The Universal History of Computing: From the Abacus to the Quantum Computer
"A fascinating compendium of information about writing systems–both for words and numbers."
"A truly enlightening and fascinating study for the mathematically oriented reader."
"Well researched. . . . This book is a rich resource for those involved in researching the history of computers."
In this brilliant follow-up to his landmark international bestseller, The Universal History of Numbers, Georges Ifrah traces the development of computing from the invention of the abacus to the creation of the binary system three centuries ago to the incredible conceptual, scientific, and technical achievements that made the first modern computers possible. Ifrah takes us along as he visits mathematicians, visionaries, philosophers, and scholars from every corner of the world and every period of history. We learn about the births of the pocket calculator, the adding machine, the cash register, and even automata. We find out how the origins of the computer can be found in the European Renaissance, along with how World War II influenced the development of analytical calculation. And we explore such hot topics as numerical codes and the recent discovery of new kinds of number systems, such as "surreal" numbers.
Adventurous and enthralling, The Universal History of Computing is an astonishing achievement that not only unravels the epic tale of computing, but also tells the compelling story of human intelligence–and how much further we still have to go.
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THE UNIVERSAL HISTORY OF COMPUTING: From the Abacus to the Quantum ComputerUser Review - Jane Doe - Kirkus
An ambitious but baffling history of automatic calculation, from ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic numbers to modern computers.Ifrah, a former math teacher and independent scholar, precedes his discussion ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - fpagan - LibraryThing
Long and detailed, but no coverage of existing parallel processors (let alone quantum computers), programming languages, or operating systems. Read full review