Download Computing: A Concise History (The MIT Press Essential by Paul E. Ceruzzi PDF

By Paul E. Ceruzzi

The historical past of computing will be advised because the tale of and software program, or the tale of the web, or the tale of "smart" handheld units, with subplots regarding IBM, Microsoft, Apple, fb, and Twitter. during this concise and obtainable account of the discovery and improvement of electronic know-how, laptop historian Paul Ceruzzi deals a broader and extra valuable viewpoint. He identifies 4 significant threads that run all through all of computing's technological improvement: digitization--the coding of knowledge, computation, and regulate in binary shape, ones and zeros; the convergence of a number of streams of suggestions, units, and machines, yielding greater than the sum in their components; the regular improve of digital expertise, as characterised famously via "Moore's Law"; and the human-machine interface. Ceruzzi courses us via computing heritage, telling how a Bell Labs mathematician coined the be aware "digital" in 1942 (to describe a high-speed approach to calculating utilized in anti-aircraft devices), and recounting the improvement of the punch card (for use within the 1890 U.S. Census). He describes the ENIAC, equipped for medical and armed forces purposes; the UNIVAC, the 1st basic goal computing device; and ARPANET, the Internet's precursor. Ceruzzi's account lines the world-changing evolution of the pc from a room-size ensemble of equipment to a "minicomputer" to a computer desktop to a pocket-sized clever cell. He describes the improvement of the silicon chip, that can shop ever-increasing quantities of knowledge and enabled ever-decreasing gadget measurement. He visits that hotbed of innovation, Silicon Valley, and brings the tale as much as the current with the web, the area extensive internet, and social networking.

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Additional resources for Computing: A Concise History (The MIT Press Essential Knowledge Series)

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Presper Eckert and John Mauchly, almost alone in the early years sought to build and sell a more elegant follow-on to the ENIAC for commercial applications. The ENIAC was conceived, built, and used for scientific and military applications. The UNIVAC, the commercial computer, was conceived and marked as a general-purpose computer suitable for any application that one could program it for. ” Eckert and Mauchly’s UNIVAC was well received by its customers. Presper Eckert, the chief engineer, designed it conservatively, for example, by carefully limiting the loads on the vacuum tubes to prolong their life.

11 Solutions emerged simultaneously in several places beginning around 1936. The work continued during World War II at a faster pace, although under a curtain of secrecy, which in some respects mitigated the advantages of having funds and human resources made available to the computer’s inventors. The Digital Age 21 2 The First Computers, 1935–1945 In summer 1937, Konrad Zuse was a twenty-seven-yearold mechanical engineer working at the Henschel Aircraft Company in Berlin. Under the Nazi regime, Germany was arming itself rapidly, although Zuse recalled that neither he nor his fellow young engineers foresaw the war and destruction that would come two years later.

He was occupied with tedious calculations relating to the design of aircraft. He began work, on his own time, on a mechanical calculator that would automate that process. Zuse was one of several engineers, scientists, and astronomers across Europe and in the United States who were thinking along the same lines as they struggled with the limitations of existing calculating devices. In June 1937, however, he made a remarkable entry in his diary: “For about a year now I have been considering the concept of a mechanical brain.

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