Can you imagine life minus the computer? It wasn’t that long ago that people didn’t have them, yet today we carry them around in our pockets in the form of smartphones.
George Dyson, a science historian, asks how we went from having no computers to having so many in such a brief time period in his book, Turing’s Cathedral.
Dyson, the son of scientist Freeman Dyson, has spent a great deal of his life at the Princeton Institute for Advanced Studies. The institute was home to some of the world’s most powerful scientific minds while the first digital computer was being developed.
After you’ve read Turing’s Cathedral, you will discover just how much chance went into developing the machine that brought about the computers we currently take for granted. The personalities at the Princeton Institute didn’t often mesh well, but somehow they were able to create the world’s first digital computer. This machine was created and run from an otherwise nondescript building in New Jersey.
Like all great projects, this one included more than its share of rivalries, fall-outs, and, of course, salty language. The people behind this project were geniuses. They weren’t saints. The book also covers the important moral issues the creators of the computer faced by the close relationship of their computer work to the U.S. nuclear weapons project.
You may think that a history of the computer will be a dull read. You might think that it’d be filled with impossible-to-understand jargon. Fortunately, Dyson’s history of the computer makes for an interesting read, and you do not need an advanced degree to comprehend it. Anyone who uses a computer – and that is a lot of people today – should grab a copy of Turing’s Cathedral. You may be surprised at what you learn.
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Data Applications Corporation (DAC), founded in 1967-more than 43 years ago, is a leading provider of managed IT services for small and mid-size companies and organizations in the Dallas/Fort Worth metropolitan area. DAC's core competency, Technology as a Service (TaaS), provides a variety of products and services to help clients firms develop, implement, use, maintain, and enhance their information systems. DAC’s services portion, our GEMservis℠ division, continues as the main business strategy recommending full implementation of long and short-term, technology programs.
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