File Size: 194850 KB
Print Length: 384 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
Publisher: Que Publishing; 1 edition (January 30, 2015)
Publication Date: December 10, 2014
Sold by: Digital Services LLC
Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
X-Ray for Textbooks: Enabled
Word Wise: Not Enabled
Lending: Not Enabled
Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
Best Sellers Rank: #64,067 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store) #2 in Books > Computers & Technology > Programming > Software Design, Testing & Engineering > Performance Optimization #23 in Books > Computers & Technology > Hardware & DIY > Personal Computers > PCs #54 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Computers & Technology > Hardware
I bought my grandson, a college freshman majoring in informatics, this book as a gift: How Computers Work (10th Ed.) by Ron White, First Printing, Dec. 2014. I pre-ordered it from back in November, 2014, and it did arrive in time for the holidays.While I applaud the effort and book overall, having owned several editions in the past, there are fundamental errors early in this first printing that could erode reader confidence, since the mistakes are so basic. I imagine this edition was rushed to press prior to the holiday season, and frankly, it shows.Now I must explain to my grandson the mistakes, and apologize.Here's just a sample of what I've found so far in Part 1:1. A table is not a computer, but a tablet such as an iPad is: Page 5, last paragraph: "--mainframe, desktop, table, digital music player, ... " ???2. P. 13, image 3, 4th sentence is not a sentence and doesn't help the explanation: "Resistance is how the material which the electricity is flowing." ???3. P. 15, image 5. The image of the rheostat is confusing and makes the opposite point it should. The way it is drawn, it contradicts the text. In fact, as the knob is turned clockwise, the amount of resistance should increase, not decrease as depicted in the image. When the knob in the diagram, as drawn, is turned clockwise, there is MORE resistive wire to travel through. The current out would therefore decrease. And that's just backwards to how knobs on radios and stereos normally work. Turning clockwise will increase the current out, not decrease it. Duh? See: https://www.google.com/search?q=how+does+a+rheostat+work&espv=2&biw=731&bih=387&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=SzKtVI3mOoOnyQTDz4KoBg&ved=0CDAQsAQ&dpr=1.754. P.
I have personally been involved with computers and computer technology since 1960, from huge IBM mainframes and the initial Apple and IBM compatible PCs, to the current host of devices that allow almost everyone instant worldwide communication and access to virtually unlimited information. The evolution of this technology has been mind boggling. My former knowledge and expertise on the leading edge of this field is now lost to newer generations of science, children, and grandchildren. This book explains in simple terms with excellent illustrations the basics of computer technology.The New Jersey Computer Club, of which I am President, no longer builds, repairs, or programs computers, but tries to assist seniors in learning about, purchasing, and using computer related products. Many only want an inexpensive way to communicate by email or text with others, or to share pictures, or get information, or hear music or watch videos, and/or live in a world with online shopping and banking. But many others want to know why and how everything works. This book answers those basic questions, and introduces the concepts and terminology for further investigation.It's not a text that you must read cover to cover, getting lost in details along the way. It is a series of short well explained articles that you can peruse in any order that interests you. Today you may want to know about computer components; tomorrow the Internet; or maybe digital cameras or smart-phones. This is a great place to start. It is leisurely reading for everyone, and not a manual on a specific topic. The book title might be better, as “How Computer Technology Works” to differentiate it from prior editions that focused more on just computers.
Who can use this book:Average Joe: noGrandma: noHigh school student: above average student requiredHigh school class text: maybeUniversity class text: too general but maybe for a non-cs student elective courseThis is a hard review to write. This book is trying to fill a difficult void in the computer science wold: how to make an accessible book for the masses about how a computer works without getting too bogged down in the details. I would say that it has failed. It is far from accessible for the everyday Joe and here is why. Besides many of the embarrassing mistakes noted by other reviewers (it is rather comical how many there are) there are umpteen examples of the author using technical words out of the blue. On almost every page in the first half of the book he tries to explain things with short paragraphs and bullet points. The explanations are full of words that the everyday Joe just wouldn't know. For example the explanation of how an ssd hard drive works is an utter failure. The image doesn't help you understand what is written and what is written confuses you. There are many highlighted words on the pages, however most are not explained. It's more like: here are some important words - go online to learn about them. To solve this he simply need to add a glossary at the end of the book. On top of all this a few of the images in the book make the text unreadable. The color choice of dark blue images behind black text is never a good choice.I teach high school cs and read this book to see if I could use it. In its current form I could because I could provide a glossary. The every day Joe could not.
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