The story of supercomputing is only partially about technology. More than anything, it's about the gifted, brilliant, and often eccentric individuals who knew how to use that technology in new ways to do amazing things. Perhaps the most amazing of the bunch was Seymour Cray, the bureaucracy-intolerant genius with the barnstorming mind whose name has become synonymous with supercomputers. Charles Murray gives us an insightful and often thrilling and sometimes amusing look into how Cray and his genius companions took computers to new heights and humbled companies like Control Data and IBM.
Before Bill Gates ever tinkered with an operating system, one name represented the cutting edge of computing technology: Seymour Cray. He pioneered the supercomputer and honed that edge through each model he engineered, including those built under the auspices of two companies he founded-Control Data Corporation and Cray Research. In this engrossing study, Murray, a senior editor at Design News magazine, follows the development and influence of the supercomputer from its origins as a WWII codebreaking machine through its Cold War application in developing nuclear weapons to its modern-day uses in weather research and other fields. Along the way, he shows clearly how the supercomputer brought us from the age of punchcards and vacuum tubes to that of transistors and, now, silicon chips. Drawing from extensive interviews, including the final one Cray gave before his death earlier this year from injuries sustained in a car crash, Murray also explores the personal side of the engineer, whose reputation as a brilliant, anti-corporate workaholic gave him legendary status in the computer industry. Murray's prose emphasizes information over liveliness, but his book, with its balanced mix of biography, history and technology, should interest more general readers as well as the digerati.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
This is just one of the best books I have ever read! The historic point of view is awesome!
Seymour Cray carves a special place in the history of computing. No other super computing companies / personalities can rival his achievement (name one that survives more than 3... Read morePublished on March 8 2001 by Abraman
Few biographies of computer heavyweights have moved me like this short, 232-page volume. This book is a nicely written chronicle of Seymour Cray and his supercomputing associates. Read morePublished on Oct. 28 2000 by David Gurgel
I give it four stars because this book did not mention enough details. It will be good if the author showed us why Seymour Cray would spent so much time on transistors. Read morePublished on Aug. 6 2000 by JB
If you are into high preformance computing and still think that it just sort of happend all at once and had no begining then buy this book. Read morePublished on Jan. 12 2000
"The Supermen" describes the early days of supercomputing, from the ERA developments (50's), Control Data's 1604 (a mindblowing 0. Read morePublished on May 28 1998 by firstname.lastname@example.org
By far, this book is a must read for any computer enthusiast. From the early days of drum hard drives through nuclear explosion modeling, The Supermen will captivate your mind and... Read morePublished on Dec 13 1997