Bibliography and Appendices

Additions          
           
I've just finished reading a wonderful history of ENIAC by Scott McCartney, published in 1999. Full title "ENIAC: the Triumphs and Tragedies of the World's First Computer" it tells much more of the human story than I was able to get into my two chapters, indeed a lot more than I knew. And his analysis of the "ENIAC patents" trial is a useful alternative viewpoint to Clark Mollenhoff's account in his biography of John Atanasoff. Highly recommended!
           
Earlier versions of "Electronic Brains"      
           
When I came across the phrase "electronic brain", widely used in the late 40s and early 50s by the mass media to describe computers -- and loathed by most computer engineers at the time -- I thought it was a great title for a radio series. And obviously it was right for the book too. What I didn't realise was how many authors had the same idea decades before me. Here's a few I found through the brilliant Abebooks site:
           
This is the one that surprised me the most! A BBC book from the early Sixties, comprising the scripts from a series of six talks on the "External Services". I certainly never imagined there had been a previous radio series called "Electronic Brains"
           
And here's a book with exactly the same title -- though at least the sub-title differs. This is much more about how the early computers worked. In fact the blurb inside the cover starts "if you can add 2 and 2, you can understand this, the first crystal-clear explanation of how computers -- all types of computers, with and without 'memories' -- work".    
           
  But if you're not too sure about adding 2 and 2 together, here's an even more straightforward account, with pictures. It's by Robert Scharff and first appeared in 1964.
           
Aah, the beautiful simplicity of the classic old "Pelican" cover. OK the title's "Minds and Machines" but the rather long sub-title starts "What are 'electronic brains'?" and I think that counts.    
           
and lastly a more graphic cover, another book from the Sixties -- just (1969)
         
last update 12 May 05