The Story of the Computer: A Technical and Business History by Stephen Marshall
- Language: English
- Publisher: Random House
- Pages: 454
- Publication date: 2016
Electronic computers are arguably the greatest invention of the 20th century. They are the enablers for many of the technologies that the developed world now relies upon and their impact on society cannot be overestimated. The story of their creation is a fascinating one which encompasses many of the great advances in engineering, mathematics and the physical sciences that have taken place over the past 400 years. The Story of the Computer is the first comprehensive treatment of the subject written from both a technical and a business perspective. It sets out to chart the complex evolutionary process that has resulted in the creation of today’s computers, picking out those innovations and discoveries which contributed most to the pool of knowledge through their influence on later advances and taking into consideration the business drivers as well as the specific technical breakthroughs. To put developments into context and provide a more rounded picture, it also covers the advances in science and technology, or ‘building blocks’, which have facilitated them. The book is divided into four parts, beginning with humanity’s earliest efforts to automate the process of calculation, first through mechanical means, then electromechanical and finally electronic. Part two describes the transformation from sequence-controlled calculators to stored-program computers and the birth of the computer industry. In part three we see the industry maturing and new market segments beginning to emerge for faster or smaller computers, facilitated by the introduction of solid-state components. The final part brings the story up to date with the development of mass-produced personal computers, computer graphics and the World Wide Web. Written in a highly accessible style with illustrations throughout, The Story of the Computer should provide a rewarding read for both the specialist and the general reader.
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