Introduction to the History of Computing

A Computing History Primer

  • Gerard O'Regan

Part of the Undergraduate Topics in Computer Science book series (UTICS)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxi
  2. Gerard O’Regan
    Pages 1-11
  3. Gerard O’Regan
    Pages 13-36
  4. Gerard O’Regan
    Pages 37-53
  5. Gerard O’Regan
    Pages 55-72
  6. Gerard O’Regan
    Pages 73-81
  7. Gerard O’Regan
    Pages 101-107
  8. Gerard O’Regan
    Pages 109-117
  9. Gerard O’Regan
    Pages 119-125
  10. Gerard O’Regan
    Pages 127-141
  11. Gerard O’Regan
    Pages 143-149
  12. Gerard O’Regan
    Pages 151-161
  13. Gerard O’Regan
    Pages 163-178
  14. Gerard O’Regan
    Pages 179-187
  15. Gerard O’Regan
    Pages 189-211
  16. Gerard O’Regan
    Pages 213-223
  17. Gerard O’Regan
    Pages 225-247
  18. Gerard O’Regan
    Pages 249-273
  19. Gerard O’Regan
    Pages 275-283
  20. Back Matter
    Pages 285-296

About this book


Tracing the story of computing from Babylonian counting boards to smartphones, this inspiring textbook/reference provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of computing, together with discussion exercises to stimulate deeper investigation into this fascinating area.

Topics and features:

  • Provides chapter introductions, summaries and key topics, as well as review questions and a glossary
  • Includes an introduction to analogue and digital computers, and to the foundations of computing
  • Examines the contributions of the ancient Babylonian, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and Islamic civilisations to the field of computing
  • Covers the first digital computers, and the earliest examples of commercial computers, mainframes and minicomputers
  • Describes the invention and early development of the integrated circuit and the microprocessor
  • Reviews the emergence of home computers, and the introduction of the IBM personal computer
  • Discusses the technological revolutions initiated by the creation of the Internet, the invention of the smartphone, and the rise of social media
  • Presents a short history of telecommunications, programming languages, operating systems, software engineering, artificial intelligence, and databases

This engaging and easy-to-read work serves as an introductory textbook for students of computer science interested in the historical basis of the field. The curious reader will also find the book to be ideal as a self-study primer on the origins of the fundamental theory and early applications of the technology which has now become ubiquitous in modern society.


Early computers Computing history Artificial intelligence Microprocessor Algorithms

Authors and affiliations

  • Gerard O'Regan
    • 1
  1. 1.MallowIreland

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Computer Science Computer Science (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-33137-9
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-33138-6
  • Series Print ISSN 1863-7310
  • Series Online ISSN 2197-1781
  • Buy this book on publisher's site