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IEEE Annals of the History of Computing Volume 17 Number 2 -- Reviews

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129887D
Original Publication Date: 1995-Jun-30
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-07
Document File: 8 page(s) / 97K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

PEGGY KIDWELL: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

The Reviews department includes reviews of publications, films, audio- and videotapes, and exhibits relating to the history of computing. Full-length studies of technical, economic, business, social, and institutional aspects or other works of interest to Annals readers are briefly noted, with appropriate bibliographic information. Colleagues are encouraged to recommend works they wish to review and to suggest titles to the Reviews editor. Donald Cardwell, The Fontana History of Technology, Fontana Press, London, ISBN 0-00686176-8, xviii + 565 pp., $19.99.

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

Copyright ©; 1995 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Reviews

PEGGY KIDWELL, EDITOR

The Reviews department includes reviews of publications, films, audio- and videotapes, and exhibits relating to the history of computing. Full-length studies of technical, economic, business, social, and institutional aspects or other works of interest to Annals readers are briefly noted, with appropriate bibliographic information.

Colleagues are encouraged to recommend works they wish to review and to suggest titles to the Reviews editor.

Donald Cardwell, The Fontana History of Technology, Fontana Press, London, ISBN 0- 00686176-8, xviii + 565 pp., $19.99.

The Fontana History of Science, published in the United States as The Norton History of Science by W.W. Norton & Company, New York, is intended for the student and the general educated reader with the aim of communicating "in simple and direct language intelligible to nonspecialists well-digested and vivid accounts of scientific theory and practice as viewed by the best modern scholarship." The four volumes that have already been published -- environmental sciences chemistry, technology, and astronomy and cosmology -- have been attractively produced in paperback with a few photographs and numerous line drawings. Their low price makes them easily affordable both to the general public and also to students who could use them as "prime course-books," as is suggested, or as supplementary reading. Of the remaining six projected books in the series the one on mathematics is being written by Ivor Grattan-Guinness, who will be familiar to readers of the IEEE Annals as the author of an article on de Prony's tables (Vol. 12, No. 3,199O, pp. 177-185).

Donald Cardwell is professor of the history of science and technology at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology. The Fontana History of Technology is based on lectures and seminars given over the last 25 years The book gives a most readable account of the evolution of technology from the ancient Greek Anti-Kythera calendrical computer found in 1900 through the development of weight- driven clocks, the invention of printing, the development of steam engines and rail and water transportation, the invention of the dynamo and the distribution of electricity, to the development in the present century of aviation, electronics, nuclear power, plastics and synthetic materials, and the computer. Chapter notes at the end of the book give general references and also comments and specific references.

A good but necessarily brief survey is given of the development of computing. Most of the main historical figures (Jacquard, Babbage, Lady Lovelace, Hollerith, Atanasoff, Aitken, Zuse, Turing, Eckert, Mauchly, van Neumann, Wilkes) and machines (ENIAC, Colossus, ACE, EDSAC, EDVAC, Univac) are discussed. Some treatment o...