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First there was Martin Gardener, then there was Doug Hofstadter, then here was...this Dewdney dude. They were successive writers of the "recreational" column in Scientific American. Dewdney's was "Computer Recreations" and here they are, neatly collected up in a book and updated, too! Except the column ran from 1984-86 and my brother helpful scrawled "1988" in his copy - so it's hideously out-of-date now. There isn't a topic in here that hasn't advanced enormously in the intervening time, perhap...
A really fun read. I’m not familiar with computer programming, so I found the long coding descriptions a bit hard to get through, but overall with a sound enough knowledge of mathematical and scientific principles I was able to enjoy the descriptions of the various computer “worlds”. There are so many beautiful patterns and phenomena to be found in both the digital realm and the natural world, and this book deals with both!
"The Armchair Universe: An Exploration of Computer Worlds" is a charming collection of Scientific American columns from the pen of mathematician and computer scientist Alex Dewdney. The columns describe, in accessible language and with illustrations, a veritable smorgasbord of mathematical and computational novelties--varying from well-popularized topics such as the Mandelbrot set and Conway's game of life to less-known gadgets, algorithms and simulations. The book is somewhat dated, having been...