The code. Secret language of computer science

    The code. The secret language of computer science
    Author: Charles Petzold
    Hardcover, 512 pages.
    This book is on /

    There are quite a few books for programmers from the "must read" category and some of them have already been mentioned many times on the hub (for example, " The Perfect Code by McConnell). I have not seen so many references to the same book, although it deserves it. "Code", in my opinion, is the best book about computers, their device and - most importantly - the essence of programming. The book, not only explaining how and why computers work, but also accustoms to engineering thinking.

    First of all, the "Code" gives Understanding - exactly so, with a capital letter. Understanding that such a technically complex and multifunctional device as a computer, in fact, can only operate with zeros and ones and, moreover, at a rather primitive level (yes, we all knew this before, but the book allows us to feel it). But this is only part ... The second is a sincere admiration for what complex systems can be built using such a primitive basis. Reading chapter by chapter, I experienced the feelings that all the pioneers of the computer age must have experienced.

    On the example of flashlights, Morse code, Braille and barcodes (with an explanation of the principles of the device all this), the author introduces us to the basics of coding information. From bulbs and batteries, first we collect various seemingly trifling devices, which later turn into a full-fledged computer. And already towards the end, the author introduces readers to machine codes, assembly language, etc. Everything goes smoothly, clearly, sequentially, without incomprehensible jumps, a flurry of terrible terms and with excellent lively explanations. I admit, I have not come across such an informational and accessible book for a long time.

    A big plus is a consistent and logical presentation. You will not be blamed for the fact that "a byte is something that consists of 8 bits." You yourself and the author will come to this conclusion. The book is not limited to reporting that computers operate in a binary number system - you will receive comprehensive explanations of why this system is no less justified than decimal and why it is used in computers. We can say that the book contains all the engineering experience of the computer era and is most accessible about it.

    I would recommend reading this book to novice programmers, junior students of technical universities (which I am) and just everyone interested. I think you will not be disappointed =)

    PS: I feel that the review turned out to be somewhat messy and perhaps too "admired", but such is my personal opinion about this book. Please do not judge strictly :)

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