Chapter 1 “India’s first computers” traces the history of analog and digital computers globally, and the Indian success story at the two premier research groups in 50’s and 60’s, namely, the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) in Calcutta and Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in Mumbai. The research groups were led by exemplary scientists Homi Bhabha and PC Mahalanobis. The book vividly brings out the seminal technical contributions that started even before Indian independence; though they were not commercial success stories. The rivalry among the ISI and TIFR to host the National Computer Center, the higher success of the TIFR camp and the contribution of several early pioneers in Indian computing scene are well articulated; it is interesting to note the application focus of early computing – solving scientific problems, particularly relating to atomic energy and economic theory.
(My Book Review will be posted over the next 10 days – a chapter a day for each of the ten chapters!)
Sharma Dinesh, “The Long Revolution”, The birth and growth of India’s IT industry”, Harper Collins (Dec 2008)