[SIGCIS-Members] The Imitation Game (was: Isaacson's book)

Ceruzzi, Paul CeruzziP at si.edu
Tue Oct 7 06:57:35 PDT 2014

Tom and others mentioned how public figures like Isaacson or Doris Kearns Goodwin add an entertainment dimension to what otherwise might be considered dry history (not to me of course). Generally speaking, it has been very difficult for Hollywood to add drama to a guy (or woman) plugging in vacuum tubes, or worse, typing on a keyboard, e.g. the movie about Wikileaks. But a successful film about the creation of the ENIAC should be done.

So we shall see what happens when this biopic about Turing comes out:


Here’s the trailer:


Casting Keira Knightley as his friend and confidant has apparently raised some eyebrows, but that’s show business.

Paul Ceruzzi

From: members-bounces at sigcis.org [mailto:members-bounces at sigcis.org] On Behalf Of PeterEckstein at comcast.net
Sent: Monday, October 06, 2014 11:24 PM
To: Koblentz, Evan
Cc: Haigh, Thomas; Computer, SIG
Subject: Re: [SIGCIS-Members] Isaacson's book

On the interview, let me add:

Good: Recognizing that Atanasoff did not really invent the first "computer".

Bad: Saying that JVA worked alone, when in fact Clifford Berry did much of the engineering.  He was the "B" in the retrospectively named "ABC."

Good: giving precedence to ENIAC and to some extent Colossus.

Rather bad: Never mentioning (that I heard, could be wrong) either Eckert or Mauchly by name.

From: "Koblentz, Evan" <evan at snarc.net<mailto:evan at snarc.net>>
To: "Haigh, Thomas" <thaigh at computer.org<mailto:thaigh at computer.org>>, "Computer, SIG" <members at sigcis.org<mailto:members at sigcis.org>>
Sent: Monday, October 6, 2014 4:02:48 PM
Subject: Re: [SIGCIS-Members] Isaacson's book

I heard Isaacson on NPR just now.

Good: Realistic treatment to Al Gore's contributions to the Internet.

Neutral: Power users today only learn software, not hardware, unlike in his transistor kit youth. (No mention of the present "maker" trend.)

Bad: Personal computing was invented in the Bay Area and Altair was the first one.

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