Must have books for Vintage Computing

Eric Smith eric at
Tue Mar 8 22:04:01 CST 2005

Wai-Sun wrote:
> probe the collective wisdom of the list in what books must a "wannabe"
> collector (like me) should have on his/her bookshelf.

Here are some that I highly recommend.  My own interests are heavily
focused on pre-1980 system architecture and hardware design.


    IBM's Early Computers, by Charles J. Bashe et al., MIT Press

    IBM's 360 and Early 370 Systems, by Emerson W. Pugh et al., MIT Press

    A History of Personal Workstations, by Adele Goldberg et al.,

    A History of Modern Computing, by Paul E. Ceruzzi, MIT Press

Very technical:

    Computer Engineering: A DEC View of Hardware Systems Design,
    by C. Gordon Bell et al., Digital Press

    Computer Architecture: Concepts and Evolution, by Blaauw and Brooks,
    Addison-Wesley (>1200 page hardcover single volume, but apparently
    sometimes found in two volumes instead.  Includes very detailed
    architectural info on many systems.)

    Computer Structures: Readings and Examples, by C. Gordon Bell et al.,

    Computer Structures: Principles and Examples, by D. Siewiorek et al.,
    McGraw-Hill (This is sort of a second edition of Readings and Examples,
    but I recommend getting both as each have some unique material.)

    Planning a Computer System: Project Stretch, by Werner Buchholz et al.,
    McGraw-Hill (How, What and Why of the IBM 7030 Data Processing
    System, aka "Stretch".  Good insight into what computer architects
    were thinking about in the late 1950s and very early 1960s.  Some
    ideas are dated, but some are still remarkably current.)

    Design of a Computer: The Control Data 6600, by Jim Thornton,
    Scott, Foresman & Company (available online at

    Computer System Organization: The B5700/B6700 Series, by E. Organick,
    Academic Press

More information about the cctalk mailing list