Computers have changed since 1981, when Tracy Kidder memorably recorded the drama, comedy, and excitement of one companys efforts to bring a new microcomputer to market. What has not changed is the feverish pace of the high-tech industry, the go-for-broke approach to business that has caused so many computer companies to win big (or go belly up), and the cult of pursuing mind-bending technological innovations. The Soul of a New Machine is an essential chapter in the history of the machine that revolutionized the world in the twentieth century.
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The computer revolution brought with it new methods of getting work done--just look at today's news for reports of hard-driven, highly motivated young men and women developing software and online commerce who sacrifice evenings and weekends to meet impossible deadlines. Tracy Kidder got a preview of this world in the late 1970s when he observed the engineers of Data General design and build a new 32-bit minicomputer in just one year. His thoughtful, prescient book, The Soul of a New Machine, tells us stories of 35-year-old "veteran" engineers hiring new college graduates and encouraging them to work harder and faster on complex and difficult projects, exploiting the youngsters' ignorance of normal scheduling yet engendering a new kind of work ethic.
These days, we are used to the "total commitment" philosophy of managing technical creation, but Kidder was surprised and even a little alarmed at the obsessions and compulsions he found. From in-house political struggles to workers permitted to tease management to marathon 24-hour work sessions, The Soul of a New Machine explores concepts that already seem familiar, even old-hat, less than 20 years later. Kidder plainly admires his subjects; while he admits to hopeless confusion about their work, he finds their dedication heroic. The reader wonders, though, what will become of it all, now and in the future. --Rob LightnerReview:
"It has the ring of truth....For readers who would like to know what it takes to make a computer, how computers are organized, and who the people are who put them together, I strongly recommend The Soul of a New Machine. I do not know anything quite like it".
-- Jeremy Bernstein, New York Review of Books
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Book Description William Morrow and Co. Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. Very good condition - book only shows a small amount of wear. Bookseller Inventory # G0140062491I4N00
Book Description William Morrow and Co, 1989. Book Condition: Good. New Ed. N/A. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP84573674
Book Description William Morrow and Co, 1989. Book Condition: Good. New Ed. N/A. Ships from the UK. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP23808736
Book Description William Morrow and Co, 1989. Book Condition: Fair. New Ed. N/A. Ships from the UK. Former Library book. Shows definite wear, and perhaps considerable marking on inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP90581032
Book Description Penguin Books Ltd 27/01/1983, 1983. Book Condition: Good. Will be shipped promptly from UK warehouse. Book is in good condition with no missing pages, no damage or soiling and tight spine. There may be some dog-eared pages showing previous use but overall a great book. Bookseller Inventory # 9053-9780140062496
Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: Fair. A readable copy of the book which may include some defects such as highlighting and notes. Cover and pages may be creased and show discolouration. Bookseller Inventory # GOR000983132
Book Description PENGUIN BOOKS LTD, 1983. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. Good condition, some are ex-library and can have markings. Bookseller Inventory # GD-200-19-7417107
Book Description PENGUIN BOOKS LTD, 1983. Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. Very good. Bookseller Inventory # HH-200-19-7417107