The Story of Seymour Cray and the Technical Wizards Behind the Supercomputer by Charles J. Murray Hardcover: 232 pages Publisher: Wiley (January 1997) Language: English ISBN-10: 0471048852 ISBN-13: 978-0471048855
Amazon.com Review The story of supercomputing is only partially about technology. More than anything, it's about the gifted, brilliant, and often eccentric individuals who knew how to use that technology in new ways to do amazing things. Perhaps the most amazing of the bunch was Seymour Cray, the bureaucracy-intolerant genius with the barnstorming mind whose name has become synonymous with supercomputers. Charles Murray gives us an insightful and often thrilling and sometimes amusing look into how Cray and his genius companions took computers to new heights and humbled companies like Control Data and IBM.
From Publishers Weekly Before Bill Gates ever tinkered with an operating system, one name represented the cutting edge of computing technology: Seymour Cray. He pioneered the supercomputer and honed that edge through each model he engineered, including those built under the auspices of two companies he founded-Control Data Corporation and Cray Research. In this engrossing study, Murray, a senior editor at Design News magazine, follows the development and influence of the supercomputer from its origins as a WWII codebreaking machine through its Cold War application in developing nuclear weapons to its modern-day uses in weather research and other fields. Along the way, he shows clearly how the supercomputer brought us from the age of punchcards and vacuum tubes to that of transistors and, now, silicon chips. Drawing from extensive interviews, including the final one Cray gave before his death earlier this year from injuries sustained in a car crash, Murray also explores the personal side of the engineer, whose reputation as a brilliant, anti-corporate workaholic gave him legendary status in the computer industry. Murray's prose emphasizes information over liveliness, but his book, with its balanced mix of biography, history and technology, should interest more general readers as well as the digerati. Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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