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Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution

by Steven Levy

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1,519218,229 (4.27)16
This 25th anniversary edition of Steven Levy's classic book traces the exploits of the computer revolution's original hackers -- those brilliant and eccentric nerds from the late 1950s through the early '80s who took risks, bent the rules, and pushed the world in a radical new direction. With updated material from noteworthy hackers such as Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Richard Stallman, and Steve Wozniak, Hackers is a fascinating story that begins in early computer research labs and leads to the first home computers. Levy profiles the imaginative brainiacs who found clever and unorthodox solutions to computer engineering problems. They had a shared sense of values, known as "the hacker ethic," that still thrives today. Hackers captures a seminal period in recent history when underground activities blazed a trail for today's digital world, from MIT students finagling access to clunky computer-card machines to the DIY culture that spawned the Altair and the Apple II.… (more)
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» See also 16 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
Revelatory history of the early age of personal computing. A must read. ( )
  bensdad00 | Jan 10, 2017 |
good start but stopped after 2/3. ( )
  andreas.wpv | Mar 31, 2016 |
This is a book for those interested in the early years of computer development. I enjoyed taking a trip down memory lane to that time when computers were largely over-sized pet rocks. What makes the book work, in one respect, is Levy's explanation of the MIT students' obsession with out-doing one another when writing codes for programs. Hackers covers a good swath of the early development of computers and serves well as a testament to a new breed of logical thinkers -thinkers with a tool to help them unlock their abilities beyond the theoretical. ( )
  RalphLagana | Jan 23, 2016 |
One of my absolute favorite tech-related books of all time. Read it a half-dozen times, at least.

It's somewhat better-written than most of Levy's books (like the painful "In the Plex"), though it bears the same biases that his other work does. I don't know if it's a long-form journalist tendency, but Levy's books and articles all seem to be written as if they're telling The Whole Story, though they are heavily skewed by the people who were most willing to be interviewed extensively. Any writer has to work with the material he can uncover, but it would be nice if it were a little more openly acknowledged that a lot of the story told as history is really personal recollection on the part of a participant who *might* still have an axe to grind.

But this one is so, SO good in spite of all of that, and what a golden and glorious age it covers! ( )
  erebor | Jan 9, 2016 |
Being younger than the original edition of this book, I never lived through the personal computer revolution. For someone like me this book therefore provides a valuable history lesson in the development of the hacker culture which emerged not long after the computers were conceived. In essence it is the story of evolution of computing leading to the emergence of PCs, told through stories of the leaders in this field. It is well-written and I found the pacing well suited to the material.

The stories contained here would be inspirational for anyone dealing with computing today - the levels of enthusiasm, creativity and devotion of the protagonists as described in the book are quite frankly infectious. The dangers of computer obsession and the industry are also well conveyed.

I would have been interested in reading more updated material in the 25th anniversary edition about the recent developments in computing. ( )
  ilokhov | Jan 7, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
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Average: (4.27)
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2 8
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