative history of Computer Science and a brilliant introduction to systems and programming. Written in 1999, the book yet actual nowadays (well, there are funny moments regarding computers' capacity and performance, and probably some other stuff but those don't matter much). But without little drawings of trains carrying a cargo of zeros and ones. Knowledge is empowering! Read this book using Google Play Books app on your PC, android, iOS devices. It does at points get pretty deep into the weeds but I really appreciated the author's efforts to provide such an exhaustive dive into how computers w. Wow. It was probably a combination of both. This is the book that every computer science … Starts from understandable foundations and builds from there. The book starts by looking at the ways you, as a child, might try and communicate with your best friend who lives across the street – after your parents think you’ve gone to bed. While that chapter was fairly thorough, when I got to later chapters and realized I couldn't quite grok what was going on in these chips, it was hard for me to tell whether I was holding myself back by not fully understanding the concepts of Chapter 17, or if Petzold was simply glossing over some of the details that might have clued m. This was a wonderful non-fiction read, especially the first 15 or so chapters. Charles Petzold discusses his Bright Idea: how a complex technology like computers can be described more fruitfully by going back in time to its historical origins. Still, the purpose of the book, as I mentioned, is rather to explain the nature of computer codes and hardware at the very low-level. Availability - Hardcover The hardcover edition of this book is out of print. The more I interact with software, the more those interactions reflect their makers and materials. This book should be a pre-requisite for introductory CS classes. This is a great book. The book is very intriguing from the start, beginning with the earliest forms of code (Morse, Braille, etc.). While that chapter was fairly thorough, when I got to later chapters and realized I couldn't quite grok what was going on in these chips, it was hard for me to tell whether I was holding myself back by not fully understanding the concepts of Chapter 17, or if Petzold was simply glossing over some of the details that might have clued me in. This project is intended to represent the output of Charles Petzold's "Code" book, realised as a from-the-ground-up electronic simulation. Almost makes me want to try again (*almost*). Just finished reading my b-day gift, the 'Code' by Charles Petzold - probably the best engineering book I've ever read. What’s more, it’s a great read too! Overall: a great read, very interesting and very educational. By saying 'engineering', I mean it. Using everyday objects and familiar language systems such as Braille and Morse code, author Charles Petzold weaves an illuminating narrative for anyone who’s ever wondered about the secret inner life of computers and other smart machines. We are made by history.” So, this January, as we celebrate Martin Luther King... What do flashlights, the British invasion, black cats, and seesaws have to do with computers? Every single person in tech should read this book. I wish I had had this book back when I was taking my first Computer Architecture course in college! […] 7 (which are now referred to by Microsoft’s own support site) to reviews of academic and non-academic books, along with some more academic posts (such as information about my publications and the software […]. I didn't really. To see what your friends thought of this book. The natural solution to this is Morse code using a torch, and Petzold takes this simple code as a good starting point to explain the concepts of a code. You start with braille and simple light switches, make your way to oscillators, flip-flops and multiplexer, and suddenly you understand how computer hardware works. The route between those two points is the interesting part, and there was some parts that I foudn really illuminating and important. It carries you along from the very fundamentals of both codes (like braille) and electric circuits in the telegraph days all the way to the web in a way that even a layperson could understand, with plenty of verbal and diagrammatic explanation. It's detailed enough to give you a sense on how things work, yet not overly complicated to intimidate you. If not already, it soon will be, a staple of computer science literature. Charles doesnt try to explain through high level metaphors (that do a poor job of capturing the truth -- I am frustrated after picking up another apparently interesting physics book only to find it contains no math), rather, he slowly builds on simple examples. It leads you from the very basics like morse & braille codes to boolean algebra and various numeric systems, from simple tiny electric circuits which bulb the lamp to primitive adding machine (built from relays, hehe), up to history of development and en. This book basicaly tries to take you from the very basics of how to encode information, such as how binary is used to represent complex information, to understanding how a computer uses information like this to perform intricate operations. Petzold spends a long time laying down the basic blocks of electrical engineering before progressing to how bits flow through. Interestingly, transistors aren’t mentioned until after you’ve got almost all of the way to building a computer – but this is almost certainly because relays are far easier to understand, and accomplish the same job. Whenever circuits are drawn in the book – from here onwards – they are shown with the wires that have current in them in red, making it very easy to see what is going on. Here you can start to see how this is moving towards a computer…. - The Basic Principles of Computers for Everyone, New African American Histories and Biographies to Read Now. ), Reference: Petzold, C., 2000, Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software, Microsoft Press, 395pp Amazon Link. I LOVE this book. 1990s computers) and the final chapter on the graphical revolution goes through way too much, way too fast to be of any use. With a desire to learn how the high level code (HTML, CSS, JavaScript, etc.) Availability - Hardcover The hardcover edition of this book is out of print. One - in this case one in how the Queen would use this - cannot really talk about this book without comparing it to. Book Review: Code by Charles Petzold. I wish I had had this book back when I was taking my first Computer Architecture course in college! This book basicaly tries to take you from the very basics of how to encode information, such as how binary is used to represent complex information, to understanding how a computer uses information like this to perform intricate operations. Refresh and try again. © 2021 Robin's Blog | powered by WordPress It is one of those rare books that is suitable for a very wide range of audiences – from those with almost no knowledge of the subject at all (it starts from the very beginning, so that isn’t a problem) right up to those who are experienced programmers and know some of it (they will still find a lot they don’t know, and realise a lot of things). It carries you along from the very fundamentals of both codes (like braille) and electric circuits in the telegraph days all the way to the web in a way that even a layperson could understand, with plenty of verbal and diagrammatic explanation. And Petzold helps me to walk inside an electrical circuit, a telephone, a telegraph, an adding machine, a computer, and to understand the basics behind the design, of what is going on inside. Unfortunately, parts of this book seem quite dated (most anything discussing "contemporary" technology, i.e. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. If you know a better one, I want to read it. Petzold maintains a good balance: the pace is comfortable, and the tone is informal while at the same time incorporating the appropriate technical terminology to accurately convey the subject matter without obscuring it by unnecessarily avoiding precision out of fear that the reader will be turned off by too much jargon. You’ll note that nothing about computers has been introduced yet – and that is a key feature of the first part of the book, it doesn’t go straight in to “this is how a computer works”, it starts at a very basic (but still interesting) level that becomes useful when thinking about computers later in the book, but isn’t too scary. Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software (1999) is a book by Charles Petzold that seeks to teach how personal computers work at a hardware and software level. The route between those two points is the interesting part, and there was some parts that I foudn really illuminating and important. QUCS - untested; ngSpice - untested; Other? Buy a cheap copy of Applications = Code + Markup: A Guide to... book by Charles Petzold. CODE: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software by Charles Petzold. I knew a fair bit – but I learnt a huge amount from reading it, and it helped me gain a full understanding of what is going on when I write computer programs – right down to the level of the electricity inside the processor. Unfortunately, parts of this book seem quite dated (most anything discussing "contemporary" technology, i.e. The book is very intriguing from the start, beginning with the earliest forms of code (Morse, Braille, etc.). Given how much detail everything is explained in – and how little knowledge is assumed – fitting it into 260 pages is very impressive! Your email address will not be published. And that's coming from someone who already thought they "sorta" understood how it worked. It also discusses some relevant historical moments as a typical professor in a typical lecture would do and ends with a broad overview of personal computers as they were in 1999. By the end of the book I was itching to buy lots of relays or transformers and make a computer on my living room table! This week's BART book of the week is Charles Petzold's Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software, recommended to me by my awesome coworker Dan Tsui. Scott Hanselman says “This book should really be required reading in any CS101 class. This is introduced almost entirely from scratch – explaining how circuits work, what voltage is, how batteries work etc – but it actually went beyond my previous knowledge in electricity fairly quickly, and taught me much of interest. Despite the depth, I tried to make the trip as comfortable as possible. In 1984, PC Magazine decided to do a review of printers. Your email address will not be published. Around this point a number of other key – but rather unrelated – topics are covered like Boolean logic (True/False, AND, OR etc) and number systems (particularly number bases and binary). Charles Petzold a does an outstanding job of explaining the basic workings of a computer. Petzold showed the staff some small assembly-language programs he had written. Interview with Charles Petzold regarding Code on the Amazon.com web site. The beginning is slightly slow, but after the 1/3 mark or so, I couldn't put it down(literally. shift characters and escape characters – both of which Braille has). There are no discussion topics on this book yet. I’d never really understood relays before, but Petzold introduces them with a very good analogy as a ‘labour saving device’ at a telegraph station. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. With a desire to learn how the high level code (HTML, CSS, JavaScript, etc.) The language of computer hardware and software is not particularly well hidden in my experience. And through CODE, we see how this ingenuity and our very human compulsion to communicate have driven the technological innovations of the past two centuries. By saying 'engineering', I mean it. The book reminds me of the courses that students usually have during the first year of the University. Code is not special because of its subject but rather because of how it weaves together the many and varied pieces that compose the topic. With Code, Petzold sets out to inform a general audience about the inner workings of computers. I know that this is way more on the theory/mathematics side of the spectrum than CODE, but Charles Petzold also wrote a book called The Annotated Turing that I really enjoyed. In this book, Charles Petzold gives a lucid explanation of how a computer works. Summary: This book takes you all the way from Morse Code to a fully working computer, explaining everything along the way. Petzold goes back to the very basics to explain how to build a computer (of sorts) from the ground up. Booktopia has Code, The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software by Charles Petzold. It does at points get pretty deep into the weeds but I really appreciated the author's efforts to provide such an exhaustive dive into how computers work (and I regained much of my awe at these machines we take so for granted nowadays). As you’ll probably know if you’ve read many articles on this site: I’m a computer programmer and general ‘geek’. I really, really truly love this book. Is it comfortable to read this book on Kindle? Once they have been introduced, a couple of important processors (the Intel 8080 and the Motorola 6800) are examined in detail – a really interesting opportunity to see how the concepts you’ve learnt about have been applied in real life by chip designers. Let us know what’s wrong with this preview of, Published I do now. A few chapters were tempting to skim For example, Petzold incl. Download for offline reading, highlight, bookmark or take notes while you read Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software. My opinion on this book is really divided : on the one hand I enjoy some chapters, on the other hand I hardly managed to restrain myself from flipping through other chapters. It is a great book, I demystified some thoughts I had about software architecture. He then moves on to Braille, which is significantly more complex than I thought, and which gives the opportunity to look at some of the more complex things you find in codes (eg. Using everyday objects and familiar language systems such as Braille and Morse code, author Charles Petzold weaves an illuminating narrative for anyone who's ever wondered about the secret inner life of computers and other smart machines. Thank you for such an awesome book! 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