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- DescriptionThe history of computing could be told as the story of hardware and software, or the story of the Internet, or the story of smart hand-held devices, with subplots involving IBM, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, and Twitter. In this concise and accessible account of the invention and development of digital techlogy, computer historian Paul Ceruzzi offers a broader and more useful perspective. He identifies four major threads that run throughout all of computing's techlogical development: digitization--the coding of information, computation, and control in binary form, ones and zeros; the convergence of multiple streams of techniques, devices, and machines, yielding more than the sum of their parts; the steady advance of electronic techlogy, as characterized famously by Moore's Law ; and the human-machine interface. Ceruzzi guides us through computing history, telling how a Bell Labs mathematician coined the word digital in 1942 (to describe a high-speed method of calculating used in anti-aircraft devices), and recounting the development of the punch card (for use in the 1890 U.S. Census). He describes the ENIAC, built for scientific and military applications; the UNIVAC, the first general purpose computer; and ARPANET, the Internet's precursor. Ceruzzi's account traces the world-changing evolution of the computer from a room-size ensemble of machinery to a minicomputer to a desktop computer to a pocket-sized smart phone. He describes the development of the silicon chip, which could store ever-increasing amounts of data and enabled ever-decreasing device size. He visits that hotbed of invation, Silicon Valley, and brings the story up to the present with the Internet, the World Wide Web, and social networking.
- Author BiographyPaul E. Ceruzzi is a Curator at the National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. He is the author of A History of Modern Computing, Internet Alley: High Technology in Tysons Corner, 1945-2005, both published by the MIT Press, and other books.
- Author(s)Paul E. Ceruzzi
- PublisherMIT Press Ltd
- Date of Publication17/07/2012
- SubjectComputing: General
- Series TitleEssential Knowledge
- Place of PublicationCambridge, Mass.
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintMIT Press
- Content Note14 figures
- Weight227 g
- Width127 mm
- Height178 mm
- Spine11 mm
- Format DetailsTrade paperback (US)
- Interest AgeFrom 18
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