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The Cartoon Guide to Computers [Paperback]

Larry Gonick
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: HarperReference; New edition edition (31 Aug 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062730975
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062730978
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 18.3 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 504,868 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Synopsis

Elementary computer science is de-mystified, illustrated and simplified in this book that looks at computers via the medium of cartoons. The book takes a humourous look at the rudiments of computers and computer language, whilst taking a solidly scientific and accurate introduction to the complexities of computer science. The history of the subject is included as well as related topics such as Boolian algebra, the binary system, and simple programming in BASIC.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Learning can't be any funnier or more creative 3 Mar 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Covers from logic (gate) design up through floating point and (Shannon) communication theory with flair for humor && information. Best used as a light read OR semester course introducing computing for ages 4 & up.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Out of fashion but still a master work!!! 22 July 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
All Larry Gonick's stuff is a must for anyone willing to just learn or even to improve teaching skills. That's my case and I'm collecting all his stuff, Reading and re-Reading in order to be a better teacher!!
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Old Text, but still very Relevant 31 Mar 2005
By 1. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book will not help you design applications around XML, nor show you how to use the SDK/IDE's for Java, C++/C#, etc. Nor will it explain how to write drivers for new devices, it is an excellent survey and introduction to the core concepts of information technologies.

The text includes some humor, and some history. But it clearly explains the basics of information theory, and logical operations. While computing hardware and software has become more complex and subtle, the data algorithms and logical operations performed have not changed since 1950. What has changed is the speed and degree of parallelism that is used to increase hardware and software performance (speed and power).

The cartoon format makes the book appear much less instructive than it actually is. But the illustraions clarify the text, as if to remind readers that a picture is worth many words. Unlike most hardcover texts, this one is likely to be read by bright or curious kids (the ones who go ot to excel in life). So, it's actually a much better book for teaching than most of the others offered by publishers (because students pick it up to read on their own).

Try this test: ask someone about computing, calculation theory, and logical operations before AND after they read this book. You might be surprised at how much they learn -- it even works on those adults and old people who never seem to be able to learn anything.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A nice history, but out of date. 26 April 2004
By Dave_42 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"The Cartoon Guide to the Computer" by Larry Gonick is another of his informative cartoons about different subjects. This book was originally titled "The Cartoon Guide to Computer Science", and was published in 1983. So much has happened in the world of computers since 1983, that this book has become very dated. This book still works as a history of Computers, but the parts of the book which focus more on the current state of computers is no longer relevant, nor was it when the book was published again in 1991 by HarperPerennial.

The areas that are well done include the history of the subject and related subjects, the overview of how computers work, the sections on logic and binary numbers. The parts that are poor are those on the PC, and BASIC programming, which suffer from being out of date and no longer relevant. There are several subjects that are missing too, such as networking and the Internet. If you are seeking a light-hearted trip down memory lane in the field of computers, then this might be a good choice, otherwise you may want to look elsewhere. In 1983, this probably would have been a four star book, but today I can only give it two.
11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Learning can't be any funnier or more creative 3 Mar 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Covers from logic (gate) design up through floating point and (Shannon) communication theory with flair for humor && information. Best used as a light read OR semester course introducing computing for ages 4 & up.
4.0 out of 5 stars I'm happy to receive this book 3 Dec 2013
By Ch0uette4 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I found the story very funny and easy to understand it. No problems with the shipping from U.S.A to Switzerland. Steve. Pellaud
5.0 out of 5 stars Cartoons to guide you 16 Feb 2013
By Claire Jones - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Presents timeless concepts that apply to the operation of computers. For an introduction to fundamentals of computing science this is an excellent read.
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