The Essential Guide to Computers is an intelligent, thorough, friendly, and up-to-date explanation of computer technology. It's perfect for smart professionals who want to understand the technology -- but don't have computer science or engineering degrees! Learn how computers have evolved from early, room-sized monoliths to PCs to tomorrow's "information appliances." Understand each key hardware component of a contemporary computer, including microprocessors, memory, storage, I/O, and displays. Understand the role of systems architecture in the orderly evolution of computing technology; then learn what operating systems are and how they compare. Understand the role of programming languages and what they try to achieve; including the basics of object-orientation, today's leading approach to software development. Next, learn how computers can be organized into many kinds of networks, from LANs to the Internet; and how this enables new kinds of software and applications, including e-commerce. For anyone who wants to understand the fundamentals of how computers and networks work.