How Computers Work: The Evolution of Technology, 10th Edition

How Computers Work: The Evolution of Technology, 10th Edition

Ron White

Language: English

Pages: 384

ISBN: 078974984X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The Evolution of Technology


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 PCs, but about how changes in technology have evolved the giant, expensive computer dinosaurs of last century into the smaller but more powerful smartphones, tablets, and wearable computing of today. Whether your interest is in business, gaming, digital photography, entertainment, communications, or security, you’ll learn how computing is evolving the way you live.


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 and award-winning team of writer Ron White and artist Tim Downs has 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 smartphones and tablet PCs put the power of a desktop computer in your hands–literally

•   How computing technology is linking our homes, work place, entertainment, and daily communications

•   How advances such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, eBay, and smartphones are expanding our universe of friends, knowledge, and opportunity

•   How increased miniaturization leads to new products, such as smartphone, smartwatches, and Google Glass

•   How computing technology takes advantages of quantum physics and innovations no one even imagined a few years ago


For two decades, How Computers Work has helped newbies understand new technology, while 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!


Beautifully detailed illustrations and jargon-free explanations walk you through the technology that is shaping our lives. See the hidden workings inside computers, smartphones, tablets, Google Glass, and the latest tech inventions.



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System, you might not be able to save files created by two different programs to the same disk because each might have its own storage format. An operating system also gives you a tool for all the tasks you want to perform outside an application program: deleting and copying files to disk, printing, and running a collection of commands in a batch file. The operating system does not work alone. It depends not only on the cooperation of other programs, but also on meshing smoothly with the BIOS.

In which there is a switch for everyone of the light bulbs on the sign. By turning on the correct switches, you can spell your name or draw a picture. But suppose there are "master switches" that control dozens of other switches. Instead of having to flip each switch individually for every light bulb that goes into spelling your name, you can throw one switch that lights up a combination of lights to create a B, then another master switch that turns on all the lights for an 0, and another.

Hidden beneath Windows's graphic interface. The operating system controls so many of a PC's operations that many PC users forget that DOS stands for disk operating system and that, originally, its primary function was to control disk drives. Before any information can be stored on a magnetic disk, the disk must first be formatted. Formatting creates a road map that allows the drive to store and find data in an orderly manner. The road map consists of magnetic markers embedded in the magnetic.

Goose to speed over here, all occasionally given a huge, mind-bending boost by a theory of evolution, the unraveling of DNA, or the invention of the laser. The big developments might pull in the headlines like a black hole, but it's the constant small, day-to-day improvements that have the most immediate impact on what we do. In this chapter we'll look at some less-than-monumental ways in which computer storage-always the laggard in computing speed-has constantly improved by tids and bits.

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