Computer - the Information Machine

Date: March 15, 2013     Category: publications


The third edition of the classic Computer: A History of the Information Machine has a cover, a website, and a publication date. When Martin Campbell-Kelly and William Aspray published the first edition of Computer in 1996, it revolutionized the discipline. Almost two decades later, it remains the most comprehensive, widely read, and influential history of computing available. This is the book that first introduced me to the discipline, and which for me is the model of how to make historical scholarship both erudite and accessible.

I am extremely proud, therefore, to have been asked by Martin and Bill to co-author the third edition. The latest version of Campbell-Kelly, Aspray, Ensmenger, and Yost includes a substantial amount of new material covering contemporary developments like Google and Facebook, but we also worked hard to incorporate the latest insights from the historical literature. The history of computing is a lively and growing discipline, and we had lots of new material to work with. Fans of the book can compare editions and play the “what is old/what is new” game. Even before I got involved with the third edition, I knew the book so well that I could usually tell…

Update: The new edition of Computer: A History of the Information Machine is now shipping on Amazon!