Arturo Herrero

Decisive Moments in Computer History

I’ve read The story of computer: From the Abacus to Artificial Intelligence by Turing’s nephew, Dermot Turing. How great it would be to read a book à la Stefan Zweig: Decisive Moments in Computer History1.

Decisive Moments in Computer History: Twenty-one historical miniatures:

  1. The use of the abacus and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
  2. Charles Babbage’s difference engine and Analytical Engine.
  3. 1890 U.S. census, punched cards, and Herman Hollerith’s tabulating machine.
  4. On computable numbers, the Enigma codebreaking at Bletchley Park, and the Turing test.
  5. Truth is binary. Shannon’s information theory.
  6. ENIAC, EDVAC, and the von Neumann architecture.
  7. Grace Hopper, from bugs to compilers.
  8. Silicon Valley and the Intel Trinity.
  9. IBM: Thinking inside the box.
  10. NASA’s Apollo program.
  11. The Mother of All Demos and the magic from Xerox PARC.
  12. ARPANET and the first-ever email.
  13. Atari, Sinclair, and Commodore.
  14. Windows, apples, and spreadsheets.
  15. Just a hobby, won’t be big and professional…
  16. The World Wide Web and the WorldWideWeb.
  17. Googol.
  18. An iPod, a phone, and an Internet communicator.
  19. DeepBlue, AlphaGo, and AI.
  20. Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.
  21. Tesla Autopilot.

  1. Decisive Moments in History is a 1927 history book by the Austrian writer Stefan Zweig. 

December 08, 2021 | @ArturoHerrero