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Whether we like it or not, technology is a part of our lives. We use it to communicate with one another, to do our jobs, to study, even to find a wedding photographer in Burlington, Ontario. Time marches onward, never backward, so barring a major catastrophe, technology's role in our lives will only increase. Therefore, anyone who has fallen behind the times and never learned about computers or technology will find it increasingly difficult to cope. How can you ever hope to catch up at this stage? Read Floyd Fuller's book: "Computers: Understanding Technology."
What's the book about?
Computers: Understanding Technology is an in-depth look at how our lives are affected by technology, both on an individual basis and collectively as a society. It explores the basics of hardware and software usage, data storage, networking, security, and functionality. It delves into computer careers, how to get into them, how to be successful at them, and why it was inevitable that hotel WiFi would become the norm worldwide. Basic computing principles such as input and output are covered as well as the more thorny philosophical questions that stem from the field of ethics as applied to computer usage.
As a textbook that deals with a continually changing field, Computers: Understanding Technology has gone through several printings. We're on the eve of a fourth, so the third edition is the most recent, though generally you can only find it used. The book also comes in three versions: Brief, Introductory, and Comprehensive, so the student is able to purchase a book that will cater to his or her experience level. For instance, if you don't know what we mean when we say we bought a Europe SIM card for our 3G PDA then you're probably best off with the brief level. Page counts range from the mid 500s to just over 700 depending on the level you choose. All versions are accompanied by a CDROM and contain classroom exercises to help with information retention.
Who should read this book?
Anyone who has ever asked themselves the question: "why does technology matter?" or who has wondered to what effect human beings depend on technology should read this book. It's also a useful tool if you're a technology newbie and you need to start with the basics. This isn't the sort of book you pack in your purse to read on the beach or while you're at the spa waiting for your chemical peel. This is a serious book which is generally used only for university courses. It would make a good gift for any serious minded person who is interested in computers as a field of study, or for anyone you know who may need a reference book while they're learning to use computers for the first time.