Faster than Thought:
A Symposium on Computing Machines

This classic 1953 book edited by B. V. Bowden was probably the first in-depth presentation of the then new world of computing intended for a wide readership. It was actually originally inspired by Nimrod; Bowden remarks in his preface:
“Ferranti Ltd., who had built a large digital computer for the University of Manchester, made a simple demonstration computer called “Nimrod” for the Science Exhibition at the Festival of Britain. It was very limited in its abilities ; ail it could do was to play a rather elementary game, but it attracted a great deal of interest, and many of the people who saw it asked for more information than the demonstrators could give. This book originated in an attempt to answer some of these questions and it is, in retrospect, a startling commentary on my inexperience as an author that I originally hoped to finish it in time for the end of the Festival.”
The list of contributors is fairly stellar, including Alan Turing, Andrew D. Booth, Maurice V. Wilkes, and the progenitors of Nimrod — John Bennett and Raymond Stuart-Williams.
The complete book is a free download (in various formats) at: