Computer: A History of the Information Machine

Overview

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. More than just the tale of a tool created by scientists to crunch numbers, 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 ...
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Overview

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. More than just the tale of a tool created by scientists to crunch numbers, 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 IBM. A story of old-fashioned entreprenuership in symbiotic relationship with scientific know-how, it begins way back when ”computers” were people who did the computational work of scientists, and Charles Babbage attempted in vain to mechanize the process. But it also shows how entrepreneurs like Herman Hollerith, seeing a business opportunity in a machine that could mechanically tabulate the U.S. census, created a punched-card tabulator that became the technology that created IBM.The authors show how ENIAC, the first fully electronic computer, emerged out of the wartime need of the military for computers that performed at lightning speed and did not need human intervention at any stage of the process. Most interesting is the story of how the computer began to reshape broad segments of our society when the PC enabled new modes of computing that liberated people from dependence on room-sized, enormously expensive mainframe computers. 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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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780465029907
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 5/1/1997
  • Series: Sloan Technology Series
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Pages: 368
  • Lexile: 1320L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.26 (w) x 8.18 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Meet the Author

Martin Campbell-Kelly is a reader in computer science at the University of Warwick in England. William Aspray is executive director of the Computing Research Association in Washington, D.C. Martin Campbell-Kelly is a reader in computer science at the University of Warwick in England. William Aspray is executive director of the Computing Research Association in Washington, D.C.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Introduction to the Second Edition xi
Introduction to the First Edition xiii
Part 1 Before the Computer
1 When Computers Were People 3
2 The Mechanical Office 23
3 Babbage's Dream Comes True 45
Part 2 Creating the Computer
4 Inventing the Computer 69
5 The Computer Becomes a Business Machine 93
6 The Maturing of the Mainframe: The Rise and Fall of IBM 117
Part 3 Innovation and Expansion
7 Real Time: Reaping the Whirlwind 141
8 Software 163
9 New Modes of Computing 185
Part 4 Getting Personal
10 The Shaping of the Personal Computer 207
11 Broadening the Appeal 231
12 From the World Brain to the World Wide Web 255
Notes 281
Bibliography 301
Index 315
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