About Digital Planet

Digital Planet: Tomorrow’s Technology and You is the tenth edition of an introductory college textbook by George Beekman and Ben Beekman.

Digital Planet: The Book

Digital Planet explores information technology on three levels:

  1. Explanations: It demystifies digital information technology, from smart phones and PCs to the Internet and beyond.
  2. Applications: It explains how computers and networks are—and will be—used to help solve personal and global problems and extend human capabilities.
  3. Implications: It places technology in a human context, illustrating how our ever-growing network of digital devices affects our lives, our planet, and our future.

In general, the book’s focus flows from the concrete to the controversial and from the present to the future. Individual chapters have a similarly expanding focus. Each chapter flows from basic concepts and practical tips toward abstract, future-oriented questions and ideas. Most chapters raise ethical issues related to the use and misuse of digital technology. Every chapter asks readers to think about trade-offs associated with technological innovations.

Digital Planet uses clear prose and engaging graphics to make even the most intimidating subjects approachable and interesting. The book’s blend of down-to-earth practical knowledge and mind-expanding futuristic vision sets it apart from just about every other textbook on this digital planet.

Previous editions of Digital Planet have been translated into Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Hebrew. In 2005 a copy of the book was buried in a time capsule at the dedication of Oregon State University’s Kelley Engineering Center.

Digital Planet: The Authors

George Beekman is a writer, teacher, consultant, and multimedia designer. While he wrote the first several editions of this book he was a faculty member in Oregon State University’s Computer Science Department and New Media program. Ben Beekman is a writer, web designer, multimedia designer, teacher, and technology consultant. George and Ben work with a staff of publishing professionals at Prentice Hall, a division of Pearson Education.

Digital Planet: The Website

Digital Planet is about your future, starting today. The posts on these pages expand the horizons of Digital Planet with links to articles, videos, illustrations, quotations, discussions, and other interactive resources. Some of these posts cover events and inventions that surfaced after the book was printed; others expand on subjects or ideas presented in the book. Each post is cross-referenced to relevant chapters in Digital Planet, the book. If you have suggestions for future posts, please email your ideas to the authors:

george@digital-pla.net
ben@digital-pla.net