William Aspray

William Aspray is Bill and Lewis Suit Professor of Information Technologies in the School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the coeditor of Women and Information Technology: Research on Underrepresentation (2006) and The Internet and American Business (2008), both published by the MIT Press.

  • Everyday Information

    Everyday Information

    The Evolution of Information Seeking in America

    William Aspray and Barbara M. Hayes

    An intimate, everyday perspective on information-seeking behavior, reaching into the social context of American history and American homes.

    All day, every day, Americans seek information. We research major purchases. We check news and sports. We visit government Web sites for public information and turn to friends for advice about our everyday lives. Although the Internet influences our information-seeking behavior, we gather information from many sources: family and friends, television and radio, books and magazines, experts and community leaders. Patterns of information seeking have evolved throughout American history and are shaped by a number of forces, including war, modern media, the state of the economy, and government regulation. This book examines the evolution of information seeking in nine areas of everyday American life.

    Chapters offer an information perspective on car buying, from the days of the Model T to the present; philanthropic and charitable activities; airline travel and the complex layers of information available to passengers; genealogy, from the family Bible to Ancestry.com; sports statistics, as well as fantasy sports leagues and their fans' obsession with them; the multimedia universe of gourmet cooking; governmental and publicly available information; reading, sharing, and creating comics; and text messaging among young people as a way to exchange information and manage relationships. Taken together, these case studies provide a fascinating window on the importance of information in the past century of American life.

    • Hardcover $60.00 £44.95
    • Paperback $6.75 £5.99
  • Health Informatics

    Health Informatics

    A Patient-Centered Approach to Diabetes

    Barbara M. Hayes and William Aspray

    Experts in technology and medicine use diabetes to illustrate how the tools of information technology can improve patient care.

    The healthcare industry has been slow to join the information technology revolution; handwritten records are still the primary means of organizing patient care. Concerns about patient privacy, the difficulty of developing appropriate computing tools and information technology, high costs, and the resistance of some physicians and nurses have hampered the use of technology in health care. In 2009, the U.S. government committed billions of dollars to health care technology. Many questions remain, however, about how to deploy these resources.

    In Health Informatics, experts in technology, joined by clinicians, use diabetes—a costly, complex, and widespread disease that involves nearly every facet of the health care system—to examine the challenges of using the tools of information technology to improve patient care. Unlike other books on medical informatics that discuss such topics as computerized order entry and digital medical records, Health Informatics focuses on the patient, charting the information problems patients encounter in different stages of the disease.

    Chapters discuss ubiquitous computing as a tool to move diabetes care out of the doctor's office, technology and chronic disease management, educational gaming as a way to help patients understand their disease, patient access to information, and methodological and theoretical concerns. We need both technologists and providers at the drawing board in order to design and deploy effective digital tools for health care. This book examines and exemplifies this necessary collaboration.

    • Hardcover $9.75 £7.99
  • The Internet and American Business

    The Internet and American Business

    William Aspray and Paul E. Ceruzzi

    The effect of a commercialized Internet on American business, from the boom in e-commerce and adjustments by bricks-and-mortar businesses to file-sharing and community building.

    When we think of the Internet, we generally think of Amazon, Google, Hotmail, Napster, MySpace, and other sites for buying products, searching for information, downloading entertainment, chatting with friends, or posting photographs. In the academic literature about the Internet, however, these uses are rarely covered. The Internet and American Business fills this gap, picking up where most scholarly histories of the Internet leave off—with the commercialization of the Internet established and its effect on traditional business a fact of life. These essays, describing challenges successfully met by some companies and failures to adapt by others, are a first attempt to understand a dynamic and exciting period of American business history. Tracing the impact of the commercialized Internet since 1995 on American business and society, the book describes new business models, new companies and adjustments by established companies, the rise of e-commerce, and community building; it considers dot-com busts and difficulties encountered by traditional industries; and it discusses such newly created problems as copyright violations associated with music file-sharing and the proliferation of Internet pornography.

    Contributors Atsushi Akera, William Aspray, Randal A. Beam, Martin Campbell-Kelly, Paul E. Ceruzzi, James W. Cortada, Wolfgang Coy, Blaise Cronin, Nathan Ensmenger, Daniel D. Garcia-Swartz, Brent Goldfarb, Shane Greenstein, Thomas Haigh, Ward Hanson, David Kirsch, Christine Ogan, Jeffrey R.

    • Hardcover $53.00 £36.95
    • Paperback $43.00 £34.00
  • Women and Information Technology

    Women and Information Technology

    Research on Underrepresentation

    Joanne Cohoon and William Aspray

    Computing remains a heavily male-dominated field even after twenty-five years of extensive efforts to promote female participation. The contributors to Women and Information Technology look at reasons for the persistent gender imbalance in computing and explore some strategies intended to reverse the downward trend. The studies included are rigorous social science investigations; they rely on empirical evidence—not rhetoric, hunches, folk wisdom, or off-the-cuff speculation about supposed innate differences between men and women. Taking advantage of the recent surge in research in this area, the editors present the latest findings of both qualitative and quantitative studies. Each section begins with an overview of the literature on current research in the field, followed by individual studies. The first section investigates the relationship between gender and information technology among preteens and adolescents, with each study considering what could lead girls' interest in computing to diverge from boys'; the second section, on higher education, includes a nationwide study of computing programs and a cross-national comparison of computing education; the final section, on pathways into the IT workforce, considers both traditional and nontraditional paths to computing careers.

    • Hardcover $10.75 £8.99
    • Paperback $6.75 £5.99
  • John von Neumann and the Origins of Modern Computing

    William Aspray

    William Aspray provides the first broad and detailed account of von Neumann's many different contributions to computing.

    John von Neumann (1903-1957) was unquestionably one of the most brilliant scientists of the twentieth century. He made major contributions to quantum mechanics and mathematical physics and in 1943 began a new and all-too-short career in computer science. William Aspray provides the first broad and detailed account of von Neumann's many different contributions to computing. These, Aspray reveals, extended far beyond his well-known work in the design and construction of computer systems to include important scientific applications, the revival of numerical analysis, and the creation of a theory of computing.Aspray points out that from the beginning von Neumann took a wider and more theoretical view than other computer pioneers. In the now famous EDVAC report of 1945, von Neumann clearly stated the idea of a stored program that resides in the computer's memory along with the data it was to operate on. This stored program computer was described in terms of idealized neurons, highlighting the analogy between the digital computer and the human brain. Aspray describes von Neumann's development during the next decade, and almost entirely alone, of a theory of complicated information processing systems, or automata, and the introduction of themes such as learning, reliability of systems with unreliable components, self-replication, and the importance of memory and storage capacity in biological nervous systems; many of these themes remain at the heart of current investigations in parallel or neurocomputing.Aspray allows the record to speak for itself. He unravels an intricate sequence of stories generated by von Neumann's work and brings into focus the interplay of personalities centered about von Neumann. He documents the complex interactions of science, the military, and business and shows how progress in applied mathematics was intertwined with that in computers.

    William Aspray is Director of the Center for the History of Electrical Engineering at The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

    • Paperback $33.00 £26.00
  • Papers of John von Neumann on Computing and Computer Theory

    John von Neumann and William Aspray

    This volume brings together for the first time John von Neumann's long-out-of-print articles on computer architecture, programming, large-scale computing, and automata theory.

    This volume brings together for the first time John von Neumann's long-out-of-print articles on computer architecture, programming, large-scale computing, and automata theory. A number of significant papers in these areas that were not included in the multivolume John von Neumann. Collected Works (1963) have now been reprinted here. These pioneering articles - written between the mid-1940s and the mid-1950s - are of enduring value not only to computer historians but to computer scientists at the vanguard of current research. Most of today's computers are still constructed in accordance with the "von Neumann architecture," and his technique of flow charting remains basic in the domain. Papers of John von Neumann on Computers and Computer Theory is volume 12 in the Charles Babbage Institute Reprint Series for the History of Computing.

    • Hardcover $65.00

Contributor

  • IBM

    IBM

    The Rise and Fall and Reinvention of a Global Icon

    James W. Cortada

    A history of one of the most influential American companies of the last century.

    For decades, IBM shaped the way the world did business. IBM products were in every large organization, and IBM corporate culture established a management style that was imitated by companies around the globe. It was “Big Blue, ” an icon. And yet over the years, IBM has gone through both failure and success, surviving flatlining revenue and forced reinvention. The company almost went out of business in the early 1990s, then came back strong with new business strategies and an emphasis on artificial intelligence. In this authoritative, monumental history, James Cortada tells the story of one of the most influential American companies of the last century.

    Cortada, a historian who worked at IBM for many years, describes IBM's technology breakthroughs, including the development of the punch card (used for automatic tabulation in the 1890 census), the calculation and printing of the first Social Security checks in the 1930s, the introduction of the PC to a mass audience in the 1980s, and the company's shift in focus from hardware to software. He discusses IBM's business culture and its orientation toward employees and customers; its global expansion; regulatory and legal issues, including antitrust litigation; and the track records of its CEOs. The secret to IBM's unequalled longevity in the information technology market, Cortada shows, is its capacity to adapt to changing circumstances and technologies.

    • Hardcover $45.00 £35.00
  • Making IT Work

    Making IT Work

    A History of the Computer Services Industry

    Jeffrey R. Yost

    The evolution of the multi-billion-dollar computer services industry, from consulting and programming to data analytics and cloud computing, with case studies of important companies.

    The computer services industry has worldwide annual revenues of nearly a trillion dollars and employs millions of workers, but is often overshadowed by the hardware and software products industries. In this book, Jeffrey Yost shows how computer services, from consulting and programming to data analytics and cloud computing, have played a crucial role in shaping information technology—in making IT work. Tracing the evolution of the computer services industry from the 1950s to the present, Yost provides case studies of important companies (including IBM, Hewlett Packard, Andersen/Accenture, EDS, Infosys, and others) and profiles of such influential leaders as John Diebold, Ross Perot, and Virginia Rometty. He offers a fundamental reinterpretation of IBM as a supplier of computer services rather than just a producer of hardware, exploring how IBM bundled services with hardware for many years before becoming service-centered in the 1990s.

    Yost describes the emergence of companies that offered consulting services, data processing, programming, and systems integration. He examines the development of industry-defining trade associations; facilities management and the firm that invented it, Ross Perot's EDS; time sharing, a precursor of the cloud; IBM's early computer services; and independent contractor brokerages. Finally, he explores developments since the 1980s: the transformations of IBM and Hewlett Packard; the offshoring of enterprises and labor; major Indian IT service providers and the changing geographical deployment of U.S.-based companies; and the paradigm-changing phenomenon of cloud service.

    • Hardcover $37.00 £29.00
  • For Fun and Profit

    For Fun and Profit

    A History of the Free and Open Source Software Revolution

    Christopher Tozzi

    The free and open source software movement, from its origins in hacker culture, through the development of GNU and Linux, to its commercial use today.

    In the 1980s, there was a revolution with far-reaching consequences—a revolution to restore software freedom. In the early 1980s, after decades of making source code available with programs, most programmers ceased sharing code freely. A band of revolutionaries, self-described “hackers,” challenged this new norm by building operating systems with source code that could be freely shared. In For Fun and Profit, Christopher Tozzi offers an account of the free and open source software (FOSS) revolution, from its origins as an obscure, marginal effort by a small group of programmers to the widespread commercial use of open source software today. Tozzi explains FOSS's historical trajectory, shaped by eccentric personalities—including Richard Stallman and Linus Torvalds—and driven both by ideology and pragmatism, by fun and profit.

    Tozzi examines hacker culture and its influence on the Unix operating system, the reaction to Unix's commercialization, and the history of early Linux development. He describes the commercial boom that followed, when companies invested billions of dollars in products using FOSS operating systems; the subsequent tensions within the FOSS movement; and the battles with closed source software companies (especially Microsoft) that saw FOSS as a threat. Finally, Tozzi describes FOSS's current dominance in embedded computing, mobile devices, and the cloud, as well as its cultural and intellectual influence.

    • Hardcover $30.00 £24.00
  • Programmed Inequality

    Programmed Inequality

    How Britain Discarded Women Technologists and Lost Its Edge in Computing

    Marie Hicks

    How Britain lost its early dominance in computing by systematically discriminating against its most qualified workers: women.

    In 1944, Britain led the world in electronic computing. By 1974, the British computer industry was all but extinct. What happened in the intervening thirty years holds lessons for all postindustrial superpowers. As Britain struggled to use technology to retain its global power, the nation's inability to manage its technical labor force hobbled its transition into the information age. 

    In Programmed Inequality, Marie Hicks explores the story of labor feminization and gendered technocracy that undercut British efforts to computerize. That failure sprang from the government's systematic neglect of its largest trained technical workforce simply because they were women. Women were a hidden engine of growth in high technology from World War II to the 1960s. As computing experienced a gender flip, becoming male-identified in the 1960s and 1970s, labor problems grew into structural ones and gender discrimination caused the nation's largest computer user—the civil service and sprawling public sector—to make decisions that were disastrous for the British computer industry and the nation as a whole.

    Drawing on recently opened government files, personal interviews, and the archives of major British computer companies, Programmed Inequality takes aim at the fiction of technological meritocracy. Hicks explains why, even today, possessing technical skill is not enough to ensure that women will rise to the top in science and technology fields. Programmed Inequality shows how the disappearance of women from the field had grave macroeconomic consequences for Britain, and why the United States risks repeating those errors in the twenty-first century.

    • Hardcover $40.00 £30.00
    • Paperback $20.00 £14.99
  • ENIAC in Action

    ENIAC in Action

    Making and Remaking the Modern Computer

    Thomas Haigh, Mark Priestley, and Crispin Rope

    The history of the first programmable electronic computer, from its conception, construction, and use to its afterlife as a part of computing folklore.

    Conceived in 1943, completed in 1945, and decommissioned in 1955, ENIAC (the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) was the first general-purpose programmable electronic computer. But ENIAC was more than just a milestone on the road to the modern computer. During its decade of operational life, ENIAC calculated sines and cosines and tested for statistical outliers, plotted the trajectories of bombs and shells, and ran the first numerical weather simulations. ENIAC in Action tells the whole story for the first time, from ENIAC's design, construction, testing, and use to its afterlife as part of computing folklore. It highlights the complex relationship of ENIAC and its designers to the revolutionary approaches to computer architecture and coding first documented by John von Neumann in 1945.

    Within this broad sweep, the authors emphasize the crucial but previously neglected years of 1947 to 1948, when ENIAC was reconfigured to run what the authors claim was the first modern computer program to be executed: a simulation of atomic fission for Los Alamos researchers. The authors view ENIAC from diverse perspectives—as a machine of war, as the “first computer,” as a material artifact constantly remade by its users, and as a subject of (contradictory) historical narratives. They integrate the history of the machine and its applications, describing the mathematicians, scientists, and engineers who proposed and designed ENIAC as well as the men—and particularly the women who—built, programmed, and operated it.

    • Hardcover $38.00 £30.00
    • Paperback $25.00 £20.00
  • The Outsourcer

    The Outsourcer

    The Story of India's IT Revolution

    Dinesh C. Sharma

    A history of how India became a major player in the global technology industry, mapping technological, economic, and political transformations.

    The rise of the Indian information technology industry is a remarkable economic success story. Software and services exports from India amounted to less than $100 million in 1990, and today come close to $100 billion. But, as Dinesh Sharma explains in The Outsourcer, Indian IT's success has a long prehistory; it did not begin with software support, or with American firms' eager recruitment of cheap and plentiful programming labor, or with India's economic liberalization of the 1990s. The foundations of India's IT revolution were laid long ago, even before the country's independence from British rule in 1947, as leading Indian scientists established research institutes that became centers for the development of computer science and technology. The “miracle” of Indian IT is actually a story about the long work of converting skills and knowledge into capital and wealth. With The Outsourcer, Sharma offers the first comprehensive history of the forces that drove India's IT success.

    Sharma describes India's early development of computer technology, part of the country's efforts to achieve national self-sufficiency, and shows that excessive state control stifled IT industry growth before economic policy changed in 1991. He traces the rise and fall (and return) of IBM in India and the emergence of pioneering indigenous hardware and software firms. He describes the satellite communication links and state-sponsored, tax-free technology parks that made software-related outsourcing by foreign firms viable, and the tsunami of outsourcing operations at the beginning of the new millennium. It is the convergence of many factors, from the tradition of technical education to the rise of entrepreneurship to advances in communication technology, that have made the spectacular growth of India's IT industry possible.

    • Hardcover $30.95 £24.00
  • Recoding Gender

    Recoding Gender

    Women's Changing Participation in Computing

    Janet Abbate

    The untold history of women and computing: how pioneering women succeeded in a field shaped by gender biases.

    Today, women earn a relatively low percentage of computer science degrees and hold proportionately few technical computing jobs. Meanwhile, the stereotype of the male “computer geek” seems to be everywhere in popular culture. Few people know that women were a significant presence in the early decades of computing in both the United States and Britain. Indeed, programming in postwar years was considered woman's work (perhaps in contrast to the more manly task of building the computers themselves). In Recoding Gender, Janet Abbate explores the untold history of women in computer science and programming from the Second World War to the late twentieth century. Demonstrating how gender has shaped the culture of computing, she offers a valuable historical perspective on today's concerns over women's underrepresentation in the field.

    Abbate describes the experiences of women who worked with the earliest electronic digital computers: Colossus, the wartime codebreaking computer at Bletchley Park outside London, and the American ENIAC, developed to calculate ballistics. She examines postwar methods for recruiting programmers, and the 1960s redefinition of programming as the more masculine “software engineering.” She describes the social and business innovations of two early software entrepreneurs, Elsie Shutt and Stephanie Shirley; and she examines the career paths of women in academic computer science.

    Abbate's account of the bold and creative strategies of women who loved computing work, excelled at it, and forged successful careers will provide inspiration for those working to change gendered computing culture.

    • Hardcover $36.00 £28.00
    • Paperback $25.00 £20.00
  • A History of Modern Computing

    A History of Modern Computing

    Paul E. Ceruzzi

    From the first digital computer to the Web—a story of individuals, institutions, and the forces that led to a series of dramatic transformations.

    This engaging history covers modern computing from the development of the first electronic digital computer through the advent of the World Wide Web. The author concentrates on four key moments of transition: the transformation of the computer in the late 1940s from a specialized scientific instrument to a commercial product; the emergence of small systems in the late 1960s; the beginnings of personal computing in the 1970s; and the spread of networking after 1985. Within this chronological narrative, the book traces several overlapping threads: the evolution of the computer's internal design; the effect of economic trends and the Cold War; the long-term role of IBM as a player and as a target for upstart entrepreneurs; the growth of software from a hidden element to a major character in the story of computing; and the recurring issue of the place of information and computing in a democratic society. The focus is on the United States (though Europe and Japan enter the story at crucial points), on computing per se rather than on applications such as artificial intelligence, and on systems that were sold commercially and installed in quantities. The author balances stories of individuals with those of institutions and emphasizes those factors that conspired to bring about the decisive shifts in the story.

    • Hardcover $55.00 £37.95
    • Paperback $21.95 £15.95
  • The Computer Boys Take Over

    The Computer Boys Take Over

    Computers, Programmers, and the Politics of Technical Expertise

    Nathan L. Ensmenger

    The contentious history of the computer programmers who developed the software that made the computer revolution possible.

    This is a book about the computer revolution of the mid-twentieth century and the people who made it possible. Unlike most histories of computing, it is not a book about machines, inventors, or entrepreneurs. Instead, it tells the story of the vast but largely anonymous legions of computer specialists—programmers, systems analysts, and other software developers—who transformed the electronic computer from a scientific curiosity into the defining technology of the modern era. As the systems that they built became increasingly powerful and ubiquitous, these specialists became the focus of a series of critiques of the social and organizational impact of electronic computing. To many of their contemporaries, it seemed the “computer boys” were taking over, not just in the corporate setting, but also in government, politics, and society in general.

    In The Computer Boys Take Over, Nathan Ensmenger traces the rise to power of the computer expert in modern American society. His rich and nuanced portrayal of the men and women (a surprising number of the “computer boys” were, in fact, female) who built their careers around the novel technology of electronic computing explores issues of power, identity, and expertise that have only become more significant in our increasingly computerized society.

    In his recasting of the drama of the computer revolution through the eyes of its principle revolutionaries, Ensmenger reminds us that the computerization of modern society was not an inevitable process driven by impersonal technological or economic imperatives, but was rather a creative, contentious, and above all, fundamentally human development.

    • Hardcover $30.00 £20.95
    • Paperback $25.00 £20.00
  • Computers and Commerce

    Computers and Commerce

    A Study of Technology and Management at Eckert-Mauchly Computer Company, Engineering Research Associates, and Remington Rand, 1946-1957

    Arthur L. Norberg

    The history of a crucial decade in the early development of digital technology, focusing on both technical and business issues at two key firms.

    Between 1946 and 1957 computing went from a preliminary, developmental stage to more widespread use accompanied by the beginnings of the digital computer industry. During this crucial decade, spurred by rapid technological advances, the computer enterprise became a major phenomenon. In Computers and Commerce, Arthur Norberg explores the importance of these years in the history of computing by focusing on technical developments and business strategies at two important firms, both established in 1946, Engineering Research Associates (ERA) and Eckert-Mauchly Computer Company (EMCC), from their early activities through their acquisition by Remington Rand. Both ERA and EMCC had their roots in World War II, and in postwar years both firms received major funding from the United States government. Norberg analyzes the interaction between the two companies and the government and examines the impact of this institutional context on technological innovation. He assesses the technical contributions of such key company figures as J. Presper Eckert, John Mauchly, Grace Hopper, and William Norris, analyzing the importance of engineering knowledge in converting theoretical designs into workable machines. Norberg looks at the two firms' operations after 1951 as independent subsidiaries of Remington Rand, and documents the management problems that began after Remington Rand merged with Sperry Gyroscope to form Sperry Rand in 1955.

    • Hardcover $9.75 £7.99
  • The Government Machine

    The Government Machine

    A Revolutionary History of the Computer

    Jon Agar

    An examination of technology and politics in the evolution of the British "government machine."

    In The Government Machine, Jon Agar traces the mechanization of government work in the United Kingdom from the nineteenth to the early twenty-first century. He argues that this transformation has been tied to the rise of "expert movements," groups whose authority has rested on their expertise. The deployment of machines was an attempt to gain control over state action—a revolutionary move. Agar shows how mechanization followed the popular depiction of government as machine-like, with British civil servants cast as components of a general purpose "government machine"; indeed, he argues that today's general purpose computer is the apotheosis of the civil servant.

    Over the course of two centuries, government has become the major repository and user of information; the Civil Service itself can be seen as an information-processing entity. Agar argues that the changing capacities of government have depended on the implementation of new technologies, and that the adoption of new technologies has depended on a vision of government and a fundamental model of organization. Thus, to study the history of technology is to study the state, and vice versa.

    • Hardcover $11.75 £8.95
    • Paperback $45.00 £35.00
  • A History of Modern Computing, Second Edition

    A History of Modern Computing, Second Edition

    Paul E. Ceruzzi

    From the first digital computer to the dot-com crash—a story of individuals, institutions, and the forces that led to a series of dramatic transformations.

    This engaging history covers modern computing from the development of the first electronic digital computer through the dot-com crash. The author concentrates on five key moments of transition: the transformation of the computer in the late 1940s from a specialized scientific instrument to a commercial product; the emergence of small systems in the late 1960s; the beginning of personal computing in the 1970s; the spread of networking after 1985; and, in a chapter written for this edition, the period 1995-2001. The new material focuses on the Microsoft antitrust suit, the rise and fall of the dot-coms, and the advent of open source software, particularly Linux. Within the chronological narrative, the book traces several overlapping threads: the evolution of the computer's internal design; the effect of economic trends and the Cold War; the long-term role of IBM as a player and as a target for upstart entrepreneurs; the growth of software from a hidden element to a major character in the story of computing; and the recurring issue of the place of information and computing in a democratic society. The focus is on the United States (though Europe and Japan enter the story at crucial points), on computing per se rather than on applications such as artificial intelligence, and on systems that were sold commercially and installed in quantities.

    • Paperback $33.95 £27.00
  • From Airline Reservations to Sonic the Hedgehog

    From Airline Reservations to Sonic the Hedgehog

    A History of the Software Industry

    Martin Campbell-Kelly

    A business history of the software industry from the days of custom programming to the age of mass-market software and video games.

    From its first glimmerings in the 1950s, the software industry has evolved to become the fourth largest industrial sector of the US economy. Starting with a handful of software contractors who produced specialized programs for the few existing machines, the industry grew to include producers of corporate software packages and then makers of mass-market products and recreational software. This book tells the story of each of these types of firm, focusing on the products they developed, the business models they followed, and the markets they served. By describing the breadth of this industry, Martin Campbell-Kelly corrects the popular misconception that one firm is at the center of the software universe. He also tells the story of lucrative software products such as IBM's CICS and SAP's R/3, which, though little known to the general public, lie at the heart of today's information infrastructure.With its wealth of industry data and its thoughtful judgments, this book will become a starting point for all future investigations of this fundamental component of computer history.

    • Hardcover $10.75 £9.95
    • Paperback $21.95 £16.99
  • Strategic Computing

    Strategic Computing

    DARPA and the Quest for Machine Intelligence, 1983-1993

    Alex Roland and Philip Shiman

    The story of the U.S. Department of Defense's extraordinary effort, in the period from 1983 to 1993, to achieve machine intelligence.

    This is the story of an extraordinary effort by the U.S. Department of Defense to hasten the advent of "machines that think." From 1983 to 1993, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) spent an extra $1 billion on computer research aimed at achieving artificial intelligence. The Strategic Computing Initiative (SCI) was conceived as an integrated plan to promote computer chip design and manufacture, computer architecture, and artificial intelligence software. What distinguished SCI from other large-scale technology programs was that it self-consciously set out to advance an entire research front. The SCI succeeded in fostering significant technological successes, even though it never achieved machine intelligence. The goal provided a powerful organizing principle for a suite of related research programs, but it did not solve the problem of coordinating these programs. In retrospect, it is hard to see how it could have.In Strategic Computing, Alex Roland and Philip Shiman uncover the roles played in the SCI by technology, individuals, and social and political forces. They explore DARPA culture, especially the information processing culture within the agency, and they evaluate the SCI's accomplishments and set them in the context of overall computer development during this period. Their book is an important contribution to our understanding of the complex sources of contemporary computing.

    • Hardcover $9.75 £7.99
    • Paperback $29.00 £23.00
  • The Computer Revolution in Canada

    The Computer Revolution in Canada

    Building National Technological Competence

    John N. Vardalas

    The forces that shaped Canada's digital innovations in the postwar period.

    After World War II, other major industrialized nations responded to the technological and industrial hegemony of the United States by developing their own design and manufacturing competence in digital electronic technology. In this book John Vardalas describes the quest for such competence in Canada, exploring the significant contributions of the civilian sector but emphasizing the role of the Canadian military in shaping radical technological change. As he shows, Canada's determination to be an active participant in research and development work on advanced weapons systems, and in the testing of those weapons systems, was a cornerstone of Canadian technological development during the years 1945-1980.

    Vardalas presents case studies of such firms as Ferranti-Canada, Sperry Gyroscope of Canada, and Control Data of Canada. In contrast to the standard nationalist interpretation of Canadian subsidiaries of transnational corporations as passive agents, he shows them to have been remarkably innovative and explains how their aggressive programs to develop all-Canadian digital R&D and manufacturing capacities influenced technological development in the United States and in Great Britain.

    While underlining the unprecedented role of the military in the creation of peacetime scientific and technical skills, Vardalas also examines the role of government and university research programs, including Canada's first computerized systems for mail sorting and airline reservations. Overall, he presents a nuanced account of how national economic, political, and corporate forces influenced the content, extent, and direction of digital innovation in Canada.

    • Hardcover $11.75 £9.95
  • From Whirlwind to MITRE

    From Whirlwind to MITRE

    The R&D Story of The SAGE Air Defense Computer

    Kent C. Redmond and Thomas M. Smith

    The book shows how the wartime alliance of engineers, scientists, and the military exemplified by MIT's Radiation Lab helped to transform research and development practice in the United States through the end of the Cold War period.

    This book presents an organizational and social history of one of the foundational projects of the computer era: the development of the SAGE (Semi-Automatic Ground Environment) air defense system, from its first test at Bedford, Massachusetts, in 1951, to the installation of the first unit of the New York Air Defense Sector of the SAGE system, in 1958. The idea for SAGE grew out of Project Whirlwind, a wartime computer development effort, when the U.S. Department of Defense realized that the Whirlwind computer might anchor a continent-wide advance warning system. Developed by MIT engineers and scientists for the U.S. Air Force, SAGE monitored North American skies for possible attack by manned aircraft and missiles for twenty-five years. Aside from its strategic importance, SAGE set the foundation for mass data-processing systems and foreshadowed many computer developments of the 1960s. The heart of the system, the AN/FSQ-7, was the first computer to have an internal memory composed of "magnetic cores," thousands of tiny ferrite rings that served as reversible electromagnets. SAGE also introduced computer-driven displays, online terminals, time sharing, high-reliability computation, digital signal processing, digital transmission over telephone lines, digital track-while-scan, digital simulation, computer networking, and duplex computing. The book shows how the wartime alliance of engineers, scientists, and the military exemplified by MIT's Radiation Lab helped to transform research and development practice in the United States through the end of the Cold War period.

    • Hardcover $65.00 £50.00
  • The First Computers

    The First Computers

    History and Architectures

    Raúl Rojas and Ulf Hashagen

    This history of computing focuses not on chronology (what came first and who deserves credit for it) but on the actual architectures of the first machines that made electronic computing a practical reality. The book covers computers built in the United States, Germany, England, and Japan. It makes clear that similar concepts were often pursued simultaneously and that the early researchers explored many architectures beyond the von Neumann architecture that eventually became canonical. The contributors include not only historians but also engineers and computer pioneers. An introductory chapter describes the elements of computer architecture and explains why "being first" is even less interesting for computers than for other areas of technology. The essays contain a remarkable amount of new material, even on well-known machines, and several describe reconstructions of the historic machines. These investigations are of more than simply historical interest, for architectures designed to solve specific problems in the past may suggest new approaches to similar problems in today's machines.

    Contributors Titiimaea F. Ala'ilima, Lin Ping Ang, William Aspray, Friedrich L. Bauer, Andreas Brennecke, Chris P. Burton, Martin Campbell-Kelly, Paul Ceruzzi, I. Bernard Cohen, John Gustafson, Wilhelm Hopmann, Harry D. Huskey, Friedrich W. Kistermann, Thomas Lange, Michael S. Mahoney, R. B. E. Napper, Seiichi Okoma, Hartmut Petzold, Raúl Rojas, Anthony E. Sale, Robert W. Seidel, Ambros P. Speiser, Frank H. Sumner, James F. Tau, Jan Van der Spiegel, Eiiti Wada, Michael R. Williams

    • Hardcover $75.00 £55.95
    • Paperback $40.00 £30.00
  • Howard Aiken

    Howard Aiken

    Portrait of a Computer Pioneer

    I. Bernard Cohen

    Biography of Howard Aiken, a major figure of the early digital era, by a major historian of science who was also a colleague of Aiken's at Harvard.

    Howard Hathaway Aiken (1900-1973) was a major figure of the early digital era. He is best known for his first machine, the IBM Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator or Harvard Mark I, conceived in 1937 and put into operation in 1944. But he also made significant contributions to the development of applications for the new machines and to the creation of a university curriculum for computer science.

    This biography of Aiken, by a major historian of science who was also a colleague of Aiken's at Harvard, offers a clear and often entertaining introduction to Aiken and his times. Aiken's Mark I was the most intensely used of the early large-scale, general-purpose automatic digital computers, and it had a significant impact on the machines that followed. Aiken also proselytized for the computer among scientists, scholars, and businesspeople and explored novel applications in data processing, automatic billing, and production control. But his most lasting contribution may have been the students who received degrees under him and then took prominent positions in academia and industry. I. Bernard Cohen argues convincingly for Aiken's significance as a shaper of the computer world in which we now live.

    • Hardcover $60.00 £41.95
    • Paperback $28.00 £22.00
  • Makin' Numbers

    Makin' Numbers

    Howard Aiken and the Computer

    I. Bernard Cohen and Gregory W. Welch

    With the cooperation of Robert V. D. Campbell. This collection of technical essays and reminiscences is a companion volume to I. Bernard Cohen's biography, Howard Aiken: Portrait of a Computer Pioneer. After an overview by Cohen, Part I presents the first complete publication of Aiken's 1937 proposal for an automatic calculating machine, which was later realized as the Mark I, as well as recollections of Aiken's first two machines by the chief engineer in charge of construction of Mark II, Robert Campbell, and the principal programmer of Mark I, Richard Bloch. Henry Tropp describes Aiken's hostility to the exclusive use of binary numbers in computational systems and his alternative approach. Part II contains essays on Aiken's administrative and teaching styles by former students Frederick Brooks and Peter Calingaert and an essay by Gregory Welch on the difficulties Aiken faced in establishing a computer science program at Harvard. Part III contains recollections by people who worked or studied with Aiken, including Richard Bloch, Grace Hopper, Anthony Oettinger, and Maurice Wilkes. Henry Tropp provides excerpts from an interview conducted just before Aiken's death. Part IV gathers the most significant of Aiken's own writings. The appendixes give the specs of Aiken's machines and list his doctoral students and the topics of their dissertations.

    • Hardcover $48.00 £33.95
    • Paperback $25.00 £20.00
  • Building IBM

    Building IBM

    Shaping an Industry and Its Technology

    Emerson W. Pugh

    No company of the twentieth century achieved greater success and engendered more admiration, respect, envy, fear, and hatred than IBM. Building IBM tells the story of that company—how it was formed, how it grew, and how it shaped and dominated the information processing industry. Emerson Pugh presents substantial new material about the company in the period before 1945 as well as a new interpretation of the postwar era.Granted unrestricted access to IBM's archival records and with no constraints on the way he chose to treat the information they contained, Pugh dispels many widely held myths about IBM and its leaders and provides new insights on the origins and development of the computer industry.Pugh begins the story with Herman Hollerith's invention of punched-card machines used for tabulating the U.S. Census of 1890, showing how Hollerith's inventions and the business he established provided the primary basis for IBM. He tells why Hollerith merged his company in 1911 with two other companies to create the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company, which changed its name in 1924 to International Business Machines. Thomas J. Watson, who was hired in 1914 to manage the merged companies, exhibited remarkable technological insight and leadership—in addition to his widely heralded salesmanship—to build Hollerith's business into a virtual monopoly of the rapidly growing punched-card equipment business. The fascinating inside story of the transfer of authority from the senior Watson to his older son, Thomas J. Watson Jr., and the company's rapid domination of the computer industry occupy the latter half of the book. In two final chapters, Pugh examines conditions and events of the 1970s and 1980s and identifies the underlying causes of the severe probems IBM experienced in the 1990s.

    • Hardcover $52.00 £33.95
    • Paperback $27.00 £21.00
  • IBM's 360 and Early 370 Systems

    IBM's 360 and Early 370 Systems

    Emerson W. Pugh, Lyle R. Johnson, and John H. Palmer

    IBM's 360 and Early 370 Systems describes the creation of this remarkable system and the developments it spawned, including its successor, System/370.

    No new product offering has had greater impact on the computer industry than the IBM System/360. IBM's 360 and Early 370 Systems describes the creation of this remarkable system and the developments it spawned, including its successor, System/370. The authors tell how System/360's widely-copied architecture came into being and how IBM failed in an effort to replace it ten years later with a bold development effort called FS, the Future System. Along the way they detail the development of many computer innovations still in use, among them semiconductor memories, the cache, floppy disks, and Winchester disk files. They conclude by looking at issues involved in managing research and development and striving for product leadership. While numerous anecdotal and fragmentary accounts of System/360 and System/370 development exist, this is the first comprehensive account, a result of research into IBM records, published reports, and interviews with over a hundred participants. Covering the period from about 1960 to 1975, it highlights such important topics as the gamble on hybrid circuits, conception and achievement of a unified product line, memory and storage developments, software support, unique problems at the high end of the line, monolithic integrated circuit developments, and the trend toward terminal-oriented systems. System/360 was developed during the transition from discrete transistors to integrated circuits at the crucial time when the major source of IBM's revenue was changed from punched-card equipment to electronic computer systems. As the authors point out, the key to the system's success was compatibility among its many models. So important was this to customers that System/370 and its successors have remained compatible with System/360. Many companies in fact chose to develop and market their own 360-370 compatible systems. System/360 also spawned an entire industry dedicated to making plug-compatible products for attachment to it.

    The authors, all affiliated with IBM Research, are coauthors of IBM's Early Computers, a critically acclaimed technical history covering the period before 1960.

    • Hardcover $75.00
    • Paperback $44.00 £34.00
  • Innovating for Failure

    Government Policy and the Early British Computer Industry

    John Hendry

    This first in-depth history of the early British computer industry provides a valuable case study in the implementation of public innovation policy with lessons for any country trying to compete for sales in international high-technology markets.

    From computers to body scanners, from hovercraft to monoclonal antibodies, British researchers have been among the world's leaders in scientific discovery and invention. But British business has failed repeatedly to exploit these discoveries. This first in-depth history of the early British computer industry provides a valuable case study in the implementation of public innovation policy with lessons for any country trying to compete for sales in international high-technology markets.The birth of modern computers in Great Britain coincided with the establishment in the late 1940s of the National Research Development Corporation (NRDC), which was charged with assisting commercial development of new technologies. John Hendry details ten years of effort by the NRDC to establish a British computer industry able to compete internationally, particularly with IBM. He examines the reasons for their failure to achieve this and explores the consequences and implications of this failure.Focusing on the creation, implementation, and management of government sponsorship policies and the responses of businesses to those policies, Hendry discusses the broad issues of government policy and the exploitation of technology in the United Kingdom the commercial development of computer technology in post-World War II America and Britain, the genesis and impact of NRDC policies for commercializing the new technology, and the conflict between national competitiveness and the ideals of fairness and consensus.

    Innovating for Failure is included in the History of Computing series edited by I. Bernard Cohen and William Aspray.

    • Hardcover $40.00
  • A Few Good Men From Univac

    A Few Good Men From Univac

    David E. Lundstrom

    In this personal memoir, electrical engineer David Lundstrom recalls the heyday of early computing - the rise of Control Data out of the Univac division of Sperry Rand, such milestone computer systems as the Univac and the Naval Tactical Data System the exploits of CDC's top designer Seymour Cray, and the gradual corporate shift from the exciting and technically interesting world of computer design to internal politics and clumsy bureaucracy. David E. Lundstrom's career spanned 30 years with Sperry Rand Corp. (now a division of Unisys Corp.) and Control Data Corporation.

    • Hardcover $27.50 £22.95
    • Paperback $32.00 £25.00
  • IBM's Early Computers

    IBM's Early Computers

    A Technical History

    Charles J. Bashe, Lyle R. Johnson, John H. Palmer, and Emerson W. Pugh

    In describing the technical experiences of one company from the beginning of the computer era, this book unfolds the challenges that IBM's research and development laboratories faced, the technological paths they chose, and how these choices affected the company and the computer industry. It chronicles the transformation of IBM into a computer company in a remarkably few years, discussing projects that ended in frustration as well as the more successful ones, and providing a sense of the atmosphere, the people, and the decision-making processes involved during the company's rapid technological transformation. IBM's Early Computers is a unique contribution to the modern history of computers. It focuses on engineering alternatives rather than business and general management considerations and reveals the significance of imaginative solutions to problems in design and technology, from initial experiments with electronics in digital machines to the threshold of the System 360 era. This fair and balanced account of IBM's role in shaping today's electronic revolution identifies the individuals (both inside and outside the company) whose pioneering work influenced developments at IBM. The book's fourteen chapters briefly survey the card machine era and then cover electronic calculation, the magnetic drum calculator, the Defense Calculator and other first-generation products, ferrite core memories, magnetic tape, and disk storage development, programming, transistors, "Project Stretch" (which involved disappointments but led to one of IBM's greatest successes) high-speed printers, research, and new-product-line considerations.

    Charles J. Bashe, Lyle R. Johnson, John H. Palmer, and Emerson W Pugh are senior members of the staff at IBM's Thomas J. Watson Research Center, each with many years of technical and managerial experience in the developments they describe. IBM's Early Computers is included in the History of Computing Series, edited by I. Bernard Cohen and William Aspray.

    • Hardcover $50.00
    • Paperback $72.00 £56.00
  • Ada

    Ada

    A Life And A Legacy

    Dorothy Stein

    Augusta Ada Byron, Countess of Lovelace, was the daughter of Lord Byron and a close friend to many of the leading figures of the Victorian era; based on her report on Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine she is also generally known as the inventor of the science of computer programming. In this engrossing biography, Dorothy Stein strips away the many layers of myth to reveal a story far more dramatic and fascinating than previous accounts have indicated.

    Dorothy Stein is a psychologist with a special interest in thought and language and a background in physics and computer programming. She has taught courses in nineteenth-century women's history and in the biology and psychology of sex differences, and is particularly concerned with the use of myth in science.

    • Hardcover
    • Paperback $40.00 £30.00
  • Proceedings of a Symposium on Large-Scale Digital Calculating Machinery

    Proceedings of a Symposium on Large-Scale Digital Calculating Machinery

    Harvard Computation Laboratory

    Coming before the establishment of professional journals, societies, or regular meetings in computer science, the proceedings of the symposium offer the best picture of computing technology in the early years that we have available.

    In January 1947, the Navy Department Bureau of Ordnance and Harvard University jointly sponsored a symposium at the Harvard Computation Laboratory on large-scale digital calculating machinery. It provided one of the first and most important early forums for discussion of the problems and approaches in the design, construction, operation, and application of computers. Coming before the establishment of professional journals, societies, or regular meetings in computer science, the proceedings of the symposium offer the best picture of computing technology in the early years that we have available. Included are papers by Howard Aiken, Samuel Caldwell, Jay Forrester, Herman Goldstine, John Mauchly, George Stibitz, and over twenty others. Proceedings of a Symposium on Large-Scale Digital Calculating Machinery was published in 1948 by Harvard University Press. It is Volume VIII in the Charles Babbage Institute Reprint Series.

    • Hardcover $65.00 £44.95
    • Paperback $35.00 £27.00
  • Memories that Shaped an Industry

    Decisions Leading to IBM System/360

    Emerson W. Pugh

    This book provides a rare and candid glimpse into the innovations as well as the immense risks and imprecisions sometimes involved in technical decision making.

    Development of ferrite core memory technology during the 1950s was probably the most important innovation that made stored-program computers a commercial reality. IBM's leadership in this development made possible the introduction in 1964 of the IBM System/360, which was so widely copied that it became a standard for electronic stored-program computers that have become so much a part of American life. This book provides a rare and candid glimpse into the innovations as well as the immense risks and imprecisions sometimes involved in technical decision making. It identifies the basic characteristics of technology management that the author believes accounted for IBM's success during this period, and gives a balanced view of the contributions by talented scientists and engineers both within and outside the company. The book chronicles a twenty-five-year period during which IBM evolved from the position of leading supplier of electromechanical punched-card equipment to dominance in the field of electronic computers. It describes IBM's response to the postwar challenge of electronics, its highly successful cooperative effort with MIT on an automated air defense system, the introduction of commercial ferrite core memories, developments and decisions leading to System/360, and the manufacturing problems posed by System/360's success.

    An internationally recognized leader in magnetics and computer memory technologies, Emerson W. Pugh is a member of the research staff at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights and author of the widely used text, Principles of Electricity and Magnetism. This book is included in The MIT Press Series in the History of Computing, edited by I. Bernard Cohen and William Asprey.

    • Hardcover $35.00
    • Paperback $30.00
  • The Computer Comes Of Age

    The Computer Comes Of Age

    The People, the Hardware, and the Software

    René Moreau

    Given the proliferation of computers and computer-related products, it is difficult to realize that the computer's history is, in fact, a very short one. René Moreau, Director of Scientific Development, IBM France, traces the evolution of the computer from its earliest stored-program stages in the 1940s to the introduction of the IBM 360 Series in 1963. Written for the nonspecialist, his book defines, explains, and dates those first formulations in computer science and covers the major phases in the evolution of the software and hardware. Moreau divides his history into three sections - The Birth of the Computer (up to 1950), The First Generation (1950-1959), and The Second Generation (1959-1963). He concludes by examining the current state of the computer industry and its future direction. Also included are a discussion of programming languages and an appendix which details early work on computers in the USSR.

    • Hardcover $22.50
    • Paperback $29.00 £23.00