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The ACCU passes on review copies of computer books to its members for them to review. The result is a large, high quality collection of book reviews by programmers, for programmers. Currently there are 1918 reviews in the database and more every month.
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Title:
How Cool Stuff Works
Author:
Ted Smart
ISBN:
1-4053-1823-6
Publisher:
Dorling Kindersley
Pages:
256
Price:
Reviewer:
Ian Bruntlett
Subject:
Appeared in:
19-2

To coin a phrase, this is a "popular technology" book. It is hard backed, A4 sized and runs to 256 pages, lushly illustrated. It splits technology in to 6 chapters - Connect, Play, Live, Move, Work and Survive. Each section is split up into two page spreads illustrating a particular invention.

For example the "Connect" chapter covers the following inventions - Microchip, Mobile Phone, Fibre optics, Digital Radio, LCD TV, Toys Gallery, Voice Recognition, Pet translator, Iris scan, Neon, Links gallery, Internet, Video link, Satellite and "What Next?". The other 5 chapters are also as interesting.

To complement the main text, there is a slim reference section with a timeline - showing when certain things were invented, a "groundbreakers" section which highlights the work of key inventors and a "techno terms" section which acts as a glossary.

I regard this book as recommended reading for anyone interested in technology. If you like this book then read "Tomorrow's People" by Susan Greenfield.