Computer: a history of the information machine

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Basic Books, 1996 - Computers - 342 pages
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Blending strong narrative history and a fascinating look at the interface of business and technology, Computer: A History of the Information Machine traces the dramatic story of the invention of the computer. Earlier histories of the computer have depicted it as a tool both created by and to be used by scientists to solve their own number-crunching problems - as late as 1949 it was thought by some that the world would never need more than a dozen machines. This book suggests a richer story behind the computer's creation, one that shows how business and government were the first to explore the unlimited potential of the machine as an information processor. Not surprisingly, at the heart of the business story is the name IBM. Most interesting is the story of how the computer began to reshape broad segments of our society when the PC, or personal computer, enabled new modes of computing that liberated people from dependence on room-sized, enormously expensive mainframe computers. Oddly, the established computer companies initially missed the potential of the PC and ignored it, allowing upstart firms such as Apple and Microsoft to become the fastest growing firms of the twentieth century. Filled with lively insights - many about the world of computing in the 1990s, such as the strategy behind Microsoft Windows - as well as a discussion of the rise and creation of the World Wide Web, here is a book no one who owns or uses a computer will want to miss.

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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

Computer: a history of the information machine

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Computers are a ubiquitous part of our lives. Some of the people (e.g, John von Neumann) and companies (e.g., IBM, Apple) responsible for this phenomenon are well known, but the interplay of ... Read full review


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