The Man Who Invented the Computer

The Man Who Invented the Computer

The Biography of John Atanasoff, Digital Pioneer

Book - 2010
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This is the first entry in the Great Innovators series, a joint publishing venture between Doubleday and the Sloan Foundation, a philanthropic institution whose programs aim to increase public understanding of science and technology. One night in the late 1930s, John Vincent Atanasoff, a professor of physics, 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 scientists easier. Why don't we know the name of John Atanasoff as well as we know those other founders of modern technology? Because he never patented the device, and developers were critical of ideas from him. Jane Smiley makes the story of the race to develop digital computing as gripping as a real-life techno-thriller.
Publisher: New York ; Toronto : Doubleday c2010.
ISBN: 9780385527132
Characteristics: 246 pages, [8] pages of plates :,illustrations ;,25 cm.


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Mar 22, 2011

The author shows us develpments of the computer through early efforts during WWII as both experiments and as code-breakers. But during these, it appears Atanasoff has been creating a machine to solve differential equations, and has succeeded. Only towards the end do we realize that other's accomplishments (von Neumann, Turing, and "the first computer") have really had their origins in Atanasoff's ABC machine.

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