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Some important developments in computing in the sixties and early seventies were driven by the NASA space programs. Some sources:

Computers in Spaceflight - The NASA Experience: http://history.nasa.gov/computers/contents.html

Digital Apollo, by David A. Mindell - https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/digital-apollo

The Apollo Guidance Computer: Architecture and Operation by Frank O'Brien - http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Apollo-Guidance-Computer-Archite... (highly detailed)

I'd also recommend Turing's Cathedral by George Dyson and The Soul of a New Machine by Tracy Kidder.

Many early IT systems used special-purpose hardware, and boundary between the software and hardware development wasn't as clear as it is now. For this reason, I think, many surveys tend to emphasise the hardware aspect.




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