The problem I had while reading The Pattern on the Stone was that it was a required reading and I don’t like required readings. A required reading may be on a very interesting and interactive material but since it’s required the material ends up putting me to sleep rather quickly. Other than it being required, I found the book to be quite interesting and engaging in sections like the Binary. I was very interested to learn how binary works in a computer and just how binary works in general (“Universal Building Blocks”, Hillis). I also liked where we learned briefly about Boole who created the Boolean and how a Claude Shannon published his master thesis on how to use Booleans to create an electric circuit (“Nuts and Bolts”, Hillis).

One of the things that I learned was about the Boolean gates that can be or are being used in our electronics today. It is intriguing to know what the hardware looks like that helps make a decision on a calculation, like on a calculator.

I mentioned earlier that the binary area caught my attention. Every since the first time I ran into it, it has been something that has fascinated me. This might be due to the patterns that lie on and under the surface of the numbers. Even though we got a good introduction to in the book my interest in learning even more about it and how I might be able to use it more is still very intriguing to me.

The question I have is, what question? The big problem with questions for me is that I never have an answer if someone asks me if I have any questions. The answer to the question (which are questions) always appears later when I’m working on the project or homework on my home and there is no one to answer said questions.

After writing the previous paragraph I realized I did have a question pertaining to Booleans and how complex or simple they could be for programming. The reason that I have this question is because of the people I know who have taken the CIS 301 course that is the logic course and uses Booleans extensively having seen some of the code from some of the assignments.

I would recommend this book to a friend if he/she were interested in learning more about computers or just getting a deeper understanding of them and how they operate and think. I would strongly recommend to them to read at their own pass and only to continue reading it while they are liking the subject matter.

With in the book itself the author does a very good and interesting job of pulling in personal experience with different forms of programming when he is introducing a new subject. One of these cases was when he was first going to talk about Booleans and how essential they are to get anything to work like it does today. The scenario that he used was while he was a kid he built a robot out of spare parts only to realize that he could not get it to work because it had nothing telling it what it was suppose to do or how to function (“Nuts and Bolts”, Hills).

In reference to the robot scenario, I remembered reading about pure and applied mathematics and how they could be compared to Legos (160, Cheng). The specialized pieces are for the applied to make it more life like which is like building the robot from scrap pieces that are found in a salvage yard. Using the actual Lego bricks could be compared to the Boolean gates that get used within the hardware.


Works cited

Cheng, Eugenia. “Lego, Yet Again.” How to Bake π: An Edible Exploration of the Mathematics of Mathematics. New York: Basic, 2015. 160. Print.

Hillis, W. Daniel. “Nuts And Bolts.” The Pattern on the Stone: The Simple Ideas That Make Computers Work. New York: Basic, 1998. 1-3. Print.

Hillis, W. Daniel. “Universal Building Blocks.” The Pattern on the Stone: The Simple Ideas That Make Computers Work. New York: Basic, 1998. 22-27. Print.


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