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Revolution in The Valley [Paperback]: The Insanely Great Story of How the Mac Was Made [Hardcover]

Andy Hertzfeld
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

16 Dec 2004

There was a time, not too long ago, when the typewriter and notebook ruled, and the computer as an everyday tool was simply a vision. Revolution in the Valley traces this vision back to its earliest roots: the hallways and backrooms of Apple, where the groundbreaking Macintosh computer was born. The book traces the development of the Macintosh, from its inception as an underground skunkworks project in 1979 to its triumphant introduction in 1984 and beyond.

The stories in Revolution in the Valley come on extremely good authority. That's because author Andy Hertzfeld was a core member of the team that built the Macintosh system software, and a key creator of the Mac's radically new user interface software. One of the chosen few who worked with the mercurial Steve Jobs, you might call him the ultimate insider.

When Revolution in the Valley begins, Hertzfeld is working on Apple's first attempt at a low-cost, consumer-oriented computer: the Apple II. He sees that Steve Jobs is luring some of the company's most brilliant innovators to work on a tiny research effort the Macintosh. Hertzfeld manages to make his way onto the Macintosh research team, and the rest is history.

Through lavish illustrations, period photos, and Hertzfeld's vivid first-hand accounts, Revolution in the Valley reveals what it was like to be there at the birth of the personal computer revolution. The story comes to life through the book's portrait of the talented and often eccentric characters who made up the Macintosh team. Now, over 20 years later, millions of people are benefiting from the technical achievements of this determined and brilliant group of people.



Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (16 Dec 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596007191
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596007195
  • Product Dimensions: 2.4 x 20 x 19.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 591,337 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

About the Author

Andy Hertzfeld was a graduate student in computer science at UC Berkeley in January 1978 when he purchased one of the first Apple IIs.
He quickly lost interest in grad school as he began writing programs for his Apple II, eventually leading him to join Apple Computer as a systems programmer in August 1979. He joined the Macintosh team in February 1981, and became one of the main authors of the Macintosh system software, including the User Interface Toolbox and many of the original desk accessories. He left Apple in March 1984, and went on to co-found three companies: Radius (1986), General Magic (1990) and Eazel (1999). In 2003, he developed web-based software for collective storytelling that he used to write the stories in this book. In 2005, he joined Google, and was one of the main creators of Google+.


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Fun 17 Feb 2005
By A. I. Mackenzie VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
This is a series of anecdotes about the building of the original Macintosh. Most of the text is available online, but it's nice to have them collected in a book.

The book conveys the enthusiasm of the project, possibly they're a bit kind to Steve Jobs who seems a complete nightmare to work for (see 'Accidental Empires' for an alternative take).

It would have been nice to get more get more from other developers such as Bill Atkinson who seemed to do pretty astonishing things (Quickdraw, MacDraw).

This does seem like a bit of a vanity project for Andy Hertzfeld, he's earned it, but it would be nice to hear lots of different voices.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A coffee-table book for nerds 1 July 2011
By Dr. Bojan Tunguz TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Macintosh computer is the most iconic computer of all time, and probably one of the most significant consumer electronics products ever. The successors of the original Macintosh have remained aspirational products ever since, and Mac fans are oftentimes known for their cult-like admiration for their computers. One name that immediately comes to mind when Mac is mentioned is that of Steve Jobs, Apple cofounder and a mercurial and controversial visionary that has shaped Apple products for the most of company's history. However, Jobs is a strange bird - a head of a technology company without any concrete technological skills. The bulk of the work on the original Apple computer was done by the other company cofounder (Steve Wozniak) and the team that actually built Mac was composed of largely unknown engineers and technicians who worked on the computer over many years with the utmost passion and dedication. This book is a tribute to that creative and dedicated team. It is written in a form of many anecdotes of crucial events and developments in the process of creating the first Mac. Most of the stories are told from the point of view of Andy Hertzfeld, but there are numerous contributions by other team members as well. The book is filled with images of old hand-written designing notes, pictures of the team members, various Polaroid screen-shots of the development of Mac's GUI, and many, many more moments that elicit a form of nostalgia for those early days of the computer industry. The whole book is in fact a tribute to those more innocent days when idealism was a much more potent motivator than money and stock options. It also paints a picture of Silicon Valley when it was possible for young fresh-out-of-college engineers to find meaningful work and live in places like Palo Alto. Read more ›
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4.0 out of 5 stars Reality distortion field well-justified 2 Feb 2014
By 3D71
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Most of the content is available online but the book is well presented and readable. If you care about what makes (or once made) Apple different, and the people behind the products, this is a great read.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is great! Hertzfeld tells the story of the Macintosh in a fun easy to read manner. The book is full of images of the time including notes, scribbles, etc. Strongly recommend it!!
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