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How Software Works by V. Anton Spraul

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6Data Compression

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Sometimes the hard work of software is obvious to everyone, as it is with movie CGI and video game graphics. You don’t have to know anything about how computers work to be impressed with the visuals in films like Avatar and games like Crysis. Sometimes, though, software is doing its most amazing work when it looks like it’s not working hard at all.

Watching a high-definition movie on a disc or streamed over the Internet is something most of us take for granted. Isn’t that just storing and displaying images? Why would that require special techniques? To understand why we should be impressed with Blu-ray video and Netflix streaming, ...

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