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Essential Guide to Computing: The Story of Information Technology, The

Book Description

  • The complete, easy-to-understand guide to IT—now and in the future!

  • Computers, networks, and pervasive computing

  • Hardware, operating systems, and software

  • How networks work: LANs, WANs, and the Internet

  • E-business, the Web, and security

  • The guide for ANYONE who needs to understand the key technologies driving today's economy and high tech industries!

    You can't afford not to understand the information revolution that's sweeping the world-but who's got time for all the acronyms and hype most technology books give you? The Essential Guide to Computing demystifies the digital society we live in with an intelligent, thorough, and up-to-date explanation of computer, networking, and Internet technologies. It's perfect for smart professionals who want to get up to speed, but don't have computer science or engineering degrees! You'll find up-to-the-minute coverage on all of today's hottest technologies including:

  • The evolution of computing: from the room-sized "monoliths" of the 1950s to today's global Internet

  • Preview of the next revolution: "pervasive computing"

  • Computer hardware: microprocessors, memory, storage, I/O, displays, and architecture

  • Windows, Macintosh, UNIX/Linux, DOS, NetWare, Palm: what operating systems do, and how they compare

  • Programming languages: from machine language to advanced object-oriented technologies

  • Key software applications: databases, spreadsheets, word processing, voice recognition, and beyond

  • Microsoft and the software industry: where they stand, where they're headed

  • How networks work: LANs, WANs, packet switching, hardware, media, and more

  • The Internet, e-commerce, and security

  • Enterprise applications: data warehousing, Web-centered development, and groupware

  • Whether you're a consumer, investor, marketer, or executive, this is your start-to-finish briefing on the information technologies that have changed the world-and the coming technologies that will transform it yet again!

    Table of Contents

    1. Copyright
    2. Acknowledgments
    3. Introduction
    4. Computer Hardware (Chapters 1 through 4)
      1. The Core of Computing: How the Key Elements of Hardware Work Together
        1. An Overview of How a Computer Works
        2. The Internal Operations of the CPU
        3. Architecture: Suiting the CPU to the Task
        4. CPUs for Special Purposes
        5. New Approaches to Computing
        6. Conclusion
        7. Test Your Understanding
      2. Memory, Storage, and Input/Output
        1. An Overview of How Storage Works
        2. The Memory System
        3. Disk Storage
        4. The I/O Bus
        5. Chipsets
        6. Just the Nuts and Bolts
        7. Conclusion
        8. Test Your Understanding
      3. Computer Monitors and Graphics Systems
        1. Making An Image
        2. Monitor Technologies
        3. The Structure of Graphics Systems
        4. Generations of Graphics Systems
        5. Printers
        6. Conclusion
        7. Test Your Understanding
      4. Silicon Economics
        1. Silicon Foundations: Making Chips
        2. Microprocessor Families
        3. Types of Computers
        4. The Evolving Microprocessor Architecture: What Do You Do with a Billion Transistors on One Chip?
        5. Conclusion
        6. Test Your Understanding
        7. Part 1—Computer Hardware: Putting It All Together
    5. Software (Chapter 5 through 9)
      1. Fundamentals of the Operating System
        1. Why Have an Operating System?
        2. The Core Functions of an Operating System
        3. The Structure of the Operating System
        4. The Challenge of Multiprocessing
        5. Conclusion
        6. Test Your Understanding
      2. Evolution of the Operating System
        1. Mainframe Systems
        2. Minicomputer/Server Systems
        3. Conclusion
        4. Test Your Understanding
      3. Microcomputer Operating Systems
        1. Microsoft's MS-DOS
        2. The Mac OS
        3. Windows
        4. OS/2
        5. A Network-only OS: Netware
        6. Very Small System OSs
        7. Conclusion
        8. Test Your Understanding
      4. Programming, Object-Oriented Technology, and Software Development
        1. Basic Programming Terminology
        2. The Software Crisis
        3. Structured Programming
        4. Programming Languages by Level
        5. Object-Oriented Technology
        6. The Major Object-Oriented Languages
        7. Software Development Strategies and Programming Tools
        8. Conclusion
        9. Test Your Understanding
      5. Databases, Applications, and Software Reliability
        1. Databases
        2. Application Software
        3. The Software Industry
        4. Conclusion
        5. Test Your Understanding
        6. Part 2—Software: Putting It All Together
    6. Networks and the Internet (Chapters 10 through 14)
      1. Digital vs. Analog: Communications Basics
        1. Waves of Information
        2. Data Compression
        3. Error detection and correction
        4. Conclusion
        5. Test Your Understanding
      2. Network Fundamentals
        1. An Overview of Network Fundamentals
        2. The Importance of Packets
        3. Protocol Stacks
        4. Getting From A To B: Circuits, Virtual Circuits, and Circuitless Approaches
        5. Media
        6. Topologies, Multiplexing, and Synchronization
        7. Network Connecting Points
        8. Conclusion
        9. Test Your Understanding
      3. Types of Networks
        1. Local Area Networks
        2. LAN to LAN Connections: Campus Networks
        3. Local to Wide Area Connections: Access Networks
        4. WANs
        5. Wireless Wide Area and Access Networks
        6. Conclusion
        7. Test Your Understanding
      4. Client/Server Concepts
        1. Network Generations
        2. Client/Server Data Systems
        3. Distributed Data Vs. Distributed Processing
        4. Distributed Applications/Groupware
        5. Conclusion
        6. Test Your Understanding
      5. The Internet and Network Security
        1. Origins of the Internet
        2. Network Security
        3. Digital Signatures
        4. Cracking Codes
        5. Summary of Digital Security
        6. Conclusion
        7. Test Your Understanding
        8. Part 3—Networks and the Internet: Putting It All Together
      6. Conclusion: The Next Stages of Computing
        1. The State of the Foundation
        2. Four Emerging Technologies
        3. Seven Challenges to the Pervasive Future
        4. A Final Comment
    7. Glossary
    8. Recommended Reading
      1. Computer Hardware
      2. Computer Software
      3. Computer Communication, Client/Server, and Security
      4. The Computer Industry/Computer History
      5. Regular Reading and Reference