Originally a military and scientific computational tool of a small number of government, scientific, and corporate elites in the late 1940s, the computer has evolved significantly in less than 70 years to become a revolutionary technology and the basis for one the largest industries in America. The Internet, email and personal computer have become necessities in most offices and college dorm rooms and many homes. Narrative chapters trace the emergence and development of the computer industry in the United States as seen in the economic, historical, and social context of its times from the early 20th century to the present. From punched cards and tabulating machines to the first digital computer companies in the early 1950s, Yost clearly describes how the concept of the computer was born in the late 1800s but did not evolve into the personal computer until the late 1970s and 1980s. The computer has emerged from a relatively narrow scientific computational machine to a vast data processing and communication technology.Such well-known concepts and terms as IBM and Bill Gates, Apple and Macintosh, and the Internet and the World Wide Web, along with lesser known histories of the mainframe digital computer, the invention of the transistor, software development, supercomputing and minicomputing are discussed. Includes an appendix of over twenty company profiles of key businesses in the industry, a timeline, and suggestions for further reading and research. Ideal for students and general readers interested in the development of computers and related technology, such as its software and hardware, and the history of the computer industry.