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Computer

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The pixelated rectangle we spend most of our day staring at in silence is not the television as many long feared, but the computer—the ubiquitous portal of work and personal lives. At this point, the computer is almost so common we don’t notice it in our view. It’s difficult to envision that not that long ago it was a gigantic, room-sized structure only to be accessed by a The pixelated rectangle we spend most of our day staring at in silence is not the television as many long feared, but the computer—the ubiquitous portal of work and personal lives. At this point, the computer is almost so common we don’t notice it in our view. It’s difficult to envision that not that long ago it was a gigantic, room-sized structure only to be accessed by a few inspiring as much awe and respect as fear and mystery. Now that the machine has decreased in size and increased in popular use, the computer has become a prosaic appliance, little-more noted than a toaster. These dramatic changes, from the daunting to the ordinary, are captured in Computer by design historian Paul Atkinson. Here, Atkinson chronicles the changes in physical design of the computer and shows how these changes in design are related to changes in popular attitude. Atkinson is fascinated by how the computer has been represented and promoted in advertising. For example, in contrast to ads from the 1970s and ’80s, today’s PC is very PC—genderless, and largely status free. Computer also considers the role of the computer as a cultural touchstone, as evidenced by its regular appearance in popular culture, including the iconography of the space age, HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey, James Bond’s gadgetry, and Stars War and Star Trek. Computer covers many issues ignored by other histories of computing, which have focused on technology and the economics involved in their production, but rarely on the role of fashion in the physical design and promotion of computers and their general reception. The book will appeal to professionals and students of design and technology as well as those interested in the history of computers and how they have shaped—and been shaped by—our lives.


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The pixelated rectangle we spend most of our day staring at in silence is not the television as many long feared, but the computer—the ubiquitous portal of work and personal lives. At this point, the computer is almost so common we don’t notice it in our view. It’s difficult to envision that not that long ago it was a gigantic, room-sized structure only to be accessed by a The pixelated rectangle we spend most of our day staring at in silence is not the television as many long feared, but the computer—the ubiquitous portal of work and personal lives. At this point, the computer is almost so common we don’t notice it in our view. It’s difficult to envision that not that long ago it was a gigantic, room-sized structure only to be accessed by a few inspiring as much awe and respect as fear and mystery. Now that the machine has decreased in size and increased in popular use, the computer has become a prosaic appliance, little-more noted than a toaster. These dramatic changes, from the daunting to the ordinary, are captured in Computer by design historian Paul Atkinson. Here, Atkinson chronicles the changes in physical design of the computer and shows how these changes in design are related to changes in popular attitude. Atkinson is fascinated by how the computer has been represented and promoted in advertising. For example, in contrast to ads from the 1970s and ’80s, today’s PC is very PC—genderless, and largely status free. Computer also considers the role of the computer as a cultural touchstone, as evidenced by its regular appearance in popular culture, including the iconography of the space age, HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey, James Bond’s gadgetry, and Stars War and Star Trek. Computer covers many issues ignored by other histories of computing, which have focused on technology and the economics involved in their production, but rarely on the role of fashion in the physical design and promotion of computers and their general reception. The book will appeal to professionals and students of design and technology as well as those interested in the history of computers and how they have shaped—and been shaped by—our lives.

28 review for Computer

  1. 5 out of 5

    Robert Schofield

  2. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Cole

  3. 4 out of 5

    Marcin Wichary

  4. 4 out of 5

    Owen Hatherley

  5. 4 out of 5

    Tamara Metz

  6. 4 out of 5

    V

  7. 5 out of 5

    Chrissy

  8. 5 out of 5

    COM Library Rarian

  9. 4 out of 5

    Joe

  10. 5 out of 5

    abcdefg

  11. 5 out of 5

    Daniele Savasta

  12. 5 out of 5

    John Hutchinson

  13. 4 out of 5

    Marcell Mars

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Arthur

  15. 4 out of 5

    Bas Geerdink

  16. 4 out of 5

    Louis Maddox

  17. 4 out of 5

    Paracelsus

  18. 4 out of 5

    David Baakman

  19. 5 out of 5

    Gazmend Kryeziu

  20. 5 out of 5

    Yuvraj

  21. 4 out of 5

    Atul

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tulseluper

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jimmy Cerone

  24. 4 out of 5

    Didi

  25. 4 out of 5

    João

  26. 4 out of 5

    Linda Liukas

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kyle Copeland

  28. 4 out of 5

    alex fox

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