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Picture of Routes to the Information Revolution

Routes to the Information Revolution

Editor(s): Alexander Arbel

Book Description

This book is a precise and comprehensive history of the digital computer. It is the first collection of available information about the digital computer, beginning with the philosophical and logical advancements in the early 20th century that led to it. The book explores the histories and stories of the computer, tracing its roots and routes. It examines and analyzes commonly accepted views on the digital computer and its development, and offers clearer and more accurate alternatives to them. Its approach, though dealing with the introduction and development of the digital computer, is applicable to the history of technology in general.

The central question considered here is, why were the automatic digital program-controlled calculating devices developed simultaneously in Germany, the USA and the UK during the period 1935-1945? Astonishingly, the technologies, ideas, calculating means and calculating techniques existed and were available long before the development of the automatic digital program-controlled calculating device. However, only during the period 1935-1945 did they materialize. Ideas that may be viewed as attempts to develop this type of device began early in the modern era. Babbage (1834) and Ludgate (1909) took the first steps and constructed devices that may be viewed as something like computers. Nevertheless, the concrete fulfillment and practical use of these ideas was accomplished only in the period of 1935-1945, by a group of developers who acted in ignorance of what was done before. This book opens with a detailed discussion of these processes.


ISBN-13: 978-1-5275-2822-2
ISBN-10: 1-5275-2822-7
Date of Publication: 01/05/2019
Pages / Size: 425 / A5
Price: £81.99


Dr Alexander Arbel is a retired artillery officer and a graduate of the Israeli Defense Force Staff and Command College, and of Tel Aviv University. He served as a military consultant in Singapore and as Principal of a technical high school in Tel-Aviv. In this capacity, he introduced personal computers to the Israeli high-school system under the slogan “a computer for every pupil”. He also organized the computerization of the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem. He lectured at the Munich Deutsches Museum, at the Universities of Rostock and Bayreuth, Germany, and at the University of Newcastle, UK, among others. He has also been a Research Fellow on the history of technology at the Deutsches Museum and on the desalination of water by upsetting the molecular polarity of water in Tel-Aviv University.

Joseph Agassi MSc, PhD, FRSC, is Professor Emeritus in Tel Aviv University, Israel, and in York University, Toronto. He is the author of around 20 books and the editor of 10.