How Computers Work

How Computers Work

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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 every last component of hardware found inside your PC, but also in-depth explanations about home networking, the Internet, PC security, and even how cell phone networks operate. Whether you're interested in how the latest graphics cards power today's most demanding games or how a digital camera turns light into data, you'll find your answers right here.



Ron White is a former executive editor and columnist for PC Computing, where he developed the visual concept behind How Computers Work. Founder of one of the

earliest PC user groups, he has been writing about computers for 25 years and is known for building wildly extreme computers.



Timothy Edward Downs is an award-winning magazine designer, illustrator, and photographer. He has directed and designed several national consumer, business, technology, and

lifestyle magazines, always infusing a sense of "how it works" into every project.



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 Ron White and award-winning Tim Downs have 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 tablet PCs put the power of a PC quite literally in your hands

* How Windows Vista makes your Windows desktop translucent and makes your PC more secure

* How advances in optical disc technology such as dual-layer DVD, HD-DVD, and Blu-Ray discs continue to push the envelope

* How Apple's new iPhone is revolutionizing what cell phones can do

* How BitTorrent technology enables anyone to share information with everyone



For a decade, How Computers Work has helped newbies understand new technology, while at the same time 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!



Category: General Computing

Covers: PCs/Hardware

User Level: Beginning-Intermediate
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Product details

  • Paperback | 464 pages
  • 202 x 252 x 22mm | 1,079.54g
  • Que Corporation,U.S.
  • Indianapolis, IN, United States
  • English
  • 9th edition
  • Illustrations (chiefly col.)
  • 0789736136
  • 9780789736130
  • 152,159

Back cover copy

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 every last component of hardware found inside your PC, but also in-depth explanations about home networking, the Internet, PC security, and even how cell phone networks operate. Whether you're interested in how the latest graphics cards power today's most demanding games or how a digital camera turns light into data, you'll find your answers right here. Ron White is a former executive editor and columnist for "PC Computing," where he developed the visual concept behind How Computers Work. Founder of one of the earliest PC user groups, he has been writing about computers for 25 years and is known for building wildly extreme computers. Timothy Edward Downs is an award-winning magazine designer, illustrator, and photographer. He has directed and designed several national consumer, business, technology, and lifestyle magazines, always infusing a sense of "how it works" into every project. 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 Ron White and award-winning Tim Downs have 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 tablet PCs put the power of a PC quite literally in your hands - How Windows Vista makes your Windows desktop translucent and makes your PC more secure - How advances in optical disc technology such as dual-layer DVD, HD-DVD, and Blu-Ray discs continue to push the envelope - How Apple's new iPhone is revolutionizing what cell phones can do - How BitTorrent technology enables anyone to share information with everyone For a decade, "How Computers Work "has helped newbies understand new technology, while at the same time 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! Category: General Computing Covers: PCs/Hardware User Level: Beginning-Intermediate
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Table of contents

Introduction.....xii



Part 1: Boot-Up Process.....2

Chapter 1 Getting to Know the Hardware.....10

Chapter 2 How Circuits Juggle Data.....20

Chapter 3 How a PC Comes Alive.....30

Chapter 4 How an Operating System Controls Hardware.....36



Part 2: How Microchips are the PC's Brain.....46

Chapter 5 How Transistors Manipulate Data.....52

Chapter 6 How a Microprocessor Works.....62



Part 3: How Software Works.....80

Chapter 7 How Programming Languages Work.....94

Chapter 8 How Windows Works.....104

Chapter 9 How Software Applications Do Your Work.....118



Part 4: Data Storage.....146

Chapter 10 How a Computer's Long-Term Memory Works.....154

Chapter 11 How Disk Drives Save Information.....166

Chapter 12 How Little Things Make Drives Faster and Bigger.....176

Chapter 13 How PCs Use Light to Remember Data.....184



Part 5: Input/Output Devices.....194

Chapter 14 How Data Gets Into Your PC.....202

Chapter 15 How Scanners Capture Words and Images.....212

Chapter 16 How Computers Use Power.....220

Chapter 17 How Serial Ports Triumph.....228

Chapter 18 How a Computer Display Works.....242

Chapter 19 How Digital Photography Works.....252



Part 6: Games and Multimedia.....260

Chapter 20 How Multimedia Sound Works.....266

Chapter 21 How Multimedia Video Works.....278

Chapter 22 How Game Hardware Puts You In the Action.....286

Chapter 23 How Games Create 3D Worlds.....296



Part 7: How the Internet Works.....306

Chapter 24 How Local Area Networks Work.....314

Chapter 25 How PCs Connect to the Internet.....324

Chapter 26 How the Internet Moves Data.....332

Chapter 27 How We Reach Each Other Through the Net.....338

Chapter 28 How Wireless Sets PCs Free.....350

Chapter 29 How the Net Provides Video and Audio on Demand.....360

Chapter 30 How the World Wide Web Works.....366

Chapter 31 How Internet Security Fights Off PC Invaders.....378



Part 8: How Printers Work.....398

Chapter 32 How Black-and-White Printing Works.....404

Chapter 33 How Color Printing Works.....414



Index.....426
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About Ron White

About the Author

RON WHITE

is the former executive editor of PC Computing magazine, where he developed the popular How It Works illustration to explain the new technologies that were emerging in computing at a prodigious rate. He is also the author of the best-selling How Digital Photography Works, and books on software, MP3, and digital cameras. His writing and photography have appeared in some of the leading magazines in the nation. He can be reached at ron@ronwhite.com.



About the Illustrator

TIMOTHY EDWARD DOWNS is the national award-winning illustrator of How Computers Work and How Digital Photography Works. Tim has been involved in all facets of graphic design in his illustrious career. From illustrator to creative director, Tim has led teams of artists and designers in advertising agencies, marketing communications firms, and consumer magazines to better tell their stories through illustration, photography, typography, and design. "Our job doesn't start when the writer hits Save. In order to effectively communicate the tone or the concept of the piece, we need to know and understand the story from the original brainstorm all the way through final execution," reminds Tim. Examples of Tim's design, illustration, and photographic work can be seen at http://www.timothyedwarddowns.com.
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Rating details

261 ratings
3.86 out of 5 stars
5 31% (81)
4 37% (97)
3 21% (56)
2 8% (22)
1 2% (5)
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