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Turing's cathedral : the origins of the digital universe

Author: George Dyson
Publisher: New York : Vintage Books, a division of Random House, Inc., 2012.
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : First Vintage books editionView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
In this revealing account of how the digital universe exploded in the aftermath of World War II, George Dyson illuminates the nature of digital computers, the lives of those who brought them into existence, and how code took over the world. In the 1940s and '50s, a small group of men and women - led by John von Neumann - gathered in Princeton, New Jersey, to begin building one of the first computers to realize Alan  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: History
Named Person: John Von Neumann; Alan Mathison Turing; Alan Mathison Turing; John Von Neumann
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: George Dyson
ISBN: 9781400075997 1400075998
OCLC Number: 843124457
Description: xxii, 401 pages : illustsrations ; 21 cm
Contents: Principal characters --
1953 --
Olden Farm --
Veblen's circle --
Neumann János --
MANIAC --
Fuld 219 --
6J6 --
V-40 --
Cyclogenesis --
Monte Carlo --
Ulam's demons --
Barricelli's universe --
Turing's cathedral --
Engineer's dreams --
Theory of self-reproducing automata --
Mach 9 --
The tale of the big computer --
The thirty-ninth step.
Responsibility: George Dyson.

Abstract:

In this revealing account of how the digital universe exploded in the aftermath of World War II, George Dyson illuminates the nature of digital computers, the lives of those who brought them into existence, and how code took over the world. In the 1940s and '50s, a small group of men and women - led by John von Neumann - gathered in Princeton, New Jersey, to begin building one of the first computers to realize Alan Turing's vision of a Universal Machine. The codes unleashed within the embryonic, 5-kilobyte universe - less memory than is allocated to displaying a single icon on a computer screen today - broke the distinction between numbers that mean things and numbers that do things, and our universe would never be the same. Turing's Cathedral is the story of how the most constructive and most destructive of twentieth-century inventions - the digital computer and the hydrogen bomb - emerged at the same time.

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