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

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

by Aristotle Tympas

Hardcover(1st ed. 2017)

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This book offers an introduction to the history of computing during the ‘first’ (steam) and the ‘second’ (electricity) industrial revolution. It starts with the origins of the industrial revolution and stops at the emergence of electronic computing, which for many historians signifies the end of the industrial society and the beginning of a post-industrial society. It is popularly assumed that the history of computing before the second half of the twentieth century is unimportant. The general argument of the book is that computing has been of primary importance since the late nineteenth century and through the first half of the twentieth century. The book shows that the industrial revolution was made possible by a parallel revolution in computing technology. As indicated by the transition from isolated factory steam engines to vast networks of interconnected electric power lines, the industrial revolution was actually a permanent technological revolution. The book suggests that it was sustained by a perpetual revolution in computing technology. The history of this perpetual computing revolution helps us to understand that electronic era computing continued on what this permanent computing revolution had accumulated during the mechanical and the electrical age. What followed after the 1940s capitalized on what had started in the 1780s. In this sense, the book offers a history of computing during the mechanical and the electrical age that helps us to contextualize the history of electronic computing.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781848827417
Publisher: Springer London
Publication date: 01/13/2018
Series: History of Computing
Edition description: 1st ed. 2017
Pages: 243
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

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.

Table of Contents

Part I

Calculating New Power: Steam Generation

Calculating More Power: Electricity Transmission

Calculating Total Power: Nuclear Hit

Part II



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From the Publisher

“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)

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