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41. Teaching History in the Digital
42. Insanely Great: The Life and Times
43. Inventing the Electronic Century:
44. Numbers: Computers, Philosophers,
45. From Airline Reservations to Sonic
46. A Computer Perspective
47. A History of the Internet and
48. From 0 to 1: An Authoritative
49. A History of Computing Technology,
50. Small Computer System Interface:
51. Computers and Commerce: A Study
52. Teaching History With a Computer:
53. The History of the Computer (The
54. Dive Computers: A Consumer's Guide
55. A Bibliographic Guide to the History
56. Purity in Print: Book Censorship
57. Transforming Computer Technology:
58. iCon Steve Jobs: The Greatest
59. Electric Dreams: Computers in
60. The Origins of Digital Computers:

41. Teaching History in the Digital Classroom
by D. Antonio Cantu, Wilson J. Warren
Paperback: 376 Pages (2002-12)
list price: US$36.95 -- used & new: US$33.74
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0765609932
Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

2-0 out of 5 stars Needs better citation
I am in grad school and we had to read this book. Normally I am happy with the books my professors pick, but this was a first class professor. The Citations are TERRIBLE-barely 20 per chapter and the sources are not good. There are barely, if any, primary sources. And sadly the book is dated. Most of its sources on computer use and teacher reponses are from 1996/1997. I would say a new edition needs to be written, but the original book is so poor I wouldn't bother. ... Read more

42. Insanely Great: The Life and Times of Macintosh, the Computer That Changed Everything
by Steven Levy
Paperback: 336 Pages (2000-06-01)
list price: US$22.00 -- used & new: US$11.90
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140291776
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The creation of the Mac in 1984 catapulted America into the digital millennium, captured a fanatic cult audience, and transformed the computer industry into an unprecedented mix of technology, economics, and show business. Now veteran technology writer and Newsweek senior editor Steven Levy zooms in on the great machine and the fortunes of the unique company responsible for its evolution. Loaded with anecdote and insight, and peppered with sharp commentary, Insanely Great is the definitive book on the most important computer ever made.It is a must-have for anyone curious about how we got to the interactive age.

"Engaging . . . A delightful and timely book."--The New York Times Book Review

"A holy scripture for loyal clickers of the mouse that may someday result in placement by digital Gideons in all motel rooms (virtual and actual) serving travelers on the information highway." --San Francisco ExaminerAmazon.com Review
Back in the early 1980s, word spread about an inviting littlepersonal computer that used something called a mouse and smiled at youwhen you turned it on. Steven Levy relates his first encounter withthe pre-released Mac and goes on to chronicle the machine that Appledevelopers hoped would "make a dent in the universe." A wonderfulstory told by a terrific writer (Levy was the longtime writer of thepopular "Iconoclast" column in MacWorld; he's now a columnistwith Newsweek, the birth and first ten years of the Macintoshis a great read. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (39)

4-0 out of 5 stars Levy is a tech fanboy, and an excitable writer
There's a genre of tech writing that might legitimately be known as "fanboy fetish nonfiction." Steven Levy -- in books like Crypto and Hackers -- always skirts around the edge of the genre. In Insanely Great, he wades into the genre up to his hips.

This is the story of the Mac's creation, and the story of Steve Jobs's sticking his nose into everyone's business. Levy seems a little unsure of Jobs: is he a jerk and an opportunist, who only attaches himself to a project when it might bring Jobs himself more power and glory? Does he force his limited design and technical powers on those beneath him? Is he trying to compensate for his non-Wozniak engineering skills?

Levy may believe all these things, but at the same time he can't deny that Jobs is a major force for good within Apple. Like the mythical Shaker furniture builders, Jobs won't let any piece of the Mac go out unless it's perfect and beautiful. The Shakers wouldn't build a dresser with a plywood face against a wall, even if no one else would ever see that side; God would see it. Likewise, says Levy, every square inch of the Mac was an aesthetic pleasure.

I may have been too young at the time to have really appreciated the Mac. I certainly appreciate the spur it provided to Windows. Only when Mac OS X came around did I see what all the fuss was about. OS X is the first bit of Mac software that I've enjoyed. OS 9 and before felt cartoonish to me. Bomb icons -- indicating that some rogue application had taken down the entire computer, which you had no choice at that moment but to reboot -- appeared with alarming frequency.

At an architectural level, cooperative multitasking may have been to blame for a lot of the Mac's instabilities. You will never read anything at that level in Levy's book. Levy is an English major imported into the world of computers, and I think he's more interested in the people than he is in the technology. There's a lot for journalists to sink their teeth into in the world of computers: the 16-hour days, the sleeping under desks, the seat-of-the-pants demos finished mere moments before the curtain comes up. Levy enjoys himself in this realm. He's less able or willing to explain the technical details of why, exactly, the Mac was repeatedly delayed. The fact of the delay, and the excitement of cigar-chomping executives breathing down frantic hackers' necks, is more his speed.

Insanely Great has some funny moments, again from the excited-visionary perspective rather than from the awesome-technology one. There's Steve Jobs, explaining to one of his hardware developers that shaving two seconds off the Mac's startup time, if millions of people reboot multiple times per day, will save *50 human lives every day*. There are moments, like these, when I understood part of the Mac cult's allure.

The rest of the book, though, was not convincing. The bomb icons were far too vivid in my memory. Plus I was a DOS 1-2-3 devotee as a child.

What I find funny is that I've only just joined the Cult of Apple, in the form of its iPhone. Unlike the Mac, the whole world realizes that the iPhone does its job better than any of its competitors. People are flocking to Apple in droves, giving the phone a market share and platform lead that other device manufacturers only dream about. The iPhone really is Insanely Great. Steve Jobs must be pleased.

3-0 out of 5 stars Insanely Great or just Half-Hearted?
Let me preface this review with the fact that I love Steven Levy.Well, his books anyhow.That said, this review is necessarily tainted by my experience with some of his other work.The curse of the author who pens a masterpiece (i.e. "Hackers" by Levy) is that everything that came before, and after, will be compared against said masterpiece.The case of "Insanely Great" is no different.

While I found this book to be an enjoyable read (I've read and re-read it more than once), and containing some decent detail about the origins of the original Macintosh, I also found it to be somewhat half-hearted in its presentation.Relative to "Hackers", of course.

I really got the sense that Levy was just plowing through the history, rather than lovingly exploring the details.While it's clear from the book that Levy truly loves the Mac, it's less clear that he loved the story of how it came to be.The writing lacked the obvious fascination and passion that he presents in "Hackers", and the breadth of research and intricate technical detail that he shows in "Artificial Life" and "Crytpo".In "Insanely Great", he just seems to be going through the motions of telling the story.

The most passionate and moving bits of writing in the book are when he is describing his love and respect for the machine.He clearly recognizes and conveys the absolute technical epiphany that Macintosh represented to the computer industry (heck, to the world).These bits are closely followed by some great (and well thought out) rants about the weaknesses of the machine - and the metaphorical medium it has spread across the world.

Finally, the book almost accidentally documents Levy's interesting relationship with Steve Jobs.Clearly any book about Macintosh will prominently feature the Mac Daddy (sorry, I had to use that term) - but the writing clearly shows that Levy was quite affected by Jobs.This is also not surprising, as Jobs' personality is as powerful and complicated as any great human being.In my opinion, the insight into Jobs that Levy offers - as well as the shadows of their relationship that are cast upon the walls of the book - offer a fresh view that other Mac/Apple histories might not offer.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great view into the development of the Mac
This book shines for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of how the Macintosh came to be. Everyone knows the basic story of how Apple based the Mac on the innovations of Xerox, but the real story is much deeper than that. Xerox PARC provided the innovation and spark, but there was a lot more blood and guts work that followed, especially considering the state of computer technology at the time. While there is of course a lot about Steve Jobs, equal attention is given to the various engineers who did nuts and bolts software and hardware development. Those looking for corporate intrigue and board room warfare could probably find better accounts elsewhere, although these are also covered here (as they inevitably had an effect on the Mac's development over the years.)

Given how commonplace the GUI and its various metaphors (folders and files, desktop, trash can, etc.) are today, it's easy to lose sight that the original Mac (and Lisa) team were really venturing way off into the unknown.

This book is a great read for anyone or any company trying to do the same.

5-0 out of 5 stars I for "Internet"
Once upon a time, a guy named Steve had a vision: to take IBM's place in the computer industry. Not by copying IBM's ideas as Michael Dell did. No. By innovating...
Steve Jobs, a charismatic and driven individual, who wears the same outfit so he doesn't have to waste his time deciding what to wear, and who once was exiled from his own company, came back. Although many critics always thought of Jobs as an opportunistic individual, more than creative and visionary, and labeled him as a "One Hit Wonder" was able to make a "Come Back." This book tells the story of the first Mac, the one that only a few people knew about, and then, it takes you through a journey of one of the greatest companies ever founded: Apple, Inc. The story that almost wasn't told. After years of mismanagements and senior executives not understanding what Apple Computers was all about, Steve Jobs returned not just to save the company, but also to redirect where the company was headed. As many people said, "Apple was off track," and it was, it really was. However, Jobs' return not only brought blood back to Apple, but also put them on the black ink once again.
Before picking up this book, ensure that you have enough time to read it all at once. You won't be able o put it down. If you are a Mac fan, or if you are just interested in knowing a bit more of what Apple has gone through, this book is for you.
Enjoy it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Fast, furious, and full of excitement
People who read this are in for an evening of excitement and fun. It's like apulp fiction story for the silicon age. ... Read more

43. Inventing the Electronic Century: The Epic Story of the Consumer Electronics and Computer Industries, with a new preface (Harvard Studies in Business History)
by Alfred D. Chandler Jr.
Paperback: 336 Pages (2005-04-30)
list price: US$23.50 -- used & new: US$15.78
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0674018052
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Consumer electronics and computers redefined life and work in the twentieth century. In Inventing the Electronic Century, Pulitzer Prize-winning business historian Alfred D. Chandler, Jr. traces their origins and worldwide development. From electronics prime mover RCA in the 1920s to Sony and Matsushita's dramatic rise in the 1970s; from IBM's dominance in computer technology in the 1950s to Microsoft's stunning example of the creation of competitive advantage, this masterful analysis is essential reading for every manager and student of technology. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

2-0 out of 5 stars overstates Japanese achievements
As a new century starts, Chandler gives a summary of how consumer electronics and computing grew in the last century and indeed shaped many of the trends in the latter half. He starts by pointing out that consumer electronics is older than modern computing. It was the radio industry of the 20s and 30s. Which propelled Motorola and others to prominence.

After World War 2 arose electronic computers. As opposed to earlier electromechnical gizmos. Chandler goes over the crucial inventions - the transistor, integrated circuit and microprocessor. And how decades of Moore's Law have driven these industries into everyday life.

But sections of his book are jarring. These concern the growth of the Japanese electronics and computer companies. They purport to show how these companies grew to dominance in various market sectors, like memory. There is a distinct tone that they outdid their US counterparts, with deeper strategy and Japanese government assistance. While this book is printed in 2005, the tone completely neglects the 16 year stagnation in the Japanese economy. Including their technology companies.

The book gives a few pages to describing Korean and Taiwanese companies, up to around 2000. There is no update to 2004-5. Which would say that the Koreans (Samsung) have grown hugely in memory. Certainly more so than the Japanese. Yes, in the 80s, Japan forced most US companies out of memory. But memory has proven to be a very fickle boom and bust market. Low profit margins over time. Chandler sees the Japanese "takeover" of memory as evidence of good planning and national industrial policy. But if anything, it is evidence of the contrary.

While in consumer electronics, Samsung has also grown far stronger than Sony or Hitachi or ...

In the important area of microprocessors, there is little emphasis that the US has not lost ground to Japan. If anything, it is Japan that has done so, with respect to other countries.

The sections of the text that describe Japan have the feel of books written in the 80s, warning of a coming Japanese industrial supremacy. Never happened.

4-0 out of 5 stars The brilliant strategy of the Japanese Companies...
Alfred Chandler has organized the factual information of the key companies in the Consumer Electronics and Computer Industries during the second half of the XX century. The title of my review is a suggestion of another apropriate subtitle of this book.

The subject is very complex, specially if we look at the technology involved. My major comment is: the author has a limited technical knowledge and this has limited the depth of his analyses, comments and conclusions. This does not invalidate the major conclusions that he has presented in this book.

I think that it would be interesting to expand the story told in this book by studying/describing the evolution of the whole envinronment around these industries, including the engineering schools and research institutes that supply the brains to develop all the technology involved.

The history of the electronics industry carry an important lesson, about concentration of skills and economic power in only one company (RCA). It was a good thing, while RCA was leading, but when it started to make major strategic mistakes it brought down the whole American Industry. The Japanese Industry used several companies to compete against American and European Companies, this created a whole envinronment, that included engineering schools, research facilities, several different companies where one could make a career and different ideas being tested and pursued at the same time. When you look at the capacity of inovation and development of new technologies of the japanese companies and their envinronment they were a lot more competitive. They created a competitive envinronment so agressive in Japan that western rivals were later decimated by them.

The way American companies have managed the development of technologies should be better understood than is explored in this book. There is a pattern to be investigated, for it was in America that several technologies started, but there is a problem in the way this headstart is kept. Examples to be looked into: IBM dominance in computers, Xerox dominance in copiers, RCA in television (well discussed in this book). I think that is missing a description of who were the major brains and decision makers that lead those companies throughout this fast paced period. I would suggest that if we look at who are the persons making the decisions we would find important answers to the success of the Japanese. Example: what is the power and influence of the teams developing a new technology or products, what is the academic and technical background of the top managers in those companies, how do they handled investment decisions regarding product development, what is the philosophy pursued by them ...

The lesson hidden in the history of the electronics industry is very important, when we look at the industrial policy in America in other industries, like Automobiles, where there is only two American Manufacturers, it is easy to see why Japanese companies are doing much better, they are following the same type of competitive organization in this industry... Ford and GM are going in the same direction of RCA... This will raise a very important question, in what industries does America plans to remain competitive in the future??? This will determine the long term stability of the American Democracy.

One may have some points to criticize in this book, but the history told in this book should be better understood and deserves attention.

One aspect related to the industries studied that should be brought to attention is the availability of information about the japanese industry due to the language barrier.

... Read more

44. Numbers: Computers, Philosophers, and the Search for Meaning (History of Mathematics)
by John Tabak
Hardcover: 224 Pages (2004-05)
list price: US$40.00 -- used & new: US$8.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0816049556
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Best book I've ever read!
The author, John J. Tabak, is the brother of a US Marine.John leads the reader to think about the meaning and mystery of numbers.Further, the incomplete foundation of mathematics is revealed along with some if its implications.Finally, the role of computers in the expanding frontier of mathematical knowledge is explored.Everybody should read this book.It leads the reader to deep insights while staying accessible to readers of all backgrounds and levels.
Sincerely, James J. Tabak USMC ... Read more

45. From Airline Reservations to Sonic the Hedgehog: A History of the Software Industry (History of Computing)
by Martin Campbell-Kelly
Paperback: 388 Pages (2004-04-01)
list price: US$20.95 -- used & new: US$10.68
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 026253262X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
From its first glimmerings in the 1950s, the software industry has evolved to become the fourth largest industrial sector of the US economy. Starting with a handful of software contractors who produced specialized programs for the few existing machines, the industry grew to include producers of corporate software packages and then makers of mass-market products and recreational software. This book tells the story of each of these types of firm, focusing on the products they developed, the business models they followed, and the markets they served.By describing the breadth of this industry, Martin Campbell-Kelly corrects the popular misconception that one firm is at the center of the software universe. He also tells the story of lucrative software products such as IBM's CICS and SAP's R/3, which, though little known to the general public, lie at the heart of today's information infrastructure.With its wealth of industry data and its thoughtful judgments, this book will become a starting point for all future investigations of this fundamental component of computer history. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars Very good historiography; could use more pictures
This book is scholarly, but accessible to the ordinary public, albeit people who are keenly interested in tables of rates of growth.The author describes the sources of his research humorously and in a most interesting manner.I give him very high marks for that, for letting the general public appreciate how hard it is to do research of this kind, sifting through all the junk for the few gems.I thought the author's technical competence was excellent, too, and his insights into such subtleties as operating systems was great.

I have only two complaints.He too often says "The story of ... is well documented elsewhere."A brief recap would have helped for those who don't have time to read the other sources.

Second, there is exactly one picture in the book, and while it is great (a stack of 60,000 punch cards for the SAGE system), I wish there would have been a few more, especially of earlier systems.

But overall a fabulous book, very neatly wedged between business history and computer history!

4-0 out of 5 stars The only book solely on histroy of software industry
From Airline Reservations to Sonic the Hedgehog: A History of the Software Industry - by the time of its publication and writing of this comment - is the only book that is solely on history of software industry. As an academician, Mr. Campbell-Kelly builds a historical view using carefully collected data. The scope of the book is mostly software industry in USA and this point is explicitly phrased at the beginning of the book, with plausible reasons. Among with absence of non-USA part of the history, history of military software is also missing (except SAGE). But this should also be an expected result, since it is very hard to collect data about military systems.

Because of the scope issues, the book may not satisfy all expectations (which is the reason for 4 stars), but from the opposite point of view, I believe that a better book can hardly be composed in the same conditions. As Mr. Campbell-Kelly pointed out, there are a lot of data about success stories or the firms that managed to live until today, but a lot more data have been lost to history. In this regard, "From Airline Reservations to Sonic the Hedgehog: A History of the Software Industry" is among the most valuable source about the history of software industry. Everybody, who works in software industry should read this book.

A last note: the book really makes to think about history. The interested reader may also read books about meaning of history, like E. Carr's "What is History".

4-0 out of 5 stars Insightful!
From Airline Reservations to Sonic the Hedgehog may sound like a mystifying title, but this book provides a reasonable overview of the history of the software industry. At times, given the ups and downs in the industry, it can't avoid sounding like a catalog of defunct firms and obsolete software. However, this chronology is quite useful for anyone who wants to come up to speed very quickly and very generally on the main trends in the industry. Author Martin Campbell-Kelly covers some of the industry's seminal events and the main categories of software. Vexingly or refreshingly, he takes pains to say as little about Microsoft as possible, making it clear that others have written enough on that subject. So, with that absence duly noted, we recommend this book to those who want an inside history of the software industry, from massive mainframes to little blue cartoon porcupines.

4-0 out of 5 stars Insightful!
From Airline Reservations to Sonic the Hedgehog may sound like a mystifying title, but this book provides a reasonable overview of the history of the software industry. At times, given the ups and downs in the industry, it can't avoid sounding like a catalog of defunct firms and obsolete software. However, this chronology is quite useful for anyone who wants to come up to speed very quickly and very generally on the main trends in the industry. Author Martin Campbell-Kelly covers some of the industry's seminal events and the main categories of software. Vexingly or refreshingly, he takes pains to say as little about Microsoft as possible, making it clear that others have written enough on that subject. So, with that absence duly noted, we recommend this book to those who want an inside history of the software industry, from massive mainframes to little blue cartoon porcupines.

3-0 out of 5 stars Looping through Memories
This is a history of the Software Industry. "Software" was coined to distinguish it from hardware; it describes the spirit that activates electronic machines. There are three sectors: software contracting, corporate software products, and mass-market software products (pp.3-8). The book covers events from around 1950 to 1995 in the USA. Chapter 1 gives an overview of the sources available. Chapter 2 tells of the origins of software writing, and its need for high-maintenance. Could errors arise from "one minor change"? Early users cooperated in sharing software. FORTRAN and COBOL became the first standard programming languages. But high costs and slipped schedules became typical. Government support for SAGE helped establish US dominance of the computer industry (p.48). The "Great Society" led to investments in non-defense projects.

Chapter 3 discusses "Programming Services". The established techniques of engineering management filtered into programming projects. Program flowcharts became institutionalized, then flushed away by the "fad for 'structured programming'" (p.69). The boom for software companies in the late 1960s reminds me of the dot-com fever in the late 1990s. All fueled from government spending (p.75, P.80). The arrival of minicomputers around 1970 allowed middling companies to own a computer. Chapter 4 tells about the change to "Software Products". Computers were more plentiful and more powerful (pp.90-91), programmers didn't keep up. Lines of code used increased 1000% every 5 years, the cost of developing quadrupled by 1965. Page 100 discusses flowcharting, whose purpose was to graphically represent a program's operations. Sort of like a condensed slide presentation of a topic. Page 102 tells of a secret machine instruction used to improve sorting speed (what was it?).

Chapter 5 tells how the software industry acquired its current shape, and gives an overview. Software products was a capital goods business. Industry specific software requires in-depth knowledge; in systems software programming skills are critical. The success of CICS can be compared to a system of roads where applications can freely travel (p.151). Chapter 6 discusses the maturing of corporate software packages, and growth through acquisition. It focuses on three large firms that became prominent in the 1990s. Some grew by acquiring smaller firms for their products (diversification). The rise of the relational database had an adverse affect on older database technologies. The use of fully integrated business application software (ERP) created new companies. Pages 182-4 overviews the successes of Computer Associates. A relational database did not require knowledge of the internal structure of the database; ever faster computers masked its relative inefficiency. Sales of SAP R/3 benefited from the "fad for business re-engineering" (p.195). Page 197 explains why SAP is more important that Microsoft.

There are strong parallels with other historical systems, such as railroads to airlines. If the database was bundled with the operating system there would be no independent vendors. European firms were able to pioneer ERP because they not not been locked into "legacy software" (p.199). The remaining chapters discuss the history of the personal computer. ... Read more

46. A Computer Perspective
by Charles Eames, Ray Eames
Paperback: 176 Pages (1990-09-01)
list price: US$28.00 -- used & new: US$24.63
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0674156269
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
A splendid, graphic history of the origin and development of the computer, this classic work is a timeless record of the most profound technological revolution in the history of humankind. The book's decade-by-decade format is highlighted with hundreds of illustrations, memorabilia and artifacts collected from around the world. Halftones and illustrations. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Background to the Computer Age
So many books focus on the 60's as a start point with a brief synopsis of the beforehand but this visual essay lays out the territory from Babbage in the 1800's to SEAC in the 50's with the emphasis on a pictorial timeline and some factual points. Its an overview of the computers pre-history which ran alongside Charles and Ray Eames' IBM exhibition 'A Computer Perspective' - all important research for computer 'Nerdcorps' and historical browsers alike.

4-0 out of 5 stars A complete guide to computer history.
Clear, but brief details on a vast array of the people, machines, and problems associated with the invention of the computer. It's a very picture intense book that makes learning the computer age interesting and somewhatexciting. This extensive collection of pictures ranges from the real newsarticles to the inventors actually working the machines. This book acts asa perfect quick-reference to the computer age. ... Read more

47. A History of the Internet and the Digital Future
by Johnny Ryan
Hardcover: 246 Pages (2010-09-15)
list price: US$27.00 -- used & new: US$15.27
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1861897774
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A great adjustment in human affairs is underway. Political, commercial and cultural life is changing from the centralized, hierarchical and standardized structures of the industrial age to something radically different: the economy of the emerging digital era.

      A History of the Internet and the Digital Future tells the story of the development of the Internet from the 1950s to the present, and examines how the balance of power has shifted between the individual and the state in the areas of censorship, copyright infringement, intellectual freedom and terrorism and warfare. Johnny Ryan explains how the Internet has revolutionized political campaigns; how the development of the World Wide Web enfranchised a new online population of assertive, niche consumers; and how the dot-com bust taught smarter firms to capitalize on the power of digital artisans.

      In the coming years, platforms such as the iPhone and Android rise or fall depending on their treading the line between proprietary control and open innovation. The trends of the past may hold out hope for the record and newspaper industry. From the government-controlled systems of the ColdWar to today’s move towards cloud computing, user-driven content and the new global commons, this book reveals the trends that are shaping the businesses, politics, and media of the digital future.

... Read more

48. From 0 to 1: An Authoritative History of Modern Computing
Hardcover: 256 Pages (2002-04-11)
list price: US$24.50 -- used & new: US$18.04
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0195140257
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Computers and their origins have a fascination both for scholars and for ordinary readers, but much of the existing literature on the history of computing is too specialized to interest the general reader. This collection is broad in scope, offering an authoritative and up-to-date introduction to the history of computing. It gives an overview of two centuries in the history of information processing and detailed coverage of a number of more recent topics, including PC software, user interfaces, and the Internet. By integrating the technical, business, and policy aspects of the history of computing, the authors explain how and why computers were created, and how they were shaped by the intent of their creators. All of the contributors are experts in their fields, writing clearly and avoiding jargon to make this book accessible to a wide range of general readers, students, and historians and computer professionals. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars terrific author
Rick Nebeker does it again, with a clear, concise writing style that I found refreshing. Highly recommended!

4-0 out of 5 stars Withdrawn
The book is used. It was in a US library, but now it's withdrawn. It came with a library label on it spine and stamped by the librarian. Well, the book content is ok. No underline text, no notes. The book is worth it. ... Read more

49. A History of Computing Technology, 2nd Edition
by Michael R. Williams
Paperback: 426 Pages (1997-03-27)
list price: US$94.95 -- used & new: US$66.92
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0818677392
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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This second edition of the popular reference and textbook outlines the historical developments in computing technology. The book describes historical aspects of calculation and concentrates on the physical devices used to aid people in their attempts at automating the arithmetic process.

A History of Computing Technology highlights the major advances in arithmetic from the beginning of counting, through the three most important developments in the subject: the invention of the zero, logarithms, and the electronic computer. It provides you with an understanding of how these ideas developed and why the latest tools are in their current forms. In addition, it tells many of the interesting stories about both the machines and the scientists who produced them. It focuses on the extraordinary accomplishments of those computer pioneers whose work will stand as proof of their genius and hard work. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

3-0 out of 5 stars skimpy treatment of modern computing
This history gives a decent coverage of computing, up to somewhere in the 1960s. Look elsewhere if you want anything about workstations or personal computers. Instead, the book devotes space to explaining not just 20th century computers, but calculators and other mechanical devices, from earlier eras.

An astrolabe is explained! Which may be a little surprising. But it can be argued that that is indeed a computing device. Totally analog of course. Then, we get a view of the development of mechanical caculators in the 19th century. Plus Babbage's computing engine.

The book's discussion of the modern computer - from the Manhattan Project's MANIAC onwards - could perhaps be read in other more comprehensive treatments.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very good up to IBM360, Great Bibliograpy, Highly Readable
This book focuses on early machines up to the development of the IBM 360.It covers both the technology and the personalities involved.It contains startling facts such as the Z4 (a mechanical computer) could reorder instructions to improve speed (circa 1948).It outline some of the most brilliant work in computer science.I wish it had more technical detail, however it does have an extensive bibliography.I strongly recommend this book to anyone interested in a deep understanding of computers. and where they are going. ... Read more

50. Small Computer System Interface: Webster's Timeline History, 1979 - 2002
by Icon Group International
Paperback: 24 Pages (2009-06-06)
list price: US$28.95 -- used & new: US$28.95
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Asin: 0546903320
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Webster's bibliographic and event-based timelines are comprehensive in scope, covering virtually all topics, geographic locations and people. They do so from a linguistic point of view, and in the case of this book, the focus is on "Small Computer System Interface," including when used in literature (e.g. all authors that might have Small Computer System Interface in their name). As such, this book represents the largest compilation of timeline events associated with Small Computer System Interface when it is used in proper noun form. Webster's timelines cover bibliographic citations, patented inventions, as well as non-conventional and alternative meanings which capture ambiguities in usage. These furthermore cover all parts of speech (possessive, institutional usage, geographic usage) and contexts, including pop culture, the arts, social sciences (linguistics, history, geography, economics, sociology, political science), business, computer science, literature, law, medicine, psychology, mathematics, chemistry, physics, biology and other physical sciences. This "data dump" results in a comprehensive set of entries for a bibliographic and/or event-based timeline on the proper name Small Computer System Interface, since editorial decisions to include or exclude events is purely a linguistic process. The resulting entries are used under license or with permission, used under "fair use" conditions, used in agreement with the original authors, or are in the public domain. ... Read more

51. Computers and Commerce: A Study of Technology and Management at Eckert-Mauchly Computer Company, Engineering Research Associates, and Remington Rand, 1946-1957 (History of Computing)
by Arthur L. Norberg
Hardcover: 357 Pages (2005-06-01)
list price: US$40.00 -- used & new: US$6.45
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Asin: 026214090X
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Between 1946 and 1957 computing went from a preliminary, developmental stage to more widespread use accompanied by the beginnings of the digital computer industry. During this crucial decade, spurred by rapid technological advances, the computer enterprise became a major phenomenon. In Computers and Commerce, Arthur Norberg explores the importance of these years in the history of computing by focusing on technical developments and business strategies at two important firms, both established in 1946, Engineering Research Associates (ERA) and Eckert-Mauchly Computer Company (EMCC), from their early activities through their acquisition by Remington Rand.

Both ERA and EMCC had their roots in World War II, and in postwar years both firms received major funding from the United States government. Norberg analyzes the interaction between the two companies and the government and examines the impact of this institutional context on technological innovation. He assesses the technical contributions of such key company figures as J. Presper Eckert, John Mauchly, Grace Hopper, and William Norris, analyzing the importance of engineering knowledge in converting theoretical designs into workable machines. Norberg looks at the two firms' operations after 1951 as independent subsidiaries of Remington Rand, and documents the management problems that began after Remington Rand merged with Sperry Gyroscope to form Sperry Rand in 1955. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars Lots of details but misses the important points
This book is loaded with details, but it carries little understanding or feel for the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation (EMCC). Also it does contain outright errors. The BINAC's cycle time was not reduced to 2.5 megacycles. It ran at 4 megacycles, but the cycle time of the UNIVAC was 2.5 megacyles because of the difficulties with fine tuning the Binac. In fact, Pres Eckert was so concerned that the mercury delay line memory might not work for the UNIVAC that he secretly had me and Art Gehring do the logical design of the UNIVAC using electrostatic storage. This machine was microcoded. I believe it was the first one microcoded. Of course, it was never built because the mercury delay-line memory worked.

Northrop played a big role in the Binac's problems. The missle boys were in charge at Northrop, and they were paranoid about security. They didn't want any of EMCC's personnell on their site. So they crated up the BINAC and shipped it to California then laid the parts out on a hangar's floor and had a newly graduated electrical engineer put it together. Despite this, it did run. It was never flown controlling a Snark Missle, which was later cancelled. By the way, I never tried to program chess. What I programmed was the trajectory of the Snark Missle for Binac. Claude Shannon at Bell Labs had suggesed that a computer could be programmed to play chess so somebody introduced me to him, knowing I had spent one afternoon programming gin rummy.

Norberg doesn't give much time to Strauss of American Totalizator who had funded EMCC. He was a wonderful man and had the confidence of both the employees and Eckert and Mauchly. His untimely death was a real tragedy to the company.

Also, Norberg doesn't give enough credit for EMCC's problems to security clearance. This was the Joe McCarthy era when the unproven accusation by anyone could ruin another person's chances for security clearance. UNIVAC contracts were cancelled because the company's security was questioned, mainly due to questions about Bob Shaw and John Mauchly. When Kay Mauchly received John's FBI Report on his clearance after the Freedom of Informatin Act was passed, the big problems with his security were that he belonged to Consumers Union, which the Unamerican Activities Committee declared as communist, and he belonged to the American Association of Scientific Workers, which was also a questionable organization. John said he never joined it but may have signed up for a reprint from them at some scientific event.

Bob Shaw's was due to his car being parked on a street in Washington, D.C. when a so-called communist oriented march was taking place. Bob was a much more important member of the UNIVAC design team than Norberg gives him credit for. He was brilliant and drew all the logical block diagrams for the UNIVAC in about 6 weeks. Of course, they were based on the design settled on by many staff meetings. Still, an amazing feat. Bob was an albino with very poor eyesight. He drew the diagrams on 3X4 foot graph paper. Because of his eyesight, he could not drive a car, but he was quite social. Cars were not as plentiful then as now, so he bought a car and had various people drive him to social and business functions. One of his drivers asked to borrow his car one weekend to drive to Washington to visit a friend. It turned out to be on the day of the parade. The car was parked on the street, and the police came along and took down license plate numbers. Thus, Bob was supposed to be at the march. To add further madness to that era, the charges against one were also classified, thus one didn't know what the problems were.

When Remington Rand took over EMCC after Strauss's death, they were unbeleivably ignorant about computers and handling such a merger. I worked in Washington, D.C. for RemRand in 1950-1951 for H. H. Goodman whose main claim to fame was that he had reached his high position at RemRand without even graduating from the eighth grade in school. He basically told me that RemRand had more money than EMCC thus RemRand was smarter. The EMCC designers were dreamers and it would take a company like RemRand to lead them. They had no sales plans, no training plans, and no idea what it would take to run a computer installation. They waltzed me around to talk about the UNIVAC then the salesmen sold them typewriters and accounting machines. We had a wonderful computer ready for delivery and didn't sell it. In the meantime, IBM ran around town talking about a Defense Calculator, not even on the drawing board.

I had worked with brilliant engineers in an open, exciting atmosphere in which we knew we were pushing back frontiers, and here I was working with these incompetents. I knew they would lose the industry. That's when I decided to take time off and have a family.

I know nothing about ERA, but I've read about Seymour Cray and I am sure he was of the Pres Eckert and John Mauchly mold, brilliant, exciting and always on the frontier. ... Read more

52. Teaching History With a Computer: A Complete Guide for College Professors
by James B. M. Schick
 Paperback: 251 Pages (1990-09)
list price: US$33.95 -- used & new: US$20.22
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Asin: 0925065323
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53. The History of the Computer (The Timeline Library)
by Barbara A. Somervill
Library Binding: 32 Pages (2006-01)
list price: US$27.07
Isbn: 1592964370
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54. Dive Computers: A Consumer's Guide to History, Theory, and Performance
by Ken Loyst, Karl Huggins, Michael Steidley
 Paperback: 191 Pages (1991-03)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$4.98
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Asin: 0922769095
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars Out of date but good discussion of theory
I'm a Divemaster who has had this book since it came out in the early '90s.It covers the evolution of dive computers up through when the book was released. There is detailed comparative information on each of the dominant dive computers of the day and of the algorithms favored then by the different manufacturers. It was an excellent book in its day and would have rated a 5 out of 5 when it first came out.

Some of those same physical nitrogen absorption algorithms are still in use in today's dive computers.Others of the covered algorithms have evolved since the book's release but are still easier to understand given the book's background information.

Most specific current dive computers are not, of course, covered in a book copyrighted in 1991.(For example, the newest Suunto computer covered in the book is their Solution series).

Much of the information is still relevant though, in terms of understanding the roots and limitations of the different theoretical models of nitrogen behavior in the body. I still loan this book out fairly frequently to let new or non-technically-oriented divers get an understanding for how dive computers and their theoretical models work and for what they should look for in a dive computer.

It is particularly useful with the more hard-headed divers who pick computers solely based on how much time it will allow them at depth.(I guess they feel they somehow can't get bent if a more-liberal dive computer says they're OK).

I recommend this book solely for its background information with the reservation that neither current dive computers nor the most current nitrogen / bubble models will be covered. Once you've read this, you can research the current algorithm used by a prospective dive computer purchase and have a much better chance of actually understanding it.

... Read more

55. A Bibliographic Guide to the History of Computing, Computers, and the Information Processing Industry (Bibliographies and Indexes in Science and Technology)
Hardcover: 656 Pages (1990-05-21)
list price: US$155.00 -- used & new: US$29.58
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Asin: 031326810X
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This bibliography provides a general introduction to the literature of the data processing industry, covering a broad range of technologies that stretch back to the pre-history of information processing. Grouped into nine chapters and under nearly 100 subheadings, the materials surveyed include both recent and historical publications, as well as ongoing current publications such as computer magazines. Each chapter contains a short review of historically important issues and comments on the literature, and an annotation for each entry. ... Read more

56. Purity in Print: Book Censorship in America from the Gilded Age to the Computer Age (Print Culture History in Modern America)
by Paul S. Boyer
Paperback: 520 Pages (2002-04-15)
list price: US$21.95 -- used & new: US$19.17
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Asin: 0299175847
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The first edition of Purity in Printdocumented book censorship in America from the 1870s to the 1930s, embedding it within the larger social and cultural history of the time. This second edition adds two new chapters that carry this history forward to the beginning of the twenty-first century. ... Read more

57. Transforming Computer Technology: Information Processing for the Pentagon, 1962-1986 (Johns Hopkins Studies in the History of Technology)
by Arthur L. Norberg, Judy E. O'Neill
Paperback: 384 Pages (2000-02-29)
list price: US$35.00 -- used & new: US$26.95
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Asin: 0801863694
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Over the course of several decades, the Pentagon's Information Processing Techniques Office (IPTO) helped transform computing from a cumbersome enterprise based on batch processing to the instantly interactive, graphically rich, highly intelligent computing of today. With the purpose of improving command and control systems for the military, IPTO researchers strengthened time-sharing, laid the groundwork for graphics and parallel processing, contributed to the study of artificial intelligence, and developed the wide-area network that came to be known as the Internet. Transforming Computer Technology examines these and other developments at the Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency in its heyday between 1962 and 1986. The authors show how Pentagon programs affected significant developments in both computer science and engineering. They analyze the management of the office, the origins and growth of important IPTO programs, and the interaction of the staff with the R&D community. They pay special attention to IPTO's role in executing research at the leading edge of computing and networking and in working with the military to transfer that research into practical use. And they show how, by the 1990s, the research results had been assimilated into systems both for the military and for civilian society. ... Read more

58. iCon Steve Jobs: The Greatest Second Act in the History of Business
by Jeffrey S. Young, William L. Simon
Hardcover: 368 Pages (2005-05-23)
list price: US$30.00 -- used & new: US$13.72
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Asin: 0471720836
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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iCon takes a look at the most astounding figure in a business era noted for its mavericks, oddballs, and iconoclasts. Drawing on a wide range of sources, Jeffrey Young and William Simon provide new perspectives on the legendary creation of Apple, detail Jobs’s meteoric rise, and the devastating plunge that left him not only out of Apple, but out of the computer-making business entirely. This unflinching and completely unauthorized portrait reveals both sides of Jobs’s role in the remarkable rise of the Pixar animation studio, also re-creates the acrimony between Jobs and Disney’s Michael Eisner, and examines Jobs’s dramatic his rise from the ashes with his recapture of Apple. The authors examine the takeover and Jobs’s reinvention of the company with the popular iMac and his transformation of the industry with the revolutionary iPod. iCon is must reading for anyone who wants to understand how the modern digital age has been formed, shaped, and refined by the most influential figure of the age–a master of three industries: movies, music, and computers. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (78)

3-0 out of 5 stars Recreational Read
A decent book to read but it is quite poor to be written by a professional writer....it does provide a perspective of Jobs and how he has managed his life.

Smarts, Energy andtruck load of Luck seem to put make very good things happen.....

2-0 out of 5 stars Back-handed compliments for Steve Jobs
Looking at the title and cover of the book, I thought this would be a book written by Jobs' admirers in the Silicon Valley. As I started reading it, I felt that the book was perhaps being objective by writing the truth rather than shower praise on Jobs for everything under the sun. But gradually, I realized that the book pays basically only back-handed compliments to Steve Jobs and tries to say that practically all the achievements for which Jobs is credited, there is someone else whose vision is stolen and presented as his own by Steve Jobs. In the end, one is left with the feeling that one has wasted time in reading this 300-odd page book because it runs counter to whatever one has experienced living in the Silicon Valley between the years of 1990 to 2010.
The authors do write about Steve Jobs as a visionary, having transformed computers, music and movies in a revolutionary way. But the feeling that the reader is left with is that Steve Wozniak was the genius behind Apple and the pioneers of Napster are the visionaries in transforming the music scene and that John Lassetter, Ed Catmull and Alvy Ray Smith were the visionaries behind Pixar. Steve Jobs was the marketing man behind Apple and that he simply used his millions in getting the right people for the success of Pixar and the iPod. In fact, John Lassetter is repeatedly hailed as the creative genius behind all the successes of Toy Story, A Bug's Life and so on. Essentially, the book does not leave the reader with the image that Jobs is a visionary. As the book's title probably implies, he is more a con man by claiming credit for other peoples' work.
It is hard to believe that the authors could be right in all their claims. Jobs' arrogance and rudeness and dismissive attitudes have been written about all over and there is enough evidence to back these claims. But all along, it has been also suggested that this is the licence that a genius deserves and that has been the general image of Jobs. However, this book seems to say that he has conned everyone around into believing that he is the genius behind bringing the revolution that he is credited with.
There is a lot of material devoted to Jobs' face-off with Disney and the politics inside Disney for ultimate control of the studio. The authors say that Jobs has mellowed with age and parenthood and has become more inclusive and somewhat humbler.
The book can be read critically as a counter-point to the adulatory ones on Jobs. It can also be read as a chronicle of the history of the personal computer and the revolutions in Music and animation that have taken place in the last fifteen years. However, there is little of insight considering that the book is about Steve Jobs.

1-0 out of 5 stars To the authors of this non-sense: Were you there?
How stupid this book is!!! It is the dumbest book about someone that important. The author constantly gives the reader his interpretations as facts.. What are you to judge such an important figure in history?
Nasreddin Hodja (A Turkish figure) fell from theroof. People gathered around him and asked:
- How are you Hodja?
- I will tell you how i am but only those who fell from the roof before, can understand me properly.
So, "suave mari magno turbentipus aequra ventis"; meaning it is pleasant to watch those trying to survive against the storm from a mild shore.. If you can do better, you have all the way.
Do not lie and cover it as if it is a fact..

5-0 out of 5 stars Great!
My son read this book as part of a school assignment.He learned a great deal and now has a super appreciation for not only a superior product, but the man behind much of it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Steve's fan
It's a very interesting book under a manager's point of view. I am a fan of Steve Jobs but doesn't share a lot of his management style. The book makes you understand how important marketing and self promotion is. ... Read more

59. Electric Dreams: Computers in American Culture
by Ted Friedman
Paperback: 286 Pages (2005-12-01)
list price: US$22.00 -- used & new: US$17.94
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Asin: 0814727409
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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"Electric Dreams" is at once a synthetic history of the personal computer, a history of representations of the computer, and a treatise on how to think about computing as a cultural phenomenon.Friedman's original analyses and clear style make the book a pleasure to read."
—Jonathan Sterne, author of The Audible Past: Cultural Origins of Sound Reproduction

Electric Dreams turns to the past to trace the cultural history of computers.Ted Friedman charts the struggles fo define the meanings of these powerful machines over more than a century, from the failure of Charles Babbage's "difference engine" in the nineteenth century to contemporary struggles over file swapping, open source software, and the future of online journalism. To reveal the hopes and fears inspired by computers, Electric Dreams examines a wide range of texts, including films, advertisements, novels, magazines, computer games, blogs, and even operating systems.

Electric Dreams argues that the debates over computers are critically important because they are how Americans talk about the future.In a society that in so many ways has given up on imagining anything better than multinational capitalism, cyberculture offers room to dream of different kinds of tomorrow.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Gripping, insightful
It's a rare book that has the academic rigor to explore our electronic culture and the ways in which it rewires our own brains and perceptions. It's an even rarer one that is free of jargon and cant, with gripping prose that makes you turn the pages as if you were under a beach umbrella. This is that book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Connected to the Computer-Culture and Change

Computers, today, play a central role in all the facets of our existence. In work, in play, in our communications with others, and in our connection to the world of information we meet and rely on computers. Ted Friedman, a Professor at Georgia State University, has written a first rate analysis of the cultural and scientific forces that led to current status of computers in our lives. Friedman, in Electric Dreams - Computers In American Culture, discusses the social and political forces which led to the development of the personal computer and its uses. Friedman argues that technological invention does not inevitably determine how that technology will be used in the future. Rather, the evolving culture and
the political, scientific and business decisions it spawns can lead to very different applications of technology than what might have been predicted from the perspective of technological determinism at the stage of each new development. The cyberculture we live in can become a "cybertopia" resulting in "...a more just, egalitarian, democratic, creative society if we are willing to "...fight for it. The future is up to us." Electric Dreams is exciting and provocative and well worth the read for anyone who cares about the future uses of technology and the world it can bring.

5-0 out of 5 stars Electric Dreams: Accessible and Insightful
Electric Dreams bridges the too-often-wide gap between the academy and the community with a readable and informative style that presents ideas and arguments in a refeshingly clear and concise manner. Computers have impacted U.S culture as profoundly as any technology in our history and, equally important, as Friedman suggests, we cannot separate computers from visions of our future -- utopian or not. This reader offers only one recommendation: Updated versions of the book might include a glossary and chronology to further enhance accessiblity for non-experts.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sharing space with computers
This is the first book I have read that "demystifies and recuperates" my own personal relationship with the computer, and my very visible and corporate relationship with it. Electric Dreams is designed in a way that communicates what needs to be known about the computer, particularly its ancestral descent. The many levels of historical context Friedman provides help to track the evolution of the computer by identifying its various transformations within the repetition of cultural conflicts that arose (and continue to surface) as a result of the its introduction and proliferation.
Friedman also suggests thoughtful ways to assess this knowledge by using a cultural studies approach that overlaps into historiography, cinema studies, literary studies, and postmodernism. Equally important to my understanding is Friedman's focus on the representation process that is linked to four other processes that make up the "Circuit of Culture" loop- production, consumption, regulation, and identity. The focus on representation pushes me to think semiotically about the mimetic (or not) qualities of analog loads and digital loads and how these two very different ways of representing information are susceptible to lesser or greater possibilities for alternate representations.
For example, the analog-based device seems to share a closer relationship to the thing it represents (sound to vinyl recording), whereas digital representation transforms the object into a collection of digits that is "other" than the thing represented. If the digital format, in this era's computer culture provides greater opportunities for consumers and producers to transform or reproduce the object that was digitized, what do we gain from such creative agency? And what kind of dystopia are we setting ourselves up for when the digitized re-arrangement of the referent can be executed so easily in the privacy (we think) of our own homes?
Electric Dreams carves out a place where we can explore some of the questions we have about this computer culture we inhabit, and the contradictory processes we have identified during our hands-on relationships with the computer products that emerged (and continue to emerge) from this technology. Thanks to this book I feel better equipped to examine the cultural space that exists both inside and outside the capitalist processes of commodification and more capable of distinguishing between a computer culture that is good for us and one that is evil.

5-0 out of 5 stars How Computers Can or HaveChanged Our Lives
Electric Dreams by Ted Friedman succeeds in illuminating what computers could have been and what they are in our lives. Friedman manages to inspire us to think about a better world --- more creative, more just, more fun --- aided by computers. It's a fun book to read and inspires the mind to wonder about what might have been and still could be. It should be read by any one who communicates by e-mail, buys stuff on line, searches the web; uses computers on the job. In fact, anyone curious about how this all happened and where it will lead. ... Read more

60. The Origins of Digital Computers: Selected Papers (Monographs in Computer Science)
Hardcover: 604 Pages (1982-08-09)
list price: US$149.00 -- used & new: US$118.61
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Asin: 3540113193
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars The definitive source material for computer history
There are a bunch of books about the history of computing, but this one is unique -- it reprints original papers from Babbage through EDVAC and EDSAC in the late 1940s. Some of the papers are a tough slog, since theterminology is unfamiliar, but there's no better way to get inside theheads of the people who invented all this stuff. And what's really amazingis that by 1948, they were designing recognizably modern computers. If itweren't so overpriced I'd say every programmer should have a copy. ... Read more

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