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The Joy Of Computers

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The Joy of Computers is the first book of the computer age to celebrate in words and brilliant illustrations the adventure, the dazzling excitement, and the revolutionary implications of computers for our lives. Combining text, graphics, photographs, and diagrams, The Joy of Computers is, for the initiated and uninitiated alike, a window into the startling future. Only a fe The Joy of Computers is the first book of the computer age to celebrate in words and brilliant illustrations the adventure, the dazzling excitement, and the revolutionary implications of computers for our lives. Combining text, graphics, photographs, and diagrams, The Joy of Computers is, for the initiated and uninitiated alike, a window into the startling future. Only a few years ago computers were regarded as remote technical marvels, mysterious and expensive machines far beyond the financial and intellectual capacities of the general public. Now, through the miracle of the microcomputer, the world of the future is at the fingertips of children and adults alike. Quite apart from the major changes that computers are making in society, millions of people are beginning to experience at first hand the fascination of these extraordinary machines, which are at once an extension of the human brain, a laborsaving tool, and the greatest toy ever invented. Technical books about computers and computer programming abound, but The Joy of Computers is the first to provide the layman with not only a “hands-on” understanding of how computers work and how they can be used, but with an exhilarating exploration of their possibilities. The computer has stimulated us to adjust our conventional ways of thinking. The Joy of Computers reflects in its design that new way of thinking, moving constantly between lucid explanations of computer technology and language to imaginative investigations of the wonders the computer has in store for the future.


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The Joy of Computers is the first book of the computer age to celebrate in words and brilliant illustrations the adventure, the dazzling excitement, and the revolutionary implications of computers for our lives. Combining text, graphics, photographs, and diagrams, The Joy of Computers is, for the initiated and uninitiated alike, a window into the startling future. Only a fe The Joy of Computers is the first book of the computer age to celebrate in words and brilliant illustrations the adventure, the dazzling excitement, and the revolutionary implications of computers for our lives. Combining text, graphics, photographs, and diagrams, The Joy of Computers is, for the initiated and uninitiated alike, a window into the startling future. Only a few years ago computers were regarded as remote technical marvels, mysterious and expensive machines far beyond the financial and intellectual capacities of the general public. Now, through the miracle of the microcomputer, the world of the future is at the fingertips of children and adults alike. Quite apart from the major changes that computers are making in society, millions of people are beginning to experience at first hand the fascination of these extraordinary machines, which are at once an extension of the human brain, a laborsaving tool, and the greatest toy ever invented. Technical books about computers and computer programming abound, but The Joy of Computers is the first to provide the layman with not only a “hands-on” understanding of how computers work and how they can be used, but with an exhilarating exploration of their possibilities. The computer has stimulated us to adjust our conventional ways of thinking. The Joy of Computers reflects in its design that new way of thinking, moving constantly between lucid explanations of computer technology and language to imaginative investigations of the wonders the computer has in store for the future.

32 review for The Joy Of Computers

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jerry

    It comes as a shock to many people in small businesses that installing a computer removes the time-consuming but soothing tasks they used to do. There are no excuses anymore for not getting on with the real problems such as ‘Why am I doing this at all?’ This is a fascinating look at the state of computers in the early eighties, filled with wonderful illustrations and photographs. The typesetting is, however, atrocious. Section three has section two’s title; sidebar text often ends mid-sentence, It comes as a shock to many people in small businesses that installing a computer removes the time-consuming but soothing tasks they used to do. There are no excuses anymore for not getting on with the real problems such as ‘Why am I doing this at all?’ This is a fascinating look at the state of computers in the early eighties, filled with wonderful illustrations and photographs. The typesetting is, however, atrocious. Section three has section two’s title; sidebar text often ends mid-sentence, and the main column text is occasionally jumbled up by line. Perhaps in an attempt to showcase the evils of endless loops, the second column on page 120 appears to end with a sentence that goes back to the top of its own column. Laurie manages to be both succinct and breezy, writing in a humorous style that does not get in the way of conveying information (that’s left for the typesetter to do). We invented machinery to save and surpass our bodies’ labour; now we have invented computers to save and surpass the labour of our minds.  In 1983, the Apple Lisa was out but the Apple Macintosh was not. While throughout the book Laurie is disdainful of the tendency of computer designers to make their computers hard to use, he does not see the Lisa/PARC GUI as the future. He recognizes the problem: describing how to use computers to people who are used to pen and paper… …is rather like taking the driver of an ox-cart and trying to tell him about freeways, interchanges, traffic lights parking restrictions, gear boxes, petrol, tyres, spark plugs and a hundred other things… Apple are attempting to solve this problem by pretending that their auto is an ox-cart. Their Lisa tries to duplicate a desk on its screen. When it comes to talking about the future of networking, and even the future of computer chips, he’s more on target (and who’s to say he wasn’t wrong about that—even Apple seems to be moving away from the desktop as metaphor today). As a computer is made smaller and faster, it must also get hotter. Ultimately it will explode when switched on. When talking about the (lack of) progress in artificial intelligence, he makes the very good point that we always seem to describe the body and brain using whatever our current technology is; but also that the human body does some amazing things both in software and in hardware that we are not even close to duplicating. …we have to admit that, compared with Mother Nature, we know very little about either computing or engineering. Fascinatingly, the book even includes some interesting but simple BASIC listings, such as an anagram generator, a life game generator, “noughts and crosses”, that is, (I think) tic-tac-toe, and what it calls Zombies, which appears to be a variation on the classic robot war. It also includes a long listing for “Star Voyage… so big that it will almost certainly need at least a 56-k machine.” Throughout he assumes that being computer literate includes learning to program. Anyone who can count from 0 to 7 on his or her fingers and make 8 can learn to be a programmer. The business is not difficult; it is just tricky. Even the average secretarial position will, since secretaries will no longer be expected to type letters (the executive will do that directly on their computer), become an amateur programmer to keep the office moving. In an aside, he makes the claim that the ASCII sequence shared code 35 with both the hash mark in the United States (which I grew up calling the pound sign) and the English pound currency symbol in England. Which led me to discovering that the hash mark is believed to have descended from the pound symbol. Either of these may, of course, be wrong. Much of the computer history in books of the seventies and eighties seem to be like food history in cookbooks, and the latter came from the greatest cookbook historian of all, Wikipedia. I can only open windows onto a multitude of fascinating gardens; I hope my readers will think it worthwhile to go out into them.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ezequiel

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Lovelace

  4. 4 out of 5

    Marcin Wichary

  5. 5 out of 5

    John Pollard

  6. 5 out of 5

    Bernard Jan

  7. 4 out of 5

    Roshni Ghosh

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jan Kelemen

  9. 5 out of 5

    David Overstreet

  10. 5 out of 5

    Gomathy Nandagopal

  11. 5 out of 5

    Philomath

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ouen Worth

  13. 5 out of 5

    Swathi Chikkala

  14. 4 out of 5

    Vamsi Varma

  15. 4 out of 5

    Swastik Gautam

  16. 4 out of 5

    Gomathy Nandagopal

  17. 5 out of 5

    Pavithra

  18. 4 out of 5

    Byzantine

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rithika Rithu

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sebastian Reimers-Larsen

  21. 4 out of 5

    Uma

  22. 5 out of 5

    Fottm Goza

  23. 4 out of 5

    Shubham Namdeo

  24. 4 out of 5

    Priyanka

  25. 5 out of 5

    Anu N

  26. 4 out of 5

    Balaji

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sunilkathale

  28. 4 out of 5

    Trokon M. Zaccheus

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jeni Cothundaramen

  30. 5 out of 5

    Abu

  31. 4 out of 5

    Gwercium

  32. 4 out of 5

    Madhu

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