While the author is occasionally too worshipful of his subjects, it's not hard to see why with the cast of characters he has to work with. It wasn't that it was bad, it just wasn't for me and didn't really capture my interest. I first tried reading it out of order, and it didn't have the same force. I would say that Revolution in the Valley is by far my favorite of these types of tales so far. The result is an overgrown, inefficient monstrosity that rarely works as expected. An enjoyable read, but could have been shortened. This is a fantastic non-fiction book detailing the origins of desktop computing.
This brilliant group created several monumental innovations that triggered a technological revolution, including the first personal computer, the laser printer, and the graphical interface one of the main precursors of the Internet , only to see these breakthroughs rejected by the corporation. Hiltzik's Dealers of Lightning provides a fascinating look at technohistory that sets the record straight. Heavily featured in the book are Bob Taylor the man who ran the department of the Pentagon that literally invented the Internet , and Alan Kay a research scientist whose dissertation anticipated by more than 30 years the hand held computer technology that Apple would bring to fruition with its Ipad , two of the most important individuals in the history of personal computing. Respect for the amount of work invested in book though. Yes, the story is very interesting, yes the era is exciting and all that, but after a while I realised that insisting on describing person after person and all the power struggles and corporate politics becomes tiresome after a while. Excellent read on a very interesting period of the innovation and change in the field of research and computing. However, Hiltzik does not believe that any single company could have dominated the computer industry and gives rational arguments to back up his conclusions.
Still, it worked out well for virtually all of the engineers involved. Still, it worked out well for virtually all Riveting read. Relatedly, I can feel some sympathy for the executives at Xerox. It is a truly enjoyable read. So I enjoyed the book very much. I knew many of the corporate players and This book is not for everyone because it contains a lot of office politics. It also gives an interesting perspective on research in industrial settings and how products come to market.
Mostly it's straight up porn for anyone who loves working with computers. Thinking in terms of objects to design computer software seemed the natural way to solve problems. So I enjoyed the book very much. Yet, instead of giving up, these determined inventors turned their ideas into empires that radically altered contemporary life and changed the world. Hiltzik writes with a decisive and confident voice so, as a small nitpick, I wonder a bit how unbiased some of the stories are.
Unfortunately the result didn't satisfy me completely. This made him view the computer as more than just a mathematical calculator. Same thing with this book. I am coming away with a greater appreciation for the difficulty of turning truly groundbreaking research into marketable consumer products. Brilliantly written, it was the perfect book for me to read right before starting my PhD in computer science. May need free signup required to download or reading online book. .
It's also emblematic of the inability of large corporations to recognise and foster innovation. Heavily featured in the book are Bob Taylor the man who ran the department of the Pentagon that literally invented the Internet , and Alan Kay a research scientist whose dissertation anticipated by more than 30 years the hand held computer technology that Apple would bring to fruition with its Ipad , two of the most important individuals in the history of personal computing. I do not have a technical or academic research background and found the technical very accessible. I do not have a technical or academic research background and found the technical very accessible. Amazing that this company had a headstart in the personal computer industry but were unable to exploit that head start. Hiltzik's consummate account of this burgeoning era won't improve Xerox's stake in the computer industry by much,. Brilliantly written, it was the perfect book for me to read right before starting my PhD in computer science.
This book is as much about the people as the technology and it does a great job of balancing the ideas, politics and excitement of the times. He earned his Masters degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 1974. This unremarkable, reportage-like book acknowledges that there is another side to that story - one in which hindsight is easy but managing a failing company is hard, in which brilliant but cantankerous geniuses aren't always best off given all the control and resources they want - without trying to say which story is true, or divine greater lessons. As he put it in his pithy masterpiece, The Mythical Man-Month: 'The second system is the most dangerous system a man ever designs. Could have been the Microsoft of the nineties. If you think you know a lot about how we got from 1969 to the birth of personal computing to where we are today, you are probably wrong and you might be astounded to. Cue mythmaking, fawning biographies and countless would-be clones.
He lives in Southern California with his wife and two sons. I've read it at least 5 times and probably will read it next year. Beautifully explains the passion with which researchers invent, the challenges of a corporate setting and how shortsightedness causes regrettable decisions. Relatedly, I can feel some sympathy for the executives at Xerox. It deals less with the details of the technologies which were developed there. Read the book on paper - it is quite a powerful experience. Don't miss the play-by-play description of how Steve Jobs reacted to what he discovered at Xerox Parc.
Parts of the book are too incredible to be published as fiction. Whoever would have thought that a company, known for a dull product like copiers, also happens to be the foundation and one of the main pillars of the modern era of personal computing and the internet? If you think you know a lot about how we got from 1969 to the birth of personal computing to where we are today, you are probably wrong and you might be astounded to. There are politics at every organization. In the bestselling tradition of The Soul of a New Machine, Dealers of Lightning is a fascinating journey of intellectual creation. Hiltzik writes with a decisive and confident voice so, as a small nitpick, I wonder a bit h What an amazingly well written book about a complex situation. Would definitely recommend this book, and for another great book like it I'd push Hackers: Heroes Of The Computer Age by Steven Levy on anyone interested in computer history. They staffed it with brainy Stanford grads and left it pretty much all alone to develop the technologies of the future.