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The Universal History of Computing: From the Abacus to the Quantum Computer

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  47 ratings  ·  4 reviews
In this brilliant follow-up to his landmark international bestseller, The Universal History of Numbers, Georges Ifrah traces the development of computing from the invention of the abacus to the creation of the binary system three centuries ago to the incredible conceptual, scientific, and technical achievements that made the first modern computers possible. Ifrah takes us ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published January 10th 2002 by Wiley (first published November 6th 2000)
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Rod Van Meter
Jan 14, 2018 rated it did not like it
The original in French might be good, but the English translation seems like they simply published the translator's first draft. References point to a different organization of the material entirely; translator's notes appear in the middle of the text and duplicate what the author himself wrote; and (from my point of view, very importantly), the title includes "to the quantum computer", but there is NOTHING AT ALL about quantum computing in the book!
Sdfdfs
Nov 05, 2018 rated it liked it
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Aaron
This book is translated from Ifrah's original French to English by E.F. Harding. The translation is excellent, very readable, with many additional translator's notes inserted to provide useful or interesting background information.

Ifrah does an excellent job covering the hisorical record of computing, starting with an excellent overview on the history of writing and of numbers. He clearly states what is based on the history record, what is theorized from it, and what is pure speculation (at
...more
Larry
Feb 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Not a book for the speed reader. Herman Meville wrote "Moby Dick" as the encyclopedia of whaling and George Ifrah has writtn this work as the encyclopedia of computing. Starting with systems of counting in prehistory he takes an interested reader through a sysematic history of computing actvity, theory and technology. When done a reader truly feels a sense of gaining knoweledge not to mention one of sheer accomplishment. A book worthy or reading just so that you can say that you did it.
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