Christie's auction and other computer history events

From: Tom Jennings <>
Date: Thu Feb 17 19:37:45 2005

On Thu, 17 Feb 2005, William Donzelli wrote:

>> Not only do AMericans not invent everything, we in fact haven't
>> invented a lot; but we develop the livin' shit out of it.
> Do most American's (well, nedy ones, anyway) really claim that all
> computing inventions were invented in the US?

Unfortunately, yes! For example, someone who knows better --
relegates most of the British computing development to an appendix
in hos book is the oft-quoted THE COMPUTER FROM PASCAL TO VON
NEUMANN by Goldstine. He vastly downplays the british work, like
EDSAC etc. He does mention it, but almost in passing.

> claim very often at all. What is very true is the British ability to make
> computer companies that fail miserably (sorry, not a flame, guys - a good


> I do find it amazing that the Europeans in general have never managed to
> grab even a small chunk of the world computing market.

Well there is that :-)

Herb Grosch makes one interesting observation here: in the U.S.
there is great freedom to move from university, to business, to
government (good for business, turns out bad for citizens, but
that's another story :-) whereas in France, for instance, there is
little mobility from business to university, similar in Britain.
Natives correct me if I'm wrong :-)

This mobility allowed for a lot of side effects that made for a
lot of technical cultural flexibility. Clearly it's not a
brain-cell problem, it was a business one.

Having recently been bombed into rubble may have had some
influence... and the U.S. industry in the opposite state... ahem.
Received on Thu Feb 17 2005 - 19:37:45 GMT

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