George Dyson's history of the computer: Turing's Cathedral

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6 Responses to “George Dyson's history of the computer: Turing's Cathedral

  1. jrishel says:

    Another book along the lines of the origin of the computer that I enjoyed was Jacquard’s Web, how the invention of a punch cards to control Jacquard looms directly inspired Babbage and his Difference and Analytical engines, as well as Jacquard inspiring the census punch card machines that would eventually become IBM.

  2. annomination says:

    I have also heard Dyson’s talk on the subject of this book and agree with Cory’s comments. After hearing it I regretted not taking notes as there were many stories I wanted to remember and learn more about. Now I just have to get the book.

  3. And at the same time a lone german engineer, named Konrad Zuse, invented and built a computer at the same time, mainly in his mothers kitchen!

  4. greebo says:

    If you enjoy “Turing’s Cathedral”, then I would also recommend Paul Edwards “A Vast Machine” http://mitpress.mit.edu/0262013924/ about the development of weather prediction and climate modeling; which runs a parallel and overlapping course with the development of the digital computer. Von Neumann and ENIAC play a starring role, but the bigger story is one of how we deal with large quantities of data, and especially how we make sure that data is collected in a consistent manner.

  5. ffabian says:

    … and I thought rocketry and in parts nuclear weapons were developed by Nazi scientist snatched up by the US government after the war (e.g. Werner von Braun)

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