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Inside the Machine: An Illustrated Introduction to Microprocessors and Computer Architecture Paperback – 25 May 2015

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: No Starch Press; 1 edition (25 May 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593276680
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593276683
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 2.2 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 415,876 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Jon M. Stokes is co-founder of and Senior CPU Editor for Ars Technica. He has written extensively on microprocessor architecture and the technical aspects of personal computing for a variety of publications. Stokes holds a degree in computer engineering from Louisiana State University and two advanced degrees in the humanities from Harvard University. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Chicago.


Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
One of the main things that attracted me to this book was reading Jon's CPU articles on Ars Technica: this book is written in the same style. Jon Stokes is an excellent writer, and manages to make break this complex topic into easily digestible chunks that are enjoyable to read. It starts by explaining the basics of modern CPU design techniques on a theoretical CPU before plunging into an in-depth (but still high level) analysis of real world designs such as the PowerPC, Pentium and Core 2 Duo.

I'm a computer programmer and I've done a bit of the basics of CPU design at university, so I glossed over the first 2 chapters; the descriptions of pipelining and superscalar execution are very well done, however, as is the description and analysis of the different CPU families as they evolve over time.

There are plenty of illustrations throughout, as the cover promises; my main concern about this book was that they'd be circuit diagrams: I'm not an electrician and I don't want to be, and happily there were no complex circuit diagrams in this book (none at all, actually, just high-level block diagrams).

I would highly recommend this to anybody who's interested in the specifics of CPU design: it makes an excellent introduction to the terminology and the concepts, giving you an understanding of actual CPUs, but also setting you up for the more advanced books; there are 4 pages of recommended follow-up texts organised into their areas of coverage
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love this book! It's clear, easy to follow, and in-depth. It's extremely addictive reading, not something I honestly ever expected to say about a book on processors, but I don't think I've ever read a computing book quite so fast before or gleaned quite so much enjoyment out of one. An easy 5 stars.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Good book
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars 28 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A know all about computers made easy 15 Jan. 2017
By Mary Echternacht - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I cannot say too many good things about the dealer and this book to do it justice, it is written in such a way that even a beginner will leave knowing all of the inner workings of the computer, it also gives the reader historical information that is both interesting and educational, the book consists of written material, diagrams and photos, which when combined makes it easy to learn a lot about the computer
5.0 out of 5 stars I found this book to be an appropriate level for what I wanted and I enjoyed the real world examples 8 July 2016
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm a professional programmer and I wanted a book to brush up on the hardware knowledge I learned back in college. I found this book to be an appropriate level for what I wanted and I enjoyed the real world examples, diagrams and clear neature. My only complaint is that it could use an updated edition with some of the more modern architectures.
5.0 out of 5 stars Together both books have piqued his curiosity and satisfied his questions 15 Feb. 2017
By Barry C. Schechter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought for my son as he is interested in learning about PCs under the hood. Exceeded his expectations in tandem with But How Do It Know? Together both books have piqued his curiosity and satisfied his questions.
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Book 11 Feb. 2017
By Sergio Ribeiro - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book wonderfully breaks down computer architecture into bite sized chunks. Also a very enjoyable read. Very good to read before you take a course on computer architecture. My book came in very good condition.
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good introduction and overview 15 Oct. 2007
By Ferad Zyulkyarov - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I liked the simplicity in the book. It is very easy to read and understand things written on it. I classify the book as introductory level in computer architecture giving an overview on the today's microprocessors. I would recommend it for those who want to learn something about microprocessors on their own, outside the class or want to read some brief details about the most current microprocessors (i.e. Core 2 Duo) or architectural comparison between different microarchitectures (i.e. IBM and Intel cores).

I don't think that the book is good as a text book for computer architecture. Instead I would recommend the Hennessy and Patterson "Computer Architecture - Quantitative Approach"

I personelly enjoyed reading this book.
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