P. Atkinson, 'Computer Memories: The History of Computer Form'
History and Technology 15(1-2): 1998: 89-120.
This article looks at the computer as a truly global form. It examines the changes that have occurred in the production and consumption of the computer in the context of the workplace, from its inception as a room-sized mainframe operated through a console of flashing lights, to the personal computer as a 'universal' form, reproduced by many manufacturers. It shows how the computer in the past has been as diverse as any other product, and asks how and why it now appears as a standardised, sanitised object. In doing so our relationship with the office computer, past and present is explored, revealing a complex history of vicissitude.
A text only version of this article can be downloaded here.
The full article is on History and Technology's Website.