The Pattern on the Stone: The Simple Ideas That Make Computers Work

The Pattern on the Stone: The Simple Ideas That Make Computers Work

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by W. Daniel Hillis
     
 

ISBN-10: 046502596X

ISBN-13: 9780465025961

Pub. Date: 10/28/1999

Publisher: Basic Books


Most people are baffled by how computers work and assume that they will never understand them. What they don’t realize—and what Daniel Hillis’s short book brilliantly demonstrates—is that computers’ seemingly complex operations can be broken down into a few simple parts that perform the same simple procedures over and over again.…  See more details below

Overview


Most people are baffled by how computers work and assume that they will never understand them. What they don’t realize—and what Daniel Hillis’s short book brilliantly demonstrates—is that computers’ seemingly complex operations can be broken down into a few simple parts that perform the same simple procedures over and over again. Computer wizard Hillis offers an easy-to-follow explanation of how data is processed that makes the operations of a computer seem as straightforward as those of a bicycle.Avoiding technobabble or discussions of advanced hardware, the lucid explanations and colorful anecdotes in The Pattern on the Stone go straight to the heart of what computers really do. Hillis proceeds from an outline of basic logic to clear descriptions of programming languages, algorithms, and memory. He then takes readers in simple steps up to the most exciting developments in computing today—quantum computing, parallel computing, neural networks, and self-organizing systems.Written clearly and succinctly by one of the world’s leading computer scientists, The Pattern on the Stone is an indispensable guide to understanding the workings of that most ubiquitous and important of machines: the computer.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780465025961
Publisher:
Basic Books
Publication date:
10/28/1999
Series:
Science Masters Series
Pages:
176
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Preface: Magic in the Stone
1Nuts and Bolts1
2Universal Building Blocks21
3Programming39
4How Universal Are Turing Machines?61
5Algorithms and Heuristics77
6Memory: Information and Secret Codes91
7Speed: Parallel Computers107
8Computers That Learn and Adapt121
9Beyond Engineering137
Further Reading155
Acknowledgments157
Index159

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The Pattern on the Stone: The Simple Ideas That Make Computers Work 2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Computers¿do you like them. Well W.D. Hillis¿ sure does. He wrote The Patter on the Stone, a book about telling the simple ideas that make computers work. The introduction to the book tells you about Hillis¿ views and opinions of computers and how they work. He then explains how he validates his theories and opinions. This is not an actual story but an informative book about computers seem threw Daniel¿s eyes.