Cover image for Code : the hidden language of computer hardware and software
Code : the hidden language of computer hardware and software
Petzold, Charles, 1953-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Redmond, Wash. : Microsoft Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
393 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
General Note:
Includes index.

"The hidden language of computer hardware and software."
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QA76.6 .P495 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



From the dots and dashes of Morse code to the 0s and 1s of computer programming, ""Code"" describes the ingenious ways humans have adapted language systems -- code -- to invent the machinery of the modern age. By examining the dialogues we developed for and through the communication tools of the industrial revolution, readers discover they have a context for comprehending today's world of computers, bar code scanners, and fiber optics. The work of legendary computer book author Charles Petzold has influenced an entire generation of programmers -- and with ""Code,"" Microsoft Press is proud to bring this extraordinary writer's compelling narrative style and wit to a general audience.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Petzold, a writer on computing and programming for more than 15 years, begins Code by introducing several examples of digital codes, e.g., Morse, Braille, film-speed rating, Universal Product(UPC), explaining how to perform binary digital logic using electronic devices, and describing binary arithmetic on integers. All of this material is worked out in careful detail. The second half of the book takes a whirlwind tour of memory, assembly language, character and floating-point encodings, processor design and computer architecture, operating systems, programming languages, and graphics. Petzold discusses all these topics in a gradual fashion, going from the simplest communication code up to the latest graphical interface technologies, such as MIDI. Coverage of many of these latter topics, naturally, is at best a broad overview. But the book is very instructive for those who have wondered just what makes computers as useful as they are and explains all in meticulously worked out prose and attendant graphics. An extremely useful work for all levels of readers. C. J. Van Wyk; Drew University