Browse Prior Art Database

IEEE Annals of the History of Computing Volume 17 Number 4 -- Reviews

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129910D
Original Publication Date: 1995-Dec-31
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-07
Document File: 7 page(s) / 32K

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, will appropriate bibliographic information.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 13% of the total text.

Page 1 of 7

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, will appropriate bibliographic information.

Colleagues are encouraged to recommend works they wish to review or to suggest titles to the Reviews Editor

J.M. Bennett et al, ed. Computing in Australia. The Development of a Profession. Sydney: Hale & Iremonger. 1994. 294 pages plus appendices, glossary and index.

"Computing in Australia. The Development of a Profession" is an integrated collection of 43 essays and vignettes written by 33 different authors, including the editors. The book is primarily about the Australian Computing Society (ACS) and not about the history of computing in Australia per se, except where the two overlap. There is considerable overlap, of course, because many of the people involved in the editing of the book and the writing of the essays are the pioneers of computing in Australia. Because they go back to the days of the earliest machines, their insights are important and authoritative. Several of them have other works that should be read to help complete the picture. For example, Trevor Pearcy, author of "A History of Australian Computing" (1988) has also written three essays for this book. "Computing in Australia" cannot be considered comprehensive because other people were involved in the development of computing then and today. There are people still who contribute to computing without an association with the ACS. This is not intended as a criticism, but merely a clarification.

The essays in the first two thirds of the book are generally about computing history. The last third of the book gives very specific information on the various computer societies and organizations throughout Australia. The general reader probably will not find the last part as interesting as the first. Pearcy's three essays are the best presentation of the history of computers, and the only essays with photographs, some of which are from the late 1940s showing the first attempts to build computers like the CSIRO Electromechanical Differential Analyser, the SILLIAC computer and the DEUCE.

The essays cover a wide range of topics, making the work a good source book. Although some are brief, there are essays covering economics, education, the software industry and government involvement. Several of the writers are critical of the government, and even of the ACS, when their decisions hindered development of the information society in Australia. These insights are important because Australia still suffers from obstacles in moving forward wi...