Product Description & Reviews
The SUPERMEN"After a rare speech at the National Center for AtmosphericResearch in Boulder, Colorado, in 1976, programmers in the audiencehad suddenly fallen silent when Cray offered to answer questions.He stood there for several minutes, waiting for their queries, butnone came. When he left, the head of NCAR's computing divisionchided the programmers. 'Why didn't someone raise a hand?' After atense moment, one programmer replied, 'How do you talk to God?'"-from The SUPERMEN The Story of Seymour Cray and the TechnicalWizards behind the Supercomputer"They were building revolutionary, not evolutionary, machines. . .. They were blazing a trail-molding science into a product. . . .The freedom to create was extraordinary." -from The SupermenIn 1951, a soft-spoken, skinny young man fresh from the Universityof Minnesota took a job in an old glider factory in St. Paul.Computer technology would never be the same, for the glider factorywas the home of Engineering Research Associates and the recentcollege grad was Seymour R. Cray. During his extraordinary career,Cray would be alternately hailed as "the Albert Einstein," "theThomas Edison," and "the Evel Knievel" of supercomputing. Atvarious times, he was all three-a master craftsman, inventor, andvisionary whose disdain for the rigors of corporate life becamelegendary, and whose achievements remain unsurpassed.The Supermen is award-winning writer Charles J. Murray'sexhilarating account of how the brilliant-some would sayeccentric-Cray and his gifted colleagues blazed the trail that ledto the Information Age. This is a thrilling, real-life scientificadventure, deftly capturing the daring, seat-of-the-pants spirit ofthe early days of computer development, as well as an audacious,modern-day David and Goliath battle, in which a group of maverickengineers beat out IBM to become the runaway industryleaders.Murray's briskly paced narrative begins during the final months ofthe Second World War, when men such as William Norris and HowardEngstrom began researching commercial applications for thecode-breaking machines of wartime, and charts the rise oftechnological research in response to the Cold War. In those dayscomputers were huge, cumbersome machines with names like Demon andAtlas. When Cray came on board, things quickly changed.Drawing on in-depth interviews-including the last interview Craycompleted before his untimely and tragic death-Murray provides rareinsight into Cray's often controversial approach to his work. Craycould spend exhausting hours in single-minded pursuit of aparticular goal, and Murray takes us behind the scenes to witnesslate-night brainstorming sessions and miraculous eleventh-hourfixes. Cray's casual, often hostile attitude toward management,although alienating to some, was more than a passionate need forindependence; he simply thought differently than others. SeymourCray saw farther and faster, and trusted his vision with anunassailable confidence. Yet he inspired great loyalty as well,making it possible for his own start-up company, Cray Research, tobring the 54,000-employee conglomerate of Control Data to itsknees.Ultimately, The Supermen is a story of genius, and how a unique setof circumstances-a small-team approach, corporate detachment, and agovernment-backed marketplace-enabled that genius to flourish. Inan atmosphere of unparalleled freedom and creativity, SeymourCray's vision and drive fueled a technological revolution fromwhich America would emerge as the world's leader in supercomputing. The story of supercomputing is only partially about technology. More than anything, it's about the gifted, brilliant, and often eccentric individuals who knew how to use that technology in new ways to do amazing things. Perhaps the most amazing of the bunch was Seymour Cray, the bureaucracy-intolerant genius with the barnstorming mind whose name has become synonymous with supercomputers. Charles Murray gives us an insightful and often thrilling and sometimes amusing look into how Cray and his genius companions took computers to new heights and humbled companies like Control Data and IBM.
Features & Highlights
- ISBN13: 9780471048855
- Condition: New
- Notes: BRAND NEW FROM PUBLISHER! 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Tracking provided on most orders. Buy with Confidence! Millions of books sold!
|Item Weight:||1.2 pounds|
|Item Size:||0.91 x 9.7 x 9.7 inches|
|Package Weight:||1.15 pounds|
|Package Size:||6.22 x 1.1 x 1.1 inches|
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