“Despite its wonders, the Internet can be a dangerous place.” Thank you, textbook. I learn so much. “..viruses are executable programs designed by malicious programmers–sometimes called hackers…” DANG NABBIT, THEY’RE AT IT AGAIN! Those malicious programmers…*grumble grumble* A friend suggested I write up a “smart-assed review,” but I don’t think it’s fair to judge a book by its first chapter, or rather Chapter 0. Yeah, isn’t that cute?
Taking “Great Ideas in Computing” (which makes it sound so dull) is my way of cramming a bit of computer science into the last semester of my college career. If I would’ve had some foresight, it probably could’ve been a double major, but as it stands, I’ll have to settle for a gentle overview. As much as I enjoy ridiculing our textbook, Computer Confluence, it really doesn’t seem THAT bad. Sure, Chapter 0 is essentially, “Here is a mouse; here is a keyboard! Computers! They’re important!” but I think we can all agree that having a little more than the typical tech “knowledge” (of say, the casual surfer crowd) has its benefits, and the rest of the book should provide aptly in that category.
This text is pretty much a more studenty version of the other book I read a good chunk of this past summer. It covers a similar range of topics, but on “three levels:” explanations, applications, and implications. It’s nice to have the context to soften the technical stuff. There is online support and supposedly a CD-ROM, but I bought mine used… Since it assumes completely noobage of the reader, the explanations are pretty simple. Our professor makes the concepts even easier to understand. (e.g. “RAM is like a bucket…”)
No, I will not be transcribing my collected weekly lecture notes for everyone. I may, however, post relevant essays. If I learn anything thrilling, LD readers will be the first to know!