Dan's Reviews > Turing's Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe

Turing's Cathedral by George Dyson
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's review
Apr 20, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: nonfiction, history
Read from April 29 to May 31, 2012

I grabbed this off the shelf at the library because I thought it was a biography of Alan Turing. It's not. Despite the title, the book only briefly covers the life of Turing. But it was his insight into storing instructions side-by-side with data that allowed von Neumann (the central character in the story) and his colleagues at the IAS to build the groundbreaking computer in the late 1940s.

Dyson's account of the IAS computer is in-depth, but meandering and often dull. Once I came to terms with the actual focus of the book, I did enjoy it. But I'm still on the lookout for a good biography of Turing.

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