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How Computers Work [Paperback]

Ron White , Timothy Downs
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
RRP: 24.99
Price: 19.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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How Computers Work How Computers Work
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Book Description

14 Nov 2007 0789736136 978-0789736130 9

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 every last component of hardware found inside your PC, but also in-depth explanations about home networking, the Internet, PC security, and even how cell phone networks operate. Whether you’re interested in how the latest graphics cards power today’s most demanding games or how a digital camera turns light into data, you’ll find your answers right here.


Ron White is a former executive editor and columnist for PC Computing, where he developed the visual concept behind How Computers Work. Founder of one of the

earliest PC user groups, he has been writing about computers for 25 years and is known for building wildly extreme computers.


Timothy Edward Downs is an award-winning magazine designer, illustrator, and photographer. He has directed and designed several national consumer, business, technology, and

lifestyle magazines, always infusing a sense of “how it works” into every project.


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 Ron White and award-winning Tim Downs have 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 tablet PCs put the power of a PC quite literally in your hands

•    How Windows Vista makes your Windows desktop translucent and makes your PC more secure

•    How advances in optical disc technology such as dual-layer DVD, HD-DVD, and Blu-Ray discs continue to push the envelope

•    How Apple’s new iPhone is revolutionizing what cell phones can do

•    How BitTorrent technology enables anyone to share information with everyone


For a decade, How Computers Work has helped newbies understand new technology, while at the same time 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!


Category: General Computing

Covers:    PCs/Hardware

User Level:    Beginning–Intermediate


Frequently Bought Together

How Computers Work + How the Internet Works + How Networks Work
Price For All Three: 69.97

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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: QUE; 9 edition (14 Nov 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789736136
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789736130
  • Product Dimensions: 25.3 x 20.4 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 105,227 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Amazon Review

Written by Ron White and superbly illustrated by Timothy Edward Downs and Stephen Adams, Que's How Computers Work, Millennium Edition is reminiscent of those books published in the 1980s for wannabe computer geeks, which have long since disappeared. But this millennium edition is one that should long have a place in every computer user's bookcase, to satisfy those moments of intense curiosity.

White does not shy away from the complexity of the technology behind the modern computer, its software and its hardware. The book deals almost exclusively with desktop boxes, rather than the other applications in which computers are used (car radios, dishwashers, mobile phones and the like).Ideas are explained skilfully and the text is cleverly integrated with graphics and diagrams, so that even hard-to-grasp ideas like compression and disk structures can be easily digested. Unlike its 1980s predecessors,How Computers Work covers the cutting edge of technology, with everything from DVD to CD-R and modems to multimedia. --Josh Smith --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Author

You asked for it. You get it!
For the Fourth Edition of "How Computers Work" I reread letters I’ve received from readers of earlier editions to see what I could do to improve the book. The most often requested feature was a glossary of computer terms. Always happy to oblige, this time I’ve added "Key Concepts" to the overview for each part of the book. Here, I explain important terms that you’ll encounter frequently throughout the chapters. I hope it helps.

A large part of creating the Fourth Edition has been finding out what new technologies are likely to be important. This time there are new explanations of digital light processing, global positioning system, fingerprint recognition, palm PCs, gas plasma displays, accelerated graphic port, and flash memory.

And because I can’t help fiddling, I’ve made changes to many of the illustrations and explanations throughout the book. In the last edition, the explanation of how accelerated 3-D graphics works was too cramped for comfort. We’ve added two pages to that explanation to give this exciting computer technology the space it deserves. Many of the other changes are so small they might not be noticed, but I hope they make a difference.

Because this latest edition of "How Computers Work" has just been released, there aren’t a lot of reader reviews here on Amazon.com. But if you’d like to see what readers have said about previous editions – one of which was chosen, ah-hem, as best non-fiction computer book of the year – I’ve included a few reviews from past editions.

gdavis3@aol.com from Little Rock, AR , September 21, 1998 A great book for beginners. I think this is an excellent book. The pictures and terminology are easy to understand. I plan to use this book to educate some of my coworkers. Diosnel Herrnsdorf (diosnel@krauch.com.py) from Asunción, Paraguay , August 23, 1998 A good school mate. I bought the book because it was listed in a subject's bibliography; in fact, it was the book he most recommended. I found it very useful, and most of all, very easy to follow. All the information was there to grasp at first reading. A reader from Cleveland, OH , March 26, 1998 An absolute must have for anyone with a computer! This is a GREAT book. I have used this book to explain our home computer to my family. With this book, the kid's have begun to understand why it is important to know everything you can about the equipment we use today. A great way to get almost anyone interested in understanding "technology" in an easy to read (and picture) format. I recommend this book to all my friends who ask me to help them computer shop.

And if there’s anything you’d like to seen in future editions, please let me know atron_white@zd.com.

I hope you buy -- and enjoy -- the book!

Ron White --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

3 star
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4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Done Ron 13 Mar 2011
This book is absolutely brilliant....the scientific nitty gritties of those erstwhile mysterious components of your computer explained in really clear language...ever wondered how a flash drive saves data? Ron White will explain from first principles..even telling you how a transistor works...plus the internet, gaming programmes, touch screens tuti...and the man has a great sense of humour, so you will find yourself chuckling as you soak up valuable information and there is over 450 well illustrated pages of it. And a ticker tape along the bottom of several pages gives a history of computer development for those who like triva and to see how far and how quickly things have developed.

You don't expect a technical book like this to be a real page turner...but it is. I have a new respect for the boffins who have developed this composite technology, often using simple principles but in a very very clever way. Get it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book 22 April 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Son needed this book for uni and this was the cheapest price. Loved it so much I bought two :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't have asked for better 2 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I dived headfirst into page one, thinking I would soon be out of my depth. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find, a few chapters in, my knowledge on computing had expanded with my brain still intact. I definitely recommend this book for beginners, who have just a little interest in finding out more (as some of the more complicated chapters require a bit more perseverance). 5/5, faultless.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent buy 20 Jan 2012
By joy
bought how computers work for my grandson who is studying for his GCSE`S. He is studying computer science, and thinking of a future career within this field. He finds this book as extremely helpful, easy to follow. He is really pleased with the content. An excellent buy. `How computers work`.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding 21 Aug 2010
This is an ideal book for a college beginner. I throws light upon every issue in copmuter components, how they work, how they are connected, how they inter-relate with each other and the function of every component in a PC.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Purchase 18 Aug 2010
This book is a wonderful learning tool. It visually stimulates the mind and gives clarity to what can be a confusing subject area. I would highly recommend this to any beginner or learner.
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