I’d like to present a fun fun book about computers.Â No, no it’s not a boring how-to manual filled with blips and blops and bits of binary code.Â It’s a funny, heartwarming dystopian tale called Zuto: The Adventures of a Computer Virus.
Zuto is the brainchild of Udi Aharoni, a computer software engineer from Israel.Â How cool is THAT?? (way!)
Here’s what they’re saying about Zuto:
Zuto: The Adventures of a Computer Virus takes place inside a strange, little known world: a personal computer, the perfect setting for a fast-paced, funny, one-minute-long story.
Zuto, a smart, sneaky computer virus, leads a happy life in his secret hiding place: the Recycle Bin. There, among heaps of junk full of surprising treasures, he plans his tricks. Everything changes when a far more malicious program invades the computer . . . and threatens to end all life in it. Together with his Recycle Bin friendsâoutdated, buggy programsâZuto sets off to save his world.
The bookâs colorful and imaginative metaphors offer an insightful glimpse inside a computer. An appendix, the âZutopedia,â explains the truth behind the story: how malware works, whatâs the role of firewalls, binary numbers, Easter eggs, IP addresses, and many more.
Let’s peek inside the brain of our author and see what he has to say about this fun tale.
Already as a child I was drawn to science, technology, and computers in particular. I was equally drawn, though, to artistic creation: painting, movie making (especially via animation), and writing.
I first managed to combine my passions in the early stages of my career, working on commercial computer games development. My role was writing the plot-line, painting the graphics (which was quite basic in the early nineties), and programming parts of the game software.
Afterwards, I got more deeply involved with the scientific, technical side. I earned a master degree in computer science, and started working on complicated, number-crunching computer projects in IBM research. Still, to let out artistic steam, I found the time for an old-new hobby: animation.
I published via my Youtube channel a series of short, animated videos, each visualizes some scientific concept in physics, mathematics, or computer science. You can see for example this one, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxENKlcs2Tw, about quick-sort, or this one, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-ilzxawUAs, about the physical principles behind car gears.
Then came the next great opportunity to combine all my passions: Zuto. The early drafts of the adventures of Zuto the computer virus were intended to be a script for an animated TV series. The idea was to create a colorful, imaginative, fantasy-like world, that nevertheless truly represents the internal world of a computer more realistically than ever.
The hopes a TV series would be produced based on my script drafts were soon evaporated, but by then I grew too fond of Zuto to let him fade away. So I set off to make a book out of it. It required a lot of work of course, adapting my ideas to the written word, but when it was done, an Israeli publisher caught the hook at last.
Zuto was published in Hebrew in 2009. Following the Hebrew versionâs success, the English version was published in August 2012. Readers often ask me about a sequel, but the muse for another episode of Zutoâs adventure has not yet arrived. Currently, Iâm back in the animation business, and subscribers of my Youtube channel will soon receive notification of a few new animated videos. I very much hope to find the inspiration for a second book afterwards.
How fun were those videos and that little car? ADORBS. After finishing the book, you’ll know how computers works from the inside out.Â Think of it as learning without the hassle of learning. For more information visit www.Zutopedia.com
I give this book 3 paws for its ability to make computer science fun!