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A History of Modern Computing

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  158 ratings  ·  11 reviews
From the first digital computer to the dot-com crash - a story of individuals, institutions, and the forces that led to a series of dramatic transformations.

This engaging history covers modern computing from the development of the first electronic digital computer through the dot-com crash. The author concentrates on five key moments of transition: the transformation of th
Paperback, 459 pages
Published April 8th 2003 by MIT Press (first published October 12th 1998)
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May 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
An incredibly thorough review of computing history, it's amazing how much of today's technology is a derivative of yesterday's work. Technology is constantly improving upon itself, and it's so much easier to understand the present when we know its past. Definitely recommend to anybody who wants to understand how it all got started.
Alain van Hoof
Jan 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
There is a second Edition, I read the first. Apart from a lot of facts about the systems from 1950 and up, also the commercial success of the system is discussed. Interesting read.
Sean Power
Feb 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
this book holds the best roundup of computer history i've ever read. it is excellent for reference material. highly recommended.
Charlie Harrington
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
A must-read for anyone who’s ever had a glimmer of nostalgia for a computer from their childhood, no matter if an IBM PC-clone, an Apple II, a Commodore VIC-20, or an Altair kit, and wondered where those magical devices came from. Is the computer a means of freedom or control? You’ll explore this theme throughout the book, beginning with modern computing’s punch-card origins in WW2 through IBM’s dominance in mainframes to the mini-computer and personal computer eras - leaving off just as the Int ...more
May 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
An interesting and concise review of the history of computers from the 1940s through 2001. While I already knew much of this history what sets this apart is the author's approach to putting so many innovations in context, focusing not only on the technical but on the social and commercial forces which drove them (and which are sometimes overshadowed or ignored in histories which focus purely on technical leaps forward). While it's hard to really go in-depth into any particular topic here, the fo ...more
Rutger Van bergen
Jul 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Comprehensive discussion of (digital) computing since its start in 1945. The book manages to find a nice balance between the breadth (the large number of systems contributing to where we were in 2003) and depth (characteristics of the systems that made them relevant).
Mar 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Needs to be updated. But the content it provides up to the early 2000's is great.
Un libro che tratta, in modo abbastanza imparziale, della storia dell'informatica, dalle origini ai giorni nostri.
Se non fosse che l'argomento mi interessa lo avrei già scagliato fuori dalla finestra perchè non riesce minimamente a invogliarmi nella lettura.
Fondamentalmente consiste in una serie di nomi e date mischiate poco abilmente in una serie di frasi con apparente senso del continuo.
Randall Wood
Jun 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
My knowledge of computing begins in about 1978 with the Commodore PET and goes through the early Macintoshes to Unix/Linux today. But I have always been so curious about the early years - the REALLY early years, and in particular the years in which computer technologies advanced outside of the world of personal/desktop computers - big iron, mainframes, minicomputers, supercomputers. Understanding what happened from the 1950s to the 1980s was why I bought this book, and it was absolutely worth it ...more
Jul 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: work-read
Don't remember much about it.

This note was added years after reading the book.

Newmarket library.
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Steve Esso
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Jan 14, 2015
Apr 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Come libro sulle macchine informatiche moderne e` un ottimo testo. Fino agli anni '90 e` esauriente e capace di proporre sintesi interessanti. I tecnici della materia rimarranno a volte delusi dalla mancanza di approfondimento dei dettagli tecnologici, ma in sostanza mi sembra che le pietre miliari, anche concettuali, ci siano tutte. L'autore mi sembra invece progressivamente in difficolta` man mano che il software diventa assai piu` rilevante dello hardware: in questo caso le caratteristiche in ...more
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Paul E. Ceruzzi is Curator at the National Air and Space Museum at the Smithsonian Institution. He is the author of Computing: A Concise History, A History of Modern Computing, and Internet Alley: High Technology in Tysons Corner, 1945–2005, all published by the MIT Press, and other books.

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