Computer: A History Of The Information Machine, Second Edition

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Westview Press, Apr 27, 2009 - Computers - 360 pages
11 Reviews
Computer: A History of the Information Machine, Second Edition traces the story of the computer, and shows how business and government were the first to explore its unlimited, information-processing potential. Old-fashioned entrepreneurship combined with scientific know-how inspired now famous computer engineers to create the technology that became IBM. Wartime needs drove the giant ENIAC, the first fully electronic computer. Later, the PC enabled modes of computing that liberated people from room-sized, mainframe computers. This second edition now extends beyond the development of Microsoft Windows and the Internet, to include open source operating systems like Linux, and the rise again and fall and potential rise of the dot.com industries.
  

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - breadhat - LibraryThing

This clear and engaging book traces the history of the computer as far back as its 19th-century conceptual origins. By devoting so much space to the connections between digital computers and related ... Read full review

Review: Computer: A History of the Information Machine

User Review  - Alex - Goodreads

This book gives a decent overview of the history of computing. The authors have found room to illustrate important turns in history with amusing anecdotes. It does not deliver on its promises though ... Read full review

Contents

When Computers Were People
3
The Mechanical Office
23
Babbages Dream Comes True
45
Inventing the Computer
69
The Computer Becomes a Business Machine
93
The Rise and Fall of IBM
117
Reaping the Whirlwind
141
Software
163
New Modes of Computing
185
PMRmrm GETTING PERSONAL
205
Broadening the Appeal
231
From the World Brain to the World Wide Web
255
Notes
281
Bibliography
301
Index
315
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 48 - ... algebra, is the introduction into it of the principle which Jacquard devised for regulating, by means of punched cards, the most complicated patterns in the fabrication of brocaded stuffs.
Page 56 - Imagine a large hall like a theatre, except that the circles and galleries go right round through the space usually occupied by the stage. The walls of this chamber are painted to form a map of the globe.
Page 56 - A myriad of computers are at work upon the weather of the part of the map where each sits, but each computer attends only to one equation or part of an equation. The work of each region is coordinated by an official of higher rank. Numerous little "night signs" display the instantaneous values so that neighboring computers can read them.
Page 26 - Please do not use my name in any way. Please do not even divulge the fact that I own a machine. I have entirely stopped using the typewriter, for the reason that I never could write a letter with it to anybody without receiving a request by return mail that I would not only describe the machine, but state what progress I had made in the use of it, etc., etc. I don't like to write letters, and so I don't want people to know I own this curiosity-breeding little joker.
Page 105 - Mauchly slumped down on the couch and put his feet up on the coffee table damned if he was going to show any respect for my father.
Page 260 - It seems reasonable to envision, for a time 10 or 15 years hence, a "thinking center" that will incorporate the functions of present-day libraries together with anticipated advances in information storage and retrieval and the symbiotic functions suggested earlier in this paper. The picture readily enlarges itself into a network of such centers, connected to one another by wide-band communication lines and to individual users by leased-wire services.
Page 56 - night signs " display the instantaneous values so that neighbouring computers can read them. Each number is thus displayed in three adjacent zones so as to maintain communication to the North and South on the map. From the floor of the pit a tall pillar rises to half the height of the hall. It carries a large pulpit on its top. In this sits the man in charge of the whole theatre ; he is surrounded by several assistants and messengers. One of his duties is to maintain a uniform speed of progress...
Page 88 - When first built, a program was laboriously inserted and the start switch pressed. Immediately the spots on the display tube entered a mad dance. In early trials it was a dance of death leading to no useful result, and what was even worse, without yielding any clue as to what was wrong. But one day it stopped and there, shining brightly in the expected place, was the expected answer, It was a moment to remember.

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About the author (2009)

Martin Campbell-Kelly is professor of computer science at the University of Warwick in England. William Aspray is Rudy Professor of Informatics at Indiana University. Both are historians with a specialization in the history of computers. Martin Campbell-Kelly is professor of computer science at the University of Warwick in England. William Aspray is Rudy Professor of Informatics at Indiana University. Both are historians with a specialization in the history of computers.

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