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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
If you’re even slightly curious about how your computer (and the networks it’s connected to) actually work, How Computers Work, 7th Edition will show you -- in grand style.
Author Ron White and illustrator Timothy Edward Downs take you under the hood of virtually every contemporary computer technology, explaining it all in plain English. Oh, heck, that’s wrong. Not “plain” English. Splendidly written, fun-to-read English.
Yes, we know: The first time you open this book, it’s the splendid full-color imagery that’ll strike you. As it should. Illustrator Timothy Edward Downs has developed a strikingly powerful style for simplifying and visually explaining even the most complicated technology. This book has hundreds of his images, many of them large enough to dominate their two-page “spreads.”
But please don’t scant the text. The marvelous chapter introductions, which give you the context you need to make sense of all this stuff. Or the image callouts, which explain what’s going on about as concisely as humanly possible.
How Computers Work, 7th Edition illuminates processors and memory; disks (including compression and defragging); software and programming languages (even compilers). You’ll go inside your DVD-ROM, your joystick, your mouse or touchpad. You’ll learn how the Web, email, and streaming media work; ditto for LANs, PDAs, color printers, scanners and OCR, speech recognition, uninterruptible power supplies...we could go on.
Plenty has happened since this book’s previous edition. And the PC stuff that people wonder about has changed a lot, too. (More wondering about the Internet. Less about the mysteries of 5¼” floppy diskettes.) Accordingly, White and Downs have overhauled their book thoroughly. You’ll find more than 50 new or heavily revised two-page spreads (as well as a new, even friendlier layout.)
If you’ve ever wondered exactly what people were talking about when they threw around the term “bandwidth,” How Computers Work, Seventh Edition will tell you.
Want to know how your digital camera works -- and how your photo printer creates such nifty prints? Curious how nodes on your network (or the Internet) connect with each other? How chat rooms and instant messaging bring people together? All that’s in here.
Wi-Fi wireless networks are covered in new detail. Intel Centrino notebooks are discussed for the first time (how did they extend battery life and squeeze even more weight out of those notebooks)?
There’s also completely new coverage of Internet security. How hackers attack your computer. How spyware steals your secrets. How viruses hitchhike inside your email...and how firewalls and other Internet security software fights back on your behalf. Oh, and our favorite: how digital signatures prove you’re you.
Also new, the price: It’s lower than the 2001 edition.
Maybe you want to learn about the innards of your PC. Or maybe you have to -- say, for a course or certification. Either way, technology’s rarely been this painless. Bill Camarda
Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks for Dummies, Second Edition.