Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution

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9780141000510: Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution

This book traces the history of hackers, from clunky computer card punching machines to the inner secrets of what would become the internet. It includes groundbreaking profiles of Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak, MIT railroad club and more; the shapers of the digital revolution.

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Review:

Steven Levy's classic book explains why the misuse of the word "hackers" to describe computer criminals does a terrible disservice to many important shapers of the digital revolution. Levy follows members of an MIT model railroad club--a group of brilliant budding electrical engineers and computer innovators--from the late 1950s to the mid-1980s. These eccentric characters used the term "hack" to describe a clever way of improving the electronic system that ran their massive railroad. And as they started designing clever ways to improve computer systems, "hack" moved over with them. These maverick characters were often fanatics who did not always restrict themselves to the letter of the law and who devoted themselves to what became known as "The Hacker Ethic." The book traces the history of hackers, from finagling access to clunky computer-card-punching machines to uncovering the inner secrets of what would become the Internet. This story of brilliant, eccentric, flawed, and often funny people devoted to their dream of a better world will appeal to a wide audience.

About the Author:

Chief Technology writer at 'Newsweek' and a regular contributer to numerous publications including 'Macworld' and 'Wired'. Author of CRYPTO.

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