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How Computers Work / Edition 10
     

How Computers Work / Edition 10

4.0 1
by Ron White, Timothy Edward Downs
 

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ISBN-10: 078974984X

ISBN-13: 9780789749840

Pub. Date: 12/22/2014

Publisher: Que

The Evolution of Technology

Having sold more than 2 million copies over its lifetime, How Computers Work is the definitive illustrated guide to the world of PCs and technology. In this new edition, you’ll find detailed information not just about PCs, but about how changes in technology have evolved the giant, expensive computer dinosaurs of last

Overview

The Evolution of Technology

Having sold more than 2 million copies over its lifetime, How Computers Work is the definitive illustrated guide to the world of PCs and technology. In this new edition, you’ll find detailed information not just about PCs, but about how changes in technology have evolved the giant, expensive computer dinosaurs of last century into the smaller but more powerful smartphones, tablets, and wearable computing of today. Whether your interest is in business, gaming, digital photography, entertainment, communications, or security, you’ll learn how computing is evolving the way you live.

A full-color, illustrated adventure into the wonders of TECHNOLOOGY

This full-color, fully illustrated guide to the world of technology assumes nothing and explains everything. Only the accomplished and award-winning team of writer Ron White and artist Tim Downs has the unique ability to meld descriptive text with one-of-a-kind visuals to fully explain how the electronic gear we depend on every day is made possible. In addition to all the content you’ve come to expect from prior editions, this newly revised edition includes all-new coverage of topics such as:

• How smartphones and tablet PCs put the power of a desktop computer in your hands–literally

• How computing technology is linking our homes, work place, entertainment, and daily communications

• How advances such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, eBay, and smartphones are expanding our universe of friends, knowledge, and opportunity

• How increased miniaturization leads to new products, such as smartphone, smartwatches, and Google Glass

• How computing technology takes advantages of quantum physics and innovations no one even imagined a few years ago

For two decades, How Computers Work has helped newbies understand new technology, while hackers and IT pros have treasured it for the depth of knowledge it contains. This is the perfect book about computing to capture your imagination, delight your eyes, and expand your mind, no matter what your technical level!

Beautifully detailed illustrations and jargon-free explanations walk you through the technology that is shaping our lives. See the hidden workings inside computers, smartphones, tablets, Google Glass, and the latest tech inventions.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780789749840
Publisher:
Que
Publication date:
12/22/2014
Series:
How It Works Series
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
124,342
Product dimensions:
7.90(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Introduction ...............................................................................................................xvii

Part 1: What Makes a Computer a Computer 2

Chapter 1: The Ghostly LEGOs of Computing .................................................................6

How Waves Take the Universe on a Joy Ride .........................................................8

How Information Rides the Waves ......................................................................10

How Electromagnetism Is the Ghost in the Machine .............................................12

How We Control Electricity ................................................................................14

How Computers Create Our World Using Numbers .............................................16

Chapter 2: How Computers Remember ........................................................................18

How a Little Transistor Does Big Jobs ..................................................................20

Writing Data to RAM ........................................................................................22

Reading Data from RAM ...................................................................................24

How Flash Memory Remembers When the Switch is Off ......................................26

Chapter 3: How a Little Microprocessor Does Big Things ...............................................28

How a Processor Tracks Numbers .......................................................................32

How a Processor Does Math ..............................................................................34

How a Processor Moves Data ............................................................................36

How Multi-Core Processors Work .......................................................................38

How Desktop CPUs Keep It Complex ..................................................................40

How Mobile CPUs Keep It Simple .......................................................................41

Chapter 4: How Motherboards Conduct a Symphony of Data .........................................42

How a Motherboard Brings It All Together ..........................................................46

How the Chipset Directs Traffic ...........................................................................48

How PCI-Express Breaks the Bus Barrier ..............................................................50

Part 2: Software—The Computer’s Own Poetry 52

Chapter 5: How Words Are Stitched into Programs .......................................................64

How a Program Is a Roadmap ...........................................................................68

How Software Interpreters Generate Action.........................................................70

How a Compiler Churns Out Software ................................................................72

Chapter 6: How Applications Work So You Can Play ....................................................74

How Text SHOUTS and Whispers ......................................................................76

How Databases Track Everything .......................................................................78

How Databases Pack it In ..................................................................................80

How Databases Make Connections ....................................................................82

How Spreadsheets Solve Formulas .....................................................................84

How Numbers Become Pictures ..........................................................................86

How Art Is Compressed to Save Space ...............................................................88

How Imaging Software Paints by Numbers .........................................................90

How Photo Editors Revive Old Memories ............................................................92

How Apps Fuel Mobile Devices ..........................................................................94

Chapter 7: How Games Create New Worlds ................................................................96

How Computers Plot a 3D World .......................................................................98

How 3D Gets Dressed .....................................................................................100

How Shaders Control the World .......................................................................102

How Games Populate New Worlds ..................................................................104

Chapter 8: How Security Software Fights Off Invaders ................................................106

How Computer Hackers Break In ......................................................................108

How Spyware Reports Everything You Do .........................................................110

How Viruses Invade Your Computer ..................................................................112

How Viruses Hitch Rides in Your Email ..............................................................114

How Antivirus Software Fights Back ..................................................................116

How Firewalls Keep Hackers Out .....................................................................118

How Spammers Find You .................................................................................120

How Antispam Software Sniffs Out Phony Email ................................................122

How Prime Numbers Protect Prime Secrets ........................................................124

Part 3: How Computers Evolve 126

Chapter 9: The Origins of Computer DNA .................................................................130

Fossils of the Premobilian Era ...........................................................................132

Persistent Relics: The Mouse .............................................................................134

Persistent Relics: The Keyboard ........................................................................136

How the Workaday Floppy Drive Ruled ............................................................138

How the CRT Was the Grande Dame of Displays ...............................................140

How the Impact Printer Was Right on the Spot ...................................................142

The Unlikely Progenitor to the Internet: The Dialup Modem .................................144

How Cabling Was Worse: Serial ......................................................................146

How Cabling Was Worse: Parallel ...................................................................148

How the Power Supply Hasn’t Changed ............................................................150

How the iPhone Made It Slick ...........................................................................152

Chapter 10: How Small Mutations Pay Off Big ............................................................154

How USB Really Is Universal ............................................................................156

How Little Bits Add Up to Big Changes ..............................................................158

How File Compression Makes Files Smaller .......................................................160

How Solid State Drives Command the Instant ....................................................162

How Solid State Drives Take Out the Trash ........................................................163

How PCs Use Light to Remember ......................................................................164

How Optical Disc Drives Write with Light ..........................................................166

Chapter 11: Honey, I’ve Shrunk the PC... ....................................................................168

How Computers Get Smaller… and Better .........................................................170

How iPods Dish Out Media ..............................................................................172

How eInk Puts Words on Your eReader .............................................................174

How All Those Smarts Got Packed into a Smartphone ........................................176

How Google Glass Makes Us Cyborgs .............................................................178

Chapter 12: Evolution of the Super Computer .............................................................180

How Video Cards Break the Game Barrier ........................................................182

How Overclocking Multiplies Time ....................................................................184

How a PC Keeps Its Cool .................................................................................186

How Advanced Cooling Refrigerates Your PC ....................................................188

How Jailbreaking Frees Your Devices ................................................................190

Chapter 13: How Cameras Capture Memories ............................................................192

How Digital Cameras Capture the Moment .......................................................194

How Autofocus Clears the Picture .....................................................................196

How Cameras Choose an Exposure ..................................................................198

Part 4: How Computers Expand Our Senses 200

Chapter 14: How We Stay in Touch ............................................................................204

How Your Smartphone Knows Where You Are ..................................................206

How Devices Recognize Our Touch ..................................................................208

How Glass Becomes Strong and Supple ............................................................209

How Game Controllers Let You Play ..................................................................210

How Game Controllers Let You Feel the Force ....................................................212

How Smartphones Get Good Vibrations ...........................................................214

How Devices Capture Light ..............................................................................216

How a Flatbed Simplifies Scanning ..................................................................218

How Codes Keep Track of Everything (Everything!) ............................................220

How Optical Character Recognition Works .......................................................222

Chapter 15: How a Computer Creates Visions ............................................................224

How an LCD Creates Glowing Colors ...............................................................226

How Plamsa Displays Glow .............................................................................228

How DLP Spins Colors .....................................................................................230

How OLED Lights Up a New Generation of Displays ..........................................232

How 3D Makes You Duck ................................................................................234

Chapter 16: How Computers Tickle Your Ears .............................................................238

How Your Device Listens ..................................................................................240

How Speakers Sound Off ................................................................................242

How Digital Sound Tricks Your Ear ...................................................................244

How 3D Audio Surrounds You .........................................................................246

Part 5: The Little Net That Grew 248

Chapter 17: How Networks Tie Computers Together ....................................................254

How Computers Connect to Each Other ............................................................256

How Data Travels Between Computers ..............................................................258

How Wi-Fi Makes the Internet Portable .............................................................260

How Bluetooth Keeps Devices Connected ..........................................................262

How NFC Lets Smart Devices Make Close Calls .................................................264

Chapter 18: How the Internet Brings Us the World .......................................................266

How Broadband Crams in the Data ..................................................................268

How DSL Turbocharges a Phone Line ................................................................270

How Cable Brings the Internet to Your Neighborhood ........................................272

How Fiber Optics Lights Up the Future ..............................................................274

How Computers Make Phone Calls ...................................................................276

How Cellular Evolved ......................................................................................277

How Networks Talk with Each Other .................................................................278

How Information Travels the Internet .................................................................280

How Online Services Serenade You ..................................................................282

How Movies Flow into Your Home ....................................................................284

Chapter 19: How the Web Puts It All at Your Fingertips ...............................................286

How a Browser Opens Pages ...........................................................................288

How a Browser Displays Web Pages ................................................................290

How Cookies Trade Crumbs of Data .................................................................292

How Google Knows Everything ........................................................................294

How eBay Sells Everything ...............................................................................296

Chapter 20: How We Keep in Touch the Internet Way ..................................................298

How Email Outraces Snail Mail........................................................................300

How Facebook Lets Your Cat Go Viral ..............................................................302

How Twitter Changes Communication ...............................................................304

How Internet File Sharing Works ......................................................................306

How BitTorrents Spread the Wealth ..................................................................308

How Clouds Encompass Us All .........................................................................310

Part 6: How Printers Put Data in Our Hands 312

Chapter 21: How Black and White Printing Works ......................................................316

How Printers Make Cookie Cutter Text ..............................................................318

How Outline Fonts Set the Imagination Free ......................................................320

How a Printer Writes with Light ........................................................................322

Chapter 22: Printing Gutenberg Never Imagined ........................................................324

How Printers Create Color ...............................................................................326

Ho an Ink-jet Sprays Images ............................................................................328

How a Printer Spits Out Photographs ................................................................330

How a Laser Printer Creates in Color ................................................................332

How a Solid Ink Color Printer Works ................................................................334

How Printers Create in 3D ...............................................................................336

Part 7: So, What’s Next? 338

9780789749840, 10/31/2014, MF

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How Computers Work 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Impact88 More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent book on several levels, and I do sincerely recommend it to anyone who wants to know more about what's going on inside their computers or similar high tech microprocessor based devices. It's extremely readable, with skilled writing that holds one's interest; not an easy task considering the complexity of the subjects it covers. In addition, the illustrations and graphics are absolutely exquisite, with page layouts that don't overwhelm the reader as he or she proceeds. In my opinion, the artwork alone is justification for having this book at hand. The one aspect of this book that disappointed me was the inclusion of a few errors that should have never made it into print, and that's my reason for a four star rating rather than five. Such statements as "16 bits in a binary number yields 256 different combinations" when only 8 bits is required to do so, just don't belong in a book that's likely to be the first exposure to computer technology for many people. The book does so many things well that such basic mistakes as the ones I noticed are even more obviously out of character. That said, however, the positive points outweigh the negative, and it's an enjoyable and informative read.