A History of Modern Computing

$33.75

This book delivers exactly what its title promises: a straightforward and comprehensive account of the electronic digital computer’s first five decades. Starting with the historic ENIAC of 1945, Ceruzzi moves nimbly through one epochal generation of computing technology after another: the gargantuan, vacuum-tube-filled mainframes of the early ’50s; the sleeker, transistorized minicomputers of the ’60s; […]

This book delivers exactly what its title promises: a straightforward and comprehensive account of the electronic digital computer’s first five decades. Starting with the historic ENIAC of 1945, Ceruzzi moves nimbly through one epochal generation of computing technology after another: the gargantuan, vacuum-tube-filled mainframes of the early ’50s; the sleeker, transistorized minicomputers of the ’60s; the personal computers conjured up by hobbyists in the ’70s; and the computer networks that have come to span offices and the globe in the last 10 years. Ceruzzi places all of these developments in the context of the social phenomena that shaped them: the imperatives of Cold War research, the evolving needs of information-swamped businesses, and the quirks and dreams of counter-cultural computer hackers. But unlike some popular books about computing history, this one refuses to acknowledge any particular individual, group, or institution as its protagonist. The tale it tells is complex: a weave of high-level projects, lowbrow tinkerings, and sweeping socioeconomic transformations, with a crash course in the basics of computer architecture tossed in for good measure. The mix doesn’t make for great drama, but it does offer something perhaps more valuable–the sober, subtle feel of real history unfolding. –Julian Dibbell

Theory of Computing

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