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50 Years Ago

By now it is evident that computer music has come to stay. In the United States it is well established and this state of affairs will surely obtain soon in Europe and in particular Britain. Several installations of one type or another are being brought into existence in this country and recently the British Society for Electronic Music has been formed. Although there is a fair amount of literature on the subject, it has, in general, been confined to “small-time” publication … But here, in this beautifully produced book, we have a broad survey of the subject by several authors … One hundred and thirty-nine pages at 140 shillings might, at first sight, seem rather a large sum to pay, but the book does include four 7-inch records of remarkably good quality. The records complement the book and provide an intriguing and varied programme. The book is a collection of papers based on contributions to the Joint Computer Conference held in the autumn of 1966.

From Nature 13 September 1969

100 Years Ago

Prof. D. E. SMITH has successfully “filled a gap” by writing a booklet on the early history of numbers that will be the delight of the young, and will prove a “mine of interesting information” to many of their elders. Even as a mere “reader” his charmingly written and beautifully illustrated “Number Stories of Long Ago” … is well calculated to sow the good seed … The text also contains problems and tricks designed to amuse and instruct. To these a key, “Number Puzzles before the Log Fire,” has been issued by the publishers, price 6d. Here we find in disguise many friends, both old and new—echoes from Diophantus, Achilles, and the “turtle,” down to products of our modern civilisation, such as :— “A man with $1 wanted $1.25. He pawned the $1 for 75 cents, and then sold the pawnticket for 50 cents. Who lost?” Or again:— “In a certain town 3 per cent. of the inhabitants are one-legged, and half of the others go barefoot. How many shoes are necessary?” It is no doubt well for the civilisation of the future that the answer is “As many shoes as there are people in the town.”

From Nature 11 September 1919

doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-019-02665-7

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