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Review 2 - Living in a digital world: Demystifying technology
by Terry Freedman (Reproduced in its entirety, with kind permission)

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The author, Mark Baker, has achieved something rather extraordinary with this book: he has made it both useful and readable.

It's useful for several reasons. First, it covers a lot of ground, delving into the mysteries of such things as what algorithms are, how programs work as expressed in pseudocode and flowcharts, computer networks, the internet, barcodes, qr codes, even satnavs.

Secondly, it is easy to find the information you want because as well as a summary table of contents there is also a much more detailed one. This is just as well, considering that one of the chapters bears the rather uninformative title: How some stuff works. In addition, there is a good index.

Thirdly, there are some very useful appendices, including a computing timeline and a glossary.

Finally, each chapter contains a self test and a list of key learning points.

What about the readability of the book? That's achieved through having a decent sized font and book size, the easy way in which the book has been written -- the author's voice really comes through -- and the inclusion of plenty of illustrations and photographs.

This is a book I would definitely recommend, both for teachers who find the subject somewhat arcane, and for students.

Terry Freedman, Digital Education, November 2018

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