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The Digital FloodThe Diffusion of Information Technology Across the U.S., Europe, and Asia$
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James W. Cortada

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199921553

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199921553.001.0001

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How Much Computing Is in The World?

How Much Computing Is in The World?

(p.3) Chapter 1 How Much Computing Is in The World?
The Digital Flood

James W. Cortada

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that computers have become a major component of modern societies around the world. It explains the extent to which computing has spread across North America, Europe, and Asia. The chapter argues that adoption of information technologies has gone through one full cycle that this book calls Wave One and is now entering a second wave. The chapter then describes broad patterns of adoption involving industries, national governments, Cold War politics, technological innovations and the role of companies. The chapter concludes that no comprehensive history of any nation or industry of the late twentieth century is possible without taking into account the role of computers. This comparative survey of over 16 countries begins in the 1940s and extends to the present.

Keywords:   diffusion, computers, Wave One, telecommunications, information technologies, North America, Europe, Asia, Internet

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