Calculation and Computation in the Pre-electronic Era: The Mechanical and Electrical Ages

Author:   Aristotle Tympas
Publisher:   Springer London Ltd
Edition:   1st ed. 2017
ISBN:  

9781848827417


Pages:   243
Publication Date:   01 August 2013
Format:   Hardback
Availability:   Awaiting stock   Availability explained
The supplier is currently out of stock of this item. It will be ordered for you and placed on backorder. Once it does come back in stock, we will ship it out for you.

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Calculation and Computation in the Pre-electronic Era: The Mechanical and Electrical Ages


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Overview

Although it is popularly assumed that the history of computing before the second half of the 20th century was unimportant, in fact the Industrial Revolution was made possible and even sustained by a parallel revolution in computing technology. An examination and historiographical assessment of key developments helps to show how the era of modern electronic computing proceeded from a continual computing revolution that had arisen during the mechanical and the electrical ages. This unique volume introduces the history of computing during the first (steam) and second (electricity) segments of the Industrial Revolution, revealing how this history was pivotal to the emergence of electronic computing and what many historians see as signifying a shift to a post-industrial society. It delves into critical developments before the electronic era, focusing on those of the mechanical era (from the emergence of the steam engine to that of the electric power network) and the electrical era (from the emergence of the electric power network to that of electronic computing). In so doing, it provides due attention to the demarcations between-and associated classifications of-artifacts for calculation during these respective eras. In turn, it emphasizes the history of comparisons between these artifacts. Topics and Features: motivates exposition through a firm historiographical argument of important developments explores the history of the slide rule and its use in the context of electrification examines the roles of analyzers, graphs, and a whole range of computing artifacts hitherto placed under the allegedly inferior class of analog computers shows how the analog and the digital are really inseparable, with perceptions thereof depending on either a full or a restricted view of the computing process investigates socially situated comparisons of computing history, including the effects of a political economy of computing (one that takes into account cost and ownership of computing artifacts) assesses concealment of analog-machine labor through encasement ( black-boxing ) Historians of computing, as well as those of technology and science (especially, energy), will find this well-argued and presented history of calculation and computation in the mechanical and electrical eras an indispensable resource. The work is a natural textbook companion for history of computing courses, and will also appeal to the broader readership of curious computer scientists and engineers, as well as those who generally just have a yearn to learn the contextual background to the current digital age. In this fascinating, original work, Tympas indispensably intertwines the histories of analog and digital computing, showing them to be inseparable from the evolution of social and economic conditions. Prof. David Mindell, MIT

Full Product Details

Author:   Aristotle Tympas
Publisher:   Springer London Ltd
Imprint:   Springer London Ltd
Edition:   1st ed. 2017
Weight:   0.555kg
ISBN:  

9781848827417


ISBN 10:   1848827415
Pages:   243
Publication Date:   01 August 2013
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Professional & Vocational
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Availability:   Awaiting stock   Availability explained
The supplier is currently out of stock of this item. It will be ordered for you and placed on backorder. Once it does come back in stock, we will ship it out for you.

Table of Contents

Introduction The Delights of the Slide Rule Lighting Calculations Lightened Like the Poor, the Harmonics Will Always Be With Us The Inner Satisfaction That Comes With Each Use of the Alignment Chart The Appearance of a Neatly Finished Box Conclusion

Reviews

In this fascinating, original work, Tympas indispensably intertwines the histories of analog and digital computing, showing them to be inseparable from the evolution of social and economic conditions. Prof. David Mindell, MIT


Tympas (National and Kapodistrian Univ. of Athens, Greece) traces the story of analog computing devices in the preelectronic (or pre-digital) era, from the mid-19th century to the mid-20th century. ... Tympas's meticulous attention to detail is demonstrated by the extensive references provided at the end of each chapter. All the references are united in a cumulative reference section at the end of the book. There is also a well-constructed, useful index. ... Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. (J. Beidler, Choice, Vol. 56 (1), September, 2018)


Author Information

Dr. Aristotle Tympas is an Associate Professor in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the National and Kapodestrian University of Athens, Greece.

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