Code : The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software, Paperback Book

Code : The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software Paperback

4.5 out of 5 (3 ratings)


What do flashlights, the British invasion, black cats, and seesaws have to do with computers?

In CODE, they show us the ingenious ways we manipulate language and invent new means of communicating with each other. And through CODE, we see how this ingenuity and our very human compulsion to communicate have driven the technological innovations of the past two centuries. Using everyday objects and familiar language systems such as Braille and Morse code, author Charles Petzold weaves an illuminating narrative for anyone who's ever wondered about the secret inner life of computers and other smart machines. It's a cleverly illustrated and eminently comprehensible story-and along the way, you'll discover you've gained a real context for understanding today's world of PCs, digital media, and the Internet.

No matter what your level of technical savvy, CODE will charm you-and perhaps even awaken the technophile within.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 400 pages, facsimiles, portraits
  • Publisher: Microsoft Press,U.S.
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Computer games: strategy guides
  • ISBN: 9780735611313



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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

Like others have said, very well written, but since I have a technical background I ended up skipping large portions of it.

Review by

Just plain excellent.

Review by

This is a wonderful book for those interested in how computers function but lacking formal education in the subject. The beauty of "Code" is that it goes back to the very beginnings of computing and builds on these bit by bit (pun intended) eventually arriving at the modern architecture of personal computers. The reader is spared the overly technical complexities, however this text is quite full-on and does not make for particularly light reading. As such I feel it is better to take one's time reading through it, as the ideas contained are quite profound and require time to sink in. It covers electrical circuitry, number systems (including binary and decimal), bits, logic, bytes, RAM, the invention of microprocessors and an introduction to operating systems and programming languages.A must read for those enthusiastic about computers who are seeking an in-depth introduction to how modern computing architecture functions.This is a book I will be re-reading in the future as the information contained here is densely packed and I am hoping to take in more of the finer details the next time I read it.