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Maurice Wilkes was one of the leading scientific explorers in the development of the modern digital computer. He directed the Mathematical Laboratory (later named the Computer Laboratory) at Cambridge University, where he and his team built the EDSAC, the first stored program digital computer to go into service.Wilkes describes in nontechnical detail the growth of EDSAC an Maurice Wilkes was one of the leading scientific explorers in the development of the modern digital computer. He directed the Mathematical Laboratory (later named the Computer Laboratory) at Cambridge University, where he and his team built the EDSAC, the first stored program digital computer to go into service.Wilkes describes in nontechnical detail the growth of EDSAC and its successor, EDSAC 2, his introduction of microprogramming, and the first experiments with time-sharing systems. In the 1950s, when machines were still getting larger rather than smaller, Wilkes was one of the few who foresaw a time when nonspecialists would be using computers almost universally, and he reviews his anticipatory efforts to develop simple programming systems. But his book is more than a history of computing, it also recounts the allied scientific effort when he was one of those scientists and engineers ("boffins" as they were called by the RAF) who were in the thick of it, his electronics skills enlisted in the new and exciting development of radar.In this absorbing autobiography, Wilkes is as concerned with people and places as he is with computer components and programs of development. He deftly sketches his childhood in the English midlands and his student days at Cambridge where he studied mathematical physics, and his boyhood fascination with radio matured. He conveys the excitement of sudden insights and long-sought breakthroughs against life's simpler pleasures and trials. His account brims with assessments and anecdotes of such contemporaries as Turing, Hartree, von Neumann, Aiken, and a dozen others. And with his impressions of America and Germany formed during his scientific journeys.


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Maurice Wilkes was one of the leading scientific explorers in the development of the modern digital computer. He directed the Mathematical Laboratory (later named the Computer Laboratory) at Cambridge University, where he and his team built the EDSAC, the first stored program digital computer to go into service.Wilkes describes in nontechnical detail the growth of EDSAC an Maurice Wilkes was one of the leading scientific explorers in the development of the modern digital computer. He directed the Mathematical Laboratory (later named the Computer Laboratory) at Cambridge University, where he and his team built the EDSAC, the first stored program digital computer to go into service.Wilkes describes in nontechnical detail the growth of EDSAC and its successor, EDSAC 2, his introduction of microprogramming, and the first experiments with time-sharing systems. In the 1950s, when machines were still getting larger rather than smaller, Wilkes was one of the few who foresaw a time when nonspecialists would be using computers almost universally, and he reviews his anticipatory efforts to develop simple programming systems. But his book is more than a history of computing, it also recounts the allied scientific effort when he was one of those scientists and engineers ("boffins" as they were called by the RAF) who were in the thick of it, his electronics skills enlisted in the new and exciting development of radar.In this absorbing autobiography, Wilkes is as concerned with people and places as he is with computer components and programs of development. He deftly sketches his childhood in the English midlands and his student days at Cambridge where he studied mathematical physics, and his boyhood fascination with radio matured. He conveys the excitement of sudden insights and long-sought breakthroughs against life's simpler pleasures and trials. His account brims with assessments and anecdotes of such contemporaries as Turing, Hartree, von Neumann, Aiken, and a dozen others. And with his impressions of America and Germany formed during his scientific journeys.

30 review for Memoirs of a Computer Pioneer

  1. 4 out of 5

    P. W. Lapwing

    This book underlines the tremendous advances in computer technology which we have had the privilege to witness over the last 60 years.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Peter Corke

  3. 5 out of 5

    Vasile Baltac

  4. 4 out of 5

    Peter

  5. 4 out of 5

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  6. 4 out of 5

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    Nickolasnikolic

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  10. 4 out of 5

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  11. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Wolfson

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ruben

  13. 5 out of 5

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  15. 4 out of 5

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  16. 4 out of 5

    Arto Bendiken

  17. 5 out of 5

    Gatsby+SWC Library

  18. 5 out of 5

    Amber

  19. 4 out of 5

    Raphael

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sai Prasanna Kumar Malladi

  21. 4 out of 5

    Telamonides

  22. 5 out of 5

    Azzaz

  23. 4 out of 5

    Dave Cheney

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tahsin

  25. 4 out of 5

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  27. 5 out of 5

    Carla Cornelius

  28. 4 out of 5

    Samuel Gauthier

  29. 4 out of 5

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  30. 5 out of 5

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