The Digital Revolution

Alan Turing
The Turing machine creates a bridge between logic and computing before the first general purpose digital computer is invented (as well as aiding an advance in mathematical logic). Alan Turing's writings about Artificial Intelligence promote the idea of computers as intelligent thinking machines.
The Digital Computer is Invented
Somewhere between 1623 and 1952 the digital computer emerges. The programmability of computers makes them good approximations to universal turing machines with the potential to truly revolutionise the automation of intellectual processes.
An Explosion of Formalism
Design of a digital computer depends upon creating a formal notation (a machine code) for representing programs of instructions inside the computer. This is rapidly followed by notations easier to read by people. The need for automatic translation from these notations into machine code demands that they have a well defined syntax and semantics.
The Evolution of Data Representation
The need to extend delivered functionality forces continued evolution in the notations used to represent information, both for man/machine interaction and for use internal to or between computers.
From the earliest days of computing digital communications begin to emerge. Gradually the importance of networking of computers grows until this becomes a dominant theme in computing.
From Notation to Protocol
As the information superhighway becomes a global obsession, formal notations have to be perceived as suitable for mediation of interaction between networked computers.
The Digital Revolution
What people normally refer to as the digital revolution is just the last phase of this process. The establishement of global broadband digital networks for consumers, the transition of all kinds of information including wideband broadcast media into digital formats, and the emergence of a rapidly moving information economy in this new digital marketplace.

UP © RBJ created 1996/8/16 modified 1996/8/16 HOME