The Computer: A Very Short Introduction
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.
Download this VSI Reading Guide as an Adobe PDF (28 KB)
Questions for Thought and Discussion
- What would you do to bring some order into science given the potential chaos the computer can cause?
- Do you think it inevitable that the computer will become just another domestic device?
- How do you think bookshops can compete with online sellers such as Amazon?
- How do you think that music stores can compete with companies that enable you to download from the Internet?
- Do you think the author has missed any other security precautions for home computing?
- The Times has put a pay-wall between itself and its readers. This means that in order to read the newspaper on the web you need to pay for its online edition. Other newspapers have not. Do you think The Times action will be successful.
- Think of some potential uses of computers for the elderly.
- Can you think of some health applications that can be implemented on a device such as an iPhone?
- Does the long tail thesis that is described in the book ring true to you?
- Can you think of some uses for a wiki?
- Can you think of some novel uses for Twitter?
- Given the huge amount of digital photographs that are available on the web at a cheap price is there a future for the professional photographer outside weddings?
- Hally, Mike, Electronic Brains: Stories from the Dawn of the Computer Age, (Granta Books, 2006)
- Petzold, Charles,Code: The Hidden Language,, (Microsoft Press, 2000)
- Pfleeger & Pfleeger,Security in Computing, (Prentice Hall, 2006)
- Carr, Nicholas G.,Does it Matter? Information Technology and the Corrosion of Competitive Advantage, (Harvard Business School Press, 2004)
- Carr, Nicholas, The Big Switch : Rewiring the World from “Edison” to “Google”, (W.W. Norton & Co., 2009)
- Gleick, James, The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood, (Fourth Estate, 2011)
- Floridi, Luciano, Information: A Very Short Introduction, (Oxford University Press, 2010)