I had that book years ago. I LOVED that book! Don't know what happened to my copy, though. I liked the "theories of extinction", e.g. the garden-hose experiment (vertical take-off). And the chapter illustrations, like God, setting the rotation speed of Earth - "Whoops, too fast!" - were pretty sweet, too.aeki wrote:Nebulae wrote:Hmm, I really want to become a computer geek too, but I have no idea where to start.
Confession: I don't even know enough about it to know what I need to learn
I cannot recommend David Macaulay's The Way Things Work enough. It starts with explanations of basic mechanical principles, then shows how those principles are put together to make complicated machinery. There's a lot of information about electricity, light, sound, magnetism, etc. and how that works for basically every type of modern machine in existence, plus it's all explained using mammoths! I had a copy of this book while I was growing up found it immensely valuable once I realized there was more to it than the mammoths.
There's a newer version out and it has a bit more explanation about computer geekery than the old one, explaining the basics of the internet as well as the low-level hardware like processors and memory.
I grabbed that quote from 18 pages ago. I was farther behind on this thread than that, but I'm all caught up now (sort of). I still haven't gotten around to reading the ~ middle 200 pages. The posts around page 100 started getting very depressing. One of these days I'm going to get around to reading the rest of the thread, but I'm not going to let myself get behind on this end. In fact, that kind of leads me to my real confession, since I wasn't going to post it until I got caught up on this end of the thread. This is what I would have posted a week ago if I had been caught up with the thread:
I've got over 40 digits of pi memorised, but I can't remember my Student ID Number with only 5 nontrivial digits (the previous SID# I was assigned was 9 digits, which were quickly memorised. No clue why the SID# assignments got changed.). I was trying to access my uni's library from off-campus, but I couldn't because I didn't remember my SID#. And the uni's website is annoying, to put it mildly. I registerred for my courses this quarter using my SID# about 10 weeks ago because I was able to find my new # from my old # and password. The link to that system is now broken. They were unable to get me my new SID# at the ID card center, even with my ID card! Thank God I had the foresight to print out something that had my new # on it when I reg'd for my courses. Otherwise I'd be totally screwed for next quarter.
I seem to have finally memorised my new SID# after using it several times this past week. Still, annoying.