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Tracing the Evolution of the Computer, from Unusual to Ubiquitous


Thomas Haigh, professor of History at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, sits amongst his collection of vintage computers.

"Since the 1990s, the shift to 3D games drove the development of new graphics processor chips so powerful they are also used for cryptocurrency mining and artificial intelligence."-Thomas Haigh

Credit: UWM Photo/Troye Fox

Thomas Haigh is a professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM).

In an interview, Haigh discusses A New History of Modern Computing, a new book he co-authored with Paul Ceruzzi, curator emeritus at the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum. Haigh recalls how he and Ceruzzi reimagined Ceruzzi's A History of Modern Computing, using each chapter to recount how a particular community of users and producers remade the computer into something new.

"The computer's journey from its origin as scientific instrument to a uniquely flexible general-purpose technology seems unique in the history of technology," Haigh says.

From University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
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