A Brief History of Computing

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Springer Science & Business Media, Mar 14, 2012 - Computers - 264 pages
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The history of computing has its origins at the outset of civilization, and the need for increasingly sophisticated calculations has grown as towns and communities evolved.

This lively and fascinating text traces the key developments in computation – from 3000 B.C. to the present day – in an easy-to-follow and concise manner. Providing a comprehensive introduction to the most significant events and concepts in the history of computing, the book embarks upon a journey from ancient Egypt to modern times; taking in mechanical calculators, early digital computers, the first personal computers and 3G mobile phones, among other topics. This expanded and revised new edition also examines the evolution of programming languages and the history of software engineering, in addition to such revolutions in computing as the invention of the World Wide Web.

Topics and features: ideal for self-study, offering many pedagogical features such as chapter-opening key topics, chapter introductions and summaries, exercises, and a glossary; presents detailed information on major figures in computing, such as Boole, Babbage, Shannon, Turing, Zuse and Von Neumann; reviews the history of software engineering and of programming languages, including syntax and semantics; discusses the progress of artificial intelligence, with extension to such key disciplines as philosophy, psychology, linguistics, neural networks and cybernetics; examines the impact on society of the introduction of the personal computer, the World Wide Web, and the development of mobile phone technology; follows the evolution of a number of major technology companies, including IBM, Microsoft and Apple.

This clearly written and broad-ranging text both gives the reader a flavour of the history and stimulates further study in the subject. As such, it will be of great benefit to students of computer science, while also capturing the interest of the more casual reader.


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Chapter 1 Computing in Early Civilisations
Chapter 2 What Is a Computer?
Chapter 3 Early Computers
Chapter 4 Developments in the 1950s1970s
Chapter 5 Revolutions in the 1980s and 1990s
Chapter 6 IBM
Chapter 7 Technology Companies
Chapter 8 The Internet Revolution
Chapter 11 People in Computing
Chapter 12 Foundations Boole and Babbage
Chapter 13 Claude Shannon
Chapter 14 Alan Turing
Chapter 15 Artificial Intelligence

Chapter 9 History of Programming Languages
Chapter 10 History of Software Engineering

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About the author (2012)

Dr. Gerard O’Regan is a CMMI software process improvement consultant at SQC Consulting, and a visiting lecturer at Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, Malaysia. He is the author of the Springer titles Introduction to Software Process Improvement, Mathematical Approaches to Software Quality and A Practical Approach to Software Quality.

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