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A Brief History of Computing Hardcover – Feb 4 2008


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Amazon.com: 3 reviews
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Not enough historical context to justify calling it a history March 19 2008
By Charles Ashbacher - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is a book that could not be used as a text in the history of computing until at least the late sophomore level. Most of the topics used as the base points in the historical examination are sufficiently sophisticated that some significant computing background is necessary to understand them.
The book opens with a brief history of the mathematics of early civilizations such as the Chinese, Egyptians, Babylonians, Greeks and the Islamic countries when civilization grew dark in Europe. This is followed by a chapter in the foundations of computing. Some of the topics introduced in this chapter are Boolean algebra, Turing machines, the Von Neumann architecture and the information theory of Claude Shannon. The following chapter titles are:

*) Computer programming languages
*) Software engineering
*) Artificial intelligence and expert systems
*) The Internet revolution
*) Famous technology companies

I would not consider adopting this book as either the primary text in a course in the history of computing or as an ancillary text in any course involving the history of computing. While some historical context is presented, there is not enough to justify calling it the "history of computing." A true history must always present a significant amount of historical context.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Great book IF you read the preface first May 21 2010
By Phil - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The purpose of the book was to provide a broad overview of computer technology through the ages and the book did this (as mentioned in the PREFACE). I enjoyed it and it did a good job going over computing technlogy (from Egypt up to the present time). It was well written, gave a nice quick overview and was technically-sufficient to be effective but not overly complicated. However, if you want details on any topic of computing history then this is not the book for you.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Disappointing June 23 2008
By planetmde.org - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I was eager to read this book, but when I received it I was extremly disappointed by its content. It speaks a little bit about everything (just have a look at the huge list of topics), but nothing in depth and most importantly nothing that could be understood per see. Moreover, what is really missing is some nice story puting everything together. Currently, the book just look like a series of rather unrelated texts with no common vision. Some chapters just look like if wikipedia pieces of text were put together to form a chapter. Some information are not relevant, put seems to be there just to fit some space in the chapter. There are a lot of photos of people that did something in computer science, but frankly I don't think that these portraits constitute the better way to explain the wonderful story of computing. There are plently of nice books about this history, this one is the most disappointing. I would not suggest using it as a text book. May be I was expecting too much.


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