More than forty years ago (first printing in English: 1965) this book was a bestseller, translatet in twenty different languages - Hindu and Chinese included. Today very fascinating: This book is still actuell and a fun to read. What has changed since 1965? The simple systems are increased to a program-chaos. And the gigantig bigness as well as the extraordinary prices - today they are only a legend.
The presentation in the first printing:
ELECTRONIC BRAINS - Their operations are measured in ten-thousandths of a second. They vastly outperform human beings in speed, endurance and accuracy. They run factories, prepare payrolls, guide space shots. They also translate, write "poetry," and play chess. They are even being taught to learn and to profit from experjence. Yet they can take only a single step at a time, and must be guided every step of the way.
This book is a lively and accurate introduction to the intriguing world of feed-back, flip-flops and flow charts, of matrices, micromodules and milliseconds. It makes readily understandable to the non-scientist all the essential facts about the machines that are transforming our way of life.
The opinion of the famous american "Computing Reviews" in the 3rd printing, 1967:
"The computer age has barely entered its third decade, but computers already touch the life of everyone in the United States. Here is a unique introduction to this revolutionary new field - a clear, nontechnical guide to the workings and uses of man's most complex machine. It explains step-by-step the surprisingly simple devices and principles behind even the most sophisticated computer operations.
Easy-to-follow diagrams and vivid examples clarify every procedure: from data processing and coding through the art of the programmer, and on into the computer's intricate mechanical heart, where delicate circuits follow instructions -"memorize" and calculate at incredible speeds. The concluding survey of computers at work in business, science and government reveals their amazing influence today, and both the dangers and exciting potential of their future development.
Skillfully and imaginatively done. The writing is so artful that the 'expert' would do well to pause and refresh."
Rolf Lohberg is the author of many articles on electrotechnics, automation and rationallzation. - Theo Lutz is a mathematician whose work with electronic calculators has included technical, scientific and economic system-planning and programming in a large computing center.