A Machine Made This Book


A Popular Science book about Computer Science

How do we decide where to put ink on a page to draw letters and pictures? How can computers represent all the world’s languages and writing systems? What exactly is a computer program, what and how does it calculate, and how can we build one? Can we compress information to make it easier to store and quicker to transmit? How do newspapers print photographs with grey tones using just black ink and white paper? How are paragraphs laid out automatically on a page and split across multiple pages?

In A Machine Made this Book, using examples from the publishing industry, John Whitington introduces the fascinating discipline of Computer Science to the uninitiated.

Buy now on your local Amazon, Google Books, or just $9.99 for a DRM-free PDF download.

Sample Chapters

Front Matter (Preface, Chapter summaries)

  1. Putting Marks on Paper
  2. Letter Forms
  3. Storing Words
  4. Looking and Finding
  5. Typing it In
  6. Saving Space
  7. Doing Sums
  8. Grey Areas
  9. Our Typeface
  10. Words to Paragraphs

Back Matter (Solutions, Further Reading, Templates, Colophon, Index)

For more sample content, view A Machine Made this Book on Google Books.


To the first printing of the first edition (2016):

Page 90 The 'cons' operands are the wrong way round in the 'reverse' function.

Page 112 In the table, there are two 4s. The left-most one should be 5.

Page 115 In the table, to match the patterns, 14 and 15 should be swapped. 

Page 166 There are two extra solutions not in the problem statement: record (verb) and record (noun). Remove them.