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The history of computing has its origins at the outset of civilization. This book traces the evolution of computation, from early civilisations B.C. to the latest key developments in modern times. O’Regan, Gerard, Bsc, Msc, PhD.
Table of contents

Offers detailed information on major figures in computing, such as Boole, Babbage, Shannon, Turing and Von Neumann Includes a history of programming languages, including syntax and semantics Presents an overview of the history of software engineering Discusses the progress of artificial intelligence, with extension to such key disciplines as philosophy, psychology, linguistics, neural networks and cybernetics Examines the history of the Internet revolution, World Wide Web and Dot-Com Bubble Follows the evolution of a number of major technology companies such as IBM, Motorola and MicrosoftFocusing on the fundamental areas in the computing field, this clearly written and broad-ranging text will capture the attention of the reader and greatly benefit computer science students.

Computer precursors

In addition, it is suitable for self-study, and will also be of interest to the more casual reader. Dr Gerard O Regan is a CMMI software process improvement consultant with research interests including software quality and software process improvement; mathematical approaches to software quality; and the history of computing.

Data Topics

The census is tabulated on punch cards similar to the ones used 90 years earlier to create weaves. Just prior to the introduction of Hollerith's machine the first printing calculator is introduced. In William Burroughs, a sickly ex-teller, introduces a commercially successful printing calculator. Although hand-powered, Burroughs quickly introduces an electronic model.

Using a set of gears and shafts, much like Babbage, the machine can handle simple calculus problems, but accuracy is a problem. The period from through gets murky with claims and counterclaims of who invents what and when. Part of the problem lies in the international situation that makes much of the research secret.

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Other problems include poor record-keeping, deception and lack of definition. In , Konrad Zuse, a German construction engineer, builds a mechanical calculator to handle the math involved in his profession. Shortly after completion, Zuse starts on a programmable electronic device which he completes in John Vincent Atanasoff begins work on a digital computer in in the basement of the Physics building on the campus of Iowa State.

A graduate student, Clifford John Berry assists.

Women invented the field. Then men pushed them out of it.

Computers did their work in disconnected silos, communicating to their human supplicants only through paper coming out of their printers. In the mids, users could talk to their computer with a style video terminal that absorbed information typed on a keyboard, and perhaps the computer responded in some cryptic way. The paradigm was based on physical access, and networks were constrained and local in scope.

When networks were added to computing, the prevalent physical model was carried along with it. This way of thinking had served well in the past and seemed intuitive. Simple, physical threat models made for simple networks. Interconnected systems became the standard after that, leading to the introduction of networks that learned to talk only to trusted partners.

3 A Brief History of Computer Technology

Of course, establishing such trust was a new field. Cryptography-based security grew rapidly. The community considered the mathematical effort required to decode such encryption sufficient to assure the integrity of information. Still, the underlying software that ran the linked commercial computers did not advance in secure ways.

Developers designed methods to share information in this brave new networked world, which had flaws that were not immediately apparent. Even when they became glaringly obvious, efforts to patch them across all affected systems were unsuccessful.

The operating systems used for commercial microcomputers were also constructed insecurely. For example, a major commercial software-maker used the strcpy function in C to handle external data movement. The function performed no inherent limit or bound checking, and data that passed by it could easily lead to heap corruption during execution.

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