By Robert X. Cringely
Machine production is--after automobiles, power construction and unlawful drugs--the biggest on the planet, and it really is one of many final nice good fortune tales in American company. unintended Empires is the trenchant, tremendously readable background of that undefined, focusing as a lot at the astoundingly ordinary personalities at its core--Steve Jobs, invoice Gates, Mitch Kapor, and so on. and the hacker tradition they spawned because it does at the notable expertise they created. Cringely unearths the manias and foibles of those males (they are constantly males) with deadpan hilarity and cogently demonstrates how their neuroses have formed the pc company. yet Cringely supplies us even more than high-tech voyeurism and insider gossip. From the beginning of the transistor to the mid-life quandary of the pc undefined, he spins a sweeping, uniquely American saga of creativity and ego that's right away uproarious, surprising and encouraging.
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Additional resources for Accidental Empires: How the Boys of Silicon Valley Make Their Millions, Battle Foreign Competition, and Still Can't Get a Date
Hippies tend to do the right things poorly; nerds tend to do the wrong things well. Hippie program mers are very good at getting a sense of the correct shape of a problem and how to solve it, but when it comes to the actual code writing, they can get sloppy and make major errors through pure boredom. For hippie programmers, the problem is solved when they've figured out how to solve it rather than later, when the work is finished and the problem no longer exists. Hippies live in a world of ideas.
It took about that long to turn movable type into books in the fifteenth century. Telephones were invented in the 1870s but did not change our lives until the 1900s. Motion pictures were born in the 1890s but became an important industry in the 1920s. Television, invented in the mid1920s, took until the mid-1950s to bind us to our sofas. We can date the birth of the personal computer somewhere between the invention of the microprocessor in 1971 and the introduction of the Altair hobbyist computer in 1975- Either date puts us today, about halfway down the road to personal com puters' being a part of most people's everyday lives, which should be consoling to those who can't understand what all the hullabaloo is about PCs.
There is a business axiom that management gurus spout andthat bigshotindustrialists repeat to themselves asa mantraif they want to sleep well at night. The axiom says that when a 50 AMATEUR HOUR business grows past $1 billion in annual sales, it becomes too large for any one individual to have a significant impact. Alas, this is not true when it's a $1 billion high-tech business, where too often the critical path goes right through the head of one particular programmer or engineer or even through the head of a well-meaning clerk down in the shipping department.
Accidental Empires: How the Boys of Silicon Valley Make Their Millions, Battle Foreign Competition, and Still Can't Get a Date by Robert X. Cringely