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Posted June 5, 2013
Posted January 5, 2010
Remember the team sport of complex calculations?
Usually, the word "computer" generates images of a powerful, programmable machine that can perform almost any task. However, a "computer" was originally a person who performed complex math. Some "human computers" were scientists who did advanced calculations, but most were workers who labored over the same types of adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing hour after hour, day after day. Scientist David Alan Grier weaves a wonderful story of the history of computing, framed by the discovery of Halley's Comet and its three subsequent appearances. The comet gives the story a nice structure that helps readers see the advances in computing over the past three centuries. Grier introduces colorful personalities and covers pivotal historical events in the rise of mechanical computing. getAbstract finds that this history book informs your understanding of how computerization advanced while also being a terrific read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 28, 2005
This book really goes into detail...
I heard about the book through a marketplace segment while I was doing my AP Economics book and it sounded interesting, I got the impression it would be about this woman who studied calculus but didn't do nothing with it. The book was about all these people who majored in mathematics and what they did with there degrees, grant it most of them were human computers, making only $30 a week.. Man things must have been cheap back in the day! If you have time to sit down and read this book go for it! I really got into the book with the last 100 pages, the first 100 or so it was kind of run on and dull but once I got to Gertrude Blanch I was like waho this is so cool! I like mathematics and I plan to do something amazing! Everyone should read this book to see what life was like before everyone became dependent on computers!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 25, 2005