Download Grace Hopper and the Invention of the Information Age by Kurt W. Beyer PDF

By Kurt W. Beyer

A Hollywood biopic concerning the lifetime of computing device pioneer Grace Murray Hopper (1906--1992) may move like this: a tender professor abandons the ivy-covered partitions of academia to serve her nation within the military after Pearl Harbor and reveals herself at the entrance strains of the pc revolution. She works tough to reach the all-male computing device undefined, is sort of introduced down through own difficulties yet survives them, and ends her profession as a celebrated elder stateswoman of computing, a heroine to millions, hailed because the inventor of computing device programming.

Throughout Hopper's later years, the preferred media advised this simplified model of her lifestyles tale. In Grace Hopper and the discovery of the knowledge Age, Kurt Beyer unearths a extra genuine Hopper, a colourful and intricate girl whose occupation paralleled the meteoric trajectory of the postwar laptop undefined.

Both rebellious and collaborative, Hopper was once influential in male-dominated army and enterprise corporations at a time while girls have been inspired to commit themselves to house responsibilities and childbearing. Hopper's maximum technical fulfillment was once to create the instruments that may let people to speak with pcs in phrases except ones and zeroes.

This increase prompted all destiny programming and software program layout and laid the basis for the advance of hassle-free own desktops.

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Additional info for Grace Hopper and the Invention of the Information Age (Lemelson Center Studies in Invention and Innovation)

Sample text

The materials chosen for the machine reflect Eckert’s understanding of cuttingedge concepts in electronics. Its organization and its flow echo Eckert’s design philosophy. In the video interview, one can see the aging inventor being transported back through the decades, remembering in an instant why certain dials were placed in such arrays, why color codes were used, and how humans interacted with the ENIAC to produce calculations at the speed of light. So, too, can we learn about Grace Hopper by studying her programs, manuals, operating instructions, professional publications, and flow charts.

The Third Reich had consolidated its hold on Western Europe and had moved its forces to within 19 miles of Moscow in the East. In January, Germany launched “Operation Drumbeat,” a devastating submarine offensive against American shipping along the eastern coast of North America. In the Pacific, Japanese expansion spread to Hong Kong, Guam, Wake Island, Midway Island, and Singapore. S. forces surrendered the Philippine Islands. On the home front, life transformed just as rapidly. In January the Emergency Price Control Act and Stabilization Act was passed, authorizing the president to control prices, wages, and public utility rates.

Paradoxically, what I see as good fortune other academics sometimes criticize as “soft” evidence. They protest that oral histories are highly inaccurate, limited by the fragile nature of memory. Oftentimes the interviews were conducted well after the events transpired and were further corrupted by the agendas of the interviewer, the interviewee, or both. These scholars would prefer concrete evidence, such as time cards, company memorabilia, and office memos. Such evidence carries an aura of fact, because it was generated while events THE MYTH OF AMAZING GRACE 17 transpired and because it is not dependent on the limitations of memory.

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