Doron Swade - The Cogwheel Brain - Little, Brown Book Group

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds

The Cogwheel Brain

Charles Babbage and the Quest to Build the First Computer

By Doron Swade

  • Paperback
  • £17.00

Vivid biography of Charles Babbage (1791-1871), the British scientist who 'invented the computer too soon'.

In 1821, 30-year-old inventor and mathematician Charles Babbage was poring over a set of printed mathematical tables with his friend, the astronomer John Herschel. Finding error after error in the manually evaluated results, Babbage made an exclamation, the consequences of which would not only dominate the remaining 50 years of his life, but also lay the foundations for the modern computer industry: 'I wish to God these calculations had been executed by steam!'

A few days later, he set down a plan to build a machine that would carry out complex mathematical calculations without human intervention and, at least in theory, without human errors. The only technology to which he had access for solving the problem was the cogwheel escapement found inside clocks. Babbage saw that a machine constructed out of hundreds of escapements, cunningly and precisely linked, might be able to handle calculations mechanically. The story of his lifelong bid to construct such a machine is a triumph of human ingenuity, will and imagination.

Biographical Notes

Doron Swade is senior curator at the Science Museum in London, and the instigator of the construction of one of Babbage's Difference Engines, completed in 1991.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780349112398
  • Publication date: 02 Aug 2001
  • Page count: 352
  • Imprint: Abacus
[A] marvellous book... It is Sawde's total immersion in Babbage's machines and in the man himself... that makes THE COGWHEEL BRAIN so compelling. — SPECTATOR
LONGITUDE Mark 2 — GUARDIAN
Little, Brown

Theft by Finding

David Sedaris
Authors:
David Sedaris
PublicAffairs

First Ladies

C-SPAN, Susan Swain, Richard Norton Smith
Authors:
C-SPAN, Susan Swain, Richard Norton Smith

A look inside the personal life of every first lady in American history, based on original interviews with major historiansC-SPAN's yearlong history series, First Ladies: Influence and Image , featured interviews with more than fifty preeminent historians and biographers. In this informative book, these experts paint intimate portraits of all forty-five first ladies,their lives, ambitions, and unique partnerships with their presidential spouses. Susan Swain and the C-SPAN team elicit the details that made these women who they were: how Martha Washington intentionally set the standards followed by first ladies for the next century how Edith Wilson was complicit in the cover-up when President Wilson became incapacitated after a stroke and how Mamie Eisenhower used the new medium of television to reinforce her, and her husband's, positive public images.This book provides an up-close historical look at these fascinating women who survived the scrutiny of the White House, sometimes at great personal cost, while supporting their families and famous husbands,and sometimes changing history. Complete with illustrations and essential biographical details, it is an illuminating, entertaining, and ultimately inspiring read.

Back Bay

The Life and Legend of Chris Kyle: American Sniper, Navy Seal

Michael J. Mooney
Authors:
Michael J. Mooney
Sphere

You're Still A Doctor, Doctor!

Robert Clifford
Authors:
Robert Clifford
Sphere

There You Are, Doctor!

Robert Clifford
Authors:
Robert Clifford
Sphere

Surely Not, Doctor!

Robert Clifford
Authors:
Robert Clifford

Doctor Bob's country practice is in Tadchester on the Somerset coast, but no one can accuse the town of being a sleepy little backwater. All human life is there with its quirks, colour, comedy and richness . . .There's the absent-minded, incontinent vicar of St Peter's; the well-known London publisher whose dog has more taste than most; the lady magistrate who travels for miles for a doctor with warm hands and the packet of suppositories which prompts a bomb scare! Then there's the hairdresser with a penchant for male strippers and the whispering journalist who learnt how to shout. Even off duty, Doctor Bob's life is full of incident and he himself ends up with a long spell in hospital.It all goes to show that truth can be so much stranger than fiction . . .

Sphere

The Shop Girls: Rosemary's Story

Ellee Seymour
Authors:
Ellee Seymour

For Rosemary, working in Heyworth's department store in Cambridge is a dream come true. Once she steps inside the elegant building - surrounded by beautiful dresses, sumptuous fabrics and glamorous accessories - the hardships and struggles of her own life are temporarily forgotten. Heyworth's is a magical place, where Rosemary and her friends - in their smart, simple black dresses - serve the fashionable elite of Cambridge, and glimpse lives of style and ease far beyond anything they had ever imagined. It is also a place where hard work and talent are valued, and where these young women can forge a successful career. Set against the backdrop of the closing years of the Second World War, and moving into the 1950s, The Shop Girls perfectly captures the camaraderie and friendship of four ambitious young women working together in a store that offered them an escape from the drudgery of their wartime childhoods. Each of the girls' stories will be individually published from July 2014 in fortnightly serialised ebooks, leading up to the release of the complete edition (with bonus material) in September.

Sphere

The Shop Girls: Betty's Story

Ellee Seymour
Authors:
Ellee Seymour

For Betty, working in Heyworth's department store in Cambridge is a dream come true. Once she steps inside the elegant building - surrounded by beautiful dresses, sumptuous fabrics and glamorous accessories - the hardships and struggles of her own life are temporarily forgotten. Heyworth's is a magical place, where Betty and her friends - in their smart, simple black dresses - serve the fashionable elite of Cambridge, and glimpse lives of style and ease far beyond anything they had ever imagined. It is also a place where hard work and talent are valued, and where these young women can forge a successful career. Set against the backdrop of the closing years of the Second World War, and moving into the 1950s, The Shop Girls perfectly captures the camaraderie and friendship of four ambitious young women working together in a store that offered them an escape from the drudgery of their wartime childhoods. Each of the girls' stories will be individually published from July 2014 in fortnightly serialised ebooks, leading up to the release of the complete edition (with bonus material) in September.

Sphere

The Shop Girls: Irene's Story

Ellee Seymour
Authors:
Ellee Seymour

For Irene, working in Heyworth's department store in Cambridge is a dream come true. Once she steps inside the elegant building - surrounded by beautiful dresses, sumptuous fabrics and glamorous accessories - the hardships and struggles of her own life are temporarily forgotten. Heyworth's is a magical place, where Irene and her friends - in their smart, simple black dresses - serve the fashionable elite of Cambridge, and glimpse lives of style and ease far beyond anything they had ever imagined. It is also a place where hard work and talent are valued, and where these young women can forge a successful career. Set against the backdrop of the closing years of the Second World War, and moving into the 1950s, The Shop Girls perfectly captures the camaraderie and friendship of four ambitious young women working together in a store that offered them an escape from the drudgery of their wartime childhoods. Each of the girls' stories will be individually published from July 2014 in fortnightly serialised ebooks, leading up to the release of the complete edition (with bonus material) in September.

Back Bay

Ghost In The Wires

Kevin Mitnick, William L. Simon
Authors:
Kevin Mitnick, William L. Simon

Kevin Mitnick, the world's most wanted computer hacker, managed to hack into some of the country's most powerful - and seemingly impenetrable - agencies and companies. By conning employees into giving him private information and maneuvering through layers of security, he gained access to data that no one else could.The suspenseful heart of the book unfolds as Mitnick disappears on a three-year run from the FBI. He creates fake identities, finds jobs at a law firm and hospital, and keeps tabs on his myriad pursuers - all while continuing to hack into computer systems and phone company switches that were considered flawless. A modern, technology-driven adventure story, GHOST IN THE WIRES is a dramatic account of the joy of outsmarting security programs, the satisfaction of code-cracking, and the thrill of unbelievable escape.

PublicAffairs

Molly Ivins

Bill Minutaglio, W. Michael Smith
Authors:
Bill Minutaglio, W. Michael Smith
Sphere

Memoirs of an Unfit Mother

Anne Robinson
Authors:
Anne Robinson

Anne Robinson's mother was a cross between Robert Maxwell and Mother Teresa. When Anne became a young reporter in Fleet Street, her mother, a wealthy market trader, bought her a mink coat and told her to have a facial once a month.But Anne Robinson's early success almost ended in her destruction. A doomed marriage was followed by a secret custody battle for her two-year-old daughter, Emma. 'Is it true?' her husband's barrister demanded in court, 'you once said you'd rather cover the Vietnam War than vacuum the sitting room?'A shocking, funny, poignant and honest account of three generations of women: Anne's formidable mother, Anne and her daughter Emma. Memoirs of an Unfit Mother tells of Anne's downfall, the shame of the years after the custody battle and her subsequent alcoholism. And the triumph of returning to take a second go at life. And making it work.

Da Capo Press

The Golden Girls of MGM

Jane Ellen Wayne
Authors:
Jane Ellen Wayne

Garbo and Crawford. Ava, Hedy, Judy, Liz epitomized Hollywood's golden era. With a trembling lip or sultry eye, with a tear or song or husky whisper, these women held moviegoers across America in their sway from the hard times of the 1930s through the booming postwar years to the early sixties. They were royalty and box office, and led pampered public lives,furs, jewels, designer gowns limousines, flash bulbs, handsome escorts,that captured the national imagination. They also signed seven-year contracts with a morals clause, and the more they slipped, the more the secret abortions, efficient cover-ups, legal legerdemain, and dropped charges bound them to the wizard in their Oz, Louis B. Mayer. The slips are here along with the successes. Here, too, are the Blonde Bombshell Jean Harlow, Million-Dollar Mermaid Esther Williams, Sweater Girl Lana Turner, and bad girl Ava Gardner ("She can't act. She can't talk. She's terrific," declared Mayer after her screen test). From Jeanette MacDonald and Norma Shearer to Princess Grace and Dame Elizabeth Taylor, the sixteen portraits in this lively, photograph-filled volume, each accompanied by the star's filmography, tell the tales that have long lay hidden behind the gossip and the glories of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's glamorous golden girls.

Abacus

The Tenth Circle Of Hell

Rezak Hukanovic
Authors:
Rezak Hukanovic

On May 13 1992, the Bosnian civil war finally came to Prijedo, a once-peaceful city where Muslims, Croats and Serbs had lived side by side for centuries. The Serb occupation of Prijedor was an exercise in what the victors called 'ethnic cleansing' whereby the town's Muslim and Croat citizens were rounded up and sent to concentration camps. Among those who lived though the nightmare was the journalist Rewak Hukanovic, whose riveting memoir chronicles the crimes against humanity that were committed by the Bosnian Serbs in the death camps of Omarska and Manjaca. Through the summer and fall of that endless year, Hukanovic and his friends, colleagues, relatives and neighbours were subjected to terror , torture, and grisly death. Through his unbelieving eyes we see the patina of civilization stripped away from aggressor and victim alike, revealing a brutality that calls into question all our notions of human decency.

A. A. Gill

AA Gill is the acerbic TV and travel critic of the Sunday Times.

Elena Lappin

Elena Lappin is a writer and editor. Born in Moscow, she grew up in Prague and Hamburg, and has lived in Israel, Canada, the United States and - longer than anywhere else - in London. She is the author of Foreign Brides and The Nose, and has contributed to numerous publications, including Granta, Prospect, the Guardian and the New York Times Book Review.

Jonathan Gould

Jonathan Gould has been researching and writing Can't Buy Me Love for almost twenty years. He is a former professional musician who studied with the eminent jazz drummer Alan Dawson and spent many years working in bands and recording studios. This is his first book.

Jonathan Smith

Jonathan Smith was educated in Wales and at St John's College, Cambridge. KBO: The Churchill Secret, his seventh novel, is being adapted into a major ITV drama. An earlier novel, Summer in February, was made into a feature film, starring Dan Stevens and Dominic Cooper.

Kirk Douglas

Kirk Douglas is one of the all-time Hollywood greats, a fact confirmed by his 1996 Oscar for Lifetime Achievement. He is also a highly successful and critically acclaimed writer.

Waris Dirie

Waris Dirie is an internationally renowned model. In 1997 she was appointed by the UN as special ambassador for women's rights in Africa, in its efforts to eliminate female genital mutilation. She lives in New York with her son. The film rights to her story have been sold to Elton John's production company, Rocket Pictures.