Synopses & Reviews
A Computer Perspectiveis an illustrated essay on the origins and first lines of development of the computer. The complex network of creative forces and socialpressures that have produced the computer is personified here in the creators of instruments of computation, and their machines or tables; the inventors of mathematical or logical concepts and their applications; and the fabricators ofpractical devices to serve the immediate needs of government, commerce, engineering, and science.
The book is based on an exhibition conceived and assembled for International Business MachinesCorporation. Like the exhibition, it is not a history in the narrow sense of a chronology of concepts and devices. Yet these pages actually display more true history (in relation to the computer) than many more conventionalpresentations of the development of science and technology.
A Computer Perspectiveis the first truly graphic history of the origin and development of the computer...This book will long remain a unique anthology of the great events thatoccur when dreamers and theorists can get together with engineers and inventors.
[This] book set a standard for the history of computing.
The volume is a must for everyone interested in computer history and an important tool for anyone wanting to understand how the computer age started.
A Computer Perspective: Background to the Computer Agesets out to...[place] the digital computer in its historical context, taking 1950 as its terminal date. By then, the digitalcomputer revolution had been fully inaugurated with the first generation of modern stored-program computers. The book casts a wide net as it presents, mainly with pictures and captions, the many contributory ideas and developments thatprovide the foundation and background for the computer age...This is a book full of interesting pictures and quotations. It brings out the technical, human and social aspects of the development of computers in an imaginative way. Whocould resist a book containing such fascinating information?
About the Author
I. Bernard Cohen, Victor S. Thomas Professor of the History of Science, Emeritus, at <ânewâ>HarvardUniversity, is one of the founders of the modern study of the history of science.ânewâ>
Table of Contents
The 1890 Census. First Russian Census. Galton: The Measure of Man. Finger Prints. John Gore at the Prudential. Marquand's Logic Machine. Pastore: Logic on Wheels. Mental Calculation. Lon Bolle. The "Millionaire". The Comptometer and the Burroughs. Calculation by Measurement
The Dynamo and the Virgin. Moxon's Master. Alfred Binet: The Scale of Intelligence. Punch Cards for Commerce. Statistical Fallout. Taylorization. The Copper Man. Astronomical Calculations. Bjerknes' Weather Mechanics
Gyroscopic Guidance. Maintaining an Attitude. Assembly Lines. Torres' Theory of Automata. Torres' Algebraic Machines. The Great Brass Brain. Pearson's Battle for Biometrics. Power's Printing Tabulator. Facts and Government. Un-uniform Soldiers. Aberdeen. Weather Forecast-Factory
Bush's Profile Tracer. The Product Integraph. L.J. Comrie and Scientific Calculation. Corn and Correlation. Thomas J. Watson Sr. and the Business of Machines. Ben Wood and Educational Measurement. Planning the Five Year Plans. Minorsky and Metal Mike. Homeostasis
Dark Visions of Machines. Some Machine Utopias. Robots. Servomechanisms. Social Security. Hooten: The American Criminal. America Speaks. Leontief and Input-Output. Eckert's "Mechanical Programmer". The Bush Differential Analyzer. Meccano. Zuse. The Switch to Base Two. Aiken and the A.S.C.C.. The Universal Turing Machine
Self-regulating Systems. ENIAC at the Moore School. Ballistics. The First Programmers. The von Neumann Concept. The Weather Group. The "Analytical Engine". Operations Research. Information Processing. Cryptography. Cybernetics. Simulation in Real Time. The Computer
The First Twenty Years of the Computer