I recently entered a computer science reading frenzy and have a few books in this category which I wish to read. Code, by Charles Petzold provides a readable, accessible, and concise account of the fundamental concepts supporting the hardware and software enabling you to read this post. So important are these concepts to our daily lives, I think that this book should be required reading in all high schools.
Category: charles babbage
Ancient Computer, recently released on NOVA, investigates in detail the Antikythera mechanism. This device is really stunning. Charles Babbage is usually credited with the first computer — his difference engine. However, the Antikythera mechanism shows that the first known computer was actually developed in ancient times. Perhaps even more ancient humans, like the Babylonians or Egyptians, had such machines, their devices lost or destroyed. YouTube link.
I picked up the book The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood, by James Gleick, knowing nothing about Information Theory. After reading this wonderful account on the history of the subject and its historical figures, I highly recommend this to anyone wishing to become acquainted with this field of thought.