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The man who invented the computer : the biography of John Atanasoff, digital pioneer

Author: Jane Smiley
Publisher: New York : Doubleday, ©2010.
Edition/Format:   Book : Biography : English : 1st edView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
One night in the late 1930s, in a bar on the Illinois-Iowa border, John Vincent Atanasoff, a professor of physics at Iowa State University, after a frustrating day performing tedious mathematical calculations in his lab, hit on the idea that the binary number system and electronic switches, combined with an array of capacitors on a moving drum to serve as memory, could yield a computing machine that would make his  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: Biography
History
Named Person: John V Atanasoff; John V Atanasoff
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Jane Smiley
ISBN: 0385527136 9780385527132
OCLC Number: 502029794
Description: 246 pages, [8] pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm
Responsibility: Jane Smiley.

Abstract:

One night in the late 1930s, in a bar on the Illinois-Iowa border, John Vincent Atanasoff, a professor of physics at Iowa State University, after a frustrating day performing tedious mathematical calculations in his lab, hit on the idea that the binary number system and electronic switches, combined with an array of capacitors on a moving drum to serve as memory, could yield a computing machine that would make his life easier. Then he went back and built the machine. It worked, but he never patented the device, and the developers of the far-better-known ENIAC almost certainly stole critical ideas from him. But in 1973 a court declared that the patent on that Sperry Rand device was invalid, opening the gates to the computer revolution. Biographer Jane Smiley makes the race to develop digital computing as gripping as a real-life techno-thriller.--From publisher description.

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