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Computer By Paul Atkinson

Computer by Paul Atkinson

Condition - Very Good
$22.49
Only 4 left

Summary

The computer has in many respects become so common that it largely disappears from view. This book shows how changes in attitudes have been reflected in the physical design of the computer, and the ways in which the computer has been represented and promoted by manufacturers in advertising media.

Computer Summary

Computer by Paul Atkinson

The computer has in many respects become so common that it largely disappears from view. Originally a room-sized, esoteric, carefully-tended machine, breeding fear, awe and respect, over the years it has decreased in size, and with the rise of the personal computer it has now become a prosaic appliance little-more noted than a toaster or vacuum-cleaner. In "Computer" designer and design historian Paul Atkinson shows how changes in attitudes have been reflected in the physical design of the computer, and the ways in which the computer has been represented and promoted by manufacturers in advertising media. Informed by the office and sexual politics of the time, brochures for computers up until the 1980s clearly demonstrate the manufacturers' views on the ways in which they would be used. By contrast, 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 media: "Dan Dare" and the iconography of the space age for example, "2001: A Space Odyssey's" Hal, James Bond's bespoke gadgetry, "Stars War and Trek", and a myriad more besides.Atkinson also explores the role of fashion in the design and promotion of computers, showing the relationship between popular culture and the design of the computer to be complex and interdependent. Computer covers many issues ignored by other histories of computing, which have focused largely on technology and the economics involved in their production, but rarely on their physical design or their reception, consumption and representation. The book will appeal to professionals, students, and the lay reader in the fields of design, technology and computing, as well as social, cultural and economic history.

Computer Reviews

"The many illustrations (often old ads) are fascinating and often funny (1980s businessmen tripping off to work with massive 'portable' computers), or reveal obscure aesthetic precedents (1983's Orb computer looks suspiciously like the first iMac)."

--The Guardian

"An elegant history of the computer's journey from its 'initial form as a forbidding room-sized construction' to 'an innocuous box sitting on top of an office desk.' Atkinson describes all the important technological milestones -- stored memory, the first mouse, the development of touch screens -- but this is more art book than technical manual . . . Computer offers dozens of great photographs of and vintage advertisements for boxy old computers, and Atkinson analyzes these images as a means of exploring how our attitudes toward computers have changed over the years . . . an oddly fascinating history."--New Yorker Book Bench

--New Yorker Book Bench

"Computer is an extraordinary historical account of the electronic computer. Atkinson takes the reader on a tortuous journey through the technological time line of these amazing machines, from the days of Colossus to the modern notebook computer. . . . The book is imbued with priceless photographs of everything from the ICT 1301 to the quirky but beautiful iPad. It will be truly appreciated by all who have an interest in the history of our favorite machine. . . . Highly recommended."

--Choice

About Paul Atkinson

Paul Atkinson is Reader in Design in the Faculty of Arts, Computing, Engineering and Sciences at Sheffield Hallam University.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1 Establishment 2 Becoming Personal 3 Control, Status and Sex 4 Presentation and Representation References Select Bibliography Photo Acknowledgements Index

Additional information

GOR005057555
Computer by Paul Atkinson
Used - Very Good
Paperback
Reaktion Books
2010-06-01
256
1861896646
9781861896643
N/A
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us

Customer Reviews - Computer