A History of Modern Computing

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MIT Press, 2003 - Computers - 445 pages
4 Reviews
This engaging history covers modern computing from the development of the first electronic digital computer through the dot-com crash. The author concentrates on five key moments of transition: the transformation of the computer in the late 1940s from a specialized scientific instrument to a commercial product; the emergence of small systems in the late 1960s; the beginning of personal computing in the 1970s; the spread of networking after 1985; and, in a chapter written for this edition, the period 1995-2001. The new material focuses on the Microsoft antitrust suit, the rise and fall of the dot-coms, and the advent of open source software, particularly Linux.

Within the chronological narrative, the book traces several overlapping threads: the evolution of the computer's internal design; the effect of economic trends and the Cold War; the long-term role of IBM as a player and as a target for upstart entrepreneurs; the growth of software from a hidden element to a major character in the story of computing; and the recurring issue of the place of information and computing in a democratic society. The focus is on the United States (though Europe and Japan enter the story at crucial points), on computing per se rather than on applications such as artificial intelligence, and on systems that were sold commercially and installed in quantities.
  

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A history of modern computing

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Published in 1998, the first edition of this history took readers from the development of the first electronic digital computer to the advent of the World Wide Web. Several significant developments ... Read full review

Review: A History of Modern Computing

User Review  - Alain van Hoof - Goodreads

There is a second Edition, I read the first. Apart from a lot of facts about the systems from 1950 and up, also the commercial success of the system is discussed. Interesting read. Read full review

Contents

Defining Computer
1
The Advent of Commercial Computing 19451956
13
Computing Comes of Age 19561964
47
The Early History of Software 19521968
79
From Mainframe to Minicomputer 19591969
109
The GoGo Years and the System360 19611975
143
The Chip and Its Impact 19651975
177
The Personal Computer 19721977
207
Augmenting Human Intellect 19751985
243
Workstations UNIX and the Net 19811995
281
Internet Time 19952001
307
The Digitization of the World Picture
345
Notes
351
Bibliography
415
Index
431
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About the author (2003)

Paul E. Ceruzzi is Curator of the National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC. He is the author of A History of Modern Computing (second edition, MIT Press, 2003) and other books, and coeditor of The Internet and American Business (MIT Press, 2008).

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