Edmund C. Berkeley and Lawrence Wainwright. Computers, their Operation and Applications. Reinhold Publishing Co., 1956. First edition. (8), 366pp, illustrated. Cloth, with a nice copy of the uncommon dustjacket. About fine. A very solid and useful work. $200
This is a comprehensive, well-documented, and pretty-well referenced early-ish work in the field by one of the busiest men (Berkeley) in the computer field 1948 (when he wrote Giant Brains or Machines that Think) to 1958. (Berkeley in many ways is like Gil Hodges of the Brooklyn Dodgers—one of the most productive participant in his field for a decade but not in the HOF not so greatly acknowledged. even after long periods of major contributions. The difference is that Hodges has his champions; not so much for Berkeley.)
The book's chapters/sections include: Machines that Handle Information; Automatic Digital Computing Machines; Automatic Analog Machines; Other Types of Automatic Computing Machines; Miniature Computers and their Use in Training; Some Large-Scale Automatic Digital Computers; Applications of Automatic Computing Machines, followed by a good 24pp glossary “of terms and expressions”. The digital computer section is pretty nice, and includes at the end a five-page list of 200 or so digital computers; ditto that for a list of automatic computers.
The “Miniature computers” section includes a long (pp 174-210) treatment of the history and main features of Berkeley's own 1950 machine, “Simon”--certainly it is the longest piece I've seen dedicated to this machine outside of Berkeley's series of articles on it in Radio-Electronics magazine in 1951. Some consider Simon to be the first personal computer, but the 39-lb machine had very little functionality outside of a demonstration device. That said, Simon was expanded in the interim, and those modifications are described here. There's also a 15pp section on the Bush Differential Analyzer ("MIT II"), 6pp on the Harmonic Analyzer; 15pp on UNIVAC I, 8pp IBM 700 series, and 6pp ERA 1103.