A very rare, beautiful work on the history of computing is now available (see Fig. 1).
Franco Soresini: Storia del calcolo automatico, Confederazione generale dell'industria italiana, Rome 1977.
It includes three volumes:
The first edition was „riservata alla Confederazione generale dell'industria italiana," i.e. „fuori commercio." It was not available in bookstores and also hard to obtain in international interlibrary loan. You can now download it via: Storia del calcolo automatico : Confederazione Generale dell'Industria Italiana : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive.
The work is an extremely instructive, rich history of calculating technology. It also includes the analog world and automata, and is written in Italian. Unfortunately, the quality of the many black-and-white illustrations is often poor, and in general references and sources are missing. There is no bibliography, there is no index.
The first impression is good. How reliable the book is can only be determined after a thorough reading.
A few shortcomings that I noticed:
Some errors are probably due to poor character recognition.
Herbert Bruderer is a retired lecturer in didactics of computer science at ETH Zurich. More recently, he has been an historian of technology. firstname.lastname@example.org, herbert.bruderer@bluewin.
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