Fire in the Valley: Making of the Personal Computer

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9780071358927: Fire in the Valley: Making of the Personal Computer

"A book not to be missed, just plain good reading about the drama of the Kids next door turning their dreams into millions."--The New York Times"Swaine and Freiberger capture the communal spirit of the early computer clubs, the brilliance and blundering of some of the first start-up companies, the assortment of naivete, noble purpose and greed that characterized various pioneers, and the inevitable transformation of all this into a major industry. Must reading."--Philip Lemmons, editor-in-chief, BYTE Magazine

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Product Description:

This text covers the birth of the personal computer. It includes more photographs than the previous editions, and comments and quotes from some of the key players from that time looking back on their parts in hindsight.

Review:

Fire in the Valley is not a computer book but rather a history of the personal computer. Even if the computer isn't your thing, and maybe you don't remember arguing with Commodore 64, Apple II, and TRS-80 owners over whose computer was the best, you'll find the writing engaging and the subject matter more than entertaining. Who would have thought a bunch of misfit nerds could make history?

Fire in the Valley is an accurate, insightful, and often entertaining look at the many accidents and mistakes that eventually led to the computer you have on your desktop today. The history of the personal computer comprises a series of well-planned errors, with eccentric personalities floating from company to company, and geniuses so twisted they created for the sheer joy of it--never imagining the multi-billion dollar industry that would result.

This book is magnetic and the consistent and strong writing draws the reader in. The entire story of the personal computer, from the vacuum tube to the iMac, is told and told well.

Fire in the Valley is an old book, originally published back in 1984. This review refers to the current "collector's edition" and it's been updated to reflect some recent issues. The book is hardbound, hence the hefty cover price. (It also has a CD-ROM, but I don't do CDs in books.) The book is highly recommended--especially for anyone who's into high tech and wants to understand the value of not putting creativity into a bottle. --Dan Gookin

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