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How Computers Work: The Evolution of Technology, Tenth Edition

Book 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.

Table of Contents

  1. About This eBook
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Dedication Page
  5. Contents at a Glance
  6. Table of Contents
  7. About the Author
  8. About the Illustrator
  9. Acknowledgments
  10. We Want to Hear From You!
  11. Reader Services
  12. About This Book
  13. Introduction to the Tenth Edition
  14. Part 1: What Makes a Computer a Computer
    1. Chapter 1. The Ghostly LEGOs of Computing
      1. How Waves Take The Universe on a Joy Ride
      2. How Information Rides the Waves
      3. How Electromagnetism Is the Ghost in the Machine
      4. How We Control Electricity
      5. How Computers Create Our World Using Numbers
    2. Chapter 2. How Computers Remember
      1. How a Little Transistor Does Big Jobs
      2. Writing Data to RAM
      3. Reading Data from RAM
      4. How Flash Memory Remembers When the Switch Is Off
    3. Chapter 3. How a Little Microprocessor Does Big Things
      1. How a Processor Tracks Numbers
      2. How a Processor Does Math
      3. How a Processor Moves Data
      4. How Multi-Core Processors Work
      5. How Desktop CPUs Keep It Complex
      6. How Mobile CPUs Keep It Simple
    4. Chapter 4. How Motherboards Conduct a Symphony of Data
      1. How a Motherboard Brings It All Together
      2. How the Chipset Directs Traffic
      3. How PCI-Express Breaks the Bus Barrier
  15. Part 2: Software—The Computer’s Own Poetry
    1. Software of the Second Millennium
    2. Killer Software
    3. Power to the Software
    4. Operating Systems And Other Software
    5. The Devolution of the OS
    6. Chapter 5. How Words Are Stitched into Programs
      1. Different Programming Languages
      2. Software Construction
      3. How a Program is a Roadmap
      4. How Software Interpreters Generate Action
      5. How a Compiler Churns out Software
    7. Chapter 6. How Applications Work So You Can Play
      1. How Text SHOUTS and Whispers
      2. How Databases Track Everything
      3. How Databases Pack it In
      4. How Databases Make Connections
      5. How Spreadsheets Solve Formulas
      6. How Numbers Become Pictures
      7. How Art Is Compressed to Save Space
      8. How Imaging Software Paints by Numbers
      9. How Photo Editors Revive Old Memories
      10. How Apps Fuel Mobile Devices
    8. Chapter 7. How Games Create New Worlds
      1. How Computers Plot a 3D World
      2. How 3D Gets Dressed
      3. How Shaders Control the World
      4. How Games Populate New Worlds
    9. Chapter 8. How Security Software Fights Off Invaders
      1. How Computer Hackers Break In
      2. How Spyware Reports Everything You Do
      3. How Viruses Invade Your Computer
      4. How Viruses Hitch Rides in Your Email
      5. How Antivirus Software Fights Back
      6. How Firewalls Keep Hackers Out
      7. How Spammers Find You
      8. How Antispam Software Sniffs out Phony Email
      9. How Prime Numbers Protect Prime Secrets
  16. Part 3: How Computers Evolve
    1. Chapter 9. The Origins of Computer DNA
      1. Fossils of the Premobilian Era
      2. Persistent Relics: The Mouse
      3. Persistent Relics: The Keyboard
      4. How the Workaday Floppy Drive Ruled
      5. How the CRT Was The Grande Dame of Displays
      6. How the Impact Printer Was Right on the Spot
      7. The Unlikely Progenitor to the Internet: The Dialup Modem
      8. How Cabling Was Worse: Serial
      9. How Cabling Was Worse: Parallel
      10. How the Power Supply Hasn’t Changed
      11. How the iPhone Made It Slick
    2. Chapter 10. How Small Mutations Pay Off Big
      1. How USB Really Is Universal
      2. How Little Bits Add Up to Big Changes
      3. How File Compression Makes Files Smaller
      4. How Solid State Drives Command the Instant
      5. How Solid State Drives Take Out the Trash
      6. How PCs Use Light to Remember
      7. How Optical Disc Drives Write with Light
    3. Chapter 11. Honey, I’ve Shrunk the PC.
      1. How Computers Get Smaller... and Better
      2. How iPods Dish Out Media
      3. How eInk Puts Words on Your eReader
      4. How All Those Smarts Got Packed into a Smartphone
      5. How Google Glass Leads to the Borg
    4. Chapter 12. The Evolution of the Super Computer
      1. How Video Cards Break the Game Barrier
      2. How Overclocking Multiplies Time
      3. How a PC Keeps It Cool
      4. How Advanced Cooling Refrigerates Your PC
      5. How Jailbreaking Frees Your Devices
    5. Chapter 13. How Cameras Capture Memories
      1. How Digital Cameras Capture the Moment
      2. How Autofocus Clears the Picture
      3. How Cameras Choose an Exposure
  17. Part 4: How Computers Expand Our Senses
    1. Chapter 14. How We Stay in Touch
      1. How Your Smartphone Knows Where You Are
      2. How Devices Recognize Our Touch
      3. How Glass Becomes Strong and Supple
      4. How Game Controllers Let You Play
      5. How Game Controllers Let You Feel the Force
      6. How Smartphones Get Good Vibrations
      7. How Devices Capture Light
      8. How a Flatbed Simplifies Scanning
      9. How Codes Keep Track of Everything (Everything!)
      10. How Optical Character Recognition Works
    2. Chapter 15. How a Computer Creates Visions
      1. How an LCD Creates Glowing Colors
      2. How Plasma Displays Glow
      3. How DLP Spins Colors
      4. How OLED Lights Up a New Generation of Displays
      5. How 3D Makes You Duck
    3. Chapter 16. How Computers Tickle Your Ears
      1. How Your Device Listens
      2. How Speakers Sound Off
      3. How Digital Sound Tricks Your Ear
      4. How 3D Audio Surrounds You
  18. Part 5: The Little Net That Grew
    1. Chapter 17. How Networks Tie Computers Together
      1. How Computers Connect to Each Other
      2. How Data Travels Between Computers
      3. How Wi-Fi Makes the Internet Portable
      4. How Bluetooth Keeps Devices Connected
      5. How NFC Lets Smart Devices Make Close Calls
    2. Chapter 18. How the Internet Brings Us the World
      1. How Broadband Crams in the Data
      2. How DSL Turbocharges a Phone Line
      3. How Cable Brings the Internet to Your Neighborhood
      4. How Fiber Optics Lights Up the Future
      5. How Computers Make Phone Calls
      6. How Cellular Evolved
      7. How Networks Talk with Each Other
      8. How Information Travels the Internet
      9. How Online Services Serenade You
      10. How Movies Flow into Your Home
    3. Chapter 19. How the Web Puts It All at Your Fingertips
      1. How a Browser Opens Pages
      2. How a Browser Displays Web Pages
      3. How Cookies Trade Crumbs of Data
      4. How Google Knows Everything
      5. How eBay Sells Everything
    4. Chapter 20. How We Keep in Touch the Internet Way
      1. How Email Outraces Snail Mail
      2. How Facebook Lets Your Cat Go Viral
      3. How Twitter Changes Communication
      4. How Internet File Sharing Works
      5. How BitTorrents Spread the Wealth
      6. How Clouds Encompass Us All
  19. Part 6: How Printers Put Data in Our Hands
    1. Chapter 21. How Black and White Printing Works
      1. How Printers Make Cookie Cutter Text
      2. How Outline Fonts Set the Imagination Free
      3. How a Printer Writes with Light
    2. Chapter 22. Printing Gutenberg Never Imagined
      1. How Printers Create Color
      2. How an Ink-Jet Sprays Images
      3. How a Printer Spits Out Photographs
      4. How a Laser Printer Creates in Color
      5. How a Solid Ink Color Printer Works
      6. How Printers Create in 3D
  20. Part 7: So, What’s Next?
    1. Quantum
    2. Quantum Dots
    3. Deep Learning
    4. Graphene
    5. 3D Printing
  21. Index
  22. Code Snippets