How Computers Work
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How Computers Work

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Description

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.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 384 pages
  • 200.66 x 251.46 x 22.86mm | 884.5g
  • Pearson Education (US)
  • Que Corporation,U.S.
  • United States
  • English
  • 10th edition
  • 078974984X
  • 9780789749840
  • 113,855

About Ron White

Ron White has been writing How Computers Work for 20 years, during which time he's also been executive editor at PC Computing magazine, BYTE.com, and groovyPost.com. He's been a computer columnist for Windows Sources and 80 Micro. How Computers Work was named best nonfiction computer book, and his writing has been honored by the Maggie Awards, the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards, and The National Endowment for the Humanities. He and his wife, Sue, have bounced back and forth between Boston and San Francisco before finally ending up in San Antonio.show more

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, MFshow more

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