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How Computers Work, 10th Edition

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How Computers Work, 10th Edition

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About

Features

  • Lush, full-color illustrations on every page make learning about PC technology fun and easy
  • One of the bestselling, longest-running PC books every written, revised!
  • Completely updated with many all new illustrations and topics, including smartphones, social media apps and the hottest new game systems

Description

  • Copyright 2015
  • Dimensions: 8" x 10"
  • Pages: 384
  • Edition: 10th
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-7897-4984-X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-7897-4984-0

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.

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Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

How Motherboards Conduct a Symphony of Data

Sample Pages

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Introduction ...............................................................................................................xvii

Part 1: What Makes a Computer a Computer 2

Chapter 1: The Ghostly LEGOs of Computing .................................................................6

    How Waves Take the Universe on a Joy Ride .........................................................8

    How Information Rides the Waves ......................................................................10

    How Electromagnetism Is the Ghost in the Machine .............................................12

    How We Control Electricity ................................................................................14

    How Computers Create Our World Using Numbers .............................................16

Chapter 2: How Computers Remember ........................................................................18

    How a Little Transistor Does Big Jobs ..................................................................20

    Writing Data to RAM ........................................................................................22

    Reading Data from RAM ...................................................................................24

    How Flash Memory Remembers When the Switch is Off ......................................26

Chapter 3: How a Little Microprocessor Does Big Things ...............................................28

    How a Processor Tracks Numbers .......................................................................32

    How a Processor Does Math ..............................................................................34

    How a Processor Moves Data ............................................................................36

    How Multi-Core Processors Work .......................................................................38

    How Desktop CPUs Keep It Complex ..................................................................40

    How Mobile CPUs Keep It Simple .......................................................................41

Chapter 4: How Motherboards Conduct a Symphony of Data .........................................42

    How a Motherboard Brings It All Together ..........................................................46

    How the Chipset Directs Traffic ...........................................................................48

    How PCI-Express Breaks the Bus Barrier ..............................................................50

Part 2: Software—The Computer’s Own Poetry 52

Chapter 5: How Words Are Stitched into Programs .......................................................64

    How a Program Is a Roadmap ...........................................................................68

    How Software Interpreters Generate Action.........................................................70

    How a Compiler Churns Out Software ................................................................72

Chapter 6: How Applications Work So You Can Play ....................................................74

    How Text SHOUTS and Whispers ......................................................................76

    How Databases Track Everything .......................................................................78

    How Databases Pack it In ..................................................................................80

    How Databases Make Connections ....................................................................82

    How Spreadsheets Solve Formulas .....................................................................84

    How Numbers Become Pictures ..........................................................................86

    How Art Is Compressed to Save Space ...............................................................88

    How Imaging Software Paints by Numbers .........................................................90

    How Photo Editors Revive Old Memories ............................................................92

    How Apps Fuel Mobile Devices ..........................................................................94

Chapter 7: How Games Create New Worlds ................................................................96

    How Computers Plot a 3D World .......................................................................98

    How 3D Gets Dressed .....................................................................................100

    How Shaders Control the World .......................................................................102

    How Games Populate New Worlds ..................................................................104

Chapter 8: How Security Software Fights Off Invaders ................................................106

    How Computer Hackers Break In ......................................................................108

    How Spyware Reports Everything You Do .........................................................110

    How Viruses Invade Your Computer ..................................................................112

    How Viruses Hitch Rides in Your Email ..............................................................114

    How Antivirus Software Fights Back ..................................................................116

    How Firewalls Keep Hackers Out .....................................................................118

    How Spammers Find You .................................................................................120

    How Antispam Software Sniffs Out Phony Email ................................................122

    How Prime Numbers Protect Prime Secrets ........................................................124

Part 3: How Computers Evolve 126

Chapter 9: The Origins of Computer DNA .................................................................130

    Fossils of the Premobilian Era ...........................................................................132

    Persistent Relics: The Mouse .............................................................................134

    Persistent Relics: The Keyboard ........................................................................136

    How the Workaday Floppy Drive Ruled ............................................................138

    How the CRT Was the Grande Dame of Displays ...............................................140

    How the Impact Printer Was Right on the Spot ...................................................142

    The Unlikely Progenitor to the Internet: The Dialup Modem .................................144

    How Cabling Was Worse: Serial ......................................................................146

    How Cabling Was Worse: Parallel ...................................................................148

    How the Power Supply Hasn’t Changed ............................................................150

    How the iPhone Made It Slick ...........................................................................152

Chapter 10: How Small Mutations Pay Off Big ............................................................154

    How USB Really Is Universal ............................................................................156

    How Little Bits Add Up to Big Changes ..............................................................158

    How File Compression Makes Files Smaller .......................................................160

    How Solid State Drives Command the Instant ....................................................162

    How Solid State Drives Take Out the Trash ........................................................163

    How PCs Use Light to Remember ......................................................................164

    How Optical Disc Drives Write with Light ..........................................................166

Chapter 11: Honey, I’ve Shrunk the PC... ....................................................................168

    How Computers Get Smaller… and Better .........................................................170

    How iPods Dish Out Media ..............................................................................172

    How eInk Puts Words on Your eReader .............................................................174

    How All Those Smarts Got Packed into a Smartphone ........................................176

    How Google Glass Makes Us Cyborgs .............................................................178

Chapter 12: Evolution of the Super Computer .............................................................180

    How Video Cards Break the Game Barrier ........................................................182

    How Overclocking Multiplies Time ....................................................................184

    How a PC Keeps Its Cool .................................................................................186

    How Advanced Cooling Refrigerates Your PC ....................................................188

    How Jailbreaking Frees Your Devices ................................................................190

Chapter 13: How Cameras Capture Memories ............................................................192

    How Digital Cameras Capture the Moment .......................................................194

    How Autofocus Clears the Picture .....................................................................196

    How Cameras Choose an Exposure ..................................................................198

Part 4: How Computers Expand Our Senses 200

Chapter 14: How We Stay in Touch ............................................................................204

    How Your Smartphone Knows Where You Are ..................................................206

    How Devices Recognize Our Touch ..................................................................208

    How Glass Becomes Strong and Supple ............................................................209

    How Game Controllers Let You Play ..................................................................210

    How Game Controllers Let You Feel the Force ....................................................212

    How Smartphones Get Good Vibrations ...........................................................214

    How Devices Capture Light ..............................................................................216

    How a Flatbed Simplifies Scanning ..................................................................218

    How Codes Keep Track of Everything (Everything!) ............................................220

    How Optical Character Recognition Works .......................................................222

Chapter 15: How a Computer Creates Visions ............................................................224

    How an LCD Creates Glowing Colors ...............................................................226

    How Plamsa Displays Glow .............................................................................228

    How DLP Spins Colors .....................................................................................230

    How OLED Lights Up a New Generation of Displays ..........................................232

    How 3D Makes You Duck ................................................................................234

Chapter 16: How Computers Tickle Your Ears .............................................................238

    How Your Device Listens ..................................................................................240

    How Speakers Sound Off ................................................................................242

    How Digital Sound Tricks Your Ear ...................................................................244

    How 3D Audio Surrounds You .........................................................................246

Part 5: The Little Net That Grew 248

Chapter 17: How Networks Tie Computers Together ....................................................254

    How Computers Connect to Each Other ............................................................256

    How Data Travels Between Computers ..............................................................258

    How Wi-Fi Makes the Internet Portable .............................................................260

    How Bluetooth Keeps Devices Connected ..........................................................262

    How NFC Lets Smart Devices Make Close Calls .................................................264

Chapter 18: How the Internet Brings Us the World .......................................................266

    How Broadband Crams in the Data ..................................................................268

    How DSL Turbocharges a Phone Line ................................................................270

    How Cable Brings the Internet to Your Neighborhood ........................................272

    How Fiber Optics Lights Up the Future ..............................................................274

    How Computers Make Phone Calls ...................................................................276

    How Cellular Evolved ......................................................................................277

    How Networks Talk with Each Other .................................................................278

    How Information Travels the Internet .................................................................280

    How Online Services Serenade You ..................................................................282

    How Movies Flow into Your Home ....................................................................284

Chapter 19: How the Web Puts It All at Your Fingertips ...............................................286

    How a Browser Opens Pages ...........................................................................288

    How a Browser Displays Web Pages ................................................................290

    How Cookies Trade Crumbs of Data .................................................................292

    How Google Knows Everything ........................................................................294

    How eBay Sells Everything ...............................................................................296

Chapter 20: How We Keep in Touch the Internet Way ..................................................298

    How Email Outraces Snail Mail........................................................................300

    How Facebook Lets Your Cat Go Viral ..............................................................302

    How Twitter Changes Communication ...............................................................304

    How Internet File Sharing Works ......................................................................306

    How BitTorrents Spread the Wealth ..................................................................308

    How Clouds Encompass Us All .........................................................................310

Part 6: How Printers Put Data in Our Hands 312

Chapter 21: How Black and White Printing Works ......................................................316

    How Printers Make Cookie Cutter Text ..............................................................318

    How Outline Fonts Set the Imagination Free ......................................................320

    How a Printer Writes with Light ........................................................................322

Chapter 22: Printing Gutenberg Never Imagined ........................................................324

    How Printers Create Color ...............................................................................326

    Ho an Ink-jet Sprays Images ............................................................................328

    How a Printer Spits Out Photographs ................................................................330

    How a Laser Printer Creates in Color ................................................................332

    How a Solid Ink Color Printer Works ................................................................334

    How Printers Create in 3D ...............................................................................336

Part 7: So, What’s Next? 338

9780789749840, 10/31/2014, MF

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