Good books in computer science?

Bob Martin bob.martin at
Thu Jun 18 02:07:26 EDT 2009

in 117815 20090617 221804 Phil Runciman <philr at> wrote:
>Because it reminds me of when things went badly wrong. IBM360, Von Neumann =
>architecture, no hardware stacks ...
>IMHO Burroughs and ICL had better approaches to OS design back then but had=
>less resources to develop their ideas.=20
>However, mainly this period marked a transition from the excitement and dis=
>covery phase of computing to commercial power plays and take-overs. The bes=
>t ideas in a field tend to get lost in the melee of competition. Early comp=
>uters were rooted in academia and there was a lot of cross fertilisation of=
>ideas and approaches. IMHO commerce affected layers of the stack where it =
>had no useful contribution to make. Vertical integration warred against sou=
>nd architecture.
>The book has an important message and I recommend that people read it. The =
>book is to me, and possibly only me, an icon representing when things went =

Well, it's an opinion, but certainly not one I would agree with!
AFAIAC the IBM 360 got everything right, which is why the instruction set is still
going strong 45 years later (I've used it for every one of those 45 years). 

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