Fire in the Valley: The Birth and Death of the Personal by Michael Swaine

By Michael Swaine

In the Seventies, whereas their contemporaries have been protesting the pc as a device of dehumanization and oppression, a motley choice of university dropouts, hippies, and electronics enthusiasts have been engaged in whatever even more subversive. enthusiastic about the assumption of having machine strength into their very own palms, they introduced from their garages a hobbyist circulate that grew into an undefined, and eventually a social and technological revolution. What they did used to be invent the private desktop: not only a brand new equipment, yet a watershed within the courting among guy and computing device. this can be their story.

Fire within the Valley is the definitive historical past of the non-public laptop, drawn from interviews with the folks who made it take place, written through veteran machine writers who have been there from the beginning. operating at InfoWorld within the early Eighties, Swaine and Freiberger day-by-day rubbed elbows with humans like Steve Jobs and invoice Gates after they have been developing the private machine revolution.

A wealthy tale of colourful contributors, Fire within the Valley profiles those not going revolutionaries and marketers, equivalent to Ed Roberts of MITS, Lee Felsenstein at Processor know-how, and Jack Tramiel of Commodore, in addition to Jobs and Gates in all of the innocence in their formative years.

This thoroughly revised and multiplied 3rd version brings the tale to its finishing touch, chronicling the top of the non-public laptop revolution and the start of the post-PC period. It covers the departure from the level of significant gamers with the deaths of Steve Jobs and Douglas Engelbart and the retirements of invoice Gates and Steve Ballmer; the shift clear of the computer to the cloud and conveyable units; and what the tip of the computer period skill for matters similar to own freedom and tool, and open resource vs. proprietary software.

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Dave & Andy. Many of the designations used by manufacturers and sellers to distinguish their products are claimed as trademarks. Where those designations appear in this book, and The Pragmatic Programmers, LLC was aware of a trademark claim, the designations have been printed in initial capital letters or in all capitals. The Pragmatic Starter Kit, The Pragmatic Programmer, Pragmatic Programming, Pragmatic Bookshelf and the linking g device are trademarks of The Pragmatic Programmers, LLC. Every precaution was taken in the preparation of this book.

Table of Contents Foreword to the Third EditionPreface to the Third EditionAcknowledgmentsYour Own Computer1. Tinder for the FireSteamThe BreakthroughCritical MassBreakoutHackers2. The Voyage to AltairUncle Sol’s BoysGoing for BrokeAll Hell Breaks LoosePutting It TogetherThe CompetitionThe Fall3. The Miracle MakersAfter AltairAmateurs and ProfessionalsBuilding One and Building TwoMiracles and Mistakesest and Entrepreneur’s DiseaseDeath and Rebirth 4. HomebrewPower to the PeopleThe Homebrew Computer ClubWildfire in Silicon ValleyNostalgia for the FutureSixers and Seventy-SixersHome RuleHomebrew Legacy5.

Intel had the credentials: it was a Fairchild spinoff, and its president, Robert Noyce, had helped invent the integrated circuit. Although Intel had opened its doors for business only a few months earlier, the company was growing as fast as the semiconductor industry. An engineer named Marcian “Ted” Hoff had joined Intel a few months earlier as its twelfth employee, and when he began working on the Busicom job, the company already employed 200 people. Hoff was fresh from academia. After earning a PhD, he continued as a researcher at Stanford University’s Electrical Engineering Department, where his research on the design of semiconductor memory chips led to several patents and to the job at Intel.

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