Charles Petzold on writing books, reading books, and exercising the internal UTM

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“The Annotated Turing” Tentative TOC

November 21, 2007
New York, N.Y.

TOC — that's book-publishing talk for "Table of Contents." I've created a new page on my web site dedicated to my forthcoming book The Annotated Turing: A Guided Tour through Alan Turing's Historic Paper on Computability and the Turing Machine. The page includes a description of the book adapted from my proposal, a tentative table of contents with brief synopses of all the chapters, and (most importantly) links to pre-order the book.

You can go to my home page and make the leap from there:

Or you can go directly to The Annotated Turing page:

People have asked: What is this book? A biography? A history? A book about computability? And the answer is: Yes!


This looks like a book that will be relevant long after the current technology has been superseded.

— Doug, Thu, 22 Nov 2007 08:59:42 -0500 (EST)


I'm looking forward to your Turing book!

It is always fascinating (at least to me) to catch a glimpse of the vast implications of the mathematical abstractions underlying our modern world. The simplicity of Cantor's diagnonal proof or the wonder of Godel's incompleteness theorem are quite astounding and Turing holds a similar place at the foundations of modern times. That a simple idea like the Universal Turing Machine could hold the key to computability is a wonderful tribute to the human mind's capacity for abstract thought.

It also doesn't hurt to author a book with wider appeal than the now fallen from favor technical genre. I hope it does well and affords you many years of similar work.


randy, Fri, 23 Nov 2007 10:41:12 -0500 (EST)

I just read "On Computable Numbers..." tonight and find myself wishing your book was already published. The material really is fascinating, but also hard to digest - even for somebody who is comfortable with the "scary German gothic font" and is well-versed on the operations of Turing Machines. Plus it's difficult to do any kind of research on anything Turing-related without getting distracted and going off on a three hour hyperlink adventure delving into the life and history of Turing himself, since that is just as interesting. Looks like it should be a good read.

— Joe, Tue, 18 Dec 2007 19:01:40 -0500 (EST)

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