Anyone interested in learning more about computers might enjoy ‘Code’ by Charles Petzold. I’ve just finished it, and found it very readable.
It sets out to be a beginners guide to how computers work, but without all the cute analogies and pictures of 1′s and 0′s in pidgeon holes that seem to crop up in other texts like this.
It probably helps that I first encountered the author as my introduction to programming Windows. As I type this I’m unsure if I ever read all of his classic ‘Programming Windows’ (I was a student when I needed to, and probably borrowed it), but I certainly read large chunks. It has a clear, no-nonsense, style I enjoyed.
All you really need to understand to follow Code is how a relay works, and he explains that from first principles. He then works up to laying them out by the thousand to produce a computer recognisable today. One interesting observation is that much of the technology needed to create a computer was around a hundred years old before someone assembled one we would recognise. There’s a different path the world might have taken, if that had happened earlier!
It was the Good Friday Meeting at Herne Hill Velodrome today. I’ve avoided it for a few years because of rain, but today was dry and clear, if cold.
Apparently, this was my first post to twitter.
Some time ago, I stopped following the ins and outs of Windows development. I keep wondering if I will ever return, but it hasn’t happened yet.
I still see echos of the work the DirectShow team did in the 1990′s (I’m aware they were building on the work of others), and today I stumbled on this update from Geraint Davies, one of the original architects.
It was nice to learn what happened next – thanks Geraint!
I finally got caught up with wiring in several recent additions to our main TV. I needed to replace a 5 way ethernet switch with an 8 way, in order to keep them connected. At some point in the last few years, everything entertainment has grown an ethernet socket. Buying the 5 way felt outrageously advanced, only a few years ago!
It’s funny to think this was entirely shrouded in scaffolding for the four years I was at college in the area!
An image from our last holiday. This is also a test…
I enjoyed this on TV last night: Timeshift – Series 12 -
7. The Joy of (Train) Sets“. For my own efforts, see my workbench.
Seasons Greetings. It seemed appropriate to use my Nexus 10 to take the picture, since this year has been one spent getting it, and products like it, ready to sell!
Business took me to the San Francisco Bay Area last week. Unusually, I had some time to relax before the meeting started on the Monday, so I took a trip to the Castro.
I’ve been taking pictures of this flag since 2002, and I still have a big smile on my face the first time I spot it as I approach.
I wonder how many times it’s needed replacing since 2002? It still looks as fresh.
(And a P.S. on my last post. I ended up cycling every workday in April. I skipped the weekends, mostly because they were so wet!)