Reddit Reddit reviews Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software (Developer Best Practices)

We found 29 Reddit comments about Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software (Developer Best Practices). Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

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Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software (Developer Best Practices)
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29 Reddit comments about Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software (Developer Best Practices):

u/reddilada · 51 pointsr/learnprogramming

CODE: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software is a great book written for the non-tech crowd. It gives a good basis for what computers are all about.

If he works in an office, I'd point him to Automate the Boring Stuff with Python as it will deal with things he is probably already familiar with.

u/Pandasmical · 11 pointsr/computerscience

I enjoyed this one!
Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software

Here is someone else's detailed review on it

"Charles Petzold a does an outstanding job of explaining the basic workings of a computer. His story begins with a description of various ways of coding information including Braille, Morse code, and binary code. He then describes the development of hardware beginning with a description of the development of telegraph and relays. This leads into the development of transistors and logic gates and switches. Boolean logic is described and numerous electrical circuits are diagramed showing the electrical implementation of Boolean logic. The book describes circuits to add and subtract binary numbers. The development of hexadecimal code is described. Memory circuits are assembled by stringing logic gates together. Two basic microprocessors are described - the Intel 8080 and the Motorola 6800. Machine language, assembly language, and some higher level software languages are covered. There is a chapter on operating systems. This book provides a very nice historical perspective on the development of computers. It is entertaining and only rarely bogs down in technical detail."

u/AnalyzeAllTheLogs · 4 pointsr/learnprogramming

Although more about product delivery and lifecycle management, i'd recommend:

[No audiobook, but worth the read] The Mythical Man-Month, Anniversary Edition: Essays On Software Engineering

[No audiobook, but about 1/3 the price at the moment for kindle and really good]
Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software (Developer Best Practices)

u/_9_9_ · 4 pointsr/learnpython

This book is supposed to be good:

I've yet to read it. I've been messing with computers for a long, long time. But, at some point I think most people agree that they are magic.

u/DashAnimal · 4 pointsr/compsci

I know this is a pretty common recommendation and you've probably already heard of it
or even read it, but can I recommend the book Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software? I think having a history of how we got to where we are today (written in an entertaining way) is a good starting point, even though it barely scratches the surface of computer science.

u/nonenext · 3 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

If you want to know how computer is made, this amazing book explains so clearly from scratch in order so you can understand next chapter to the end.

It explains in scratch from Morse code, to electricity circuit with battery + flashlight, to telegraphy and relays with more advanced electricity circuit, to how numbers are understood in logic sense, to binary digits (0 and 1), to explaining how you can do so much with just binary digits and how barcode works, to logic and switches in algebra and advanced electricity circuits with binary/boolean, to logic gates, more advanced electricity circuits stuff, to bytes and hexes, how memory functions, to automation... ah this is halfway through the book now.

The way how he writes is very clear, understandable, and everything what he wrote has a meaning for you to be capable to understand what he wrote further in the book.

You'll know EVERYTHING about electricity and behind-the-scene how computer works, how RAM works, how hard drive works, how CPU works, how GPU works, everything, after you finish this book.

u/YuleTideCamel · 3 pointsr/learnprogramming

Sure I really enjoy these podcasts.

u/FearMonstro · 3 pointsr/compsci

Nand to Tetris (coursera)

the first half of the book is free. You read a chapter then you write programs that simulate hardware modules (like memory, ALU, registers, etc). It's pretty insightful for giving you a more rich understanding of how computers work. You could benefit from just the first half the book. The second half focuses more on building assemblers, compilers, and then a java-like programming language. From there, it has you build a small operating system that can run programs like Tetris.

Code: The Hidden Language of Hardware and Software

This book is incredibly well written. It's intended for a casual audience and will guide the reader to understanding how a microcontroller works, from the ground up. It's not a text book, which makes it even more more impressive.

Computer Networking Top Down Approach

one of the best written textbook I've read. Very clear and concise language. This will give you a pretty good understanding of modern-day networking. I appreciated that book is filled to the brim of references to other books and academic papers for a more detailed look at subtopics.

Operating System Design

A great OS book. It actually shows you the C code used to design and code the Xinu operating system. It's written by a Purdue professor. It offers both a top-down look, but backs everything up with C code, which really solidifies understanding. The Xinu source code can be run on emulators or real hardware for you to tweak (and the book encourages that!)

Digital Design Computer Architecture

another good "build a computer from the ground up" book. The strength of this book is that it gives you more background into how real-life circuits are built (it uses VHDL and Verilog), and provides a nice chapter on transistor design overview. A lot less casual than the Code book, but easily digestible for someone who appreciates this stuff. It culminates into designing and describing a microarchitecture to implement a MIPS microcontroller. The diagrams used in this book are really nice.

u/schreiberbj · 3 pointsr/compsci

This question goes beyond the scope of a reddit post. Read a book like Code by Charles Petzold, or a textbook like Computer Organization and Design or Introduction to Computing Systems.

In the meantime you can look at things like datapaths which are controlled by microcode.

This question is usually answered over the course of a semester long class called "Computer Architecture" or "Computing Systems" or something like that, so don't expect to understand everything right away.

u/Notlambda · 2 pointsr/dataisbeautiful

Sure. Without anything to go on, I'll just recommend some of my favorites. :)

  • Godel Escher Bach - Mindbending book that delves into connections between art, music, math, linguistics and even spirituality.
  • Code - The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software - Ever wondered how the black box you're using to read this comment works? "Code" goes from transistor to a fully functioning computer in a sequential way that even a child could grasp. It's not at the "How to build your own computer from parts". It's more at the "How to build your own computer if you were trapped on a desert island" level, which is more theoretical and interesting. You get strong intuition for what's actually happening.
  • The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind - An intriguing looking into the theory that men of past ages actually hallucinated the voices of their gods, and how that led to the development of modern civilization and consciousness.
u/fav · 2 pointsr/argentina

No hay nada como la universidad. Si querés aprender por tu cuenta, seguí un plan similar. Empezá por lo más básico de la teoría y andá subiendo en complejidad. Una vez que tenés los conceptos, aprender un lenguaje de programación es sencillo.

Si no tenés idea o pensás que lo computable es algo más que un montón de conjuntos de números naturales, empezá por algo como code.

Sobre algoritmos y estructura de datos hay un montón de libros y cursos (coursera, khan, etc. Empezá por los teóricos, huí de los que te enseñen un lenguaje particular.).

Luego paradigmas de lenguajes de programación, teoría de lenguajes, y estás hecho. :)

u/devilbunny · 2 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

The voltage represents a 1 or 0. They're not translated, they just are.

You really ought to read Charles Petzold's Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software. It will answer your questions.

u/ConstantScholar · 2 pointsr/csbooks

Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software is a really good and very readable computer architecture book.

u/urnlint · 2 pointsr/computerscience

I do not read textbooks as a hobby like some people seem to, but this book seems to have a large chunk of my 5 years of college (yeah for a bachelor) into a single book. Code

u/BitterFortuneCookie · 2 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

The above answers were really good. I recommend a look at the book Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software to get a sense of the history of how computer languages evolved into how we build applications today.

u/Anaufabetico · 2 pointsr/brasil

Não li, mas já botei na minha lista porque sou programador nerdão assumido e entusiasmado. Obrigado pela dica.

"Code", do Charles Petzold faz a mesma coisa e também é muito bom.

u/kaluuee · 2 pointsr/learnprogramming

You need to read this
Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software (Developer Best Practices)

u/NothingWasDelivered · 1 pointr/computerscience

If you want a good, understandable explanation of this, read [Code]( Code (Developer Best Practices) by Charles Petzold by Charles Petzold. He basically walks you through building a CPU from the ground up.

It's an excellent laypersons explanation of how computers work at a very fundamental level. How you can use relays (and transistors, their analog) to read 1's and 0's and make decisions based on that. From there you get to machine language (physically encoded into the chip), and everything above that is basically abstraction.

u/di0spyr0s · 1 pointr/resumes

Thanks so much!

Where do hobbies and interests go? Below Education somewhere? Sample stuff I could add:

  • I started sewing this year and have achieved my goal to knit and sew all my own clothes for 2015.
  • I play guitar, drums, and piano, and I'm learning to play bass. A friend and I started a band called OCDC, because we're n00bs and play the same thing over and over a lot.
  • I read insatiably. Most recently Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware And Software and A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy, but also the backs of cereal packages and the "In case of fire" escape instructions on doors if there's nothing else.
  • I'm from New Zealand and can, if necessary, butcher a sheep/pig/deer/rabbit, build a fence, milk a cow by hand (or milk several hundred, given a decent sized milking shed), TB test deer, fell trees, and use the word "munted" in a sentence.
  • I've ridden horses all my life and still volunteer occasionally as an equine masseuse for some of the carriage horses in Central Park.
  • I love automating stuff and am working on fully automating my home aquaponics set up: a combination of an aquarium and a grow bed which currently produces great quantities of grass for my cats to puke up.

    I had sort of planned to put all this stuff in my personal website - write ups of personal projects, a good reads feed, an "About me" section, and maybe a page of my sewing/knitting creations.

    I'll certainly look into adding some more personality into the resume design, it is currently the result of a google template, which is pretty blah.

    Again, Thanks so much for your feedback! It's been really helpful!
u/ceciltech · 1 pointr/AskElectronics

If you really want to understand how a processor works I recommend Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software. This is a great book that works its way through the history of the development of processors and the code that runs them, easy read and so well written!

u/terraneng · 1 pointr/learnprogramming

Code by Charles Petzold

Pretty low level but a nice read and very informative. I read it on a plane last year.

u/maholeycow · 1 pointr/SoftwareEngineering

Alright man, let's do this. Sorry, had a bit of a distraction last night so didn't get around to this. By the way, if you look hard enough, you can find PDF versions of a lot of these books for free.

Classic computer science principle books that are actually fun and a great read (This is the kind of fundamental teachings you would learn in school, but I think these books teach it better):

  1. - this one will teach you at a low level about 1's and 0's and logic and all sorts of good stuff. The interoperation of hardware and software. This was a fun book to read.
  2. - This book is a must in my opinion. It touches on so many things such as boolean logic, Machine language, architecture, compiling code, etc. And it is f*cking fun to work through.

    Then, if you want to get into frontend web development for example, I would suggest the following two books for the fundamentals of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. What I like about these books is they have little challenges in them:


    Another great book that will teach you just fundamentals of coding using an extremely flexible programming language in Python, how to think like a programmer is this book (disclaimer: I haven't read this one, but have read other Head First books, and they rock. My roommate read this one and loved it though):


    Let me know if you want any other recommendations when it comes to books on certain areas of software development. I do full stack web app development using .NET technology on the backend (C# and T-SQL) and React in the frontend. For my personal blog, I use vanilla HTML, CSS, and Javascript in the frontend and power backend content management with Piranha CMS (.NET Core based). I often times do things like pick up a shorter course or book on mobile development, IoT, etc. (Basically other areas from what I get paid to do at work that interest me).

    If I recommended the very first book to read on this list, it would be the Head First book. Then I would move over to the first book listed in the classic computer science book if you wanted to go towards understanding low level details, but if that's not the case, move towards implementing something with Python, or taking a Python web dev course on Udemy..

    Other really cool languages IMO: Go, C#, Ruby, Javascript, amongst many more

    P.S. Another book from someone that was in a similar situation to you:
u/toddspotters · 1 pointr/askscience

I strongly recommend that you read Petzold's book, Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software. It walks through the process of building circuits, using those circuits to represent information, and then gradually building those up into more complex systems, including programming languages.

u/sacredsnowhawk · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

If anyone is interested in learning about this stuff in-depth, I really recommend the book 'Code' by Charles Petzold. You won't feel like a computer moron again.

u/GilgamEnkidu · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

I HIGHLY recommend the book ["CODE" by Charles Petzold] ( It explains how computers and programming languages are built starting with the simplest pieces (circuits, telegraph relays, transistors binary, assembly, functional languages) up through almost modern day. He also puts it all into historical context. I'm in the middle of it now and it is thoroughly interesting and elucidating.

u/infinitelyExplosive · 1 pointr/pcmasterrace

Here are some different sources for different aspects of computers.

The book Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software is an excellent introduction into the low-level concepts which modern CPUs are built on.

Link hopping on Wikipedia is a totally viable method to learn many aspects of computers. Start at some page you know about, like Graphics Cards or Internet, and just keep reading and clicking links.

Hacking challenges are a great way to learn about how computers work since they require you to have enough knowledge to be able to deliberately break programs. is an excellent choice for beginner- to intermediate-level challenges. also has some good challenges, but they start off harder and progress quickly. Note that these challenges will often require some programming, so learning a powerful language like Python will be very helpful.

This site is not very active anymore, but the old posts are excellent. It's very complex and advanced though, so it's not a good place to start.

In general, google will be your best friend. If you run into a word or program or concept you don't know, google it. If the explanations have more words you don't know, google them. It takes time, but it's the best way to learn on your own.

u/Flofinator · 0 pointsr/learnprogramming

Yikes! Well it's going to be pretty hard for you to really understand how to do Python without actually coding in it.

The one thing you could do though is get a book with examples and write them down and try to modify the examples to do something a little extra while at work.

I find the books the absolute best books for almost anything if you are just starting out. The Java book is especially fun!

I know this isn't exactly what you are asking but it might be a good resource for you to start using.

Another great book that will teach you parts of the theory, and has really good examples on how computers work is .

That really helped me think about computers in a more intuitive way when I was first starting. It goes through the history and to what an adder is and more. I highly recommend that book if you want to understand how computers work.