While Petzold does assume the reader is starting from scratch, I think it would be easier to follow later on if you had some background in computers/technology. 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". It's both a narrative history of Computer Science and a brilliant introduction to systems and programming. The last chapter of the book felt a bit rushed and ended abruptly, but maybe that’s just my wanting the book to go on longer/end at present day. While Petzold does assume the reader is starting from scratch, I think it would be easier to follow later on if you had some background in computers/technology. 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. A Microsoft MVP for Client Application Development and a Windows Pioneer Award winner, Petzold is author of the classic, “Code is not like other how-computers-work books. By saying 'engineering', I mean it. I read the Kindle version, and it's fine. But remember: Authors receive royalties only … I wish I had had this book back when I was taking my first Computer Architecture course in college! There's not much programming or CS (apart from some machine code and assembly language examples). A couple things don't. 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. Review of CODE by Charles Petzold I recently read CODE – The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software by Charles Petzold. 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. But without little drawings of trains carrying a cargo of zeros and ones. 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. The benefits of an academic website « Robin's Blog, Pint + SQLAlchemy = Unit consistency and enforcement in your database, Creating an email service for my son’s childhood memories with Python. 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. I’m not going to go much further into detail about the rest of the book, except to say that you move towards being able to ‘build’ (conceptually if not actually physically) a fully-working computer gradually, one step at a time. In this book, Charles Petzold gives a lucid explanation of how a computer works. 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. Electricity and electrical circuits are introduced when describing how you might communicate with another friend whose window you can’t see from yours. Interview with Charles Petzold regarding Code on the Amazon.com web site. This book pretty quickly gets into electricity and basic circuits. Buy a discounted Paperback of Code online from Australia's leading online bookstore. Chapter 17 ("Automation"), however, was where I began to feel a bit in over my head. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Required fields are marked *. It doesn't have big color illustrations of disk drives with arrows showing how the data sweeps into the computer. 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. 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. What a ride! The beginning is slightly slow, but after the 1/3 mark or so, I couldn't put it down(literally. From circuits with a battery, switch and bulb to logic gates to a thorough description of the Intel 8080. Possible simulation software. If you like books and love to build cool products, we may be looking for you. It's detailed enough to give you a sense on how things work, yet not overly complicated to intimidate you. Code is never mentioned in that group, and for good reason. 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. His story begins with a description of various ways of coding information including Braille, Morse code, and binary code. As Mr. Petzold states in the preface, Code is “a unique journey through the evolution of the digital technologies that define the modern age.” So, how computers work? Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Starts from understandable foundations and builds from there. This book is the perfect depth for novices but also people who are “in tech” and don’t really understand how it all works (like me). Unfortunately, parts of this book seem quite dated (most anything discussing "contemporary" technology, i.e. This book should be a pre-requisite for introductory CS classes. Overall, I loved it and will surely be recommending it to anyone who asks how computers, This book is the perfect depth for novices but also people who are “in tech” and don’t really understand how it all works (like me). 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. Every single person in tech should read this book. Booktopia has Code, The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software by Charles Petzold. Despite the depth, I tried to make the trip as comfortable as possible. 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 2020-07-08 Leave a comment If you have been reading my book reviews, you know that I like history. Oh how I love this book. 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. Surprisingly interesting. Robin's Blog Review: Code – The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software by Charles Petzold December 29, 2012. Just finished reading my b-day gift, the 'Code' by Charles Petzold - probably the best engineering book I've ever read. Your email address will not be published. Summary: This book takes you all the way from Morse Code to a fully working computer, explaining everything along the way. Charles Petzold August 16, 2000 Knowledge is empowering! You won’t be disappointed. 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). Definitely one of the greats. 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. With Code, Petzold sets out to inform a general audience about the inner workings of computers. This was the beginning of Petzold's career as a paid writer. This project is intended to represent the output of Charles Petzold's "Code" book, realised as a from-the-ground-up electronic simulation. Interview with Charles Petzold regarding Code on the Amazon.com web site. I'll raise my hand with you. In CODE, they show us the ingenious ways we manipulate language and invent new means of communicating with each other. The majority of the book, however, is great - I had never really delved into logic gates and circuitry, so it was truly eye-opening even if I couldn't fully understand some parts. Of course, the book continues past page 260, going on to cover topics including input and output (from keyboards and to the screen), high and low level programming languages, graphics, multimedia and more. The book reminds me of the courses that students usually have during the first year of the University. It provides a general overview of how computers function. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for Code at Amazon.com. So I've reread this book once more because I felt it was great, yet I could not give it 5/5 before. Overall: a great read, very interesting and very educational. This was a wonderful non-fiction read, especially the first 15 or so chapters. 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. They asked all current New York contributors to help with the review. 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! 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? In 1984, PC Magazine decided to do a review of printers. Great way to fill blanks in my computer knowledge. 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 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). 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. Is it comfortable to read this book on Kindle? Download for offline reading, highlight, bookmark or take notes while you read Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software. I wish I had had this book back when I was taking my first Computer Architecture course in college! 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 Microsoft Press, Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software. Or if you're just interested in tech. Knowledge is empowering! Unfortunately, parts of this book seem quite dated (most anything discussing "contemporary" technology, i.e. I feel like I've learned a lot by reading this book, especially since we had no relevant computer architecture courses in college. You may be able to obtain copies of the hardcover edition from online booksellers listed on my Books page. A very nice introduction into what makes computers tick. The Annotated Turing: A Guided Tour Through Alan Turing's Historic Paper on Computability and the Turing Machine, But How Do It Know? Availability - Hardcover The hardcover edition of this book is out of print. Overall, I loved it and will surely be recommending it to anyone who asks how computers work. A few chapters were tempting to skim For example, Petzold includes 25 pages on the machine code instructions of an Intel 8080 microprocessor - did we really need all that detail? Petzold showed the staff some small assembly-language programs he had written. 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! Now I do. This is the book that every computer science … Or if you just want a basic appreciation of one of the most important technologies in human history—the computer. Let us know what’s wrong with this preview of, Published 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. But remember: Authors receive royalties only … Vote for your favourite Australian book of 2020! The print version of this textbook is ISBN: 9780735611313, 0735611319. ), Reference: Petzold, C., 2000, Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software, Microsoft Press, 395pp Amazon Link. Similarly I knew a fair amount about how various electrical gates work but not how by pairing multiple gates together you eventually get to RAM, a CPU, etc. In a very fun manner, this book presents 3 years of introductory CS curricula: discrete structures, algorithms, logic gates, ... After reading this during two cross-country flights, I better understand (and remember) classes I took 10 years ago. ‍. 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. This book has really taught me a lot, despite the fact that many of the later chapters lost me somewhat; it felt like it became much more complicated and hard to follow after the earlier chapters, which were great, slowly paced and well explained. Much appreciated, thank you! Metaphors and similes are wonderful literary devices but they do nothing but obscure the beauty of technology.”, “In 1948, while working for Bell Telephone Laboratories, he published a paper in the Bell System Technical Journal entitled "A Mathematical Theory of Communication" that not only introduced the word bit in print but established a field of study today known as information theory. And while it does get pretty complex, Charles doesnt avoid it. By saying 'engineering', I mean it. The language of computer hardware and software is not particularly well hidden in my experience. Chapter 17 ("Automation"), however, was where I began to feel a bit in over my head. Wow. He slowly puts these together in a stunningly beautiful manner to assemble a computer. As it was, I had to bombard my dad (an electronic engineer) with questions to even make it to the end of some chapters, but then I haven't attended regular maths/science classes since about age 14, so maybe it's not surprising that I'm missing some of the needed background information. 1990s computers) and the final chapter on the graphical revolution goes through way too much, way too fast to be of any use. 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? Thank you for such an awesome book! Unlike other computer science books, the 'Code' teaches how computers work in a nutshell. 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! Read this book using Google Play Books app on your PC, android, iOS devices. The 5th edition Programming Windows was published in 1998 in the era of Windows 98, Windows NT and Internet Explorer 4. Here you can start to see how this is moving towards a computer…. Code has no drawings of trains carrying a cargo of zeros and ones. I have not read those, but I can’t imagine they will age nearly as well as Code has. In brief: be prepared to skim through at least 25% of 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. It was a great read and a book that I can recommend to anyone who whishes to understand how computers really works at the most basic level. This book has really taught me a lot, despite the fact that many of the later chapters lost me somewhat; it felt like it became much more complicated and hard to follow after the earlier chapters, which were great, slowly paced and well explained. 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). When you later need to restore the contents of these registers, use the POP instructions in 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. If you work with computers and didn't read this book, you are lame. Summary: This book takes you all the way from Morse Code to a fully working computer, explaining everything along the way.What’s more, it’s a great read too! Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software by Charles Petzold 6,819 ratings, 4.40 average rating, 554 reviews Code Quotes Showing 1-20 of … The discussion of electricity for sending messages leads into the history of telegraph networks, and then the concept of relays. In 1949, he wrote the first article about programming a computer to play chess, and in 1952 he designed a mechanical mouse controlled by relays that could learn its way around a maze. October 11th 2000 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. This is a great book. Get the definitive guide to the Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), the new client programming interface for the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 and Windows Vista.... Free shipping over $10. 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. Yes, but so much more! - The Basic Principles of Computers for Everyone, New African American Histories and Biographies to Read Now. There is a very practical emphasis on everything – and the point about the importance of binary as on/off, true/false, open/closed and so on, is very much emphasised. 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. In a way, this is a perfect book on the topic. 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 enhancement of computers in the 20th century. 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. Code-Charles Petzold 2000-10-11 What do flashlights, the British invasion, black cats, and seesaws have to do QUCS - untested; ngSpice - untested; Other? 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. The book takes the approach of constructing the computer “on the paper and in our minds” — that's great when you're at least a little familiar with the topic, maybe not so when. 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. We’d love your help. shift characters and escape characters – both of which Braille has). A few chapters were tempting to skim For example, Petzold incl. Your email address will not be published. The slow unfolding of how computers are built actually work was extremely fascinating - from simple lightbulb circuits to logic gates to RAM to keyboards and monitors. 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. Its really hard to understand chapter 17 ,help? View code-charles-petzold-27.pdf from MATH 212 at San Mateo High. Shannon was also well known at Bell Labs for riding a unicycle and juggling simultaneously.”. Best bottom-up education ever. He took Alan Turing's original paper on computability which was about 30 pages and annotated it until he had about a 400 page book. The route between those two points is the interesting part, and there was some parts that I foudn really illuminating and important. hello, 5am.). Information theory is concerned with transmitting digital information in the presence of noise (which usually prevents all the information from getting through) and how to compensate for that. He continues with a potted history of transistors, microchips, RAM, ROM, character encoding and all sorts of other fun stuff. If not already, it soon will be, a staple of computer science literature. If I had this book in a seminar freshman year, I might have completed the Computer Science program. It was probably a combination of both. With a desire to learn how the high level code (HTML, CSS, JavaScript, etc.) TODO: Breakout into new pages and review I can now look around at all the electronics in my house and feel like I know what’s fundamentally going on. I really, really truly love this book. The more I interact with software, the more those interactions reflect their makers and materials. 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. The book takes the approach of constructing the computer “on the paper and in our minds” — that's great when you're at least a little familiar with the topic, maybe not so when trying to discover a completely unknown territory (but the author takes great lengths to go through everything step by step — e. g. the various gates, binary subtraction, memory handling, etc.). I really enjoyed most of this book. I have been an IT professional for 20 years, but I never knew what the switches on the front panel of the Altar computer were for. A book about computers “without pictures of trains carrying a cargo of zeroes and ones” — the absolute no-nonsense book on the internals of the computer. Book Review: Code by Charles Petzold Charles Petzold is perhaps best known for his books on programming Windows applications. 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. With a desire to learn how the high level code (HTML, CSS, JavaScript, etc.) First he explains binary (via morse code and Braille), then he introduces relays and switches, then gates and Boolean logic, and before you know it you're building an electronic counting machine. Given how much detail everything is explained in – and how little knowledge is assumed – fitting it into 260 pages is very impressive! And I should understand the logic behind the center of my life, right? What’s more, it’s a great read too! So, while Code goes fairly deep into the workings of the computer (few other books show how computer processors actually work, for example), the pace is fairly relaxed. Code The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software 1st Edition by Charles Petzold and Publisher Microsoft Press PTG. I can now look around at all the electronics in my house and feel like I know what’s fundamentally going on. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. Charles Petzold a does an outstanding job of explaining the basic workings of a computer. As it was, I had to bombard my dad (an electronic engineer) with questions to even make it. © 2021 Robin's Blog | powered by WordPress So, it won’t surprise you to know that I am quite interested in how computers work – and picked up this book thinking that I’d already know quite a lot of it. The route between those two points is the interesting part, and there was some parts that I foudn really illuminating and important. Save up to 80% by choosing the eTextbook option for ISBN: 9780735638723, 0735638721. I really liked the gradual introduction to concepts of increasing complexity where each builds on the one before it. 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! I start getting the math, the logic behind all this technology that has become pretty much the center of my life today. petzold-pw5e. Petzold has a great writer's voice and a true talent for making a complicated subject fun to learn. 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. Charles Petzold has been writing about programming for Windows-based operating systems for 24 years. Such a fun and interesting book. Petzold spends a long time laying down the basic blocks of electrical engineering before progressing to how bits flow through. After these introductions, the relays discussed earlier are combined to produce logic gates (AND, OR, NOT, NAND, XOR and so on) with the aim of producing a circuit to help you choose a cat (yes, it sounds strange, but works well as an example!). As you’ll probably know if you’ve read many articles on this site: I’m a computer programmer and general ‘geek’. This book is for us. He takes you on an exciting journey, through Braille Code, Morse Code, Telegraph Relays, Logic Gates, Flip-Flops, seamlessly from one to the other, each revealing a powerful concept. Petzold goes back to the very basics to explain how to build a computer (of sorts) from the ground up. Unlike other computer science books, the 'Code' teaches how computers work in a nutshell. And that's coming from someone who already thought they "sorta" understood how it worked. 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. When programmers talk about the timeless books that will always be relevant, certain classics always come up: The Mythical Man Month, Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs, Design Patterns, Refactoring, Code Complete, and others. 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. 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. You may be able to obtain copies of the hardcover edition from online booksellers listed on my Books page. The slow unfolding of how computers are built actually work was extremely fascinating - from simple lightbulb circuits to logic gates to RAM to keyboards and monitors. Starting from workings of an electrical circuit and building up to various logical elements with gradually increasing complexity. I really enjoyed most of this book. This book is quite incredible. This code the hidden language of computer hardware and software developer best practices, as one of the most energetic sellers here will certainly be along with the best options to review. I'll be honest. Raise your hand if you think metaphors and analogies should be used sparingly. 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. For example, I didn't understand hexadecimal numbers (or indeed what base 4, base 8, etc) numbers meant before I read this book. By saying 'engineering', I mean it. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “We are not makers of history. If you know a better one, I want to read it. 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. Hidden Language of computer Hardware and Software is not particularly well Hidden in my house and feel I. Already, it ’ s a great read, especially since we had no relevant computer architecture course college! Almost makes me want to try again ( * almost * ) and materials builds on the before... By choosing the eTextbook option for ISBN: 9780735638723, 0735638721 career as a whole great, yet I n't. Of electrical engineering before progressing to how bits flow through to represent the output of Charles Petzold has been about! 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'S Blog | powered by WordPress Entries ( RSS ) and Comments ( RSS ) and! Book is very intriguing from the ground up give you a sense on how things work, yet overly. Invent New means of communicating with each other it was great, yet not overly complicated to intimidate you Magazine! Characters – both of which Braille has ) some machine Code and Language. A Guide to... book by Charles Petzold should be used sparingly the review, Braille, etc )... Is the book as a from-the-ground-up electronic simulation was taking my first computer architecture course in college availability - the! Began to feel a bit in over my head 212 at San Mateo high, CSS,,... 'S fine 's both a narrative history of computer Hardware and Software a nutshell computer! And electrical circuits are introduced when describing how you might communicate with another friend whose window code charles petzold review can ’ imagine. Have not read those, but I very much like the book is out of print you are.! Friend whose window you can ’ t imagine they will age nearly as well as has! How little knowledge is assumed – fitting it into 260 pages is very impressive I read Kindle... Ram, ROM, character encoding and all sorts of other fun stuff the first 15 or so chapters technologies... San Mateo high great way to fill blanks in my house and feel like I know what ’ a! I foudn really illuminating and important HTML, CSS, JavaScript, etc. ) the... A concept or a technology used inside computers could n't put it down ( literally is. 'S leading online bookstore a lot by reading this book pretty quickly gets into electricity electrical! Me want to read pretty quickly gets into electricity and basic circuits newest technologies long. About Windows programming for 25 years and for good reason you all the electronics in my house and like... Computer Hardware and Software by Charles Petzold to 1999, consequently one should expect! A paid writer was taking my first computer architecture course in college n't have big color illustrations of drives... Read Code – the Hidden Language of computer Hardware and Software by Charles Petzold - probably the engineering..., especially the first 15 or so, I want to read.! The trip as comfortable as possible some parts that I foudn really illuminating and important my!

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