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Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs, Second Edition

Harold Abelson, Gerald Jay Sussman, Julie Sussman · 3 HN comments
HN Books has aggregated all Hacker News stories and comments that mention "Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs, Second Edition" by Harold Abelson, Gerald Jay Sussman, Julie Sussman.
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Amazon Summary
With an analytical and rigorous approach to problem solving and programming techniques, this book is oriented toward engineering. Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs emphasizes the central role played by different approaches to dealing with time in computational models. Its unique approach makes it appropriate for an introduction to computer science courses, as well as programming languages and program design.
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Hacker News Stories and Comments

All the comments and stories posted to Hacker News that reference this book.
Mar 11, 2012 · unimpressive on IPad as hip flask
(Disclosure: I have never taken a financial math course.)

http://www.amazon.com/Structure-Interpretation-Computer-Prog...

Apparently at the time of writing it's worth $34.78 on paperback. You could argue that that's the printing costs. However, if I were to copy that book with a scanner and distribute it online for a cost of $0 it would be copyright infringement. Thus the words and ideas themselves must have some form of economic value. (Or at least perceived economic value.)

You can already measure one variable associated with reading: Time spent. After all, by some metrics time translates to money and vice versa. And okay, the benefits of reading are nonlinear. So instead make it a probability. What is the chance that the book I am about to read will, even in conjunction with other books, will have justified the amount of time I spent reading it? (You can probably use some subjective measures here like happiness generated from fantasy.) In the case of reading to enrich your knowledge in a particular field you ask an important subset of that question: What is the chance that this book will, even in conjunction with other books, have a significant impact on my ability to work in my chosen field versus the chance that if I went and started one of my projects right now I would succeed?

Theres more than one project I have right now for which I've said "Nope, need to do more reading.".

Karunamon
>However, if I were to copy that book with a scanner and distribute it online for a cost of $0 it would be copyright infringement. Thus the words and ideas themselves must have some form of economic value. (Or at least perceived economic value.)

Percieved, perhaps, but keep in mind that copyright is nothing more than a government granted monopoly. There is no requirement that something have a certain value (or even positive value) for copyright to apply.

After all, just because I perceive my blog to be worth $1,000,000 doesn't mean a whole heck of a lot, even though it's copyrighted ;)

On the note of comparing equivalent courses, I've just started going through "Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs", and I'm attempting to simultaneously go through all of the major courses based around it simultaneously.

First, there's the book itself: http://sicpebook.wordpress.com/ebook/

There's the Abelson / Sussman lectures from 1986: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLE18841CABEA24090

There's UC Berkeley CS 61A, for which at least 4 semesters of full lectures are available: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL3E89002AA9B9879E http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLD7B8D6A4834C14C8 http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL6879A8466C44A5D5 http://academicearth.org/courses/the-structure-and-interpret...

And there's also the ArsDigita University course from ~2000: http://aduni.org/courses/sicp/index.php?view=cw http://www.archive.org/details/arsdigita_01_sicp

And the SICP wiki is useful for when you get stuck: http://sicp.org.ua/sicp

The comments on amazon.com for the book are interesting. The first is from Peter Norvig, and the second from Paul Graham! http://www.amazon.com/Structure-Interpretation-Computer-Prog...

Just for fun, I clicked on the link and looked for SICP. Amazon gave me a price of $115.44. If you look at the bottom, you'll see a link for the same book, only Amazon is selling it for $69.34!

What is the difference between the two? The links are:

$115.44 : http://www.amazon.com/Structure-Interpretation-Computer-Prog...

$69.34 : http://www.amazon.com/Structure-Interpretation-Computer-Prog...

Aside from price, the only difference that I can make out is that the cover for the more expensive version is a lighter shade of blue. What it looks like is that Amazon is charging a lot more if you buy SICP as a textbook rather than as a regular book.

stse
Different editions and publishers, McGraw-Hill vs The MIT Press.
rglovejoy
No, they're both the same book: both are second edition, with the same number of pages. Each page even has the same reviews (note reviews by Peter Norvig and pg). The only differences are the price and the ISBNs.
stse
I didn't mean edition as in revision. It might be the exact same book, the barcode might be different or whatever. Amazon lists them the same way if you do a regular search.
hga
Indeed, as you note the ISBNs are different. The market is officially divided between the two publishers, one has US, the other the rest of the world.

As a side note it's all online and under a Create Commons license....

waterlesscloud
I looked at the "computer science" section from the left menu, and the top of the list was The Great Gatsby.

That must be for the future financial engineers?

trin_
thats expensive ... i paid 30€ for my version ... new
throw_away
they are by two different publishers (one is mcgraw-hill, the other by mit press).

IIRC, there were shortened versions of the books published as well---as some schools didn't cover all the material (cal didn't cover chapter 5), but both of these match the pagecount of my full 5 chapter copy. I think that it's just a difference of publisher.

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