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My Life With Computers: A Memoir of an Involvement with Computers Spanning the Years 1954 to 2015

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This memoir, which runs to some 34,000 words, covers a variety of topics from the last 60 years of computer development, starting with the first use of electronic digital computers to the present time. Topics run the gamut from the ENIAC, the world's first useful computer, to the present day internet and World Wide Web, and include, among many other subjects, machine langu This memoir, which runs to some 34,000 words, covers a variety of topics from the last 60 years of computer development, starting with the first use of electronic digital computers to the present time. Topics run the gamut from the ENIAC, the world's first useful computer, to the present day internet and World Wide Web, and include, among many other subjects, machine language programming, enterprise software, magnetic disks, the rise and fall of magnetic and punched tapes, job security: hardware vs software, the progression of computer development, the evolution of programming languages; and even corporate takeovers and the year2000 scare. This is no dry technical account but a collection of lively anecdotes described by one who lived through the unprecedented explosion of computer power. Lest the reader worry that this account be somewhat superficial, sprinkled throughout the memoir are a number of arcane technical tidbits for those with a technical background. Although the emphasis is on software development, much print is devoted to the evolution of the various hardware devices encountered by programmers over this period, devices such as paper tape punches and readers, and six-part paper decollaters (dictionaries say "to decollate" means "to behead", but "decollate" was coined by IBM to mean uncollate, at least as the author recalls). The author has lived with computers from 1954 to the present, that's the last 60 years of computer development, which is also essentially the first 60 years of computer development. What were his experiences observing and dealing with the evolution from the crude electronic beast that was originally coded by entering ones and zeros, one bit a time, into a six feet tall electronic panel of switches and indicator lights, to the hand-held devices of today which afford a slick graphic interface ? What took place "on the floor" ? The author reveals all via personal anecdotes and essays. Pains have been taken to describe some of the more esoteric computer concepts in a manner understandable to the non-professional, which the author thinks serves to enhance the reading experience.


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This memoir, which runs to some 34,000 words, covers a variety of topics from the last 60 years of computer development, starting with the first use of electronic digital computers to the present time. Topics run the gamut from the ENIAC, the world's first useful computer, to the present day internet and World Wide Web, and include, among many other subjects, machine langu This memoir, which runs to some 34,000 words, covers a variety of topics from the last 60 years of computer development, starting with the first use of electronic digital computers to the present time. Topics run the gamut from the ENIAC, the world's first useful computer, to the present day internet and World Wide Web, and include, among many other subjects, machine language programming, enterprise software, magnetic disks, the rise and fall of magnetic and punched tapes, job security: hardware vs software, the progression of computer development, the evolution of programming languages; and even corporate takeovers and the year2000 scare. This is no dry technical account but a collection of lively anecdotes described by one who lived through the unprecedented explosion of computer power. Lest the reader worry that this account be somewhat superficial, sprinkled throughout the memoir are a number of arcane technical tidbits for those with a technical background. Although the emphasis is on software development, much print is devoted to the evolution of the various hardware devices encountered by programmers over this period, devices such as paper tape punches and readers, and six-part paper decollaters (dictionaries say "to decollate" means "to behead", but "decollate" was coined by IBM to mean uncollate, at least as the author recalls). The author has lived with computers from 1954 to the present, that's the last 60 years of computer development, which is also essentially the first 60 years of computer development. What were his experiences observing and dealing with the evolution from the crude electronic beast that was originally coded by entering ones and zeros, one bit a time, into a six feet tall electronic panel of switches and indicator lights, to the hand-held devices of today which afford a slick graphic interface ? What took place "on the floor" ? The author reveals all via personal anecdotes and essays. Pains have been taken to describe some of the more esoteric computer concepts in a manner understandable to the non-professional, which the author thinks serves to enhance the reading experience.

3 review for My Life With Computers: A Memoir of an Involvement with Computers Spanning the Years 1954 to 2015

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dan Diaz

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sergio Camarena

  3. 5 out of 5

    Terje Pettersen

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