Fire in the Valley: The Making of The Personal Computer (Second Edition)

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9780071358927: Fire in the Valley: The Making of The Personal Computer (Second Edition)

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.

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Review:

In the early 1970s, while Silicon Valley was designing the latest generation of digital wristwatches and pocket calculators, a ragtag group of college dropouts, hippies, and electronics hobbyists were busy creating the future in their garages. What they built was the personal computer, but what they were aiming for was something much more ambitious: a revolution. Fire in the Valley is the story of their efforts, and in particular, the contributions of an informal think tank called the Homebrew Computer Club. Its technically gifted community, comprising sci-fi aficionados and Berkeley counterculturists, believed computers could usher in an age of human empowerment, perhaps even a utopia.

The club's most famous member is Steve Jobs of Apple, whose story is told here, as is Bill Gates's, who was strongly influenced by Homebrew. What sets Fire in the Valley apart from the many other books about early days at Apple and Microsoft, though, is its focus on the brilliant engineers and coders who built the foundation that would eventually support those two companies. They included ex-Berkley Barb editor and hardware designer Lee Felsenstein, who was adamant about using computers for populist ends; Adam Osborne, who took PCs to the next level by making them portable; hacker legend John "Captain Crunch" Draper, who used telephony for his own mischievous purposes; and activist Ted Nelson, the Thom Paine of the computer revolution.

The cast of characters is sometimes tough to keep track of, and authors Paul Freiberger and Michael Swaine have wisely included a graphic timeline in the first pages of the book that readers will find useful. It stretches from 1800 to 1999, encompassing events that have occurred since Fire in the Valley's original 1984 publication. This second edition includes new chapters and photographs to document the last 15 years, but they serve as more of an epilogue than a new act in this drama. The Homebrew Club's mark on personal computing history is cemented, and Fire in the Valley is an engaging account of it, one that should inspire readers everywhere. --Demian McLean

Book Description:

In the early 1970s the personal computer was just a wild dream shared by a small group of computer enthusiasts in an area south of San Francisco now called Silicon Valley.

Working after-hours in basements and warehouses, computer pioneers Jobs and Wozniak of Apple Computer, Gates of Microsoft, Kildall of Digital Research, and many others ignited a technological revolution of astounding magnitude.

This is the story of those individuals and the industry they founded. It reveals the visions they shared, the sacrifices they made, and the rewards they reaped. A fascinating account of an idea that caught fire.

“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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Paul Freiberger; Michael Swaine
Published by McGraw-Hill Companies (2000)
ISBN 10: 0071358927 ISBN 13: 9780071358927
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Book Description McGraw-Hill Companies, 2000. Soft cover. Book Condition: New. 2nd Edition. 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.-In the early 1970s, while Silicon Valley was designing the latest generation of digital wristwatches and pocket calculators, a ragtag group of college dropouts, hippies, and electronics hobbyists were busy creating the future in their garages. What they built was the personal computer, but what they were aiming for was something much more ambitious: a revolution. Fire in the Valley is the story of their efforts, and in particular, the contributions of an informal think tank called the Homebrew Computer Club. Its technically gifted community, comprising sci-fi aficionados and Berkeley counterculturists, believed computers could usher in an age of human empowerment, perhaps even a utopia. The club's most famous member is Steve Jobs of Apple, whose story is told here, as is Bill Gates's, who was strongly influenced by Homebrew. What sets Fire in the Valley apart from the many other books about early days at Apple and Microsoft, though, is its focus on the brilliant engineers and coders who built the foundation that would eventually support those two companies. They included ex-Berkley Barb editor and hardware designer Lee Felsenstein, who was adamant about using computers for populist ends; Adam Osborne, who took PCs to the next level by making them portable; hacker legend John "Captain Crunch" Draper, who used telephony for his own mischievous purposes; and activist Ted Nelson, the Thom Paine of the computer revolution. Bookseller Inventory # 008155

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Book Description McGraw-Hill Publishing Co., 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. updated edition. 463 pages. 9.75x7.50x1.75 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # zk0071358927

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Book Description McGraw-Hill Companies, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110071358927

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