By Tamás T. Dénes
In the title, according to the topic, one can read various hidden messages. If you play around with the grouping of the three words, joined together by dashes, you might get different results. If you read ‘Secret-computer history’, you are equally right to the ones who read ‘Secret computer-history’.
The very purpose of this book is to reveal the secret chain of events in the history of computers. Some of these events had happened prior to the well known Neumann-computers and also parallel to it. They were progressing behind the scenes, sometimes in connection with the science of code breaking - cryptology. This connection with the secret services might be a reason why they remained hidden, up until the end of the 20th century.
Within the pages of this book you can find out about this secret history of computers that could have completely changed the way we view computers all around the world.
The contents of the book are based on -by now- familiar facts. Yet, it is equally fascinating to imagine what it could have been like if the secret history had become reality. If, in the Silicon Valley, D.N. Lehmer and his son D.H. Lehmer’s pre-historic construction or A. Turing’s really first computer of the world had taken over the world’s biggest branch of industry. What could be the technological limits of a parallel structured computer? How far would artificial and natural intelligence be from one another?
What makes the publishing of this book even more justified is the 210th anniversary of Charles Babbage’s birth, the 90th anniversary of Alan M. Turing’s birth in 2002; the 380th anniversary of Blaise Pascal’s, the 100th anniversary of Janos Neumann’s birth in 2003 and the 110th anniversary of Norbert Wiener’s birth in 2004.
These jigsaw pieces help us understand the vitally valuable work of these intellectual giants that had an answer to the 20th century’s challenges. The book makes an (unachievable) attempt to carve a ‘holographic statue’ in respect of these giants.