Structured Computer Organization

ISBN: 0131485210
ISBN 13: 9780131485211
By: Andrew S. Tanenbaum

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About this book

Specifically written for undergraduate students, this guide provides an accessible introduction to computer hardware and architecture. Updated content is delivered via the familiar structure that has served instructors through four successful editions, with the major addition of an accompanying assembly language instructional CD-ROM.

Reader's Thoughts


read parts of this for school. interesting but awfully dry and requires some serious mental focus. that said, I now understand a little more what goes on under the hoods of these machines that I use everyday.


Tanenbaum is one of the CS classical authors. Any CS student or instructor should own a copy of this updated edition of Structured Computer Organization. The book structure remains the same, but there are many important updates, mainly in the examples and case studies. Tanenbaum's style is also the same: a bit arid and telegraphic, specially for newcomers, but his approach is much better for an introductory computer organization and architecture course than the books by Patterson/Hennessy (which are mandatory reading for any CS student/instructor as well). I have basically one criticism to this book: it is very pricey! Particularly for an instructor whose wages are not paid in dollars...


it is a good book

Nick Black

The deeper processor design is covered just lightly enough to leave you utterly confused. Other than that, a solid introduction to architectural considerations.


I was disappointed in this text. While it provides brad coverage of computer organization, it does so at the cost of any significant depth.


I read the 3rd edition of this book. The book reads well - it starts off assuming that the reader has little knowledge about computer architecture and gradually builds upon that. The book is not as detailed or technical as other books of its nature, but it does make for an easier read for newcomers to the topic. The complaint I have against this is that while the flow is good, the reading is not - the book's somewhat boring, but I guess that applies to books you have to read just to finish a university course.

Nelson Minar

I've been hacking pretty deep on computers for more than half my life - I wrote my first 6502 assembly code at age 12, back in 1984 or so. But I never understood any of the details of what was going inside the box, I've never gone below the assembly code level before. I have to take the Computer Science GRE (bleah!) soon, though, so that was a good excuse to learn a little computer architecture. (I did fine on it, btw!).Tanenbaum is a great book to learn that from. It's a bit simplistic (perfect sophomore CS textbook, I think), but the organization that he presents is excellent and it's fun to read. He starts from the bottom, a transistor (sadly, no quantum mechanics), and moves up through logic gates, LSI, simple computer design, VLSI, microcode, and then up to the software that runs on the hardware. Hardware makes sense to me now! Well, at least more so.

Joey Baker

Im going to kill myself before I get through the whole thing. Binary numbers are fun though!

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