Building IBM: Shaping an Industry and Its Technology
Emerson W. Pugh. MIT Press, 1995
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.

Commodore Tape Recorders
Giacomo Vernoni. Self pulished, 2019
Commodore Tape Recorders shows all the cassette drives that were used with the Commodore 8-bit line of computers: from the first one in the PET 2001 case to the model 1530 that many of us used to load games on the Commodore 64. The models are presented in the most probable chronological order, with an image of the device and scans of the manual covers. Known variations and technical specifications are shown for each model.\\

Commodore VIC 20: A Visual History
Giacomo Vernoni. Self pulished, 2017
A book about the computer that made Commodore enter the home market. Many pictures of the VIC 20 revisions and peripherals, plus restored box art images of all the cartridges sold by Commodore for the system. Includes a full set of all the Commodore game and utilities cartridge covers printed on heavy paper, postcard size, with a sleeve box.

IBM's 360 and Early 370 Systems
Emerson W. Pugh, Lyle R. Johnson, John H. Palmer. MIT Press, 1991
No new product offering has had greater impact on the computer industrythan the IBM System/360. IBM's 360 and Early 370 Systems describes the creation ofthis remarkable system and the developments it spawned, including its successor, System/370. The authors tell how System/360's widely-copied architecture came intobeing and how IBM failed in an effort to replace it ten years later with a bolddevelopment effort called FS, the Future System. Along the way they detail thedevelopment of many computer innovations still in use, among them semiconductormemories, the cache, floppy disks, and Winchester disk files. They conclude bylooking at issues involved in managing research and development and striving forproduct leadership.While numerous anecdotal and fragmentary accounts of System/360and System/370 development exist, this is the first comprehensive account, a resultof research into IBM records, published reports, and interviews with over a hundredparticipants. Covering the period from about 1960 to 1975, it highlights suchimportant topics as the gamble on hybrid circuits, conception and achievement of aunified product line, memory and storage developments, software support, uniqueproblems at the high end of the line, monolithic integrated circuit developments, and the trend toward terminal-oriented systems.System/360 was developed during thetransition from discrete transistors to integrated circuits at the crucial time whenthe major source of IBM's revenue was changed from punched-card equipment toelectronic computer systems. As the authors point out, the key to the system'ssuccess was compatibility among its many models. So important was this to customersthat System/370 and its successors have remained compatible with System/360. Manycompanies in fact chose to develop and market their own 360-370 compatible systems.System/360 also spawned an entire industry dedicated to making plug-compatibleproducts for attachment to it.The authors, all affiliated with IBM Research, arecoauthors of IBM's Early Computers, a critically acclaimed technical historycovering the period before 1960.

IBM's Early Computers
Charles J. Bashe, Emerson W. Pugh. MIT Press, 1985
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.

Insanely Great: The Life and Times of Macintosh, the Computer that Changed Everything
Steven Levy. Penguin Books, 1993
The creation of the Mac in 1984 catapulted America into the digital millennium, captured a fanatic cult audience, and transformed the computer industry into an unprecedented mix of technology, economics, and show business. Now veteran technology writer and Newsweek senior editor Steven Levy zooms in on the great machine and the fortunes of the unique company responsible for its evolution. Loaded with anecdote and insight, and peppered with sharp commentary, Insanely Great is the definitive book on the most important computer ever made. It is a must-have for anyone curious about how we got to the interactive age.

From Whirlwind to MITRE: The R&D Story of the SAGE Air Defense Computer
Kent C. Redmond, Thomas M. Smith. MIT Press, 2000
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.

On the Edge: The Spectacular Rise and Fall of Commodore
Brian Bagnall. Variant Press, 2005
Filled with first-hand accounts of ambition, greed, and inspired engineering, this history of the personal computer revolution takes readers inside the cutthroat world of Commodore. Before Apple, IBM, or Dell, Commodore was the first computer maker to market its machines to the public, selling an estimated 22 million Commodore 64s. These halcyon days were tumultuous, however, owing to the expectations and unsparing tactics of founder Jack Tramiel. Engineers and managers with the company between 1976 and 1994 share their experiences of the groundbreaking moments, soaring business highs, and stunning employee turnover that came along with being on top of the PC world in the early days.

Revolution in the Valley: The Insanely Great Story of How the Mac Was Made
Andy Hertzfeld. O'Reilly Media, 2004
There was a time, not too long ago, when the typewriter and notebook ruled, and the computer as an everyday tool was simply a vision. Revolution in the Valley traces this vision back to its earliest roots: the hallways and backrooms of Apple, where the groundbreaking Macintosh computer was born. The book traces the development of the Macintosh, from its inception as an underground skunkworks project in 1979 to its triumphant introduction in 1984 and beyond. The stories in Revolution in the Valley come on extremely good authority. That's because author Andy Hertzfeld was a core member of the team that built the Macintosh system software, and a key creator of the Mac's radically new user interface software. One of the chosen few who worked with the mercurial Steve Jobs, you might call him the ultimate insider. When Revolution in the Valley begins, Hertzfeld is working on Apple's first attempt at a low-cost, consumer-oriented computer: the Apple II. He sees that Steve Jobs is luring some of the company's most brilliant innovators to work on a tiny research effort the Macintosh. Hertzfeld manages to make his way onto the Macintosh research team, and the rest is history. Through lavish illustrations, period photos, and Hertzfeld's vivid first-hand accounts, Revolution in the Valley reveals what it was like to be there at the birth of the personal computer revolution. The story comes to life through the book's portrait of the talented and often eccentric characters who made up the Macintosh team. Now, over 20 years later, millions of people are benefiting from the technical achievements of this determined and brilliant group of people.

Sophistication and Simplicity: The Life and Times of the Apple II Computer
Steven Weyhrich. Variant Press, 2013
Despite humble beginnings, today Apple, Inc. enjoys unprecedented popularity and prosperity with its products, routinely selling over a million devices in a single day. It is a major innovator in the computing and consumer landscape, and as shown in this retrospective, the history of the Apple II computer plays a large part in the current successes of the company. The late 1970s saw the dawn of the Apple II, the company's first hit product. It provided the breathing room for Apple to become self-sustaining and ultimately blossom into one of the greatest business and technology successes in history. This account provides a unique view of early personal computing and Apple as a company, focusing almost exclusively on the role of the Apple II within that story. It extends outward to the products, publications, and early online services that made up the ecosystem for the platform during its active years, and follows the story to present-day enthusiasts who still find new things to do with a computer that got its start more than 35 years ago.

Show Stopper!: The Breakneck Race to Create Windows NT and the Next Generation at Microsoft
G. Pascal Zachary. Free Press, 1994
Showstopper is the dramatic, inside story of the creation of Windows NT, told by Wall Street Journal reporter G. Pascal Zachary. Driven by the legendary David Cutler, a picked band of software engineers sacrifices almost everything in their lives to build a new, stable, operating system aimed at giving Microsoft a platform for growth through the next decade of development in the computing business. Comparable in many ways to the Pulitzer Prize–winning book The Soul of a New Machine by Tracy Kidder, Showstopper gets deep inside the process of software development, the lives and motivations of coders and the pressure to succeed coupled with the drive for originality and perfection that can pull a diverse team together to create a program consisting of many hundreds of thousands of lines of code.

Sunburst: The Ascent of Sun Microsystems
Mark Hall, John Barry. McGraw-Hill/Contemporary, 1990
In the volatile, high-stakes arena of the Silicon Valley computer industry, few corporate stars have consistently blazed as brightly as Sun Microsystems. Rising from start-up to present-day revenues of over $1 billion in just six years, Sun has not only survived the competitive and technological land mines that annihilate many a fledgling business; it has succeeded - and it has done so spectacularly. Sun Microsystems exploded into the computer business world with amazing speed and force in 1982. With an innovative new machine - a high-performance desktop computer capable of handling even complex scientific tasks - four men still in their twenties combined their marketing savvy, business drive, and engineering talent to create a company that within four years of its founding would ascend to the number one position in the workstation marketplace. Within six years, it would be recognized as an industry leader. Sun's unique marketing tactics and sheer business chutzpah have outraged most of its competitors - and resulted in an almost unprecedented rate of success for the upstart firm. In the history of high-tech business, only one other firm has exceeded Sun's growth in terms of speed and size. Where others imitate, though, Sun invents. While others jockey for a share of shelf space, Sun goes for a share of mind. In this high-voltage account, authors Mark Hall and John Barry tell the story of an amazing start-up success. The history of Sun Microsystems is, however, much more than an inside look at the exciting and perilous world of start-up technologies. It's an object lesson in how to build a major corporation able to compete with companies ten, twenty, even fifty times its size. It's an exploration of the innovative corporate cultural traits that have enabled Sun to beat out its competition, from fellow upstarts to the “big dogs” such as Hewlett-Packard and IBM - traits that may well represent a formula for what it takes to be successful in today's world.

Turing's Vision: The Birth of Computer Science
Chris Bernhardt. Mit Press, 2016
In 1936, when he was just twenty-four years old, Alan Turing wrote a remarkable paper in which he outlined the theory of computation, laying out the ideas that underlie all modern computers. This groundbreaking and powerful theory now forms the basis of computer science. In Turing's Vision, Chris Bernhardt explains the theory, Turing's most important contribution, for the general reader. Bernhardt argues that the strength of Turing's theory is its simplicity, and that, explained in a straightforward manner, it is eminently understandable by the nonspecialist. As Marvin Minsky writes, “The sheer simplicity of the theory's foundation and extraordinary short path from this foundation to its logical and surprising conclusions give the theory a mathematical beauty that alone guarantees it a permanent place in computer theory.” Bernhardt begins with the foundation and systematically builds to the surprising conclusions. He also views Turing's theory in the context of mathematical history, other views of computation (including those of Alonzo Church), Turing's later work, and the birth of the modern computer.

We Love Atari
Karl Morris. Zafinn Books, 2019
View the Atari story as it unfolds with period advertising and product images, lightly sprinkled with interesting facts and historical snapshots of the Atari story as it happened. From the very first Pong arcade machine, to Atari's first home computers, “We Love Atari” is a tribute to one of the worlds most iconic companies, loved by millions and still loved today.

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