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Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution
by Steven Levy
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0141000511, Paperback)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.
(retrieved from Amazon Fri, 04 Jan 2013 08:42:09 -0500)
"Hacker" is often a derogatory term today, but 40 years ago, it referred to people who found clever and unorthodox solutions to computer engineering problems - a practice that became known as "the hacker ethic." In this book, Levy takes you from the true hackers of MIT's Tech Model Railroad Club to the DIY culture that spawned the first personal computers - the Altair and the Apple II - and finally to the gaming culture of the early '80s. From students finagling access to clunky computer-card machines to engineers uncovering the secrets of what would become the Internet, Hackers captures a seminal period in history when underground activities blazed a trail for today's digital world.
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