Digitized: The Science of Computers and How It Shapes Our World

Digitized: The Science of Computers and How It Shapes Our World

Peter J. Bentley

Language: English

Pages: 307

ISBN: 019969379X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

There's a hidden science that affects every part of your life, a science so powerful that you would be hard-pressed to find a single human being on the planet unaffected by its achievements. It is the science behind computers, the machines which drive the supply and creation of power, food, medicine, money, communication, entertainment, and most goods our stores. It has transformed societies with the Internet, the digitization of information, mobile phone networks, and GPS technologies.

Written in friendly and approachable language, Digitized provides a window onto the mysterious field from which all computer technology originates, making the theory and practice of computation understandable to the general reader. This popular science book explains how and why computers were invented, how they work, and what will happen in the future. Written by a leading computer scientist, Peter J. Bentley, it tells this fascinating story using the voices of pioneers and leading experts interviewed for the book, in effect throwing open the doors of the most cutting-edge computer laboratories. Bentley explores how this young discipline grew from the early work by pioneers such as Turing, through its growth spurts in the Internet, its difficult adolescent stage where the promises of AI were never achieved and dot-com bubble burst, to its current stage as a semi-mature field, capable of remarkable achievements.

Packed with real-world examples, Digitized is the only book to explain the origins and key advances in all areas of computing: theory, hardware, software, Internet, user interfaces, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence. If you have an interest in computers--whether you work with them, use them for fun, or are being taught about them in school--this book will provide an entertaining introduction to the science that's changing the world.

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Form, before entering Cambridge to read mathematics. He and Alan Turing both studied the same course in Cambridge at the same time, but somehow never noticed each other. While Turing went on to do an advanced mathematics course with Max Newman in 1934, Wilkes joined the Cavendish radio group and performed research on the propagation of very long radio waves in the ionosphere. Wilkes also continued his practical interests, modifying a model differential analyser machine made out of Meccanob parts.

Changing network of computers, and he realized he’d typed in your address incorrectly. Five minutes later he arrived at your home. He took out your pizza from his bag and knocked on your door. Computers uncovered Look at any common activity in the modern world and you’ll find more computers lurking behind the scenes than you ever imagined. Our computers are hidden to such an extent that most of us are completely oblivious to their existence. If they could feel emotions,a 4 introduction they’d.

Instruction set computer or RISC processors do not use microprogramming.) But even with microcode, programming computers still involved writing long lists of numbers—the machine code instructions. The early programmers were also hampered by the extremely limited memory of these pioneering computers. The EDSAC only had about two kilobytesf,7 (today even a mobile phone may have memories many millions of times this size). So to tackle these problems, another trick was invented by Wilkes’s teamg—the.

The world, the topic of more abstract programming languages was on everyone’s minds. Maurice Wilkes was asked to chair a session on the topic (then called automatic programming) at the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) meeting in MIT. Wilkes remembered the discussions clearly. ‘The participants in the session divided quite sharply in their opinions. There were those who felt that all attempts to sidestep the real and eternal difficulties of programming were misguided, and that more.

Mathematical language. So you might tell this mysterious machine that your language was logic and that you wanted to know if the following statement was true or not: ‘If all sisters are female and Sarah is your sister, then Sarah is male.’ Then the machine would have a little think and output ‘False’. Or you might tell the machine that your language was arithmetic and you wanted to know whether the statement ‘any integer greater than 1 can be made by 20 can you compu te? multiplying prime.

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