Sunday, October 14, 2012

Robert St. Amant

The liberal arts computing course follows one of two models.  The easier of the two focuses on the impact of the computer on business and the applications used within a typical business.  The second attempts to introduce the non-major to the skills and tasks used by a computer scientist.  This book meets the requirements for the latter of these two models.

Beginning with a survey of computer history (alas, it minimizes the ABC Computer), it moves through computer hardware, abstract data structures and databases, and programming.  It then moves onto the more specialized technical subjects of operating systems, computer networks, and theoretical computer science.

The author uses common, real-life,  experiences to help the reader understand the technical issues within each of these topics.  This makes the book readable, as the title indicates, to us ordinary mortals.  In addition to the details included in the book, the author also includes “Further Reading” suggestions for the reader who wants to know more.  Most of these suggestions are from the classical textbooks which cover the individual topics.

The book is recommended for a technologically based Introduction to Computer Science or for the general reader who wants to more about the internals of the computer science discipline.  In addition to the book, a blog is written by the author to support the concepts presented in the book: "".

This review is based on a free electronic copy of the book provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review.  The opinions expressed are mine alone.  

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