Computer: A History Of The Information Machine (Sloan Technology)

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9780813342641: Computer: A History Of The Information Machine (Sloan Technology)

Computer: A History of the Information Machine, Second Edition traces the story of the computer, and shows how business and government were the first to explore its unlimited, information-processing potential. Old-fashioned entrepreneurship combined with scientific know-how inspired now famous computer engineers to create the technology that became IBM. Wartime needs drove the giant ENIAC, the first fully electronic computer. Later, the PC enabled modes of computing that liberated people from room-sized, mainframe computers. This second edition now extends beyond the development of Microsoft Windows and the Internet, to include open source operating systems like Linux, and the rise again and fall and potential rise of the dot.com industries.

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Review:

This history of the computer explores the roots of the industry's phenomenal development, tracing not only the development of the machine itself--beginning with Charles Babbage's well-known 1883 mechanical prototype--but also chronicling the effects of manufacturing and sales innovations by such companies as Remington and National Cash Register that made the boom possible. The authors recount the transition from slow mechanical computers to the vacuum-tubed electronic computers, ENIAC and EDVAC, pioneered by a team led by mathematician John von Neumann during World War II. Later innovations made the computer a mass-market item, and now, the authors suggest, freedom of access to the technology is constrained only by the imperative of computer companies to make money.

About the Author:

Martin Campbell-Kelly is professor of computer science at the University of Warwick in England. William Aspray is Rudy Professor of Informatics at Indiana University. Both are historians with a specialization in the history of computers. Martin Campbell-Kelly is professor of computer science at the University of Warwick in England. William Aspray is Rudy Professor of Informatics at Indiana University. Both are historians with a specialization in the history of computers. 

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