A Brief History of Computing

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Springer Science & Business Media, Feb 1, 2008 - Computers - 252 pages
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Overview The objective of this book is to provide an introduction into some of the key topics in the history of computing. The computing eld is a vast area and a truly comp- hensive account of its history would require several volumes. The aims of this book are more modest, and its goals are to give the reader a avour of some of the key topics and events in the history of computing. It is hoped that this will stimulate the interested reader to study the more advanced books and articles available. The history of computing has its origins in the dawn of civilization. Early hunter gatherer societies needed to be able to perform elementary calculations such as counting and arithmetic. As societies evolved into towns and communities there was a need for more sophisticated calculations. This included primitive accounting to determine the appropriate taxation to be levied as well as the development of geometry to enable buildings, templates and bridges to be constructed. Our account commences with the contributions of the Egyptians, and Babylonians. It moves on to the foundationalwork done by Boole and Babbage in the nineteenth century, and to the importantwork on Boolean Logicand circuit design doneby Claude Shannon in the 1930s. The theoretical work done by Turing on computability is considered as well as work done by von Neumann and others on the fundamental architecture for computers.

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