Digitized: The Science of Computers and how it Shapes Our World

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OUP Oxford, Mar 22, 2012 - Computers - 292 pages
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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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User Review  - fpagan - LibraryThing

A British academic's history of computer science for general readers, from the 1930s to the present. The personalities given special attention include Alan Turing, Claude Shannon, John von Neumann ... Read full review

Contents

000 Introduction
1
001 Can You Compute?
13
010 Disposable Computing
43
011 Your Life in Binary Digits
74
100 Monkeys with WorldSpanning Voices
104
101 My Computer Made Me Cry
140
110 Building Bionic Brains
173
111 A Computer Changed My Life
209
Endnotes
241
Bibliographic Notes
263
Index
285
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Dr. Peter J. Bentley has been called a creative maverick computer scientist. He is an Honorary Reader at the Department of Computer Science, University College London (UCL), Collaborating Professor at the Korean Advanced Institute for Science and Technology (KAIST), a contributing editor for WIRED UK, a consultant and a freelance writer. He has published approximately 200 scientific papers and is author of seven other books, including the popular science booksDigital Biology, The Book of Numbers and The Undercover Scientist. He is a regular contributor to television and radio.

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