Ada's Algorithm: How Lord Byron's Daughter Ada Lovelace Launched the Digital Age
James Essinger. Melville House, 2014
Over 150 years after her death, a widely-used scientific computer program was named “Ada,” after Ada Lovelace, the only legitimate daughter of the eighteenth century’s version of a rock star, Lord Byron. Why? Because, after computer pioneers such as Alan Turing began to rediscover her, it slowly became apparent that she had been a key but overlooked figure in the invention of the computer. In Ada Lovelace, James Essinger makes the case that the computer age could have started two centuries ago if Lovelace’s contemporaries had recognized her research and fully grasped its implications. It’s a remarkable tale, starting with the outrageous behavior of her father, which made Ada instantly famous upon birth. Ada would go on to overcome numerous obstacles to obtain a level of education typically forbidden to women of her day. She would eventually join forces with Charles Babbage, generally credited with inventing the computer, although as Essinger makes clear, Babbage couldn’t have done it without Lovelace. Indeed, Lovelace wrote what is today considered the world’s first computer program—despite opposition that the principles of science were “beyond the strength of a woman’s physical power of application.” Based on ten years of research and filled with fascinating characters and observations of the period, not to mention numerous illustrations, Essinger tells Ada’s fascinating story in unprecedented detail to absorbing and inspiring effect.
Ada: A Life and Legacy
Dorothy Stein. MIT Press, 1987
Augusta Ada Byron, Countess of Lovelace, was the daughter of Lord Byronand a close friend to many of the leading figures of the Victorian era; based on herreport on Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine she is also generally known as theinventor of the science of computer programming. In this engrossing biography, Dorothy Stein strips away the many layers of myth to reveal a story far moredramatic and fascinating than previous accounts have indicated.Dorothy Stein is apsychologist with a special interest in thought and language and a background inphysics and computer programming. She has taught courses in nineteenth-centurywomen's history and in the biology and psychology of sex differences, and isparticularly concerned with the use of myth in science.
Ada Lovelace: The Making of a Computer Scientist
Christopher Hollings, Ursula Martin, Adrian Rice. Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, 2018
Ada, Countess of Lovelace (1815–52), daughter of romantic poet Lord Byron and the highly educated Anne Isabella, is sometimes called the world’s first computer programmer, and she has become an icon for women in technology today. But how did a young woman in the nineteenth century, without access to formal schooling or university education, acquire the knowledge and expertise to become a pioneer of computer science? Although it was an unusual pursuit for women at the time, Ada Lovelace studied science and mathematics from a young age. This book uses previously unpublished archival material to explore her precocious childhood—from her curiosity about the science of rainbows to her design for a steam-powered flying horse—as well as her ambitious young adulthood. Active in Victorian London’s social and scientific elite alongside Mary Somerville, Michael Faraday, and Charles Dickens, Ada Lovelace became fascinated by the computing machines of Charles Babbage, whose ambitious, unbuilt invention known as the “Analytical Engine” inspired Lovelace to devise a table of mathematical formulae which many now refer to as the “first program.” Ada Lovelace died at just thirty-six, but her work strikes a chord to this day, offering clear explanations of the principles of computing, and exploring ideas about computer music and artificial intelligence that have been realized in modern digital computers. Featuring detailed illustrations of the “first program” alongside mathematical models, correspondence, and contemporary images, this book shows how Ada Lovelace, with astonishing prescience, first investigated the key mathematical questions behind the principles of modern computing.
Alan Turing: The Enigma
Andrew Hodges, Douglas R. Hofstadter. Simon & Schuster, 1983
It is only a slight exaggeration to say that the British mathematician Alan Turing (1912-1954) saved the Allies from the Nazis, invented the computer and artificial intelligence, and anticipated gay liberation by decades–all before his suicide at age forty-one. This New York Times–bestselling biography of the founder of computer science, with a new preface by the author that addresses Turing's royal pardon in 2013, is the definitive account of an extraordinary mind and life. Capturing both the inner and outer drama of Turing’s life, Andrew Hodges tells how Turing’s revolutionary idea of 1936–the concept of a universal machine–laid the foundation for the modern computer and how Turing brought the idea to practical realization in 1945 with his electronic design. The book also tells how this work was directly related to Turing’s leading role in breaking the German Enigma ciphers during World War II, a scientific triumph that was critical to Allied victory in the Atlantic. At the same time, this is the tragic account of a man who, despite his wartime service, was eventually arrested, stripped of his security clearance, and forced to undergo a humiliating treatment program–all for trying to live honestly in a society that defined homosexuality as a crime.
Atanasoff: Forgotten Father of the Computer
Clark R. Mollenhoff. Iowa State University Press, 1988
Recounts how John Atanasoff invented the first electronic digital computer, explains how his ideas were exploited, and describes the court battle that restored his proper recognition.
Computer Connections: People, Places, and Events in the Evolution of the Personal Computer Industry
Gary Kildall. Prometheus Light and Sound, 1993
Our father, Gary Kildall, was one of the founders of the personal computer industry, but you probably don’t know his name. Those who have heard of him may recall the myth that he ‘missed’ the opportunity to become Bill Gates by going flying instead of meeting with IBM. Unfortunately, this tall tale paints Gary as a ‘could-have-been,’ ignores his deep contributions, and overshadows his role as an inventor of key technologies that define how computer platforms run today. Gary viewed computers as learning tools rather than profit engines. His career choices reflect a different definition of success, where innovation means sharing ideas, letting passion drive your work and making source code available for others to build upon. His work ethic during the 1970s resembles that of the open-source community today. With this perspective, we offer a portion of our father’s unpublished memoirs so that you can read about his experiences and reflections on the early days of the computer industry, directly in his own voice. In this excerpt Gary writes about his vision for bringing the new microprocessors into homes and businesses. In 1974, he invented CP/M, the first operating system that could run on these new desktop platforms. Soon after, he created the BIOS, which enabled CP/M to easily interface with different computer hardware.
ENIAC in Action: Making and Remaking the Modern Computer
Thomas Haigh, Mark Priestley, Crispin Rope. MIT Press, 2016
The history of the first programmable electronic computer, from its conception, construction, and use to its afterlife as a part of computing folklore. Conceived in 1943, completed in 1945, and decommissioned in 1955, ENIAC (the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) was the first general-purpose programmable electronic computer. But ENIAC was more than just a milestone on the road to the modern computer. During its decade of operational life, ENIAC calculated sines and cosines and tested for statistical outliers, plotted the trajectories of bombs and shells, and ran the first numerical weather simulations. ENIAC in Action tells the whole story for the first time, from ENIAC's design, construction, testing, and use to its afterlife as part of computing folklore. It highlights the complex relationship of ENIAC and its designers to the revolutionary approaches to computer architecture and coding first documented by John von Neumann in 1945. Within this broad sweep, the authors emphasize the crucial but previously neglected years of 1947 to 1948, when ENIAC was reconfigured to run what the authors claim was the first modern computer program to be executed: a simulation of atomic fission for Los Alamos researchers. The authors view ENIAC from diverse perspectives – as a machine of war, as the “first computer,” as a material artifact constantly remade by its users, and as a subject of (contradictory) historical narratives. They integrate the history of the machine and its applications, describing the mathematicians, scientists, and engineers who proposed and designed ENIAC as well as the men – and particularly the women who – built, programmed, and operated it.
Grace Hopper and the Invention of the Information Age
Kurt W. Beyer. The MIT Press, 2009.
A Hollywood biopic about the life of computer pioneer Grace Murray Hopper (1906–1992) would go like this: a young professor abandons the ivy-covered walls of academia to serve her country in the Navy after Pearl Harbor and finds herself on the front lines of the computer revolution. She works hard to succeed in the all-male computer industry, is almost brought down by personal problems but survives them, and ends her career as a celebrated elder stateswoman of computing, a heroine to thousands, hailed as the inventor of computer programming. Throughout Hopper's later years, the popular media told this simplified version of her life story. In Grace Hopper and the Invention of the Information Age, Kurt Beyer reveals a more authentic Hopper, a vibrant and complex woman whose career paralleled the meteoric trajectory of the postwar computer industry. Both rebellious and collaborative, Hopper was influential in male-dominated military and business organizations at a time when women were encouraged to devote themselves to housework and childbearing. Hopper's greatest technical achievement was to create the tools that would allow humans to communicate with computers in terms other than ones and zeroes. This advance influenced all future programming and software design and laid the foundation for the development of user-friendly personal computers.
Grace Hopper: Admiral of the Cyber Sea
Kathleen Broome Williams. US Naval Institute Press, 2004.
When grace Hopper retired as a rear admiral from the U.S. Navy in 1986, she was the first woman restricted line officer to reach flag rank and, at the age of seventy-nine, the oldest serving officer in the Navy. A mathematician by training who became a computer scientist, the eccentric and outspoken Hopper helped propel the Navy into the computer age. She also was a superb publicist for the Navy, appearing frequently on radio and television and quoted regularly in newspapers and magazines. Yet in spite of all the attention she received, until now “Amazing Grace,” as she was called, has never been the subject of a full biography. Kathleen Broome Williams looks at Hopper's entire naval career, from the time she joined the Waves and was sent in 1943 to work on the Mark 1 computer at Harvard, where she became one of the country's first computer programmers. Thanks to this early Navy introduction to computing, the author explains, Hopper had a distinguished civilian career in commercial computing after the war, gaining fame for her part in the creation of COBOL. The admiral's Navy days were far from over, however, and Williams tells how Hopper–already past retirement age–was recalled to active duty at the Pentagon in 1967 to standardize computer-programming languages for Navy computers. Her temporary appointment lasted for nineteen years while she standardized COBOL for the entire department of defense. Based on extensive interviews with colleague and family and on archival material never before examined, this biography not only illuminates Hopper's pioneering accomplishments in a field that came to be dominated by men, but provides a fascinating overview of computing from its beginnings in World War II to the late 1980s.
Howard Aiken: Portrait of a Computer Pioneer
I. Bernard Cohen. MIT Press, 1999
Howard Hathaway Aiken (1900-1973) was a major figure of the early digital era. He is best known for his first machine, the IBM Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator or Harvard Mark I, conceived in 1937 and put into operation in 1944. But he also made significant contributions to the development of applications for the new machines and to the creation of a university curriculum for computer science. This biography of Aiken, by a major historian of science who was also a colleague of Aiken's at Harvard, offers a clear and often entertaining introduction to Aiken and his times. Aiken's Mark I was the most intensely used of the early large-scale, general-purpose automatic digital computers, and it had a significant impact on the machines that followed. Aiken also proselytized for the computer among scientists, scholars, and businesspeople and explored novel applications in data processing, automatic billing, and production control. But his most lasting contribution may have been the students who received degrees under him and then took prominent positions in academia and industry. I. Bernard Cohen argues convincingly for Aiken's significance as a shaper of the computer world in which we now live.
Imagine That!: The story of Ed Smith, one of the first African Americans to work in the design of video games and personal computers
Edward Smith, Benj Edwards. Self published, 2020
The inspirational story of Ed Smith, an African American who grew up in the slums of Brownsville, Brooklyn to become one of the first of his race to work in the design of video games and personal computers in the 1970s. Learn how Ed became a part of the engineering team that developed the MP1000 video game and The Imagination Machine personal computer. Discover how Ed came of age growing up in Brownsville during the sixties, his resilience enduring the crime and drug ravaged neighborhood of his youth culminating in his unexpected journey through computer technology.
iWoz: From Computer Geek to Cult Icon: How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-Founded Apple, and Had Fun Doing It
Steve Wozniak, Gina Smith. W. W. Norton, 2006
Before slim laptops that fit into briefcases, computers looked like strange vending machines, with cryptic switches and pages of encoded output. But in 1977 Steve Wozniak revolutionized the computer industry with his invention of the first personal computer. As the sole inventor of the Apple I and II computers, Wozniak has enjoyed wealth, fame, and the most coveted awards an engineer can receive, and he tells his story here for the first time.
John Von Neumann and the Origins of Modern Computing
William Aspray. MIT Press, 1990
John von Neumann (1903-1957) was unquestionably one of the most brilliant scientists of the twentieth century. He made major contributions to quantum mechanics and mathematical physics and in 1943 began a new and all-too-short career in computer science. William Aspray provides the first broad and detailed account of von Neumann's many different contributions to computing. These, Aspray reveals, extended far beyond his well-known work in the design and construction of computer systems to include important scientific applications, the revival of numerical analysis, and the creation of a theory of computing.Aspray points out that from the beginning von Neumann took a wider and more theoretical view than other computer pioneers. In the now famous EDVAC report of 1945, von Neumann clearly stated the idea of a stored program that resides in the computer's memory along with the data it was to operate on. This stored program computer was described in terms of idealized neurons, highlighting the analogy between the digital computer and the human brain. Aspray describes von Neumann's development during the next decade, and almost entirely alone, of a theory of complicated information processing systems, or automata, and the introduction of themes such as learning, reliability of systems with unreliable components, self-replication, and the importance of memory and storage capacity in biological nervous systems; many of these themes remain at the heart of current investigations in parallel or neurocomputing.Aspray allows the record to speak for itself. He unravels an intricate sequence of stories generated by von Neumann's work and brings into focus the interplay of personalities centered about von Neumann. He documents the complex interactions of science, the military, and business and shows how progress in applied mathematics was intertwined with that in computers.
Walter Isaacson. Simon & Schuster, 2011
Based on more than forty interviews with Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues—Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing. At a time when America is seeking ways to sustain its innovative edge, and when societies around the world are trying to build digital-age economies, Jobs stands as the ultimate icon of inventiveness and applied imagination. He knew that the best way to create value in the twenty-first century was to connect creativity with technology. He built a company where leaps of the imagination were combined with remarkable feats of engineering. Although Jobs cooperated with this book, he asked for no control over what was written nor even the right to read it before it was published. He put nothing off-limits. He encouraged the people he knew to speak honestly. And Jobs speaks candidly, sometimes brutally so, about the people he worked with and competed against. His friends, foes, and colleagues provide an unvarnished view of the passions, perfectionism, obsessions, artistry, devilry, and compulsion for control that shaped his approach to business and the innovative products that resulted. Driven by demons, Jobs could drive those around him to fury and despair. But his personality and products were interrelated, just as Apple’s hardware and software tended to be, as if part of an integrated system. His tale is instructive and cautionary, filled with lessons about innovation, character, leadership, and values.
The Home Computer Wars: An Insider's Account of Commodore and Jack Tramiel
Michael S. Tomczyk. Compute Publications International, 1984
In one of the most intriguing moves in modem corporate history, Jack Tramiel, the most successful consumer computer manufacturer, recentl y left Commodore, the company he had founded, and bought Atari, one of his biggest victims in the billion-dollar battle for the per- sonal computer dollar. A survivor of the Nazi Holocaust, Tramiel had taken a tiny typewriter parts company and built it in to a major American corporation . In the process, he became a modem corporate legend. Some of his vice presidents thought he was a saint; some thought he had the world 's hardest heart. But few deny the brilliance of this complex entrepreneur. For the past four years, Michael Tomczyk was Trarniel's assistant. Throu ghout Comm odore's explosive rise to lead ership in the computer field, Tomczyk was a close insider. Most im- portantl y, Tomczyk is a keen observer, and his book takes the reader into a vivid, dra matic world where a powerful, brilliant businessman almos t single- handedl y fashions the Ame rican con- sumer computer industry. It was a titanic strugg le, a two- front war. Con flict raged inside Com - modore, as careers rose and fell. Ou tside, archriva ls Texas Instruments and Atari fought a losing battle against an increasingly aggressive Commodore attack. This book takes you through some of the most exciting episodes in modem American business, concluding with the latest events at Jack Tramiel's new company, Atari.
The Man Behind the Microchip: Robert Noyce and the Invention of Silicon Valley
Leslie Berlin, Robert Noyce. Oxford University Press, 2005
The Man Behind the Microchip Robert Noyce and the Invention of Silicon Valley published in the year 2005 was published by Oxford University Press. The author of this book is Leslie Berlin. ed page displaying collection of Leslie Berlin books here. This is the Hardback version of the title “The Man Behind the Microchip Robert Noyce and the Invention of Silicon Valley” and have around pp. xiii + 402 pages. The Man Behind the Microchip Robert Noyce and the Invention of Silicon Valley is currently Available with us.
The Man Who Invented the Computer: The Biography of John Atanasoff, Digital Pioneer
Jane Smiley. Doubleday, 2010
One night in the late 1930s, in a bar on the Illinois–Iowa border, John Vincent Atanasoff, a professor of physics at Iowa State University, after a frustrating day performing tedious mathematical calculations in his lab, hit on the idea that the binary number system and electronic switches, combined with an array of capacitors on a moving drum to serve as memory, could yield a computing machine that would make his life and the lives of other similarly burdened scientists easier. Then he went back and built the machine. It worked. The whole world changed. Why don’t we know the name of John Atanasoff as well as we know those of Alan Turing and John von Neumann? Because he never patented the device, and because the developers of the far-better-known ENIAC almost certainly stole critical ideas from him. But in 1973 a court declared that the patent on that Sperry Rand device was invalid, opening the intellectual property gates to the computer revolution. Jane Smiley tells the quintessentially American story of the child of immigrants John Atanasoff with technical clarity and narrative drive, making the race to develop digital computing as gripping as a real-life techno-thriller.
The ultimate entrepreneur: the story of Ken Olsen and Digital Equipment Corporation
Glenn Rifkin, George Harrar. Contemporary Books 1988
The first full-length portrait of Olsen and his company describes the hectic pace of DEC's growth; the engineers' revolt that led to the formation of Data General; the loss of the personal computer market to IBM and Apple; and Wall Street's call for the ouster of Ken Olsen in 1983.
Turing's Vision: The Birth of Computer Science
Chris Bernhardt. Mit Press, 2016
In 1936, when he was just twenty-four years old, Alan Turing wrote a remarkable paper in which he outlined the theory of computation, laying out the ideas that underlie all modern computers. This groundbreaking and powerful theory now forms the basis of computer science. In Turing's Vision, Chris Bernhardt explains the theory, Turing's most important contribution, for the general reader. Bernhardt argues that the strength of Turing's theory is its simplicity, and that, explained in a straightforward manner, it is eminently understandable by the nonspecialist. As Marvin Minsky writes, “The sheer simplicity of the theory's foundation and extraordinary short path from this foundation to its logical and surprising conclusions give the theory a mathematical beauty that alone guarantees it a permanent place in computer theory.” Bernhardt begins with the foundation and systematically builds to the surprising conclusions. He also views Turing's theory in the context of mathematical history, other views of computation (including those of Alonzo Church), Turing's later work, and the birth of the modern computer.
A Commodore 64 Walkabout
Robinson Mason. 2011
Open the door to your retro computing adventure! The Commodore 64 is alive and well in a thriving community of enthusiasts. Updated for 2012 with additional content including a new chapter introducing programming, the second edition of this book is your gateway to understanding and enjoying the C64 scene today whether it be through emulation or original hardware. With tutorials, reviews, personal stories, interviews, and links galore, the wide world of the C64 is at your fingertips! Have you ever wanted to know more about the Commodore 64 and how you can enjoy the thousands of programs developed for it, or perhaps create your own? Whether you are a newcomer to the still active Commodore scene, or someone who owned a C64 back in the 80s or 90s who would simply like to play an old game once again, this book will set you on the right path. Squarely targeted at the C64 novice, but with plenty for veterans as well, A C64 Walkabout discusses the old and the new, with reviews of great old games and information on new products still being developed for the C64 and VIC-20 home computers of the 1980s.
Apple I Replica Creation: Back to the Garage
Tom Owad, Steve Wozniak. Syngress, 2005
The perfect book for computer hobbyists, Apple I Replica Creation: Back to the Garage is sure to equally appeal both to kids with gift certificates looking for fun on a snowy January day as well as to adults eager to learn the basics of simple microcomputer design. The book will begin by teaching readers the basics of computer processing by discussing the functionality of the 9 chip on the Apple I motherboard. From there, readers will be taught the basics of memory access and video input and output. Readers then learn how to assemble the various hardware components into a fully functioning Apple I replica. Finally, readers will learn how to write their own applications to take run on their new/old computer.
Atari Design: Impressions on Coin-Operated Video Game Machines
Raiford Guins. Bloomsbury Visual Arts, 2020
Drawing from deep archival research and extensive interviews, Atari Design is a rich, historical study of how Atari's industrial and graphic designers contributed to the development of the video game machine. Innovative game design played a key role in the growth of Atari – from Pong to Asteroids and beyond – but fun, challenging and exciting game play was not unique to the famous Silicon Valley company. What set it apart from its competitors was innovation in the coin-op machine's cabinet. Atari did not just make games, it designed products for environments. With “tasteful packaging”, Atari exceeded traditional locations like bars, amusement parks and arcades, developing the look and feel of their game cabinets for new locations such as fast food restaurants, department stores, country clubs, university unions, and airports, making game-play a ubiquitous social and cultural experience. By actively shaping the interaction between user and machine, overcoming styling limitations and generating a distinct corporate identity, Atari designed products that impacted the everyday visual and material culture of the late 20th century. Design was never an afterthought at Atari.
Classic 80's Home Video Games: Identification and Value Guide
Robert P. Wicker, Jason W. Brassard. Collector Books, 2007
The early 80s was a pioneering time for home video games. Consoles from Atari, Mattel, Coleco, and others dominated many American living rooms. This guide takes an in-depth look at the classic consoles, games, accessories, and related merchandise manufactured between the introduction of the Atari VCS in 1977 and the great video game crash of 1984. The great consoles from Atari–the 2600 VCS, 5200 SuperSystem, and 7800 ProSystem are all covered in depth, as well as the amazing Coleco Vision, Intellivision, Odyssey-2-, and Vectrex gaming systems. More than 2,000 full-color photographs complement detailed listings for loose and boxed items. Consoles, cartridges, manuals, accessories, and related merchandise are listed and priced in an easy-to-use, checklist format. Products are listed by console and manufacturer for easy reference. See Donkey Kong, Frogger, Asteroids, Centipede, Pac-Man, and many other famous stars from the 1980s systems in this must-have title on classic video games. 2008 values.
Michael Nadeau. Schiffer Publishing, 2002
This comprehensive field guide is invaluable for identifying and pricing more than 700 microcomputers made worldwide between 1971 and 1993. It's filled with over 340 photos and up-to-date information for collectors who want to fully enjoy this rapidly emerging hobby. Featured are early hobbyist computers, desktop business/professional computers, home computers, PC-compatibles, transportable computers, laptops, and notebook computers. They're all arranged alphabetically by manufacturer to aid in quick identification. Fascinating historical notes and anecdotes make this book a great read! Collectors will find advice for locating and evaluating micros, a glossary of computing terms, and a great list of resources. A must-have for everyone interested in vintage computers!
Commodore Tape Recorders
Giacomo Vernoni. Self pulished, 2019
Commodore Tape Recorders shows all the cassette drives that were used with the Commodore 8-bit line of computers: from the first one in the PET 2001 case to the model 1530 that many of us used to load games on the Commodore 64. The models are presented in the most probable chronological order, with an image of the device and scans of the manual covers. Known variations and technical specifications are shown for each model.
Commodore VIC 20: A Visual History
Giacomo Vernoni. Self pulished, 2017
A book about the computer that made Commodore enter the home market. Many pictures of the VIC 20 revisions and peripherals, plus restored box art images of all the cartridges sold by Commodore for the system. Includes a full set of all the Commodore game and utilities cartridge covers printed on heavy paper, postcard size, with a sleeve box.
Computer engineering: A DEC view of hardware systems design
C. Gordon Bell, J. Craig Mudge, John McNamara. John Wiley & Sons, 1978
The selection first elaborates on the seven views of computer systems, technology progress in logic and memories, and packaging and manufacturing. Concerns cover power supplies, DEC computer packaging generations, general packaging, semiconductor logic technology, memory technology, measuring (and creating) technology progress, structural levels of a computer system, and packaging levels-of -integration. The manuscript then examines transistor circuitry in the Lincoln TX-2, digital modules, PDP-1 and other 18-bit computers, PDP-8 and other 12-bit computers, and structural levels of the PDP-8. The text takes a look at cache memories for PDP-11 family computers, buses, DEC LSI-11, and design decisions for the PDP-11/60 mid-range minicomputer. Topics include reliability and maintainability, price/performance balance, advances in memory technology, synchronization of data transfers, error control strategies, PDP-11/45, PDP-11/20, and cache organization. The selection is a fine reference for practicing computer designers, users, programmers, designers of peripherals and memories, and students of computer engineering and computer science.
Computer Structures: Principles and Examples
Daniel P. Siewiorek, C. Gordon Bell, Allen Newell. McGraw-Hill, 1971
This highly practical and realistic book enables readers to understand design principles applicable to many computers, despite a rapidly increasing number of computer types, configurations, and ap- plications. It accomplishes this by offering a systematized presentation of the principles governing the design of a wide variety of computer systems. Included is a large selection of articles on actual computer systems, many written specifically for this book. Often the authors of these articles are the designers of the systems under discussion, and they provide information not previously available to the general public.
Home Computers: 100 Icons That Defined a Digital Generation
Alex Wiltshire, John Short. MIT Press, 2020
A celebration of the early years of the digital revolution, when computing power was deployed in a beige box on your desk. Today, people carry powerful computers in our pockets and call them “phones.” A generation ago, people were amazed that the processing power of a mainframe computer could be contained in a beige box on a desk. This book is a celebration of those early home computers, with specially commissioned new photographs of 100 vintage computers and a generous selection of print advertising, product packaging, and instruction manuals. Readers can recapture the glory days of fondly remembered (or happily forgotten) machines including the Commodore 64, TRS-80, Apple Lisa, and Mattel Aquarius–traces of the techno-utopianism of the not-so-distant past. Home Computers showcases mass-market success stories, rarities, prototypes, one-offs, and never-before-seen specimens. The heart of the book is a series of artful photographs that capture idiosyncratic details of switches and plugs, early user-interface designs, logos, and labels. After a general scene-setting retrospective, the book proceeds computer by computer, with images of each device accompanied by a short history of the machine, its inventors, its innovations, and its influence. Readers who inhabit today's always-on, networked, inescapably connected world will be charmed by this visit to an era when the digital revolution could be powered down every evening.
The Apollo Guidance Computer: Architecture And Operation
Frank O'Brien. Praxis, 2010
The technological marvel that facilitated the Apollo missions to the Moon was the on-board computer. In the 1960s most computers filled an entire room, but the spacecraft's computer was required to be compact and low power. Although people today find it difficult to accept that it was possible to control a spacecraft using such a 'primitive' computer, it nevertheless had capabilities that are advanced even by today's standards. This is the first book to fully describe the Apollo guidance computer's architecture, instruction format and programs used by the astronauts. As a comprehensive account, it will span the disciplines of computer science, electrical and aerospace engineering. However, it will also be accessible to the 'space enthusiast'. In short, the intention is for this to be the definitive account of the Apollo guidance computer. Frank O'Brien's interest in the Apollo program began as a serious amateur historian. About 12 years ago, he began performing research and writing essays for the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal, and the Apollo Flight Journal. Much of this work centered on his primary interests, the Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC) and the Lunar Module. These Journals are generally considered the canonical online reference on the flights to the Moon. He was then asked to assist the curatorial staff in the creation of the Cradle of Aviation Museum, on Long Island, New York, where he helped prepare the Lunar Module simulator, a LM procedure trainer and an Apollo space suit for display. He regularly lectures on the Apollo computer and related topics to diverse groups, from NASA's computer engineering conferences, the IEEE/ACM, computer festivals and university student groups.
The ZX Spectrum Ula: How to Design a Microcomputer
Christopher David Smith. Zxdesign Technology and Media, 2010
This book takes the reader through the design and implementation of the Sinclair ZX Spectrum's custom chip, revealing for the first time the decisions behind its design and its hidden secrets. By using it as case study, the techniques required to design an 8-bit microcomputer are explained, along with comprehensive details of the Ferranti ULA manufacturing process. If you have ever wanted to design your own computer or wondered what was behind the most successful microcomputer of the 1980s, then this is the book for you. For the first time, the inner working of the Sinclair ZX Spectrum's custom chip and heart of the computer, the Ferranti ULA, is exposed in minute detail. Packed with over 140 illustrations and circuit diagrams, this book takes the reader through the cutting edge technology that was the Ferranti ULA and the design of the ZX Spectrum home computer, illustrating the principles and techniques involved in creating a cost effective computer that required nothing more than a television set and a cassette recorder. The ZX Spectrum ULA is an essential read for the electronics hobbyist, student or electronic engineer wishing to design their own retro-style microcomputer or anyone with an interest in historical micro-electronic and digital design. All topics are explained in simple yet precise terms, building on their careful introduction towards the full functionality presented by the Sinclair computer. Some of the topics covered are: The architecture of the standard microcomputer, Ferranti and their ULA, manufacturing process and structure, The functional layout of the ZX Spectrum ULA, Video display generation, Memory contention and timing, ZX Spectrum design bugs such as “The Snow Effect,” Hidden features, ULA version differences.
TV Typewriter Cookbook
Don Lancaster. Sams Technical Publishing, 1976
This book shows you how to put your own words and pictures on ordinary tv sets. It's also a book on cheap things that can be connected to a microprocessor to get it to do genuinely useful tasks. If you are a computer hobbyist with a home-brew mashup, a serious professional data processor concerned with low-cost small machine systems, a video games freak, or a ham working with rtty, you will find in depth information on tv typewriter technology, which today represents the only truly low-cost ($30 to $150) microcomputer and small-systems display interface. If you are a software specialist, we will be showing you the hardware that makes your software work, giving you the depth of background you will need for effective and efficient small-systems coding. If you are teaching microprocessors, you will find this book useful as a primary or supplemental text on the high school through university levels. If you are into video recording, cable tv, or studio broadcasting, you will find techniques here for low-cost titling and annotation of existing program material, as well as the means for video art synthesis. And, if you are an electronics technician, herein lies the answers on the standard ASCII code; serial transmission formats; keyboards and encoders; Teletype, cassette, and modem techniques; along with many of the integrated circuits and systems concepts that back them up.
Vintage Commodore 128 Personal Computer Handbook: 2019 Survival Edition
Margaret Gorts Morabito. 2019
The Vintage Commodore 128 Personal Computer Handbook is written in easy to understand, non-technical language, to help answer your questions about the C-128. Aimed specifically at present day users, this book will teach you how to use and equip your vintage C-128, even if you don't have the original peripherals and software disks. Practical hands-on information is included, such as how to set up the computer, how to access and use the three operating systems, how to set up and use certain modern peripherals such as the SD2IEC, how to go online through Ethernet or by wireless or with a traditional modem. Also included are technical specifications, an introduction to BASIC 7.0, how to use CP/M, maintenance, troubleshooting, repair services, where to get modern day peripherals, where to look for sources of information on hardware, software, support, and communication with other Commodore computer users, among other topics of interest and need. This will be one of your main C-128 reference books, one that you will come back to again and again.
1977-1987. Quando il computer divenne personal
Paolo Cognetti. Self published, 2014
Questo libro ricco di immagini ci racconta la storia della nascita e dell’infanzia del Personal Computer, una di quelle invenzioni straordinarie, come l’automobile o l’aeroplano, che hanno letteralmente cambiato la nostra vita. Come l’au-to e l’aereo, il Personal Computer nasce dalla passione e vi-sione di pochi che intravedono un potenziale non ancora concepito, o addirittura contrastato dalle strutture consoli-date. A metà degli anni Settanta, coloro che conoscevano bene il computer spesso deridevano l’idea di un computer personale: “che cosa se ne fa uno di un computer? Per avere sotto mano le ricette di cucina?” Per loro il computer non era niente di più che uno strumento di calcolo per gli addetti ai lavori. Come quasi sempre succede, per introdurre innovazioni nel mondo, in questo caso un oggetto che avrebbe rivoluziona-to il modo di lavorare, studiare e svagarsi di ciascuno di noi, occorrevano forze nuove, menti libere da preconcetti e rigi-dità, e tanta passione ed entusiasmo. E solo i giovani poteva-no ideare un prodotto così radicale che andava contro tutte le nozioni che gli esperti avevano di cos’è, e a cosa serve un computer.
A Few Good Men from UNIVAC
David E. Lundstrom. MIT Press, 1987
In this personal memoir, electrical engineer David Lundstrom recalls the heyday of early computing - the rise of Control Data out of the Univac division of Sperry Rand, such milestone computer systems as the Univac and the Naval Tactical Data System the exploits of CDC's top designer Seymour Cray, and the gradual corporate shift from the exciting and technically interesting world of computer design to internal politics and clumsy bureaucracy. David E. Lundstrom's career spanned 30 years with Sperry Rand Corp. (now a division of Unisys Corp.) and Control Data Corporation.
A History of Computing Technology
Michael R. Williams. Prentice Hall, 1985
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.
A History of Modern Computing
Paul E. Ceruzzi. MIT Press, 1998
This engaging history covers modern computing from the development of the first electronic digital computer through the dot-com crash. The author concentrates on five key moments of transition: the transformation of the computer in the late 1940s from a specialized scientific instrument to a commercial product; the emergence of small systems in the late 1960s; the beginning of personal computing in the 1970s; the spread of networking after 1985; and, in a chapter written for this edition, the period 1995-2001. The new material focuses on the Microsoft antitrust suit, the rise and fall of the dot-coms, and the advent of open source software, particularly Linux. Within the chronological narrative, the book traces several overlapping threads: the evolution of the computer's internal design; the effect of economic trends and the Cold War; the long-term role of IBM as a player and as a target for upstart entrepreneurs; the growth of software from a hidden element to a major character in the story of computing; and the recurring issue of the place of information and computing in a democratic society. The focus is on the United States (though Europe and Japan enter the story at crucial points), on computing per se rather than on applications such as artificial intelligence, and on systems that were sold commercially and installed in quantities.
Accidental Empires: How the Boys of Silicon Valley Make Their Millions, Battle Foreign Competition, and Still Can't Get a Date
Robert X. Cringely. Addison-Wesley, 1992
Computer manufacturing is–after cars, energy production and illegal drugs–the largest industry in the world, and it's one of the last great success stories in American business. Accidental Empires is the trenchant, vastly readable history of that industry, focusing as much on the astoundingly odd personalities at its core–Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mitch Kapor, etc. and the hacker culture they spawned as it does on the remarkable technology they created. Cringely reveals the manias and foibles of these men (they are always men) with deadpan hilarity and cogently demonstrates how their neuroses have shaped the computer business. But Cringely gives us much more than high-tech voyeurism and insider gossip. From the birth of the transistor to the mid-life crisis of the computer industry, he spins a sweeping, uniquely American saga of creativity and ego that is at once uproarious, shocking and inspiring.
Back into the Storm: A Design Engineer's Story of Commodore Computers in the 1980s
Bil Herd, Margaret Morabito. 2021
Back into the Storm: A Design Engineer’s Story of Commodore Computers in the 1980s brings you on a journey recounting the experiences of working at Commodore Business Machines from 1983 to 1986, as seen through the eyes of a young hardware engineer, Bil Herd. Herd was the lead design engineer for the TED series of home computers which included the Plus/4 and C16. He was also the lead designer for the versatile C128 that sold in the millions and was known fondly as the last of the 8-bit computers. In this book, Bil tells the inside stories that he and his extraordinary team, called “the Animals,” lived through at Commodore.
Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software
Charles Petzold. Microsoft Press, 1999
What do flashlights, the British invasion, black cats, and seesaws have to do with computers? In CODE, they show us the ingenious ways we manipulate language and invent new means of communicating with each other. And through CODE, we see how this ingenuity and our very human compulsion to communicate have driven the technological innovations of the past two centuries. Using everyday objects and familiar language systems such as Braille and Morse code, author Charles Petzold weaves an illuminating narrative for anyone who’s ever wondered about the secret inner life of computers and other smart machines. It’s a cleverly illustrated and eminently comprehensible story—and along the way, you’ll discover you’ve gained a real context for understanding today’s world of PCs, digital media, and the Internet. No matter what your level of technical savvy, CODE will charm you—and perhaps even awaken the technophile within.
Commodork: Sordid Tales from a BBS Junkie
Rob O'Hara. Lulu.com, 2011
For nearly two decades, computer-based Bulletin Board Systems were the primary method of communication between computer users. As suddenly as they gained popularity, they were made obsolete by the next big thing - a newfangled system called the Internet. Commodork: Sordid Tales from a BBS Junkie takes its readers on an exciting journey through the BBS era. Through the author's personal tales and adventures, readers will discover more about these amazing times and what it was like to grow up online. With tales of copyfests, BBS parties and random acts of online debauchery, those who were there will find themselves reminiscing, while those who weren't will enjoy learning about life ““before the 'net.”” You know, back when we used to modem uphill, both ways in the snow.
Computer: A History of the Information Machine
Martin Campbell-Kelly, William Aspray. Basic Books, 1996
Computer: A History of the Information Machine, Second Edition traces the story of the computer, and shows how business and government were the first to explore its unlimited, information-processing potential. Old-fashioned entrepreneurship combined with scientific know-how inspired now famous computer engineers to create the technology that became IBM. Wartime needs drove the giant ENIAC, the first fully electronic computer. Later, the PC enabled modes of computing that liberated people from room-sized, mainframe computers. This second edition now extends beyond the development of Microsoft Windows and the Internet, to include open source operating systems like Linux, and the rise again and fall and potential rise of the dot.com industries.
Computers: An Illustrated History
Christian Wurster. Taschen, 2002.
Remember your first computer? No doubt it now seems like a relic from the Flintstone era. From automated punch-card calculators to the first personal computers such as the Apple II and Commodore 64, to today's Sony Vaios and PowerBook G4s, the computer has undergone an amazing, rapid evolution in its brief history. Can you believe the computer's first input device was a light pen used to select a symbol on the screen? And that computer keyboards were preceded by teletypewriters? The progress we've witnessed in our lifetimes is mind-boggling. The struggle for the best interface, the greatest design, and the fastest processor have resulted in computers of a size, power, capability and use that were unfathomable only a few decades ago. Discover the fascinating history of computers, interfaces, and computer design in this illustrated guide that includes pictures of nearly every computer ever made, an informative text describing the computer's evolution up to the present day, and an A-Z index of the most influential computer firms.
Computers: The Life Story of a Technology
Eric G. Swedin, David L. Ferro. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007
A great technological and scientific innovation of the last half of the twentieth century, the computer has revolutionized how we organize information, how we communicate with each other, and even the way we think about the human mind. Computers have eased the drudgery of such tasks as calculating sums and clerical work, making them both more bearable and more efficient, whatever the occasional frustration they carry with them. The computer has become a standard fixture in our culture, a necessity for many aspects of business, recreation, and everyday life. In this book, Eric G. Swedin and David L. Ferro offer an accessible short history of this dynamic technology, covering its central themes from ancient times to the present day.
Computers in Space: Journeys with NASA
by James E. Tomayko. Alpha Books, 1994
A gorgeous visual tour of computer technology used in space flight. The book shows how computers contribute to each phase of the preparation and launch of spacecraft. At each relevant point, the historical background of a specific device or technique is explained and compared to the use of computers in earth-based applications.
Core Memory: A Visual Survey of Vintage Computers
Mark Richards, John Alderman, Dag Spicer. Chronicle Books, 2007
An unprecedented combination of computer history and striking images, Core Memory reveals modern technology's evolution through the world's most renowned computer collection, the Computer History Museum in the Silicon Valley. Vivid photos capture these historically important machines including the Eniac, Crays 1 3, Apple I and II while authoritative text profiles each, telling the stories of their innovations and peculiarities. Thirty-five machines are profiled in over 100 extraordinary color photographs, making Core Memory a surprising addition to the library of photography collectors and the ultimate geek-chic gift.
Cyberpunk: Outlaws and Hackers on the Computer Frontier
Katie Hafner, John Markoff. Simon Schuster, 1991
Using the exploits of three international hackers, Cyberpunk provides a fascinating tour of a bizarre subculture populated by outlaws who penetrate even the most sensitive computer networks and wreak havoc on the information they find – everything from bank accounts to military secrets. In a book filled with as much adventure as any Ludlum novel, the authors show what motivates these young hackers to access systems, how they learn to break in, and how little can be done to stop them.
Dealers of Lightning: Xerox PARC and the Dawn of the Computer Age
Michael A. Hiltzik. Harper Business, 1999
While Gates, Jobs, and the other big boys of Silicon Valley are basking in the glory of the information age, renowned Los Angeles Times reporter Michael Hiltzik reveals how, back in the early '70s, a group of inventors at Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) blazed the trail for all of today's indispensable technology from the PC to email to ATMs to meteorologists' weather maps. And they did it without fanfare or recognition from their employer. Hiltzik's Dealers of Lightning provides a fascinating look at technohistory that sets the record straight. In Dealers of Lightning, Hiltzik describes the forces and faces behind the revolution that the Xerox PARC team single-handedly spawned. The Xerox PARC group was composed solely of top technical minds. The decision was made at Xerox headquarters to give the team complete freedom from deadlines and directives, in hopes of fostering a true creative environment. It worked perhaps too well. The team responded with a steady output of amazing technology, including the first version of the Internet, the first personal computer, user-friendly word-processing programs, and pop-up menus. Xerox, far from ready for the explosion of innovation, failed to utilize the technology dreamed up by the group. Out of all the dazzling inventions born at Xerox PARC, only a handful were developed and marketed by Xerox. However, one of these inventions, the laser printer, proved successful enough to earn billions for the company, therefore justifying its investment in the research center. Most oftheteam's creations would go on to be developed and perfected by other companies, such as IBM, Apple, and Microsoft. Drawing from interviews with the engineers, executives, and scientists involved in the Xerox PARC, Dealers of Lightning chronicles an amazing era of egos, ideas, and inventions at the dawn of the computer age.
Digital Retro: The Evolution and Design of the Personal Computer
Gordon Laing. Sybex Books, 2004
The late Seventies to the early Nineties was a completely unique period in the history of computing. Long before Microsoft and Intel ruled the PC world, a disparate variety of home computers, from an unlikely array of suppliers, were engaging in a battle that would shape the industry for years to come. Products from established electronics giants clashed with machines which often appeared to have been (or actually were) assembled in a backyard shed by an eccentric inventor. University professors were competing head to head with students in their parents' garages. Compatibility? Forget it! Each of these computers was its own machine and had no intention of talking to anything else. The same could be said of their owners, in fact, who passionately defended their machines with a belief that verged on the religious. This book tells the story behind 40 classic home computers of an infamous decade, from the dreams and inspiration, through passionate inventors and corporate power struggles, to their final inevitable demise. It takes a detailed look at every important computer from the start of the home computer revolution with the MITS Altair, to the NeXT cube, pehaps the last serious challenger in the personal computer marketplace. In the thirteen years between the launch of those systems, there has never been a more frenetic period of technical advance, refinement, and marketing, and this book covers all the important steps made on both sides of the Atlantic. Whether it's the miniaturization of the Sinclair machines, the gaming prowess of the Amiga, or the fermenting war between Apple Computer, “Big Blue,” and “the cloners,” we've got it covered. Digital Retro is an essential read for anyone who owned a home computer in the Eighties.
Endless Loop: The History of the BASIC Programming Language (Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code)
Mark Jones Lorenzo. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2017
Endless Loop chronicles the complete history of the BASIC programming language–from its humble beginnings at Dartmouth College, to its widespread adoption and dominance in education, to its decline and subsequent modern rebirth. In the early morning hours of May 1, 1964, Dartmouth College birthed fraternal twins: BASIC, the Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code programming language, and, simultaneously, the Dartmouth Time-Sharing System (DTSS). It hadn't been an easy birth, and the gestation period was likewise difficult. BASIC was primarily the idea of one man, mathematics professor John Kemeny, a brilliant Hungarian mathematician who had once been an assistant to Albert Einstein, while the DTSS satisfied the vision of another, mathematics and statistics professor Thomas Kurtz, who had brought a democratizing spirit to Dartmouth's campus in the form of free computing for all. BASIC and DTSS caught on at Dartmouth quickly, with a vast majority of undergraduates (and faculty) making use of the computer system via teletypewriters only several years after its inception. But by the early 1970s, with the personal computer revolution fast approaching, Kemeny and Kurtz began to lose control over BASIC as it achieved widespread popularity outside of Dartmouth. The language was being adapted to run on a wide variety of computers, some much too short of memory to contain the full set of Dartmouth BASIC features. Most notably, Microsoft built its business on the back of ROM-based BASIC interpreters for a variety of microcomputers. Although the language was ubiquitous in schools by the early 1980s, it came under attack by such notables as computer scientist Edsger W. Dijkstra for its lack of structure as well as by Kemeny and Kurtz themselves, who viewed non-Dartmouth “Street BASIC” as blasphemous and saw it as their mission to right the ship through language standardization and the release of True BASIC. But by then it was too late: the era of BASIC's global dominance was over. In Endless Loop, author Mark Jones Lorenzo documents the history and development of Dartmouth BASIC, True BASIC, Tiny BASIC, Microsoft BASIC–including Altair BASIC, Applesoft BASIC, Color BASIC, Commodore BASIC, TRS-80 Level II BASIC, TI BASIC, IBM BASICA/GW-BASIC, QuickBASIC/QBASIC, Visual Basic, and Small Basic–as well as 9845 BASIC, Atari BASIC, BBC BASIC, CBASIC, Locomotive BASIC, MacBASIC, QB64, Simons' BASIC, Sinclair BASIC, SuperBASIC, and Turbo Basic/PowerBASIC, among a number of other implementations. The ascendance of BASIC paralleled the emergence of the personal computer, so the story of BASIC is first and foremost a story–actually, many interlocking stories–about computers. But it is also a tale of talented people who built a language out of a set of primal ingredients: sweat, creativity, rivalry, jealousy, cooperation, and plain hard work, and then set the language loose in a world filled with unintended consequences. How those unintended consequences played out, leading to the demise of the most popular computer language the world has ever known, is the focus of Endless Loop.
Fire in the Valley: The Making of the Personal Computer
Paul Freiberger, Michael Swaine. Osborne Publishing, 1984
In the 1970s, while their contemporaries were protesting the computer as a tool of dehumanization and oppression, a motley collection of college dropouts, hippies, and electronics fanatics were engaged in something much more subversive. Obsessed with the idea of getting computer power into their own hands, they launched from their garages a hobbyist movement that grew into an industry, and ultimately a social and technological revolution. What they did was invent the personal computer: not just a new device, but a watershed in the relationship between man and machine. This is their story. Fire in the Valley is the definitive history of the personal computer, drawn from interviews with the people who made it happen, written by two veteran computer writers who were there from the start. Working at InfoWorld in the early 1980s, Swaine and Freiberger daily rubbed elbows with people like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates when they were creating the personal computer revolution. A rich story of colorful individuals, Fire in the Valley profiles these unlikely revolutionaries and entrepreneurs, such as Ed Roberts of MITS, Lee Felsenstein at Processor Technology, and Jack Tramiel of Commodore, as well as Jobs and Gates in all the innocence of their formative years.
From Airline Reservations to Sonic the Hedgehog: A History of the Software Industry
Martin Campbell-Kelly. MIT Press, 2003
A business history of the software industry from the days of custom programming to the age of mass-market software and video games. 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.
Glory and Failure: The Difference Engines of Johann Müller, Charles Babbage, and Georg and Edvard Sheutz
Michael Lindgren, Craig G. McKay. MIT Press, 1990
The first attempts to mechanize the production of numerical tables were remarkable in conception coming at a time when a “computer” was in fact a person rather than a machine. This book is the first to provide a unified picture of the difference engines that were the mechanical predecessors of today's digital computer, to emphasize them as part of the history of numerical tables, and to give equal weight to the technical and social aspects of their creation.Lindgren analyzes the difference engines of Müller and Babbage and the mathematical principles on which they are based, tells the story of how Georg and Edvard Scheutz learned about Babbage's engine, discusses the design and operation of the Scheutzs' machine, and tells why Babbage failed technically and the Scheutzes failed commercially. The often detailed technical descriptions bring to light the inventors' own ways of thinking as work on the engines progressedMichael Lindgren is Curator at the National Museum of Science and Technology in Stockholm.
Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution
Steven Levy. Anchor Press / Doubleday, 1984
Steven Levy's classic book traces the exploits of the computer revolution's original hackers - those brilliant and eccentric nerds from the late 1950s through the early '80s who took risks, bent the rules, and pushed the world in a radical new direction. With updated material from noteworthy hackers such as Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Richard Stallman, and Steve Wozniak, Hackers is a fascinating story that begins in early computer research labs and leads to the first home computers. Levy profiles the imaginative brainiacs who found clever and unorthodox solutions to computer engineering problems. They had a shared sense of values, known as “the hacker ethic” that still thrives today. Hackers captures a seminal period in recent history when underground activities blazed a trail for today's digital world, from MIT students finagling access to clunky computer-card machines to the DIY culture that spawned the Altair and the Apple II.
Lucky That Way: Stories of Seizing the Moment While Creating the Games Millions Play
Brad Fregger. Sunstar Publishing, 1999
Brad Fregger is the 'old man' of computer games, involved since the early days at Atari. He shares fascinating stories from the industry mixed with gems of humour and wisdom. His easy conversational style makes this book a joy to read and hard to put down. Learn how seizing the moment and depending on miracles can help you when things are tough or you've got the impossible to accomplish.
Makin' Numbers: Howard Aiken and the Computer
I. Bernard Cohen, Robert V. Campbell. MIT Press, 1999
With the cooperation of Robert V. D. Campbell. This collection of technical essays and reminiscences is a companion volume to I. Bernard Cohen's biography, Howard Aiken: Portrait of a Computer Pioneer. After an overview by Cohen, Part I presents the first complete publication of Aiken's 1937 proposal for an automatic calculating machine, which was later realized as the Mark I, as well as recollections of Aiken's first two machines by the chief engineer in charge of construction of Mark II, Robert Campbell, and the principal programmer of Mark I, Richard Bloch. Henry Tropp describes Aiken's hostility to the exclusive use of binary numbers in computational systems and his alternative approach. Part II contains essays on Aiken's administrative and teaching styles by former students Frederick Brooks and Peter Calingaert and an essay by Gregory Welch on the difficulties Aiken faced in establishing a computer science program at Harvard. Part III contains recollections by people who worked or studied with Aiken, including Richard Bloch, Grace Hopper, Anthony Oettinger, and Maurice Wilkes. Henry Tropp provides excerpts from an interview conducted just before Aiken's death. Part IV gathers the most significant of Aiken's own writings. The appendixes give the specs of Aiken's machines and list his doctoral students and the topics of their dissertations.
Memories that Shaped an Industry: Decisions Leading to IBM System/360
Emerson W. Pugh. MIT Press, 1984
Development of ferrite core memory technology during the 1950s was probably the most important innovation that made stored-program computers a commercial reality. IBM's leadership in this development made possible the introduction in 1964 of the IBM System/360, which was so widely copied that it became a standard for electronic stored-program computers that have become so much a part of American life. This book provides a rare and candid glimpse into the innovations as well as the immense risks and imprecisions sometimes involved in technical decision making. It identifies the basic characteristics of technology management that the author believes accounted for IBM's success during this period, and gives a balanced view of the contributions by talented scientists and engineers both within and outside the company. The book chronicles a twenty-five-year period during which IBM evolved from the position of leading supplier of electromechanical punched-card equipment to dominance in the field of electronic computers. It describes IBM's response to the postwar challenge of electronics, its highly successful cooperative effort with MIT on an automated air defense system, the introduction of commercial ferrite core memories, developments and decisions leading to System/360, and the manufacturing problems posed by System/360's success.
Netizens: On the History and Impact of Usenet and the Internet
Michael Hauben, Ronda Hauben, Thomas Truscott. Wiley-IEEE Computer Society PR, 1997
Netizens looks at the creation and development of the participatory global computer network: The Internet. Michael Hauben and Ronda Hauben conducted research online to find out what makes the Internet “tick” resulting in this fascinating examination of the pioneering vision and actions that have helped make the Net possible. Netizens is a detailed description of the Net's construction and a step-by-step view of the past, present, and future of Usenet and the Internet. The book gives you the needed perspective to understand how the Net can impact the present and the future of our society. Netizens answers these questions: What is the vision that inspired or guided these people at each step? What was the technical or social problem or need that they were trying to solve? What can be done to help nourish the future extension and development of the Net? How can the Net be made available to a broader set of people?
Not All Fairy Tales Have Happy Endings: The rise and fall of Sierra On-Line
Ken Williams. Self published, 2020
Sierra On-Line was one of the very first computer game companies and at one time dominated the industry. The author, Ken Williams, founded Sierra On-Line Sierra with his wife Roberta who went on to create many of the company’s best-selling games. Sierra grew from just Ken and Roberta to over one thousand employees and a fan base that still exists today, despite the fact that the company was torn apart by criminal activities, scandal and corruption that resulted in jail sentences and the collapse of Sierra. This is the behind-the-scenes story of the rise and fall, as it could only be told by the ultimate insider.
P101. Quando l'Italia inventò il personal computer
Pier Giorgio Perotto. Edizioni di Comunità, 2015
Nel 1964 Pier Giorgio Perotto e i suoi collaboratori progettarono e realizzarono la Programma 101, il primo personal compu- ter al mondo. Un calcolatore pensato per tutti, che prevedeva un rapporto diretto, personale, tra l’utente e la macchina, o, per dirla in termini più ideali, tra l’uomo e la tecnologia. Questo computer da scrivania prodotto a Ivrea fu usato dalla NASA per la missione Apollo 11, dimostrando nei fatti che progettare a misura d’uomo è ciò che permette all’umanità di giungere a mete prima ritenute inarrivabili. P101 è quindi il racconto di un successo italiano, la storia di un gruppo di uomini che inseguirono il futuro e, in qualche modo, un’idea di libertà.Pier Giorgio Perotto (1930-2002) è l’inventore della Programma 101. Tra gli anni Sessanta e gli anni Settanta fu a capo della Ricerca e Sviluppo Olivetti e proseguì poi la sua attività dirigendo grandi aziende come Elea e dando vita, da imprenditore, a importanti società di ricerca, innovazione e consulenza, tra cui Finsa.
Pioneers of Soviet Computing
Boris Nikolaevich Malinovsky. SIGCIS, 2010
Boris N. Malinovsky’s Pioneers of Soviet Computing is the English language version of his earlier Russian language The History of Computing in Personalities. Partly technical history and partly a memoir, it is the only existing first person account of the birth of modern computing in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus. It chronicles the life and work of renowned Soviet computer scientists S.A. Lebedev, V.M. Glushkov, N.P. Brusentsov, I.S. Brook, and many others. It describes numerous indigenous and original Soviet computer hardware projects from the end of the Second World War through the decades that followed, interlaced with commentary on the Soviet political and social systems that constrained rapid and free technological advancement. In addition, this work reviews the various Russian and Ukrainian computing schools ranging from the highly philosophical cybernetics and artificial intelligence to the applied defense computing institutions supporting the military and weapons enterprises. The epic effort to mass produce the Unified System (ES) series of computers – based on the IBM 360 design - is described in depth, along with the political and bureaucratic intrigue and personal and technological struggles that accompanied.
Recoding Gender: Women's Changing Participation in Computing
Janet Abbate. MIT Press, 2012
Today, women earn a relatively low percentage of computer science degrees and hold proportionately few technical computing jobs. Meanwhile, the stereotype of the male “computer geek” seems to be everywhere in popular culture. Few people know that women were a significant presence in the early decades of computing in both the United States and Britain. Indeed, programming in postwar years was considered woman's work (perhaps in contrast to the more manly task of building the computers themselves). In “Recoding Gender,” Janet Abbate explores the untold history of women in computer science and programming from the Second World War to the late twentieth century. Demonstrating how gender has shaped the culture of computing, she offers a valuable historical perspective on today's concerns over women's underrepresentation in the field. Abbate describes the experiences of women who worked with the earliest electronic digital computers: Colossus, the wartime codebreaking computer at Bletchley Park outside London, and the American ENIAC, developed to calculate ballistics. She examines postwar methods for recruiting programmers, and the 1960s redefinition of programming as the more masculine “software engineering.” She describes the social and business innovations of two early software entrepreneurs, Elsie Shutt and Stephanie Shirley; and she examines the career paths of women in academic computer science. Abbate's account of the bold and creative strategies of women who loved computing work, excelled at it, and forged successful careers will provide inspiration for those working to change gendered computing culture.
Stan Veit's History Of The Personal Computer
Stan Veit. WorldComm, 1993
The fascinating history of the personal computer from Altair to the IBM PC revolution. Written by computer legend Stan Veit, who turned Computer Shopper into the world's largest computer magazine.
Strategic Computing: Darpa and the Quest for Machine Intelligence, 1983-1993
Alex Roland. MIT Press, 2002 The story of the U.S. Department of Defense's extraordinary effort, in the period from 1983 to 1993, to achieve machine intelligence. This is the story of an extraordinary effort by the U.S. Department of Defense to hasten the advent of “machines that think.” From 1983 to 1993, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) spent an extra $1 billion on computer research aimed at achieving artificial intelligence. The Strategic Computing Initiative (SCI) was conceived as an integrated plan to promote computer chip design and manufacture, computer architecture, and artificial intelligence software. What distinguished SCI from other large-scale technology programs was that it self-consciously set out to advance an entire research front. The SCI succeeded in fostering significant technological successes, even though it never achieved machine intelligence. The goal provided a powerful organizing principle for a suite of related research programs, but it did not solve the problem of coordinating these programs. In retrospect, it is hard to see how it could have.In Strategic Computing, Alex Roland and Philip Shiman uncover the roles played in the SCI by technology, individuals, and social and political forces. They explore DARPA culture, especially the information processing culture within the agency, and they evaluate the SCI's accomplishments and set them in the context of overall computer development during this period. Their book is an important contribution to our understanding of the complex sources of contemporary computing.
The Best of 2600: A Hacker Odyssey
Emmanuel Goldstein, Jeff Vorzimmer. Wiley Publishing, 2008
Since 1984, the quarterly magazine 2600 has provided fascinating articles for readers who are curious about technology. Find the best of the magazine's writing in Best of 2600: A Hacker Odyssey, a collection of the strongest, most interesting, and often most controversial articles covering 24 years of changes in technology, all from a hacker's perspective. Included are stories about the creation of the infamous tone dialer “red box” that allowed hackers to make free phone calls from payphones, the founding of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the insecurity of modern locks.
The Computer, from Pascal to von Neumann
Herman H. Goldstine. Princeton University Press, 1972
In 1942, Lt. Herman H. Goldstine, a former mathematics professor, was stationed at the Moore School of Electrical Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. It was there that he assisted in the creation of the ENIAC, the first electronic digital computer. The ENIAC was operational in 1945, but plans for a new computer were already underway. The principal source of ideas for the new computer was John von Neumann, who became Goldstine's chief collaborator. Together they developed EDVAC, successor to ENIAC. After World War II, at the Institute for Advanced Study, they built what was to become the prototype of the present-day computer. Herman Goldstine writes as both historian and scientist in this first examination of the development of computing machinery, from the seventeenth century through the early 1950s. His personal involvement lends a special authenticity to his narrative, as he sprinkles anecdotes and stories liberally through his text.
The Computer Boys Take Over: Computers, Programmers, and the Politics of Technical Expertise
Nathan L. Ensmenger. MIT Press, 2010
This is a book about the computer revolution of the mid-twentieth century and the people who made it possible. Unlike most histories of computing, it is not a book about machines, inventors, or entrepreneurs. Instead, it tells the story of the vast but largely anonymous legions of computer specialists–programmers, systems analysts, and other software developers–who transformed the electronic computer from a scientific curiosity into the defining technology of the modern era. As the systems that they built became increasingly powerful and ubiquitous, these specialists became the focus of a series of critiques of the social and organizational impact of electronic computing. To many of their contemporaries, it seemed the “computer boys” were taking over, not just in the corporate setting, but also in government, politics, and society in general. In “The Computer Boys Take Over,” Nathan Ensmenger traces the rise to power of the computer expert in modern American society. His rich and nuanced portrayal of the men and women (a surprising number of the “computer boys” were, in fact, female) who built their careers around the novel technology of electronic computing explores issues of power, identity, and expertise that have only become more significant in our increasingly computerized society. In his recasting of the drama of the computer revolution through the eyes of its principle revolutionaries, Ensmenger reminds us that the computerization of modern society was not an inevitable process driven by impersonal technological or economic imperatives, but was rather a creative, contentious, and above all, fundamentally human development.
The Computer Revolution in Canada: Building National Technological Competence
John N. Vardalas. MIT Press, 2001
After World War II, other major industrialized nations responded to the technological and industrial hegemony of the United States by developing their own design and manufacturing competence in digital electronic technology. In this book John Vardalas describes the quest for such competence in Canada, exploring the significant contributions of the civilian sector but emphasizing the role of the Canadian military in shaping radical technological change. As he shows, Canada's determination to be an active participant in research and development work on advanced weapons systems, and in the testing of those weapons systems, was a cornerstone of Canadian technological development during the years 1945-1980. Vardalas presents case studies of such firms as Ferranti-Canada, Sperry Gyroscope of Canada, and Control Data of Canada. In contrast to the standard nationalist interpretation of Canadian subsidiaries of transnational corporations as passive agents, he shows them to have been remarkably innovative and explains how their aggressive programs to develop all-Canadian digital R&D and manufacturing capacities influenced technological development in the United States and in Great Britain. While underlining the unprecedented role of the military in the creation of peacetime scientific and technical skills, Vardalas also examines the role of government and university research programs, including Canada's first computerized systems for mail sorting and airline reservations. Overall, he presents a nuanced account of how national economic, political, and corporate forces influenced the content, extent, and direction of digital innovation in Canada.
The Computers That Made Britain
Tim Danton. Raspberry Pi Press, 2021
The home computer boom of the 1980s brought with it now iconic machines such as the ZX Spectrum, BBC Micro, and Commodore 64. Those machines would inspire a generation. The Computers That Made Britain tells the story of 19 of those computers – and what happened behind the scenes. With dozens of new interviews, discover the tales of missed deadlines, technical faults, business interference, and the unheralded geniuses who brought to the UK everything from the Dragon 32 and ZX81, to the Amstrad CPC 464 and Commodore Amiga.
The First Computers--History and Architectures
Raul Rojas. MIT Press, 2000
This history of computing focuses not on chronology (what came first and who deserves credit for it) but on the actual architectures of the first machines that made electronic computing a practical reality. The book covers computers built in the United States, Germany, England, and Japan. It makes clear that similar concepts were often pursued simultaneously and that the early researchers explored many architectures beyond the von Neumann architecture that eventually became canonical. The contributors include not only historians but also engineers and computer pioneers.An introductory chapter describes the elements of computer architecture and explains why “being first” is even less interesting for computers than for other areas of technology. The essays contain a remarkable amount of new material, even on well-known machines, and several describe reconstructions of the historic machines. These investigations are of more than simply historical interest, for architectures designed to solve specific problems in the past may suggest new approaches to similar problems in today's machines.
The First Electronic Computer: The Atanasoff Story
Alice R. Burks, Arthur W. Burks. University of Michigan Press, 1989
This is the story of the electronic computer that launched the computer revolution, a machine completed in 1942 by John Atanasoff but one he left behind in Iowa for war research in Washington. Drawing on their direct knowledge and on the proceedings of a multimillion-dollar patent trial, the authors upset the commonly held view that the ENIAC was the world's first electronic computer. They detail the Atanasoff computer and its influence on the ENIAC and computers of today. This book supplements the court's strong findings with a much-needed technical foundation as well as a narrative that is rich in human interest.
The Government Machine: A Revolutionary History of the Computer
Jon Agar. MIT Press, 2003
In The Government Machine, Jon Agar traces the mechanization of government work in the United Kingdom from the nineteenth to the early twenty-first century. He argues that this transformation has been tied to the rise of “expert movements,” groups whose authority has rested on their expertise. The deployment of machines was an attempt to gain control over state action – a revolutionary move. Agar shows how mechanization followed the popular depiction of government as machine-like, with British civil servants cast as components of a general purpose “government machine”; indeed, he argues that today's general purpose computer is the apotheosis of the civil servant. Over the course of two centuries, government has become the major repository and user of information; the Civil Service itself can be seen as an information-processing entity. Agar argues that the changing capacities of government have depended on the implementation of new technologies, and that the adoption of new technologies has depended on a vision of government and a fundamental model of organization. Thus, to study the history of technology is to study the state, and vice versa.
The Hacker Crackdown: Law and Disorder on the Electronic Frontier
Bruce Sterling. Bantam, 1992
An investigation into the rising tide of electronic crimes probes into the issues and personalities on both sides of the law who are involved in wire fraud, 800-number abuse, and computer break-ins that threaten national security. 50,000 first printing.
The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood
James Gleick. Pantheon Books, 2011
James Gleick, the author of the best sellers Chaos and Genius, now brings us a work just as astonishing and masterly: a revelatory chronicle and meditation that shows how information has become the modern era’s defining quality—the blood, the fuel, the vital principle of our world. The story of information begins in a time profoundly unlike our own, when every thought and utterance vanishes as soon as it is born. From the invention of scripts and alphabets to the long-misunderstood talking drums of Africa, Gleick tells the story of information technologies that changed the very nature of human consciousness. He provides portraits of the key figures contributing to the inexorable development of our modern understanding of information: Charles Babbage, the idiosyncratic inventor of the first great mechanical computer; Ada Byron, the brilliant and doomed daughter of the poet, who became the first true programmer; pivotal figures like Samuel Morse and Alan Turing; and Claude Shannon, the creator of information theory itself. And then the information age arrives. Citizens of this world become experts willy-nilly: aficionados of bits and bytes. And we sometimes feel we are drowning, swept by a deluge of signs and signals, news and images, blogs and tweets. The Information is the story of how we got here and where we are heading.
The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
Walter Isaacson. Simon & Schuster, 2014
The computer and the internet are among the most important innovations of our era, but few people know who created them. They were not conjured up in a garret or garage by solo inventors suitable to be singled out on magazine covers or put into a pantheon with Edison, Bell, and Morse. Instead, most of the innovations of the digital age were done collaboratively. There were a lot of fascinating people involved, some ingenious and a few even geniuses. This is the story of these pioneers, hackers, inventors, and entrepreneurs—who they were, how their minds worked, and what made them so creative. It’s also a narrative of how they collaborated and why their ability to work as teams made them even more creative.
The Mysterious Affair at Olivetti: IBM, the CIA, and the Cold War Conspiracy to Shut Down Production of the World’s First Desktop Computer
Meryle Secrest. Knopf, 2019
The never-before-told true account of the design and development of the first desktop computer by the world’s most famous high-styled typewriter company, more than a decade before the arrival of the Osborne 1, the Apple 1, the first Intel microprocessor, and IBM’s PC5150. The human, business, design, engineering, cold war, and tech story of how the Olivetti company came to be, how it survived two world wars and brought a ravaged Italy back to life, how after it mastered the typewriter business with the famous “Olivetti touch,” it entered the new, fierce electronics race; how its first desktop compter, the P101, came to be; how, within eighteen months, it had caught up with, and surpassed, IBM, the American giant that by then had become an arm of the American government, developing advanced weapon systems; Olivetti putting its own mainframe computer on the market with its desktop prototype, selling 40,000 units, including to NASA for its lunar landings. How Olivetti made inroads into the US market by taking control of Underwood of Hartford CT as an assembly plant for Olivetti’s own typewriters and future miniaturized personal computers; how a week after Olivetti purchased Underwood, the US government filed an antitrust suit to try to stop it; how Adriano Olivetti, the legendary idealist, socialist, visionary, heir to the company founded by his father, built the company into a fantastical dynasty–factories, offices, satellite buildings spread over more than fifty acres–while on a train headed for Switzerland in 1960 for supposed meetings and then to Hartford, never arrived, dying suddenly of a heart attack at fifty-eight . . . how eighteen months later, his brilliant young engineer, who had assembled Olivetti’s superb team of electronic engineers, was killed, as well, in a suspicious car crash, and how the Olivetti company and the P101 came to its insidious and shocking end.
The Routledge Companion to Media Technology and Obsolescence
Mark J.P. Wolf, AA.VV. Routledge, 2018
While so many books on technology look at new advances and digital technologies, The Routledge Companion to Media Technology and Obsolescence looks back at analog technologies that are disappearing, considering their demise and what it says about media history, pop culture, and the nature of nostalgia. From card catalogs and typewriters to stock tickers and cathode ray tubes, contributors examine the legacy of analog technologies, including those, like vinyl records, that may be experiencing a resurgency. Each essay includes a brief history of the technology leading up to its peak, an analysis of the reasons for its decline, and a discussion of its influence on newer technologies.
The Soul of a New Machine
Tracy Kidder. Little, Brown and Company, 1981
Computers have changed since 1981, when The Soul of a New Machine first examined the culture of the computer revolution. What has not changed is the feverish pace of the high-tech industry, the go-for-broke approach to business that has caused so many computer companies to win big (or go belly up), and the cult of pursuing mind-bending technological innovations. The Soul of a New Machine is an essential chapter in the history of the machine that revolutionized the world in the twentieth century.
The Story of the Computer: A Technical and Business History
Stephen Marshall. Createspace Independent Publishing Platform, 2017
Electronic computers are arguably the greatest invention of the 20th century. They are the enablers for many of the technologies that the developed world now relies upon and their impact on society cannot be overestimated. The story of their creation is a fascinating one which encompasses many of the great advances in engineering, mathematics and the physical sciences that have taken place over the past 400 years. The Story of the Computer is the first comprehensive treatment of the subject written from both a technical and a business perspective. It sets out to chart the complex evolutionary process that has resulted in the creation of today's computers, picking out those innovations and discoveries which contributed most to the pool of knowledge through their influence on later advances and taking into consideration the business drivers as well as the specific technical breakthroughs. To put developments into context and provide a more rounded picture, it also covers the advances in science and technology, or 'building blocks', which have facilitated them. The book is divided into four parts, beginning with humanity's earliest efforts to automate the process of calculation, first through mechanical means, then electromechanical and finally electronic. Part two describes the transformation from sequence-controlled calculators to stored-program computers and the birth of the computer industry. In part three we see the industry maturing and new market segments beginning to emerge for faster or smaller computers, facilitated by the introduction of solid-state components. The final part brings the story up to date with the development of mass-produced personal computers, computer graphics and the World Wide Web. Written in a highly accessible style with illustrations throughout, The Story of the Computer should provide a rewarding read for both the specialist and the general reader.
The Ultimate History of Video Games: From Pong to Pokemon - The Story Behind the Craze That Touched Our Lives and Changed the World
Steven L. Kent. Three Rivers Press,2001
Inside the Games You Grew Up with but Never Forgot. With all the whiz, bang, pop, and shimmer of a glowing arcade. The Ultimate History of Video Games reveals everything you ever wanted to know and more about the unforgettable games that changed the world, the visionaries who made them, and the fanatics who played them. From the arcade to television and from the PC to the handheld device, video games have entraced kids at heart for nearly 30 years. And author and gaming historian Steven L. Kent has been there to record the craze from the very beginning. This engrossing book tells the incredible tale of how this backroom novelty transformed into a cultural phenomenon. Through meticulous research and personal interviews with hundreds of industry luminaries, you'll read firsthand accounts of how yesterday's games like Space Invaders, Centipede, and Pac-Man helped create an arcade culture that defined a generation, and how today's empires like Sony, Nintendo, and Electronic Arts have galvanized a multibillion-dollar industry and a new generation of games. Inside, you'll discover:
·The video game that saved Nintendo from bankruptcy
·The serendipitous story of Pac-Man's design
·The misstep that helped topple Atari's $2 billion-a-year empire
·The coin shortage caused by Space Invaders
·The fascinating reasons behind the rise, fall, and rebirth of Sega
·And much more!
Entertaining, addictive, and as mesmerizing as the games it chronicles, this book is a must-have for anyone who's ever touched a joystick.
The Ultimate History of Video Games, Volume 2: Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, and the Billion-Dollar Battle to Shape Modern Gaming
Steven L. Kent. Crown Publishing Group, 2021
As video games evolve, only the fittest companies survive. Making a blockbuster once cost millions of dollars; now it can cost hundreds of millions, but with a $160 billion market worldwide, the biggest players are willing to bet the bank. Steven L. Kent has been playing video games since Pong and writing about the industry since the Nintendo Entertainment System. In volume 1 of The Ultimate History of Video Games, he chronicled the industry’s first thirty years. In volume 2, he narrates gaming’s entrance into the twenty-first century, as Nintendo, Sega, Sony, and Microsoft battle to capture the global market. The home console boom of the ’90s turned hobby companies like Nintendo and Sega into Hollywood-studio-sized business titans. But by the end of the decade, they would face new, more powerful competitors. In boardrooms on both sides of the Pacific, engineers and executives began, with enormous budgets and total secrecy, to plan the next evolution of home consoles. The PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube, and Sega Dreamcast all made radically different bets on what gamers would want. And then, to the shock of the world, Bill Gates announced the development of the one console to beat them all—even if Microsoft had to burn a few billion dollars to do it. In this book, you will learn about
• the cutthroat environment at Microsoft as rival teams created console systems
• the day the head of Sega of America told the creator of Sonic the Hedgehog to “f**k off”
• how “lateral thinking with withered technology” put Nintendo back on top
• and much more!
Gripping and comprehensive, The Ultimate History of Video Games: Volume 2 explores the origins of modern consoles and of the franchises—from Grand Theft Auto and Halo to Call of Duty and Guitar Hero—that would define gaming in the new millennium.
The Universal History of Computing: From the Abacus to the Quantum Computer
Georges Ifrah. Wiley, 2000
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 along as he visits mathematicians, visionaries, philosophers, and scholars from every corner of the world and every period of history. We learn about the births of the pocket calculator, the adding machine, the cash register, and even automata. We find out how the origins of the computer can be found in the European Renaissance, along with how World War II influenced the development of analytical calculation. And we explore such hot topics as numerical codes and the recent discovery of new kinds of number systems, such as “surreal” numbers. Adventurous and enthralling, The Universal History of Computing is an astonishing achievement that not only unravels the epic tale of computing, but also tells the compelling story of human intelligence–and how much further we still have to go.
Troublemakers: Silicon Valley's Coming of Age
Leslie Berlin. Simon & Schuster, 2017
The narrative of the Silicon Valley generation that launched five major high-tech industries in seven years, laying the foundation for today’s technology-driven world. At a time when the five most valuable companies on the planet are high-tech firms and nearly half of Americans say they cannot live without their cell phones, Troublemakers reveals the untold story of how we got here. This is the gripping tale of seven exceptional men and women, pioneers of Silicon Valley in the 1970s and early 1980s. Together, they worked across generations, industries, and companies to bring technology from Pentagon offices and university laboratories to the rest of us. In doing so, they changed the world. In Troublemakers, historian Leslie Berlin introduces the people and stories behind the birth of the Internet and the microprocessor, as well as Apple, Atari, Genentech, Xerox PARC, ROLM, ASK, and the iconic venture capital firms Sequoia Capital and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. In the space of only seven years and thirty-five miles, five major industries—personal computing, video games, biotechnology, modern venture capital, and advanced semiconductor logic—were born. During these same years, the first ARPANET transmission came into a Stanford lab, the university began licensing faculty innovations to businesses, and the Silicon Valley tech community began mobilizing to develop the lobbying clout and influence that have become critical components of modern American politics. In other words, these were the years when one of the most powerful pillars of our modern innovation and political systems was first erected. Featured among well-known Silicon Valley innovators like Steve Jobs, Regis McKenna, Larry Ellison, and Don Valentine are Mike Markkula, the underappreciated chairman of Apple who owned one-third of the company; Bob Taylor, who kick-started the Arpanet and masterminded the personal computer; software entrepreneur Sandra Kurtzig, the first woman to take a technology company public; Bob Swanson, the cofounder of Genentech; Al Alcorn, the Atari engineer behind the first wildly successful video game; Fawn Alvarez, who rose from an assembler on a factory line to the executive suite; and Niels Reimers, the Stanford administrator who changed how university innovations reach the public. Together, these troublemakers rewrote the rules and invented the future.
Turing's Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe
George Dyson. Pantheon, 2012
In this revealing account of how the digital universe exploded in the aftermath of World War II, George Dyson illuminates the nature of digital computers, the lives of those who brought them into existence, and how code took over the world. In the 1940s and ‘50s, a small group of men and women—led by John von Neumann—gathered in Princeton, New Jersey, to begin building one of the first computers to realize Alan Turing’s vision of a Universal Machine. The codes unleashed within this embryonic, 5-kilobyte universe—less memory than is allocated to displaying a single icon on a computer screen today—broke the distinction between numbers that mean things and numbers that do things, and our universe would never be the same. Turing’s Cathedral is the story of how the most constructive and most destructive of twentieth-century inventions—the digital computer and the hydrogen bomb—emerged at the same time.
Twisty Little Passages: An Approach to Interactive Fiction
Nick Montfort. MIT Press, 2003
A critical approach to interactive fiction, as literature and game.Interactive fiction–the best-known form of which is the text game or text adventure–has not received as much critical attention as have such other forms of electronic literature as hypertext fiction and the conversational programs known as chatterbots. Twisty Little Passages (the title refers to a maze in Adventure, the first interactive fiction) is the first book-length consideration of this form, examining it from gaming and literary perspectives. Nick Montfort, an interactive fiction author himself, offers both aficionados and first-time users a way to approach interactive fiction that will lead to a more pleasurable and meaningful experience of it. Twisty Little Passages looks at interactive fiction beginning with its most important literary ancestor, the riddle. Montfort then discusses Adventure and its precursors (including the I Ching and Dungeons and Dragons), and follows this with an examination of mainframe text games developed in response, focusing on the most influential work of that era, Zork. He then considers the introduction of commercial interactive fiction for home computers, particularly that produced by Infocom. Commercial works inspired an independent reaction, and Montfort describes the emergence of independent creators and the development of an online interactive fiction community in the 1990s. Finally, he considers the influence of interactive fiction on other literary and gaming forms. With Twisty Little Passages, Nick Montfort places interactive fiction in its computational and literary contexts, opening up this still-developing form to new consideration.
When Computing Got Personal: A history of the desktop computer
Matt Nicholson. Matt Publishing, 2014
This is the story of how a handful of geeks and mavericks dragged the computer out of corporate back rooms and laboratories and into our living rooms and offices. It is a tale not only of extraordinary innovation and vision but also of cunning business deals, boardroom tantrums and acrimonious lawsuits. Here you will find some of the most intelligent and eccentric people you could hope to meet, including wide-eyed hippies, subversive students, computer nerds, entrepreneurs, hackers, crackers and financial backers. Some lost out and some became millionaires, but all played a part in transforming our world.
Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet
Katie Hafner, Matthew Lyon. Simon Schuster, 1996
Twenty five years ago, it didn't exist. Today, twenty million people worldwide are surfing the Net. Where Wizards Stay Up Late is the exciting story of the pioneers responsible for creating the most talked about, most influential, and most far-reaching communications breakthrough since the invention of the telephone. In the 1960's, when computers where regarded as mere giant calculators, J.C.R. Licklider at MIT saw them as the ultimate communications devices. With Defense Department funds, he and a band of visionary computer whizzes began work on a nationwide, interlocking network of computers. Taking readers behind the scenes, Where Wizards Stay Up Late captures the hard work, genius, and happy accidents of their daring, stunningly successful venture.
10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10
Nick Montfort, Patsy Baudoin, John Bell, Ian Bogost Jeremy Douglass, Mark C. Marino, Michael Mateas Casey Reas, Mark Sample, and Noah Vawter. MIT Press, 2012
This book takes a single line of code—the extremely concise BASIC program for the Commodore 64 inscribed in the title—and uses it as a lens through which to consider the phenomenon of creative computing and the way computer programs exist in culture. The authors of this collaboratively written book treat code not as merely functional but as a text—in the case of 10 PRINT, a text that appeared in many different printed sources—that yields a story about its making, its purpose, its assumptions, and more. They consider randomness and regularity in computing and art, the maze in culture, the popular BASIC programming language, and the highly influential Commodore 64 computer.
Abstracting Away the Machine: The History of the FORTRAN Programming Language (FORmula TRANslation)
Mark Jones Lorenzo. Self published, 2019
At the dawn of the computer age, an elite development team at IBM built the most influential computer programming language in history: FORTRAN. Abstracting Away the Machine tells the epic story of how they did it–and what happened next. Over the past six decades, programming languages like ALGOL, BASIC, C/C++, COBOL, Java, LISP, LOGO, Pascal, PL/I, Python, Visual Basic, and many others opened up the field of computer science, and of computer programming in general, to the masses. But all of these high-level languages (HLLs)–computer languages that automate, hide, or otherwise abstract away the underlying operations of the machine–owe a huge debt of gratitude to FORTRAN (FORmula TRANslation), the first HLL to achieve widespread adoption. Many programming practices that we take for granted now came about as a result of FORTRAN. Created over a three-year period at IBM by a development team led by a brilliant but wayward mathematician named John W. Backus, FORTRAN was implemented initially on the IBM 704 mainframe computer in the mid-1950s, with dialects of the language quickly spreading thereafter to other platforms. FORTRAN’s powerful compiler, which translated human-readable code into code a computer could understand, produced incredibly clean and optimized standalone executable programs, all of which could be run independently of the compiler, setting the standard for decades to come–and overcoming the doubts of many skeptics along the way, who thought the FORTRAN project would never succeed. In the 1960s the language was standardized, with machine-dependent commands excised, and many platform-independent implementations followed. With the language now portable, able to run on any computer (at least in theory), FORTRAN, almost by accident, secured a stranglehold in the fields of science and engineering. The language also came to dominate in the supercomputing industry. But FORTRAN, a blue-collar workhorse more concerned with results than with style, was a victim of its own success–the language sowed the seeds of its own demise. New high-level languages sprouted up, stealing the good bits from FORTRAN while simultaneously defining themselves in opposition to it. FORTRAN had become the foil. As these new languages pierced the cutting edge of the programming landscape, they redefined computing paradigms (e.g., with structured programming, object-oriented programming, and the like), and FORTRAN–though eventually (and repeatedly) modernized and formally renamed Fortran–struggled to keep up through multiple standardization efforts, finally ceding significant ground to its successors as it slowly withdrew from the spotlight. To add insult to injury, even John Backus eventually turned against his creation. This is not a book on how to program in FORTRAN, nor is it a technical manual. Rather, the focus in Abstracting Away the Machine, which chronicles the complete history and development of the FORTRAN programming language, is set squarely on telling three interlocking stories: (1) How an elite group of computing trailblazers built FORTRAN, (2) Why the conditions at the time were ripe for them to succeed, and (3) What happened after they did. Tracing the long arc of FORTRAN’s development and maturation is integral to understanding not only the history of programming but also the state of computer science today. The birth of FORTRAN planted a seed that led to the full flowering of high-level languages, since FORTRAN overcame initial skepticism by demonstrating to the world that a well-made HLL really could abstract away the machine.
Acorn – A World in Pixels
AA.VV. Idesine, 2020
Spread over 476 pages, with a foreword by Richard Hanson (Superior Software) and Life of an Acorn Gamer by TV's Iain Lee, it features over 150 classic games, with exclusive interviews with key figures in the industry at the time - from the likes of David Braben and Ian Bell (Elite); Geoff Crammond (Revs/Aviator); Peter Irvin (Exile); Tim Tyler (Repton); Nick Pelling (Frak!); Peter Scott (Sim City/The Last Ninja); Gary Partis (Psycastria/Dr Who); Chris Roberts (Stryker's Run); Steve Furber (Acorn); Steve Botterill (Superior Software / 4th Dimension); Alan Butcher (Micro Power) and many, many more – and features on subjects such as key publishers, cover art and classic magazines. The book showcases the computers’ inimitable graphic style and is packed full with memories and anecdotes from programmers, artists, publishers, reviewers and enthusiasts. Remember Elite, Chuckie Egg, Repton, Exile, Starship Command, Thrust, Citadel, Revs, Imogen, Codename:Droid, Firetrack, Arcadians, Mr Ee!, Zalaga, Castle Quest, Galaforce, Snapper and many more. Read about the history of the iconic publishers including Superior Software, Micro Power, Acornsoft, Tynesoft, 4th Dimension, Alligata, Ultimate Play the Game and more. Learn about the magazine publishers of the time, how the games industry evolved and the many 'lost and found' games of the era. And much, much more. New artwork from Ste Pickford (of the Pickford Brothers) and Les Ives (original cover artist for Micro Power and Superior Software). An unmissable publication for anyone who grew up with an Acorn 8-bit machine.
Building IBM: Shaping an Industry and Its Technology
Emerson W. Pugh. MIT Press, 1995
No company of the twentieth century achieved greater success and engendered more admiration, respect, envy, fear, and hatred than IBM. Building IBM tells the story of that company—how it was formed, how it grew, and how it shaped and dominated the information processing industry. Emerson Pugh presents substantial new material about the company in the period before 1945 as well as a new interpretation of the postwar era.Granted unrestricted access to IBM's archival records and with no constraints on the way he chose to treat the information they contained, Pugh dispels many widely held myths about IBM and its leaders and provides new insights on the origins and development of the computer industry.Pugh begins the story with Herman Hollerith's invention of punched-card machines used for tabulating the U.S. Census of 1890, showing how Hollerith's inventions and the business he established provided the primary basis for IBM. He tells why Hollerith merged his company in 1911 with two other companies to create the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company, which changed its name in 1924 to International Business Machines. Thomas J. Watson, who was hired in 1914 to manage the merged companies, exhibited remarkable technological insight and leadership—in addition to his widely heralded salesmanship—to build Hollerith's business into a virtual monopoly of the rapidly growing punched-card equipment business. The fascinating inside story of the transfer of authority from the senior Watson to his older son, Thomas J. Watson Jr., and the company's rapid domination of the computer industry occupy the latter half of the book. In two final chapters, Pugh examines conditions and events of the 1970s and 1980s and identifies the underlying causes of the severe probems IBM experienced in the 1990s.
Commodore 65 – La storia
Carlo Pastore. Self published, 2017
Il libro racconta la storia di un personal computer Commodore mai nato. Il Commodore 65 rappresenta uno dei prototipi più affascinanti per storia e caratteristiche mai ideati dalla Commodore Business Machines LTD. Molto raro, è oggetto del desiderio di ogni appassionato e collezionista Commodore.
Commodore: A Company on the Edge
Brian Bagnall. Variant Press, 2010
Filled with first-hand accounts of ambition, greed, and inspired engineering, this history of the personal computer revolution takes readers inside the cutthroat world of Commodore. Before Apple, IBM, or Dell, Commodore was the first computer maker to market its machines to the public, eventually selling an estimated 22 million Commodore 64s. These halcyon days were tumultuous, however, owing to the expectations and unsparing tactics of founder Jack Tramiel. Engineers and managers share their experiences between 1976 and 1984 of the groundbreaking moments, soaring highs, and stunning employee turnover that came with being on top of the world in the early computer business.
Competing On Internet Time
David B. Yoffie, Michael A. Cusumano. Free Press, 1999
Competing on Internet time means competitive advantage can be won and lost overnight. In this penetrating analysis of strategy-making and product innovation in the dynamic markets of commercial cyberspace, bestselling Microsoft Secrets co-author Michael Cusumano and top competitive strategy expert David Yoffie draw vital lessons from Netscape, the first pure Internet company, and how it has employed the techniques of “judo strategy” in its pitched battle with Microsoft, the world's largest software producer. From on-site observation and more than 50 in-depth interviews at Netscape and other companies, Cusumano and Yoffie construct a blueprint meticulously detailing how the fastest-growing software company in history has competed on Internet time by moving rapidly to new products and markets, staying flexible, and exploiting leverage that uses the weight of its giant rival Microsoft against it. The main source of Netscape's leverage, they argue, has been its skill in designing products that run on multiple operating systems. Microsoft has responded with judo techniques in kind. Managers in every high-tech industry will discover a wealth of new ideas on how to create and scale-up a new company quickly; how to compete in fast-paced, unpredictable industries; and how to design products for rapidly evolving markets. The lessons that Cusumano and Yoffie derive from Netscape's contest with Microsoft go far beyond start-ups and Internet software. Small companies in any industry and powerful, established firms alike will welcome the principles the authors formulate from this David-and-Goliath-like struggle. Competing on Internet Time is essential and instructive reading for all managers, engineers, and entrepreneurs who want to succeed in ultra-fast-paced markets.
DEC Is Dead, Long Live DEC: The Lasting Legacy of Digital Equipment Corporation
Edgar H. Schein, Paul J. Kampas, Michael M. Sonduck, Peter S. Delisi. Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2003
DEC Is Dead, Long Live DEC tells the 40-year story of the creation, demise, and enduring legacy of one of the pioneering companies of the computer age. Digital Equipment Corporation created the minicomputer, networking, the concept of distributed computing, speech recognition, and other major innovations. It was the number two computer maker behind IBM. Yet it ultimately failed as a business and was sold to Compaq Corporation. What happened? Edgar Schein consulted to DEC throughout its history and so had unparalleled access to all the major players, and an inside view of all the major events. He shows how the unique organizational culture established by DEC's founder, Ken Olsen, gave the company important competitive advantages in its early years, but later became a hindrance and ultimately led to the company's downfall. Schein, Kampas, DeLisi, and Sonduck explain in detail how a particular culture can become so embedded that an organization is unable to adapt to changing circumstances even though it sees the need very clearly. The essential elements of DEC's culture are still visible in many other organizations today, and most former employees are so positive about their days at DEC that they attempt to reproduce its culture in their current work situations. In the era of post-dot.com meltdown, raging debate about companies “built to last” vs. “built to sell,” and more entrepreneurial startups than ever, the rise and fall of DEC is the ultimate case study.
Digital Equipment Corporation: (Images of America: Massachusetts)
Alan R. Earls. Arcadia Publishing, 2004.
From its inception in 1957, Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), headquartered in Maynard, Massachusetts, carved itself a role in American business unlike any other company. Launched by Massachusetts Institute of Technology engineer Ken Olsen with a $70,000 investment from the country's first venture capital firm, DEC rapidly became a pioneer in computer technology. In its heyday, DEC had a valuation of more than $12 billion and employed approximately one hundred twenty thousand people worldwide, making it second only to IBM. Its people and technology contributed to making computers increasingly affordable, which led directly to the advent of the personal computer, the first computer games, and computer networks. DEC was also a leader in the Internet revolution, claiming the dubious distinction of launching the first spam mailing and registering one of the first commercial domain names. Through photographs of people, events, and machines, Digital Equipment Corporation tells the story of the unassuming computer revolutionaries who reshaped the technological world. It is written for anyone who is interested in how the present era of computing ubiquity has evolved since the 1940s, when IBM chairman Thomas Watson predicted that the whole world might need no more than five computers.
Eniac: The Triumphs and Tragedies of the World's First Computer
Scott McCartney. Berkley Trade, 1999
ENIAC is the story of John Mauchly and Presper Eckert, the men who built the first digital, electronic computer. Their three-year race to create the legendary ENIAC is a compelling tale of brilliance and misfortune that has never been told before. It was the size of a three-bedroom apartment, weighed 30 tons, and cost nearly half a million dollars to build-and $650 an hour to run. But in 1945, this behemoth was the cutting edge in technology, and a herald of the digital age to come. This “little gem of a book” tells the story of this machine and the men who built it-as well as the secrecy, controversy, jealousy, and lawsuits that surrounded it-in a compelling real-life techno-thriller.
Hypergrowth: The rise and fall of Osborne Computer Corporation
Adam Osborne, John C. Dvorak. Idthekkethan Pub. Co., 1984
Osborne Computer Corporation shipped the world's first portable computer in July 1981. Less then a year later, in August 1982, the company had its first ten million dollar month. Its best quarter even ended in February 1983, yet little more than six month later, in the midst of intense media coverage, the company went bankrupt. What happened? Adam Osborne and John Dvorak recount the complete history of Osborne Computer Corporation, from its improbable beginnings to its astonishing heights and the subsequent, equally improbable collapse. The authors provide starting revelations which suggest that there may have been more to the bankrupcy than met the eye. In this fast-paced first-person account, Osborne spares no one, including himself. His observations are both provocative and controversial.
I Am Error: The Nintendo Family Computer / Entertainment System Platform
Nathan Altice. MIT Press, 2015
In the 1987 Nintendo Entertainment System videogame Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, a character famously declared: I AM ERROR. Puzzled players assumed that this cryptic mesage was a programming flaw, but it was actually a clumsy Japanese-English translation of “My Name is Error,” a benign programmer's joke. In I AM ERROR Nathan Altice explores the complex material histories of the Nintendo Entertainment System (and its Japanese predecessor, the Family Computer), offering a detailed analysis of its programming and engineering, its expressive affordances, and its cultural significance. Nintendo games were rife with mistranslated texts, but, as Altice explains, Nintendo's translation challenges were not just linguistic but also material, with consequences beyond simple misinterpretation. Emphasizing the technical and material evolution of Nintendo's first cartridge-based platform, Altice describes the development of the Family Computer (or Famicom) and its computational architecture; the “translation” problems faced while adapting the Famicom for the U.S. videogame market as the redesigned Entertainment System; Nintendo's breakthrough console title Super Mario Bros. and its remarkable software innovations; the introduction of Nintendo's short-lived proprietary disk format and the design repercussions on The Legend of Zelda; Nintendo's efforts to extend their console's lifespan through cartridge augmentations; the Famicom's Audio Processing Unit (APU) and its importance for the chiptunes genre; and the emergence of software emulators and the new kinds of play they enabled.
IBM's 360 and Early 370 Systems
Emerson W. Pugh, Lyle R. Johnson, John H. Palmer. MIT Press, 1991
No new product offering has had greater impact on the computer industrythan the IBM System/360. IBM's 360 and Early 370 Systems describes the creation ofthis remarkable system and the developments it spawned, including its successor, System/370. The authors tell how System/360's widely-copied architecture came intobeing and how IBM failed in an effort to replace it ten years later with a bolddevelopment effort called FS, the Future System. Along the way they detail thedevelopment of many computer innovations still in use, among them semiconductormemories, the cache, floppy disks, and Winchester disk files. They conclude bylooking at issues involved in managing research and development and striving forproduct leadership.While numerous anecdotal and fragmentary accounts of System/360and System/370 development exist, this is the first comprehensive account, a resultof research into IBM records, published reports, and interviews with over a hundredparticipants. Covering the period from about 1960 to 1975, it highlights suchimportant topics as the gamble on hybrid circuits, conception and achievement of aunified product line, memory and storage developments, software support, uniqueproblems at the high end of the line, monolithic integrated circuit developments, and the trend toward terminal-oriented systems.System/360 was developed during thetransition from discrete transistors to integrated circuits at the crucial time whenthe major source of IBM's revenue was changed from punched-card equipment toelectronic computer systems. As the authors point out, the key to the system'ssuccess was compatibility among its many models. So important was this to customersthat System/370 and its successors have remained compatible with System/360. Manycompanies in fact chose to develop and market their own 360-370 compatible systems.System/360 also spawned an entire industry dedicated to making plug-compatibleproducts for attachment to it.The authors, all affiliated with IBM Research, arecoauthors of IBM's Early Computers, a critically acclaimed technical historycovering the period before 1960.
IBM's Early Computers
Charles J. Bashe, Emerson W. Pugh. MIT Press, 1985
In describing the technical experiences of one company from the beginning of the computer era, this book unfolds the challenges that IBM's research and development laboratories faced, the technological paths they chose, and how these choices affected the company and the computer industry. It chronicles the transformation of IBM into a computer company in a remarkably few years, discussing projects that ended in frustration as well as the more successful ones, and providing a sense of the atmosphere, the people, and the decision-making processes involved during the company's rapid technological transformation. IBM's Early Computers is a unique contribution to the modern history of computers. It focuses on engineering alternatives rather than business and general management considerations and reveals the significance of imaginative solutions to problems in design and technology, from initial experiments with electronics in digital machines to the threshold of the System 360 era. This fair and balanced account of IBM's role in shaping today's electronic revolution identifies the individuals (both inside and outside the company) whose pioneering work influenced developments at IBM. The book's fourteen chapters briefly survey the card machine era and then cover electronic calculation, the magnetic drum calculator, the Defense Calculator and other first-generation products, ferrite core memories, magnetic tape, and disk storage development, programming, transistors, “Project Stretch” (which involved disappointments but led to one of IBM's greatest successes) high-speed printers, research, and new-product-line considerations.
Insanely Great: The Life and Times of Macintosh, the Computer that Changed Everything
Steven Levy. Penguin Books, 1993
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.
From Whirlwind to MITRE: The R&D Story of the SAGE Air Defense Computer
Kent C. Redmond, Thomas M. Smith. MIT Press, 2000
This book presents an organizational and social history of one of the foundational projects of the computer era: the development of the SAGE (Semi-Automatic Ground Environment) air defense system, from its first test at Bedford, Massachusetts, in 1951, to the installation of the first unit of the New York Air Defense Sector of the SAGE system, in 1958. The idea for SAGE grew out of Project Whirlwind, a wartime computer development effort, when the U.S. Department of Defense realized that the Whirlwind computer might anchor a continent-wide advance warning system. Developed by MIT engineers and scientists for the U.S. Air Force, SAGE monitored North American skies for possible attack by manned aircraft and missiles for twenty-five years.Aside from its strategic importance, SAGE set the foundation for mass data-processing systems and foreshadowed many computer developments of the 1960s. The heart of the system, the AN/FSQ-7, was the first computer to have an internal memory composed of “magnetic cores,” thousands of tiny ferrite rings that served as reversible electromagnets. SAGE also introduced computer-driven displays, online terminals, time sharing, high-reliability computation, digital signal processing, digital transmission over telephone lines, digital track-while-scan, digital simulation, computer networking, and duplex computing.The book shows how the wartime alliance of engineers, scientists, and the military exemplified by MIT's Radiation Lab helped to transform research and development practice in the United States through the end of the Cold War period.
Now the Chips Are Down: The BBC Micro
Alison Gazzard. MIT Press, 2016.
In 1982, the British Broadcasting Corporation launched its Computer Literacy Project, intended “to introduce interested adults to the world of computers and computing.” The BBC accompanied this initiative with television programs, courses, books, and software–an early experiment in multi-platform education. The BBC, along with Acorn Computers, also introduced the BBC Microcomputer, which would be at the forefront of the campaign. The BBC Micro was designed to meet the needs of users in homes and schools, to demystify computing, and to counter the general pessimism among the media in Britain about technology. In this book, Alison Gazzard looks at the BBC Micro, examining the early capabilities of multi-platform content generation and consumption and the multiple literacies this approach enabled–not only in programming and software creation, but also in accessing information across a range of media, and in “do-it-yourself” computing. She links many of these early developments to current new-media practices. Gazzard looks at games developed for the BBC Micro, including Granny's Garden, an educational game for primary schools, and Elite, the seminal space-trading game. She considers the shift in focus from hardware to peripherals, describing the Teletext Adapter as an early model for software distribution and the Domesday Project (which combined texts, video, and still photographs) as a hypermedia-like experience. Gazzard's account shows the BBC Micro not only as a vehicle for various literacies but also as a user-oriented machine that pushed the boundaries of what could be achieved in order to produce something completely new.
On the Edge: The Spectacular Rise and Fall of Commodore
Brian Bagnall. Variant Press, 2005
Filled with first-hand accounts of ambition, greed, and inspired engineering, this history of the personal computer revolution takes readers inside the cutthroat world of Commodore. Before Apple, IBM, or Dell, Commodore was the first computer maker to market its machines to the public, selling an estimated 22 million Commodore 64s. These halcyon days were tumultuous, however, owing to the expectations and unsparing tactics of founder Jack Tramiel. Engineers and managers with the company between 1976 and 1994 share their experiences of the groundbreaking moments, soaring business highs, and stunning employee turnover that came along with being on top of the PC world in the early days.
Open: How Compaq Ended IBM's PC Domination and Helped Invent Modern Computing
Rod Canion. BenBella Books, 2013
The story of Compaq is well-known: Three ex-Texas Instruments managers founded Compaq with modest venture funding. Just four years later, Compaq was on the Fortune 500 list, and, two years after that, they had exceeded $1 billion in annual revenue. No company had ever achieved these milestones so rapidly. But few know the story behind the story. In 1982, when Compaq was founded, there was no software standardization, so every brand of personal computer required its own unique application software. Just eight years later, compatibility with the open PC standard had become ubiquitous, and it has continued to be for over two decades. This didn’t happen by accident. Cofounder and then CEO Rod Canion and his team made a series of risky and daring decisions—often facing criticism and incredulity—that allowed the open PC standard marketplace to thrive and the incredible benefits of open computing to be realized. A never-before-published insider account of Compaq’s extraordinary strategies and decisions, Open provides valuable lessons in leadership in times of crisis, management decision-making under the pressure of extraordinary growth, and the power of a unique, pervasive culture. Open tells the incredible story of Compaq’s meteoric rise from humble beginnings to become the PC industry leader in just over a decade. Along the way, Compaq helped change the face of computing while establishing the foundation for today’s world of tablets and smart phones.
Peripheral Vision: Bell Labs, the S-C 4020, and the Origins of Computer Art
Zabet Patterson. MIT Press,2015
In 1959, the electronics manufacturer Stromberg-Carlson produced the S-C 4020, a device that allowed mainframe computers to present and preserve images. In the mainframe era, the output of text and image was quite literally peripheral; the S-C 4020—a strange and elaborate apparatus, with a cathode ray screen, a tape deck, a buffer unit, a film camera, and a photo-paper camera—produced most of the computer graphics of the late 1950s and early 1960s. At Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey, the S-C 4020 became a crucial part of ongoing encounters among art, science, and technology. In this book, Zabet Patterson examines the extraordinary uses to which the Bell Labs SC-2040 was put between 1961 and 1972, exploring a series of early computer art projects shaped by the special computational affordances of the S-C 4020.
Priming the Pump: How TRS-80 Enthusiasts Helped Spark the PC Revolution
David Welsh, Theresa Welsh. The Seeker Books, 2007
Priming the Pump: How TRS-80 Microcomputer Enthusiasts Helped Spark the PC Revolution by David Welsh and Theresa Welsh takes you back to the largely unknown origins of personal computing. Personal computers grew out of a hobbyist movement in the 1970s, as some began experimenting with the new microchips, building their own computers. Kit computers appeared, available from small mail order companies, but the computer that brought a wider audience to personal computing was the TRS-80 Model I, introduced by Tandy Corporation in August 1977. It was the first complete mass market, off-the-shelf microcomputer that anyone could buy for $599.95. And it was available at 3500 Radio Shack stores nationwide. Introduction of the TRS-80 meant, for the first time, anyone could experiment with software and affordably use word processing, spreadsheets, accounting, database and other applications… except for one thing: there weren't any programs. So, of necessity, new computer owners became programmers, and enterprising individuals working in basements and garages created the software everyone wanted. Many of them had never done any programming before. The authors were part of a community of entrepreneurs who sold software for the TRS-80. Besides telling their own story, they also collected stories from key innovators from that era, including some who had never been interviewed before about their contributions to computing. The technology that originated with these amazing microcomputer pioneers went on to change life in fundamental ways and their stories are the heart of this book.There were programmers who created fabulous games like Dancing Demon, Microchess, Oregon Trail and the Scott Adams Adventures; there were rivals who created five different Disk Operating Systems for the TRS-80 and one man's fight with Tandy over who owned the code; there were scam artists who offered products that were too good to be true, and brilliant visionaries who were first with software features later “invented” by big companies with more money but not more talent. The authors relate how Don French, a computer hobbyist who worked for Radio Shack at the time, suggested to his bosses that they capitalize on the latest craze, home-built computers. Radio Shack took a chance and hired young Steve Leininger away from Silicon Valley and told him to build a machine they could sell cheap. Working alone in an old saddle factory in Fort Worth, he built the first TRS-80; its total development costs were less than $150,000. Author David Welsh was one of those self-taught computer-buyer/programmers. He created a word processor, Lazy Writer, and, working with his wife Theresa, sold copies worldwide to enthusiastic fans who were eager to ditch their typewriters. This was before Microsoft was a household word, when software was new and exciting and everyone was learning. Software generally had only one author, and programmers were proud of their work; some became stars. David and Thesesa Welsh, who lived through it all, have captured the defining moments and excitement of this era, with the untold stories from the microcomputer pioneers whose efforts and love for their “trash-80” helped spark the PC revolution that followed.
Racing the Beam: The Atari Video Computer System
Nick Montfort, Ian Bogost. MIT Press, 2009
The Atari Video Computer System dominated the home video game market so completely that “Atari” became the generic term for a video game console. The Atari VCS was affordable and offered the flexibility of changeable cartridges. Nearly a thousand of these were created, the most significant of which established new techniques, mechanics, and even entire genres. This book offers a detailed and accessible study of this influential video game console from both computational and cultural perspectives. Studies of digital media have rarely investigated platforms–the systems underlying computing. This book (the first in a series of Platform Studies) does so, developing a critical approach that examines the relationship between platforms and creative expression. Nick Montfort and Ian Bogost discuss the Atari VCS itself and examine in detail six game cartridges: Combat, Adventure, Pac-Man, Yars' Revenge, Pitfall!, and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. They describe the technical constraints and affordances of the system and track developments in programming, gameplay, interface, and aesthetics. Adventure, for example, was the first game to represent a virtual space larger than the screen (anticipating the boundless virtual spaces of such later games as World of Warcraft and Grand Theft Auto), by allowing the player to walk off one side into another space; and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back was an early instance of interaction between media properties and video games. Montfort and Bogost show that the Atari VCS–often considered merely a retro fetish object–is an essential part of the history of video games.
Revolution in the Valley: The Insanely Great Story of How the Mac Was Made
Andy Hertzfeld. O'Reilly Media, 2004
There was a time, not too long ago, when the typewriter and notebook ruled, and the computer as an everyday tool was simply a vision. Revolution in the Valley traces this vision back to its earliest roots: the hallways and backrooms of Apple, where the groundbreaking Macintosh computer was born. The book traces the development of the Macintosh, from its inception as an underground skunkworks project in 1979 to its triumphant introduction in 1984 and beyond. The stories in Revolution in the Valley come on extremely good authority. That's because author Andy Hertzfeld was a core member of the team that built the Macintosh system software, and a key creator of the Mac's radically new user interface software. One of the chosen few who worked with the mercurial Steve Jobs, you might call him the ultimate insider. When Revolution in the Valley begins, Hertzfeld is working on Apple's first attempt at a low-cost, consumer-oriented computer: the Apple II. He sees that Steve Jobs is luring some of the company's most brilliant innovators to work on a tiny research effort the Macintosh. Hertzfeld manages to make his way onto the Macintosh research team, and the rest is history. Through lavish illustrations, period photos, and Hertzfeld's vivid first-hand accounts, Revolution in the Valley reveals what it was like to be there at the birth of the personal computer revolution. The story comes to life through the book's portrait of the talented and often eccentric characters who made up the Macintosh team. Now, over 20 years later, millions of people are benefiting from the technical achievements of this determined and brilliant group of people.
Sophistication and Simplicity: The Life and Times of the Apple II Computer
Steven Weyhrich. Variant Press, 2013
Despite humble beginnings, today Apple, Inc. enjoys unprecedented popularity and prosperity with its products, routinely selling over a million devices in a single day. It is a major innovator in the computing and consumer landscape, and as shown in this retrospective, the history of the Apple II computer plays a large part in the current successes of the company. The late 1970s saw the dawn of the Apple II, the company's first hit product. It provided the breathing room for Apple to become self-sustaining and ultimately blossom into one of the greatest business and technology successes in history. This account provides a unique view of early personal computing and Apple as a company, focusing almost exclusively on the role of the Apple II within that story. It extends outward to the products, publications, and early online services that made up the ecosystem for the platform during its active years, and follows the story to present-day enthusiasts who still find new things to do with a computer that got its start more than 35 years ago.
Show Stopper!: The Breakneck Race to Create Windows NT and the Next Generation at Microsoft
G. Pascal Zachary. Free Press, 1994
Showstopper is the dramatic, inside story of the creation of Windows NT, told by Wall Street Journal reporter G. Pascal Zachary. Driven by the legendary David Cutler, a picked band of software engineers sacrifices almost everything in their lives to build a new, stable, operating system aimed at giving Microsoft a platform for growth through the next decade of development in the computing business. Comparable in many ways to the Pulitzer Prize–winning book The Soul of a New Machine by Tracy Kidder, Showstopper gets deep inside the process of software development, the lives and motivations of coders and the pressure to succeed coupled with the drive for originality and perfection that can pull a diverse team together to create a program consisting of many hundreds of thousands of lines of code.
Sunburst: The Ascent of Sun Microsystems
Mark Hall, John Barry. McGraw-Hill/Contemporary, 1990
In the volatile, high-stakes arena of the Silicon Valley computer industry, few corporate stars have consistently blazed as brightly as Sun Microsystems. Rising from start-up to present-day revenues of over $1 billion in just six years, Sun has not only survived the competitive and technological land mines that annihilate many a fledgling business; it has succeeded - and it has done so spectacularly. Sun Microsystems exploded into the computer business world with amazing speed and force in 1982. With an innovative new machine - a high-performance desktop computer capable of handling even complex scientific tasks - four men still in their twenties combined their marketing savvy, business drive, and engineering talent to create a company that within four years of its founding would ascend to the number one position in the workstation marketplace. Within six years, it would be recognized as an industry leader. Sun's unique marketing tactics and sheer business chutzpah have outraged most of its competitors - and resulted in an almost unprecedented rate of success for the upstart firm. In the history of high-tech business, only one other firm has exceeded Sun's growth in terms of speed and size. Where others imitate, though, Sun invents. While others jockey for a share of shelf space, Sun goes for a share of mind. In this high-voltage account, authors Mark Hall and John Barry tell the story of an amazing start-up success. The history of Sun Microsystems is, however, much more than an inside look at the exciting and perilous world of start-up technologies. It's an object lesson in how to build a major corporation able to compete with companies ten, twenty, even fifty times its size. It's an exploration of the innovative corporate cultural traits that have enabled Sun to beat out its competition, from fellow upstarts to the “big dogs” such as Hewlett-Packard and IBM - traits that may well represent a formula for what it takes to be successful in today's world.
The Charisma Machine: The Life, Death, and Legacy of One Laptop Per Child
Morgan G. Ames. MIT Press, 2019
In The Charisma Machine, Morgan Ames chronicles the life and legacy of the One Laptop per Child project and explains why–despite its failures–the same utopian visions that inspired OLPC still motivate other projects trying to use technology to “disrupt” education and development. Announced in 2005 by MIT Media Lab cofounder Nicholas Negroponte, One Laptop per Child promised to transform the lives of children across the Global South with a small, sturdy, and cheap laptop computer, powered by a hand crank. In reality, the project fell short in many ways–starting with the hand crank, which never materialized. Yet the project remained charismatic to many who were captivated by its claims of access to educational opportunities previously out of reach. Behind its promises, OLPC, like many technology projects that make similarly grand claims, had a fundamentally flawed vision of who the computer was made for and what role technology should play in learning. Drawing on fifty years of history and a seven-month study of a model OLPC project in Paraguay, Ames reveals that the laptops were not only frustrating to use, easy to break, and hard to repair, they were designed for “technically precocious boys”–idealized younger versions of the developers themselves–rather than the children who were actually using them. The Charisma Machine offers a cautionary tale about the allure of technology hype and the problems that result when utopian dreams drive technology development.
The Dirty Book Vol. 2 N. 1
Bourbon Street Press, 1982
A catalog of “erotic” software for microcomputers, dated First Quarter, 1982. Includes order form!
The Future Was Here: The Commodore Amiga
Jimmy Maher. MIT Press, 2012
Long ago, in 1985, personal computers came in two general categories: the friendly, childish game machine used for fun (exemplified by Atari and Commodore products); and the boring, beige adult box used for business (exemplified by products from IBM). The game machines became fascinating technical and artistic platforms that were of limited real-world utility. The IBM products were all utility, with little emphasis on aesthetics and no emphasis on fun. Into this bifurcated computing environment came the Commodore Amiga 1000. This personal computer featured a palette of 4,096 colors, unprecedented animation capabilities, four-channel stereo sound, the capacity to run multiple applications simultaneously, a graphical user interface, and powerful processing potential. It was, Jimmy Maher writes in The Future Was Here, the world’s first true multimedia personal computer. Maher argues that the Amiga’s capacity to store and display color photographs, manipulate video (giving amateurs access to professional tools), and use recordings of real-world sound were the seeds of the digital media future: digital cameras, Photoshop, MP3 players, and even YouTube, Flickr, and the blogosphere. He examines different facets of the platform–from Deluxe Paint to AmigaOS to Cinemaware–in each chapter, creating a portrait of the platform and the communities of practice that surrounded it. Of course, Maher acknowledges, the Amiga was not perfect: the DOS component of the operating systems was clunky and ill-matched, for example, and crashes often accompanied multitasking attempts. And Commodore went bankrupt in 1994. But for a few years, the Amiga’s technical qualities were harnessed by engineers, programmers, artists, and others to push back boundaries and transform the culture of computing.
The Making of Prince of Persia: Journals 1985-1993–Illustrated Edition
Jordan Mechner. Stripe Press, 2020
Before Prince of Persia was a best-selling video game franchise and a Disney movie, it was an Apple II computer game created and programmed by one person, Jordan Mechner. Mechner's candid and revealing journals from the time capture the journey from his parents’ basement to the forefront of the fast-growing 1980s video game industry… and the creative, technical, and personal struggles that brought the prince into being and ultimately into the homes of millions of people worldwide. Now, on the 30th anniversary of Prince of Persia’s release, Mechner looks back at the journals he kept from 1985 to 1993, offering new insights into the game that established him as a pioneer of cinematic storytelling in the industry. This beautifully illustrated and annotated collector’s edition includes: 300 pages of Jordan’s original journals, Present-day margin notations by Jordan adding explanation, context, and affectionate cartoons of real-life characters, Archival visuals illustrating the stages of the game’s creation, Work-in-progress sketches, rotoscoped animation, screen shots, interface design, memos, and more, A full-color 32-page “Legacy” section in which Jordan and fans share Prince of Persia memories from the past 30 years, including the Ubisoft games and Disney movie. The Making of Prince of Persia is both a tribute to a timeless classic, and an indelible look at the creative process that will resonate with retro-gaming fans, game developers, and writers, artists, and creators of all stripes.
The Sierra Adventure: The Story of Sierra On-Line
Shawn Mills. Self published, 2018.
The Sierra Adventure tells the story of legendary computer game company Sierra On-Line, developer of industry defining titles such as King’s Quest, Quest for Glory, and Leisure Suit Larry. Through interviews with over fifty of the key players at Sierra, management, producers, artists, designers, musicians, and marketting tell the story of Sierra, in their own words.
The Wozpak Special Edition: Steve Wozniak's Apple-1 & Apple ][ Computers
Bill Martens, Brian Wiser. Lulu.com, 2016.
The WOZPAK Special Edition is a compilation of original documents created by Steve Wozniak and other Apple legends including: Randy Wigginton, Andy Hertzfeld, Keith Walls, Robert Clardy, Allen Baum, Val Golding, Don Williams, Bob Huelsdonk, and Wendell Sander. Many are original typed or hand written documents and drawings detailing the Apple-1 and Apple ][ Computers. The WOZPAK includes forwards from six of the legends whose work is included in the book.
UNIX: A History and a Memoir
Brian W. Kernighan. Self published, 2019.
The fascinating story of how Unix began and how it took over the world. Brian Kernighan was a member of the original group of Unix developers, the creator of several fundamental Unix programs, and the co-author of classic books like “The C Programming Language” and “The Unix Programming Environment.”
We Love Atari
Karl Morris. Zafinn Books, 2019
View the Atari story as it unfolds with period advertising and product images, lightly sprinkled with interesting facts and historical snapshots of the Atari story as it happened. From the very first Pong arcade machine, to Atari's first home computers, “We Love Atari” is a tribute to one of the worlds most iconic companies, loved by millions and still loved today.
8bitworkshop: Ever wanted to be an old-school game programmer? Learn how classic game hardware worked. Write code and see it run instantly.
Bitmap Books: Founded by graphic designer Sam Dyer, Bitmap Books is an award-winning independent publisher of retro gaming books which aims to celebrate the software, hardware, developers, and code shops which laid down the foundations for the billion-dollar industry we know and love today.
Geeks-Line: Geeks-Line publishes high quality books that document the history of video games. Our books go in-depth into the most iconic game systems recognizing their impact, telling their origin story through interviews of key developers that made their success, and reviewing the entire game library.
Fusion Retro Books: We are quite a new company concentrating on producing niche books on retro computers and companies of the 80s and 90s.
Microzeit Publishing: MICROZEIT is a new independent publisher focused on digital culture and computer history. We open up with a book series about digital creativity in the 80s. THE ATARI ST AND THE CREATIVE PEOPLE are narrative art books with a premier presentation of contemporary motion design. For the first time fast paced pixel movements are captured in a book. Our hearts are beating for digital art as well as for good storytelling. In the “border series” you’ll find our brand book design and a deep view into the pixel era. Every part of these books were a journey and we have worked hard to convey this idea to you. Our high quality retro books are an attractive analog conversion of characteristic motion graphics on Atari machines, e.g. ST, STE, Falcon and Jaguar. As independent producers we strive to close the gaps in the puzzle of “digital culture”. Be with us.
MIT Press - History of Computing: This distinguished series has played a major role in defining scholarship in the history of computing. Hallmarks of the series are its technical detail and interpretation of primary source materials.
Nicepixel: The Masters of Pixel Art book series was created as a celebration to the pixels, presenting a selection of the very best in pixel art in an exclusive production. The high quality art books are designed as typical coffee table books – made to be displayed among other art or photo books. The main focus is pixel art and different aspects of this unique and stylish media.
Print Punch: Artefacts From The Punch Card Era: Data used to be physical. In an era when 1s and 0s seem to hover above our heads, Print Punch returns to the heyday of the punch card—to a time when you could touch (and punch) data. The aesthetics of this early move towards automation represent a unique moment in our history, when we designed for machines instead of human beings. Rigorous constraints, inherent in punch card technology, unwittingly birthed a coherent design language: rhythm in grids, punched absences and presences, and the patterns in them dancing to their own machine logic. Now obsolete, punch cards were the primary method of data storage and processing from the 1890s until the late 1970s; spanning almost a century of ubiquitous utility, the artefacts of that era sit between these pages to be examined anew.
Read-Only Memory: Read-Only Memory publishes high-quality books that document great moments in videogame history. Our books recognise the pioneers, milestones and titles that have shaped the industry.
Retro Game Development: Learn to create your own games for classic retro systems.
All Your Base Are Belong to Us: How Fifty Years of Videogames Conquered Pop Culture
Harold Goldberg. Three Rivers Press, 2011
Through the stories of gaming's greatest innovations and most beloved creations, journalist Harold Goldberg captures the creativity, controversy–and passion–behind the videogame's meteoric rise to the top of the pop-culture pantheon. Over the last fifty years, video games have grown from curiosities to fads to trends to one of the world's most popular forms of mass entertainment. But as the gaming industry grows in numerous directions and everyone talks about the advance of the moment, few explore and seek to understand the forces behind this profound evolution. How did we get from Space Invaders to Grand Theft Auto? How exactly did gaming become a $50 billion industry and a dominant pop culture form? What are the stories, the people, the innovations, and the fascinations behind this incredible growth? Through extensive interviews with gaming's greatest innovators, both its icons and those unfairly forgotten by history, All Your Base Are Belong To Us sets out to answer these questions, exposing the creativity, odd theories–and passion–behind the twenty-first century's fastest-growing medium.
Arcade Fever: The Fan's Guide to the Golden Age of Video Games
John Sellers. Running Press, 2001
Arcade Fever is a full-color illustrated history of video arcade games, with tributes to more than 50 classic games like Pong, Space Invaders, Pac Man, Q-Bert, Frogger, and TRON. Learn which game caused a yen shortage in Japan – and which games inspired breakfast cereals, Saturday-morning cartoons, episodes of Seinfeld,and #1 pop-music singles. Meet the visionary musicians, writers, animators, cabinet artists, and other unsung heroes of the video game industry. The perfect gift for anyone who spent their childhood in video arcades, Arcade Fever is a pop-culture nostalgia trip you won't want to miss!
Classic Home Video Games, 1972-1984: A Complete Reference Guide
Brett Weiss. McFarland & Company, 2007
Provides a guide to popular video games of the 1970s and early 1980s, covering virtually every official US release for programmable home game consoles of the pre - Nintendo NES era. This work contains chapters which include a history and description of the game system and a complete listing of video games released for that console.
Classic Home Video Games, 1985-1988: A Complete Reference Guide
Brett Weiss. McFarland & Company, 2009
This thoroughly researched reference work provides a comprehensive guide to popular and obscure video games of the 1970s and early 1980s, covering virtually every official United States release for programmable home game consoles of the pre?Nintendo NES era. Organized alphabetically by console brand, each chapter includes a history and description of the game system, followed by substantive, encyclopedia-style entries for every game released for that console, regardless of when the game was produced. Each video game entry includes publisher/developer information and the release year, along with a detailed description and, frequently, the author's critique. A glossary provides a helpful guide to the classic video game genres and terms referenced throughout the work. An appendix lists a number of ?homebrew? titles that have been created by fans and amateur programmers and are available for download or purchase.
Classic Home Video Games, 1989-1990: A Complete Guide to Sega Genesis, Neo Geo and TurboGrafx-16 Games
Brett Weiss. McFarland & Company, 2011
The third in a series about home video games, this detailed reference work features descriptions and reviews of every official U.S. released game for the Neo Geo, Sega Genesis and TurboGrafx-16, which, in 1989, ushered in the 16-bit era of gaming. Organized alphabetically by console brand, each chapter includes a description of the game system followed by substantive entries for every game released for that console. Video game entries include historical information, gameplay details, the author s critique, and, when appropriate, comparisons to similar games. Appendices list and offer brief descriptions of all the games for the Atari Lynx and Nintendo Game Boy, and catalogue and describe the add-ons to the consoles covered herein Neo Geo CD, Sega CD, Sega 32X and TurboGrafx-CD.
Dungeons and Desktops: The History of Computer Role-Playing Games
Matt Barton. A.K.Peters, 2008
Computer role-playing games (CRPGs) are a special genre of computer games that bring the tabletop role-playing experience of games such as Dungeons & Dragons to the computer screen. This genre includes classics such as Ultima and The Bard's Tale as well as more modern games such as World of Warcraft and Guild Wars. Written in an engaging style for both the computer game enthusiast and the more casual computer game player, this book explores the history of the genre by telling the stories of the developers, games, and gamers who created it.
Dungeons and Dreamers: The Rise of Computer Game Culture from Geek to Chic
Brad King, John Borland. ETC Press, 2003
Before the multibillion computer game industry, there was Dungeons & Dragons, a tabletop game created by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson in 1974. D&D captured the attention of a small but influential group of players, many of whom also gravitated to the computer networks that were then appearing on college campuses around the globe. With the subsequent emergence of the personal computer, a generation of geeky storytellers arose that translated communal D&D playing experiences into the virtual world of computer games. The result of that 40-year journey is today's massive global community of players who, through games, have forged very real friendships and built thriving lives in virtual worlds. Dungeons & Dreamers follows the designers, developers, and players who built the virtual games and communities that define today's digital entertainment landscape and explores the nature of what it means to live and thrive in virtual communities.
Gaming the Iron Curtain: How Teenagers and Amateurs in Communist Czechoslovakia Claimed the Medium of Computer Games
Jaroslav Švelch. MIT Press, 2018
Aside from the exceptional history of Tetris, very little is known about gaming culture behind the Iron Curtain. But despite the scarcity of home computers and the absence of hardware and software markets, Czechoslovakia hosted a remarkably active DIY microcomputer scene in the 1980s, producing more than two hundred games that were by turns creative, inventive, and politically subversive. In Gaming the Iron Curtain, Jaroslav Švelch offers the first social history of gaming and game design in 1980s Czechoslovakia, and the first book-length treatment of computer gaming in any country of the Soviet bloc. Švelch describes how amateur programmers in 1980s Czechoslovakia discovered games as a medium, using them not only for entertainment but also as a means of self-expression. Sheltered in state-supported computer clubs, local programmers fashioned games into a medium of expression that, unlike television or the press, was neither regulated nor censored. In the final years of Communist rule, Czechoslovak programmers were among the first in the world to make activist games about current political events, anticipating trends observed decades later in independent or experimental titles. Drawing from extensive interviews as well as political, economic, and social history, Gaming the Iron Curtain tells a compelling tale of gaming the system, introducing us to individuals who used their ingenuity to be active, be creative, and be heard.
High Score!: The Illustrated History of Electronic Games
Rusel DeMaria, Johnny Lee Wilson. McGraw-Hill Osborne, 2002
From pinball to PlayStation, this photo-packed volume chronicles the history of electronic games–which has become both a billion dollar industry as well as a cultural phenomenon. Featuring hundreds of interviews with game creators and thousands of never-before-seen photos from the early days, this book honors the games that have captivated youngsters and the young-at-heart for more than 30 years–making this the ultimate tribute to electronic games.
Joystick Nation: How Videogames Ate Our Quarters, Won Our Hearts, and Rewired Our Minds
J.C. Herz. Little, Brown and Company, 1997
In a scant fifteen years, video and computer games have grown into a $6-billion-a-year global industry, sucking up ever-increasing amounts of leisure time and disposable income. In arcades, living rooms, student dorms, and (admit it) offices from Ohio to Osaka, video games have become a fixture in people's lives, marking a tectonic shift in the entertainment landscape. Now, as Hollywood and Silicon Valley rush to sell us online interactive multimedia everything, J. C. Herz brings us the first popular history and critique of the video-game phenomenon. From the Cold War computer programmers who invented the first games (when they should have been working) to the studios where the networked 3-D theme parks of the future are created, Herz brings to life the secret history of Space Invaders, Pac Man, Super Mario, Myst, Doom, and other celebrated games. She explains why different kinds of games have taken hold (and what they say about the people who play them) and what we can expect from a generation that has logged millions of hours vanquishing digital demons. Written with 64-bit energy and filled with Herz's sharp-edged insights and asides, Joystick Nation is a fascinating pop culture odyssey that's must-reading for media junkies, pop historians, and anyone who pines for their old Atari.
Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture
David Kushner. Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2003
Masters of Doom is the amazing true story of the Lennon and McCartney of video games: John Carmack and John Romero. Together, they ruled big business. They transformed popular culture. And they provoked a national controversy. More than anything, they lived a unique and rollicking American Dream, escaping the broken homes of their youth to produce the most notoriously successful game franchises in history—Doom and Quake— until the games they made tore them apart. This is a story of friendship and betrayal, commerce and artistry—a powerful and compassionate account of what it's like to be young, driven, and wildly creative.
Once Upon Atari: How I made history by killing an industry
Howard Scott Warshaw. Scott West Productions, 2020.
How much fun can you have inventing video games in a creative paradise? What behind-the-scenes intrigue went on while launching a new medium? What really caused the video game crash of 1983? ONCE UPON ATARI is an intimate view into the dramatic rise and fall of the early video game industry, and how it shaped the life of one of its key players. This book offers eye-opening details and insights, delivered in a creative style that mirrors the industry it reveals. An innovative work from one of the industry's original innovators. This is a detailed look behind the scenes of the early days of video games, with particular attention to the causative factors leading up to the video game crash of the early 1980s. It is also the journey of one industry pioneer, and how his experience creating some of the world's most noted pieces of interactive entertainment reverberates throughout his life. It is a compelling tale of innocence, joy, greed, devastation and ultimately redemption, told in a fresh voice and unorthodox style.
Replay: The History of Video Games
Tristan Donovan. Yellow Ant Media Ltd, 2010
A riveting account of the strange birth and remarkable evolution of the most important development in entertainment since television, Replay is the ultimate history of video games. Based on extensive research and over 140 exclusive interviews with key movers and shakers from gaming's past, Replay tells the sensational story of how the creative vision of game designers gave rise to one of the world's most popular and dynamic art forms.
Retrogame Archeology: Exploring Old Computer Games
John Aycock. Springer, 2016.
Drawing on extensive research, this book explores the techniques that old computer games used to run on tightly-constrained platforms. Retrogame developers faced incredible challenges of limited space, computing power, rudimentary tools, and the lack of homogeneous environments. Using examples from over 100 retrogames, this book examines the clever implementation tricks that game designers employed to make their creations possible, documenting these techniques that are being lost. However, these retrogame techniques have modern analogues and applications in general computer systems, not just games, and this book makes these contemporary connections. It also uses retrogames' implementation to introduce a wide variety of topics in computer systems including memory management, interpretation, data compression, procedural content generation, and software protection. Retrogame Archeology targets professionals and advanced-level students in computer science, engineering, and mathematics but would also be of interest to retrogame enthusiasts, computer historians, and game studies researchers in the humanities.
Supercade: A Visual History of the Videogame Age 1971–1984
Van Burnham. Mit Press, 2003
It was a time when technology was king, status was determined by your high score, and videogames were blitzing the world… From Pong to Pac-Man, Asteroids to Zaxxon―more than fifty million people around the world have come of age within the electronic flux of videogames, their subconscious forever etched with images projected from arcade and home videogame systems. From the first interactive blips of electronic light at Brookhaven National Labs and the creation of Spacewar! at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; to the invention of the TV Game Project and the myriad systems of Magnavox, Atari, Coleco, and Mattel that followed; through the rise of the Golden Age of videogames and forward into the imagination of millions, Supercade is the first book to illustrate and document the history, legacy, and visual language of the videogame phenomenon. Exuberantly written and illustrated in full color, Supercade pays tribute to the technology, games, and visionaries of one of the most influential periods in the history of computer science―one that profoundly shaped the modern technological landscape and helped change the way people view entertainment. Supercade includes contributions from such commentators and particpants as Ralph Baer, Julian Dibbell, Keith Feinstein, Joe Fielder, Lauren Fielder, Justin Hall, Leonard Herman, Steven Johnson, Steven Kent, Nick Montfort, Bob Parks, Carl Steadman, and Tom Vanderbilt.
The 8-Bit Book - 1981 to 199X
Jerry Ellis, Andrew Rollings. Hiive Books, 2009
Computer and video games aficionado Jerry Ellis casts a nostalgic look back at some of the titles that helped to define the golden age of 8-bit computer gaming. As well as an essential selection of ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64 games not featured in either of the first two books, The 8-Bit Book 1981 to 199x investigates some of the landmark BBC Micro, Apple II, Atari 400/800, Oric-1/Atmos, Dragon 32, TRS-80 Color Computer, VIC-20, ZX81, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 128, Acorn Electron, Commodore 16/Plus/4, TI-99/4A and MSX efforts that provided players with the prehistory of today s global gaming industry. Individual chapters focus on every year from 1981 to 1989, while a final chapter covering the early 90s pays tribute to some of the 8-bit games that simply refused to accept that their humble host machines time in the sun was at an end. Though the main thrust of each chapter is a page-by-page analysis of many of the most memorable titles of the age, an introductory overview of each year s most pivotal events and developments is also included, as is a foreword from none other than David Braben, co-creator of Acornsoft s legendary BBC Micro space-trading epic, Elite. Each of the two hundred and thirty-three games covered is given a full-page review, accompanied by a selection of screen shots and the game s original cover artwork. Featured titles include such indisputable classics as 3D Monster Maze, Miner 2049er, Twin Kingdom Valley, Bomberman, Robotron: 2084, Elite, The Perils of Willy, Repton, Theatre Europe, Vampire Killer, Turbo Esprit, Metal Gear, Exile, Snatcher, Prince of Persia, Final Fantasy and many, many more. As with the first two books in the series, a fascinating assortment of less familiar titles has also been chosen by the author, each of which holds a unique place in the history of 8-bit gaming and has its own curious story to tell.
The Commodore 64 Book - 1982 to 199x
Andrew Fisher, Andrew Rollings. Hiive Books, 2007
Andrew Fisher's The Commodore 64 Book - 1982 to 199x covers over two hundred of the best games for the Commodore 64. Over two hundred classic games are covered in this book by Andrew Fisher, former writer for Commodore Force and Commodore Format and regular contributor to Retro Gamer. Introduced with a foreword by gaming industry legend Jeff Minter, this is a nostalgic and detailed look back at the rapid changes in gaming and how the Commodore 64 evolved. The book is split into chapters covering the years 1982 to 1992 - the commercially successful years for the machine. The final chapter covers the years from 1993 onwards, the end of the commercial era and some of the notable homebrew games that have followed. Each chapter is introduced with a short history of what was happening to Commodore and the games industry. The chapters are colour-coded and marked by the margin characters; each year has sprites/characters from a game published in that year. For each game there is a full page review with multiple screenshots and a scan of the game's cover. The games chosen represent some of the best titles the C64 has to offer, including well-known names like Impossible Mission, The Last Ninja and Armalyte. There are also one or two less well-known games, chosen by the author as personal favourites to bring them to a wider audience. The media (tape, disk or cartridge) each game was released in is shown, along with review scores and a quote from leading European magazines of the time including ZZAP! 64 and Commodore User. The reviews are split into three main parts. First comes the actual review section, describing the author s opinions of the game. The second section gives anecdotes and trivia about its creation and the people that made it. Notable sequels, conversions and similar games are also discussed. The final section gives the plot of the game and talks about the actual gameplay. The games are listed by year in the contents, with an index at the back providing quick access to favourite games.
The Golden Age of Video Games: The Birth of a Multi-Billion Dollar Industry
Roberto Dillon. A. K. Peters, 2011
This book focuses on the history of video games, consoles, and home computers from the very beginning until the mid-nineties, which started a new era in digital entertainment. The text features the most innovative games and introduces the pioneers who developed them. It offers brief analyses of the most relevant games from each time period. An epilogue covers the events and systems that followed this golden age while the appendices include a history of handheld games and an overview of the retro-gaming scene.
The Ultimate History of Video Games: From Pong to Pokemon - The Story Behind the Craze That Touched Our Lives and Changed the World
Steven L. Kent. Three Rivers Press, 2001
The Ultimate History of Video Games reveals everything you ever wanted to know and more about the unforgettable games that changed the world, the visionaries who made them, and the fanatics who played them. From the arcade to television and from the PC to the handheld device, video games have entraced kids at heart for nearly 30 years. And author and gaming historian Steven L. Kent has been there to record the craze from the very beginning. This engrossing audiobook tells the incredible tale of how this backroom novelty transformed into a cultural phenomenon. Through meticulous research and personal interviews with hundreds of industry luminaries, you'll read firsthand accounts of how yesterday's games like “Space Invaders,” “Centipede,” and “Pac-Man” helped create an arcade culture that defined a generation, and how today's empires like Sony, Nintendo, and Electronic Arts have galvanized a multibillion-dollar industry and a new generation of games. Inside, you'll discover: The video game that saved Nintendo from bankruptcy. The serendipitous story of Pac-Man's design. The misstep that helped topple Atari's $2 billion-a-year empire. The coin shortage caused by “Space Invaders.” The fascinating reasons behind the rise, fall, and rebirth of Sega. And much more! Entertaining, addictive, and as mesmerizing as the games it chronicles, this audiobook is a must-have for anyone who's ever touched a joystick.
Videogames: In The Beginning
Ralph H. Baer. Rolenta Press, 2005
Long before there was a Sony Playstation, Microsoft Xbox or Nintendo Gamecube, there was the Magnavox Odyssey, the world’s first home videogame console. But the story of videogames predates the Odyssey by six years. It begins in 1966 when a television engineer named Ralph H. Baer sat down at a New York bus station and entered history. Videogames: In The Beginning is Ralph H. Baer’s account of how today’s $11-billion per year videogame industry began. A meticulous note keeper, Baer presents in his own words the real story of what led to the Odyssey… and beyond. But he doesn’t end there. In this book Baer also examines other products that he has worked on such as Simon, the most popular electronic toy ever created. He also discusses his pioneering work into early forms of CD-ROMs and digital imagery. Whether you are a student of videogame design, a game player, or a fan of inventions and history, you are sure to find Baer’s history fascinating and informative.
Vintage Games: An Insider Look at the History of Grand Theft Auto, Super Mario, and the Most Influential Games of All Time
Bill Loguidice, Matt Barton. Routledge, 2009
Vintage Games explores the most influential videogames of all time, including Super Mario Bros., Grand Theft Auto III, Doom, The Sims and many more. Drawing on interviews as well as the authors' own lifelong experience with videogames, the book discusses each game's development, predecessors, critical reception, and influence on the industry. It also features hundreds of full-color screenshots and images, including rare photos of game boxes and other materials. Vintage Games is the ideal book for game enthusiasts and professionals who desire a broader understanding of the history of videogames and their evolution from a niche to a global market.
Virtual Cities: An Atlas and Exploration of Video Game Cities
Konstantinos Dimopoulos. Countryman Press, 2020
Spanning decades of digital history, this is the ultimate travel guide and atlas of the gamer imagination. Dimopoulos invites readers to share his vision of dozens of different gaming franchises like never before: discover Dimopoulos’s Half-Life 2’s City 17, Yakuza 0’s Kamurocho, Fallout’s New Vegas, Super Mario Odyssey’s New Donk City, and many more. Each chapter of this virtual travel guide consists of deep dives into the history and lore of these cities from an in-universe perspective. Illustrated with original color ink drawings and—of course—gorgeous and detailed maps, readers can explore the nostalgic games of their youth as well as modern hits. Sidebars based on the author’s research tell behind-the-scenes anecdotes and reveal the real-world stories that inspired these iconic virtual settings. With a combination of stylish original maps, illustrations, and insightful commentary and analysis, this is a must-have for video game devotees, world-building fans, and game design experts.
Zap!: The Rise and Fall of Atari
Scott Cohen. McGraw-Hill, 1984
Profiles the rise of Atari from its beginnings with Nolan Bushnell and capital of five hundrd dollars through its phenomenal growth in the 1970s to its numerous problems.