Christie's auction and other computer history events

From: Paul Koning <>
Date: Fri Feb 18 09:07:58 2005

>>>>> "William" == William Donzelli <> writes:

>> 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.

 William> Well, I guess it does happen, although most people I know
 William> don't really see it that way. On the flip side, it really
 William> bugs me how many give the lion's share of radar (and
 William> electronic innovation) invention in World War 2 to the
 William> British. I suppose it is the "history written by the
 William> victors" effect.

So are you saying the Germans did most of the radar work? If so then
it probably was a case of two groups both doing the work, since
obviously the knowledge wasn't being shared.

Another example of misattribution is Enigma; usually it's reported
that the Brits (at Bletchley) broke it with the help of Turing's
machines. Not true. The Poles broke Enigma; what the Brits did is
mechanize the process and turn it into a production line. Definitely
good innovative work, but giving them credit for breaking the system
is definitely inaccurate.

Received on Fri Feb 18 2005 - 09:07:58 GMT

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