Computer: A History of the Information Machine traces the history of the computer and its unlimited, information-processing potential.

Comprehensive and accessibly written, this fully updated fourth edition adds new chapters on the globalization of information technology, the rise of social media, fake news, and the gig economy, and the regulatory frameworks being put in place to tame the ubiquitous computer. Computer is an insightful look at the pace of technological advancement and the seamless way computers are integrated into the modern world. The authors examine the history of the computer, including the first steps taken by Charles Babbage in the nineteenth century, and how wartime needs and the development of electronics led to the giant ENIAC, the first electronic computer. For a generation IBM dominated the computer industry. In the 1980s, the desktop PC liberated people from room-sized, mainframe computers. Next, laptops and smartphones made computers available to half of the world’s population, leading to the rise of Google and Facebook, and powerful apps that changed the way we work, consume, learn, and socialize.

The volume is an essential resource for scholars and those studying computer history, technology history, and information and society, as well as a range of courses in the fields of computer science, communications, sociology, and management.

Part 1: BEFORE THE COMPUTER 1. When Computers Were People 2. The Mechanical Office 3. Babbage’s Dream Comes True Part 2: CREATING THE COMPUTER 4. Inventing the Computer 5. The Computer Becomes a Business Machine 6. The Maturing of the Mainframe: The Rise of IBM Part 3: INNOVATION AND EXPANSION 7. Real Time: Reaping the Whirlwind 8. Software 9. New Modes of Computing Part 4: GETTING PERSONAL 10. The Shaping of the Personal Computer 11. Broadening the Appeal 12. The Internet Part 5: THE UBIQUITOUS COMPUTER 13. Globalization 14. The Interactive Web: Clouds, Devices, and Culture 15. Computing and Governance