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

By Paul E. Ceruzzi

The historical past of computing should be advised because the tale of and software program, or the tale of the net, or the tale of "smart" hand held units, with subplots regarding IBM, Microsoft, Apple, fb, and Twitter. during this concise and available account of the discovery and improvement of electronic expertise, computing device historian Paul Ceruzzi bargains a broader and extra important viewpoint. He identifies 4 significant threads that run all through all of computing's technological improvement: digitization--the coding of knowledge, computation, and keep an eye on in binary shape, ones and zeros; the convergence of a number of streams of recommendations, units, and machines, yielding greater than the sum in their components; the regular develop of digital know-how, as characterised famously via "Moore's Law"; and the human-machine interface. Ceruzzi publications us via computing historical past, telling how a Bell Labs mathematician coined the note "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 clinical and armed forces functions; the UNIVAC, the 1st basic function machine; 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 computing device machine to a pocket-sized clever mobilephone. He describes the advance of the silicon chip, which may shop ever-increasing quantities of knowledge and enabled ever-decreasing machine measurement. He visits that hotbed of innovation, Silicon Valley, and brings the tale as much as the current with the web, the area extensive net, and social networking.

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Government-sponsored military agencies were also among the first customers for the UNIVAC, now being marketed by Remington Rand. The 701 was optimized for scientific, not business, applications, but it was a general-purpose computer. IBM also introduced machines that were more suitable for business applications, although it would take several years before business customers could obtain a computer that had the utility and reliability of the punched card equipment they had been depending on. S. and British universities were carrying out advanced research on memory devices, circuits, and, above all, programming.

S. 13 The Advent of Electronics All of the machines described used electricity to carry signals, but none used electronic devices to do the actual calculation. Among those who first took that crucial step, around 1938, was J. V. Atanasoff, a professor of physics at Iowa State College in Ames. He came to that step from an investigation of ways to mechanize the solution of large systems of linear algebraic equations, which appear throughout many fields of physics and related sciences. The equations themselves were relatively simple—“linear” implying that they form a straight line when graphed.

Credit: Konrad Zuse) 26 Chapter 2 Mathematicians admired his solution, but it was his construction of this “machine” that placed Turing among the founders of the digital age. I put the term in quotation marks because Turing built no hardware; he described a hypothetical device in his paper. It is possible to simulate the workings of a Turing machine on a modern computer, but in only a restricted sense: Turing’s machine had a memory of infinite capacity, which Turing described as a tape of arbitrary length on which symbols could be written, erased, or read.

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