Computing in Russia: The History of Computer Devices and Information Technology Revealed
This book is the first compendium on the development of the computer in Russia to appear in the West. After briefly illuminating the history of Russian mechanical calculation devices, the book largely focuses on the first generations of (military and civilian) electronic computers, most of which were developed in the Soviet Union during the "Space-Race" and the Cold War, simultaneously with similarly fundamental developments in computing in the U.S.A. The reader is introduced to computers and cybernetics from mathematical, technical, social and cultural perspectives through archive material and through texts by some of the preeminent veterans of Russian computing (historians, engineers, military historians). This alternative history and pre-history of information processing and of the computer ends with the adopting of the IBM standard and of Western technologies around 1970. Under the title Arifmometr (the name of the first Russian calculation device), a critical part of Eastern European technological culture is (re)-discovered for the reader; at the same time, the reader is reminded of the alternatives to the Western hemisphere's concept of the computer, which are of decisive historical interest.
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