How Computers Work

Series
Que
Author
Ron White / Timothy Edward Downs  
Publisher
QUE Publishing
Cover
Softcover
Edition
10
Language
English
Total pages
432
Pub.-date
Dezember 2014
ISBN13
9780789749840
ISBN
078974984X
Related Titles


Product detail

Product Price CHF Available  
9780789749840
How Computers Work
45.10 approx. 7-9 days

Description

How Computers Work is a fully illustrated guide to the entire world of computing, from the bulky PC on your desktop, to your business laptop, to your ultra portable tablet, to the smartphone you use to catch up on important email and avoid getting lost on the road. It covers all the ways people use their tech, explaining everything from how Windows manages data, to how your browser streams video, to how game makers create 3D worlds. It covers virtually everything related to home networking and the Internet, how viruses and spyware can infiltrate your computer and how firewalls and antivirus programs prevent them, and how Facebook has changed how we stay in touch. This is a book that shows exactly how computers, in all their wondrous incarnations, have infiltrated and improved our lives, from the bulkiest desktop right on down to the most humble of eReaders and smartphones. There is no stone left unturned.

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

New to this Edition

Now in hardcover with lush, coffee table book paper quality!

More than ever before, How Computers Work emphasizes the world of computing. The desktop PC may not be the center of your digital world anymore, but the underlying tech is as pervasive as it's ever been. This new edition completely refocuses its coverage of technology, with a reorganized table of contents, coverage of entirely new topics, and a boatload of revised, rewritten, and re-drawn content to make this book more relevant to a society that does as much of its computing work on a smartphon or tablet as it does on a desktop or tablet. New topics include:

  • eReaders (Kindle and Nook)
  • Tablets (iPads)
  • Advances in Windows
  • Mobile operating systems (Android and iOS)
  • How flash memory and low power-consumption chips make mobile devices possible
  • Touchscreens
  • eInk displays
  • LED LCD tech
  • Fiber Internet
  • Skype
  • Texting
  • Twitter and Facebook
  • Multiplayer gaming
  • And, of course, all the existing coverage of computer hardware, from processors, to hard disks, to memory, are updated to reflect the current state of their respective techs.

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

 

Author

Ron White has been writing How Computers Work for 20 years, during which time he’s also been executive editor at PC Computing magazine, BYTE.com, and groovyPost.com. He’s been a computer columnist for Windows Sources and 80 Micro. How Computers Work was named best nonfiction computer book, and his writing has been honored by the Maggie Awards, the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards, and The National Endowment for the Humanities. He and his wife, Sue, have bounced back and forth between Boston and San Francisco before finally ending up in San Antonio.