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From Mainframes to Smartphones: A History of the International Computer Industry

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This compact history traces the computer industry from its origins in 1950s mainframes, through the establishment of standards beginning in 1965 and the introduction of personal computing in the 1980s. It concludes with the Internet's explosive growth since 1995. Across these four periods, Martin Campbell-Kelly and Daniel Garcia-Swartz describe the steady trend toward mini This compact history traces the computer industry from its origins in 1950s mainframes, through the establishment of standards beginning in 1965 and the introduction of personal computing in the 1980s. It concludes with the Internet's explosive growth since 1995. Across these four periods, Martin Campbell-Kelly and Daniel Garcia-Swartz describe the steady trend toward miniaturization and explain its consequences for the bundles of interacting components that make up a computer system. With miniaturization, the price of computation fell and entry into the industry became less costly. Companies supplying different components learned to cooperate even as they competed with other businesses for market share. Simultaneously with miniaturization--and equally consequential--the core of the computer industry shifted from hardware to software and services. Companies that failed to adapt to this trend were left behind. Governments did not turn a blind eye to the activities of entrepreneurs. The U.S. government was the major customer for computers in the early years. Several European governments subsidized private corporations, and Japan fostered R&D in private firms while protecting its domestic market from foreign competition. From Mainframes to Smartphones is international in scope and broad in its purview of this revolutionary industry.


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This compact history traces the computer industry from its origins in 1950s mainframes, through the establishment of standards beginning in 1965 and the introduction of personal computing in the 1980s. It concludes with the Internet's explosive growth since 1995. Across these four periods, Martin Campbell-Kelly and Daniel Garcia-Swartz describe the steady trend toward mini This compact history traces the computer industry from its origins in 1950s mainframes, through the establishment of standards beginning in 1965 and the introduction of personal computing in the 1980s. It concludes with the Internet's explosive growth since 1995. Across these four periods, Martin Campbell-Kelly and Daniel Garcia-Swartz describe the steady trend toward miniaturization and explain its consequences for the bundles of interacting components that make up a computer system. With miniaturization, the price of computation fell and entry into the industry became less costly. Companies supplying different components learned to cooperate even as they competed with other businesses for market share. Simultaneously with miniaturization--and equally consequential--the core of the computer industry shifted from hardware to software and services. Companies that failed to adapt to this trend were left behind. Governments did not turn a blind eye to the activities of entrepreneurs. The U.S. government was the major customer for computers in the early years. Several European governments subsidized private corporations, and Japan fostered R&D in private firms while protecting its domestic market from foreign competition. From Mainframes to Smartphones is international in scope and broad in its purview of this revolutionary industry.

33 review for From Mainframes to Smartphones: A History of the International Computer Industry

  1. 4 out of 5

    Michael Scott

    TODO full review: About: I've read [auhtor:Martin Campbell-Kelly]'s From Mainframes to Smartphones as part of my exploration of the history of computing. Because I'm a professional in the field, as an academic working in computer science (distributed systems, no less), much of what I'm reading was already at least remotely familiar and, worse, I could actually tell when the author did not get the technology right. +++/--- Very important goal: understanding the global computer industry, focusing o TODO full review: About: I've read [auhtor:Martin Campbell-Kelly]'s From Mainframes to Smartphones as part of my exploration of the history of computing. Because I'm a professional in the field, as an academic working in computer science (distributed systems, no less), much of what I'm reading was already at least remotely familiar and, worse, I could actually tell when the author did not get the technology right. +++/--- Very important goal: understanding the global computer industry, focusing on hardware, software, and services. But the content and the writing do not do justice to the goal. The material barely scratches the surface about services and is very light on software. The writing itself is overall dull and at times repetitive. - There simply isn't enough technical detail about the recent Age of Internet to analyze whether the author "gets it". However, extrapolating the quality and detail for this period to infer the quality and depth of the material for the earlier, lesser-known periods leads to the conclusion that this book lacks much. Because this book has only 250 pages, some of which is the repetitive material, perhaps the author could have created a tome twice as long to get in more of what is known about these earlier periods, and more on software and services. (But it seems the author has opted to publish at least another book on the topic, focusing on software. Won't advertise it here, because the author may be milking the subject.)

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mills College Library

    338.47004 C1888 2015

  3. 5 out of 5

    John

  4. 4 out of 5

    Robert Wake

  5. 4 out of 5

    Yousef Husam

  6. 4 out of 5

    Josh

  7. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Tanous

  8. 5 out of 5

    TΞΞL❍CK Mith!lesh

  9. 4 out of 5

    Heather Dawn Robinette

  10. 4 out of 5

    Richard

  11. 4 out of 5

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  12. 5 out of 5

    Fred Fishel

  13. 4 out of 5

    Theaardvark01

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Muchuchu

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    CathT

  16. 4 out of 5

    NVCC Manassas

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ray

  18. 4 out of 5

    Genesis

  19. 4 out of 5

    Starla Singleton

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

  21. 5 out of 5

    Adil Mohammad

  22. 4 out of 5

    Diego Lomanto

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    Jorge Carvalho

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    Danny Smith

  25. 5 out of 5

    Carl

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    Marko Mehner

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ezequiel Birman

  28. 5 out of 5

    Pat Machell

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tatiana Severina

  30. 5 out of 5

    A

  31. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Guerin

  32. 5 out of 5

    Sharvani

  33. 4 out of 5

    Victoria Levchenko

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