Considering that the history of the Internet is perhaps better documented internally than any other technological construct, it is remarkable how shadowy its origins have been to most people, including die-hard Net-denizens!
At last, Hafner and Lyon have written a well-researched story of the origins of the Internet substantiated by extensive interviews with its creators who delve into many interesting details such as the controversy surrounding the adoption of our now beloved "@" sign as the separator of usernames and machine addresses. Essential reading for anyone interested in the past--and the future--of the Net specifically, and telecommunications generally.
With the incredible growth of the Internet in the 1990s and revolutions occurring almost daily, it is easy to overlook the origins of this cultural phenomenon. Katie Hafner and Matthew Lyon have captured the history of the Internet in this solid account. They explain the system's genesis as a device to link computer resources around the country--not to prepare communications for nuclear war strikes as is often thought--and how, as with many of us, e-mail was the application of choice for many users. It also tells of the story of the buttoned-up engineers who invented the Internet- -in contrast to the late-night hackers who pushed its evolution. In all, an interesting history about a medium that has fostered an aversion to the past.
Richard Bernstein "The New York Times Book Review" If you always wanted to know who put the 'at' sign in your E-mail address, then "Where Wizards Stay Up Late" is the book for you.