The Computer: A Very Short Introduction

ISBN : 9780199586592

Darrel Ince
152 ページ
112 x 171 mm
Very Short Introductions



  • Looks at how the computer has affected the world that we live in, describing the technologies involved and the applications that have emerged
  • Explains the basic architecture of the computer and how it works
  • Considers a range of uses; from the effect of computers in the workplace and the growing power and roles of global computer networks to the future miniaturization of computers and new forms such as quantum and DNA computers
  • Explores the limits of computing and what the future holds

There is a companion web site asssociated with the book (http://vsicomputer.wordpress.com/). It contains chapter summaries, links to relevant material and posts about items of news relevant to the book's contents. 
Computers have changed so much since the room-filling, bulky magnetic tape running monsters of the mid 20th century. They now form a vital part of most people's lives. And they are more ubiquitous than might be thought - you may have more than 30 computers in your home: not just the desktop and laptop but think of the television, the fridge, the microwave. But what is the basic nature of the modern computer? How does it work? How has it been possible to squeeze so much power into increasingly small machines? And what will the next generations of computers look like?
In this Very Short Introduction, Darrel Ince looks at the basic concepts behind all computers; the changes in hardware and software that allowed computers to become so small and commonplace; the challenges produced by the computer revolution - especially whole new modes of cybercrime and security issues; the Internet and the advent of 'cloud computing'; and the promise of whole new horizons opening up with quantum computing, and even computing using DNA.


1: The naked computer
2: The small computer
3: The ubiquitous computer
4: The global computer
5: The insecure computer
6: The disruptive computer
7: The cloud computer
8: The next computer


Darrel Ince is Professor of Computing at the Open University and the author of 25 books, four of them with OUP, including Software Engineering and Dictionary of the Internet.

In this Very Short Introduction, Darrel Ince looks at the basic concepts behind all computers and the changes in hardware and software that allowed computers to become so small and commonplace.
The Computer