Cover image for The New York Times circuits : how electronic things work
The New York Times circuits : how electronic things work
Fountain, Henry.
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, 2001.
Physical Description:
xi, 195 pages : color illustrations, color map ; 29 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TK7870 .N497 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize
TK7870 .N497 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
TK7870 .N497 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
TK7870 .N497 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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If you've ever wondered how the high-tech gadgets we encounter as we go about our daily lives work, from the computers on our desks, the CD players in our homes (and the remote controls we operate them with), the Automatic Teller Machines at the bank, to the machines that sort billions of pieces of mail everyday, this is the book that has the answers. Compiled from the Circuits section of the New York Times , a guide to the inner workings of computers, the Internet, and many modern electronic devices found in homes, businesses, transportation systems, and medicine. Clear, concise essays and well over one hundred full-color illustrations explain the mysteries of eighty devices that have shaped our lives.

Author Notes

Henry Fountain is the deputy editor of Circuits, The New York Times 's weekly section on personal technology. He also writes "Observatory," a column of science news for the paper's Science Times section.

Table of Contents

Henry FountainAndy Rooney
Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Introductionp. ix
Digital Cameras Where a chip replaces filmp. 2
Infrared Thermometers Seeing the heatp. 4
Hearing Aids Sounds get sharperp. 6
Camcorders Help for the jitters and shakesp. 8
The TV Remote Don't touch that dialp. 10
The V-chip Watching what gets watchedp. 12
Surround Sound Music gets realp. 14
Stud Finders Electronic hide-and-seekp. 16
Metal Detectors Treasure-hunting without a mapp. 18
Holiday Lighting A touch of Times Square at homep. 20
Robotic Lawnmowers Taking over the yardp. 22
Light-up Sneakers A surprise in every stepp. 24
Electronic Fences Keeping Rover at homep. 26
Robotic Pets Man's new best friendp. 28
The Singing Fish A gift that's more than skin deepp. 30
Musical Greetings Cards with some smartsp. 32
Computers and the Internet
Digital vs. Analog Two ways to look at informationp. 36
The Chip In the heart of the computerp. 38
Processor Speed A look at how fast is fastp. 40
PC Crashes When bad things happen to good chipsp. 42
LCD Screens Getting all your crystals in a rowp. 44
Touch Screens A layered approachp. 46
Retinal Displays Sending data straight to the eyep. 48
The Mouse From hand to screenp. 50
Touch Pads Control at your fingertipsp. 52
Modems Linking computers to the worldp. 54
Finding Web Addresses A numbers gamep. 56
Sending Data Coming and going in bunchesp. 58
Cookies Tempting tidbits for your computerp. 60
Compressing Data How much is just enough?p. 62
Compressing Music A wealth of formatsp. 64
Encryption The key to unlocking messagesp. 66
Flatbed Scanners Where analog turns to digitalp. 68
Inkjet Printers Building images, puff by puffp. 70
Recordable CDs Burning with laser lightp. 72
Pagers Simple messages, complicated deliveryp. 74
Digital Pen A new way to write datap. 76
Entertainment and Sports
Bike Computers Counting each strokep. 80
Tennis Monitors The line judge that never blinksp. 82
Snow-making Coming to the aid of naturep. 84
The Virtual First-Down Stripe On-screen magicp. 86
Bowling Alleys Beyond the pin spotterp. 88
Sailboat Racing Technology at the tillerp. 90
Laser Tag Old game, new approachp. 92
Betting Systems Keeping track of all the actionp. 94
Pinball Machines The comfort of old technologyp. 96
Music Kiosks Custom CDs while you waitp. 98
MIDI Music boiled down to the basicsp. 100
Concert Hall Acoustics Applying science to artp. 102
Capturing Motion Cartoons get more lifelikep. 104
3-D Movies More than just funny glassesp. 106
Laser Shows Melding music and lightp. 108
Personal Tracking Device Keeping tabs on the kidsp. 110
Business and Industry
The Global Positioning System Help from on highp. 114
Wind Generators Air powerp. 116
Fuel Cells A battery that won't diep. 118
The Power Grid Getting electrons from here to therep. 120
Oil Drilling A kinder and gentler industryp. 122
Fast Food Tracking everything from soup to nutsp. 124
Sewer Robots Stringing cable down underp. 126
Surveying Tools Accuracy gets an upgradep. 128
Machine Vision A watch on the linep. 130
Face Recognition Feature-by-feature comparisonsp. 132
Postal Technology Computers help move the mailp. 134
Bill readers Telling real from counterfeitp. 136
A.T.M.'s Money from a machinep. 138
Smart Elevators A smoother, quicker ridep. 140
Smart Plumbing Look, Ma, no handsp. 142
Bar Codes The symbols of commercep. 144
Scanners Adding it up at the supermarketp. 146
Moving Images It's all in the lensp. 148
Electronic Ink Displays that are paper-thinp. 150
Recycling Tools for sorting the trashp. 152
The Radio Spectrum Crowded airspacep. 154
Driving Simulator Virtual thrills and spillsp. 158
Night Vision Military technology for the carp. 160
Stronger Headlights A clear look at the road aheadp. 162
Electronic Tolls Paying as you go, wirelesslyp. 164
Synchronized Lights Coordinating the flow of trafficp. 166
Speeding Up Mass Transit Express buses roll onp. 168
Flight Recorders Offering clues when things go wrongp. 170
Emergency Beacon Watch A panic button for pilotsp. 172
Science and Health
Earth-Observing Satellites A view from abovep. 176
Radar Mapping Bouncing signals off the groundp. 178
A Space Dust Collector Bringing it back homep. 180
Ion Propulsion From science fiction to factp. 182
Weather Radar An eye on troubled skiesp. 184
Sensor Fish Bumped and battered in the name of sciencep. 186
Satellite Tracking Finding out when the cows come homep. 188
A Camera in a Pill A fantastic voyage through the bodyp. 190
Remote-Control Surgery At work in tight spotsp. 192
Laser Vision Correction Better sight for tired eyesp. 194