Charles Petzold’s introduction to the design and working of computers, first published in 1999, aims to introduce a layman to the basic principles of computing, from language and logic through to electrical circuits.
Recommendations from our site
“It gets you to use your imagination to virtually build a computer. It’s easy to read, you can lie down on the couch and enjoy it—it’s not so much of a textbook. It demystifies the magic of a computer and what it is.” Read more...
“Code was not written for programmers. It is a unique tour through the digital technologies that make our computers work, starting with Morse code and the telegraph, and I wrote it for people who aren’t necessarily computer-savvy.
I first conceived of Code in 1987 while writing the PC Tutor column for PC Magazine. I realized it might be possible to demonstrate how computers work starting from very simple ideas, and for almost a decade I let the book take form in my head before writing a word. Code was the most difficult writing I’ve ever done. But I wanted …to write a book that might have a shelf life of more than two years, and which my family and nonprogrammer friends might want to read.”