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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Internet is older than you thought
This is an excellent book for all those who would guess that Bolt, Beranek and Newman is a law firm. It may sound like one, but it isn't. BBN - now a subsidiary of GTE/Verizon - is a company which is most intimately tied to the birth of what is nowadays known as the internet. And if the BBN's marketing guys would have been half as good as their engineers, we would...
Published on 22 Jan 2001 by Primoz Peterlin

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating subject matter, dull delivery
The subject matter, the origins of the Internet, is fascinating and the book does an acceptable job of covering it.

However, the delivery feels dull. The portraits of the key characters, and their surroundings feel like diversions, more often than not failing to bring the human dimension to the story. The book is nowhere near as engaging as Tracy Kidder's "The...
Published 22 months ago by mal


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Internet is older than you thought, 22 Jan 2001
This review is from: Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet (Paperback)
This is an excellent book for all those who would guess that Bolt, Beranek and Newman is a law firm. It may sound like one, but it isn't. BBN - now a subsidiary of GTE/Verizon - is a company which is most intimately tied to the birth of what is nowadays known as the internet. And if the BBN's marketing guys would have been half as good as their engineers, we would probably hear a lot more about BBN today and less about, say, Cisco.
In a clear and highly readable style, Hafner and Lyon have covered the history of the packet switching networks with encyclopedic breadth. You'll learn both about the early theoretical fathers of packet switching, like Paul Baran and Donald Davies; you have the people in the DoD's Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) like Joseph Licklider, Bob Taylor or Larry Roberts, who not only had a grand view of computer networking or obtained the necessary governmental funding, but were also able to specify their wishes precisely enough that the engineers were able to build the network based on their plans. And finally, there is Frank Heart's team at BBN, guys who actually built the darn thing.
The subtitle - The origins of the internet - is well chosen. Most of the book focuses on the years 1968-1972, from Roberts' draft proposal, to the 1972 international conference on computer communication. Other development, either earlier or later, is covered only fragmentary. There are other interesting stories, like the origins of USENET, internet news exchange service, but they are not the scope of this book.
The book leaves a pleasant impression that the authors actually understand the necessary technical background of the topic they are writing about. Some diagrams might help further, but I am sure that numerous metaphors used in the book will also alone help the casual reader to understand the idea of packet switching. Chapter notes and bibliography section deserve special praise, and the subject index comes in handy, too. Overall, a very satisfying book.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An informative History of the birth of the Internet, 21 Jan 2002
This review is from: Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet (Paperback)
This book is a must for anyone teaching in the subject, or for Internet enthusiasts.
The book is factual in that important dates places and people are well documented.
Progression towards the present day Internet as we know it is presented in structured chunks of easy to read text, with the characters coming to life at all times. Reading this book makes one realise how much hard work went on before a solution to communication between computers was finalised.
The problem is that once you start reading it you want to carry on to the end!
Once you've reached the end you want to start again.
An important book for students who are serious about their studies. As a lecturer in computing and IT I find it invaluable.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly interesting book to read., 31 Jan 2003
By 
If you really want to know how the Internet was designed and built. Then this IS the book to read. Since you are sitting there reading this webpage, think of those guys. They helped put the technology there in the first place. Everything ranged from computers, packet switching, emails, ftp etc is all here. Looking at the photos of the team that helps design APRAnet (known as the internet nowadays), the building of the data traffic machines etc shows you how much obstacles they have overcome in order to get their project working. Recommended!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent historical review of the Internet, 22 Dec 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet (Paperback)
I was very impressed by this book. I, along with myriad others, work in the Internet field and I, along with myriad others, had only a hazy understanding of where the Internet sprang from. This book changed all that. It goes into great depth but remains a gripping read throughout. It covers the conception, birth, infancy and early childhood of computer networking and the Internet. My only reservation about this book is that it seemed to fizzle out at the end, but I guess, given the nature of the subject, there's no way of ending the story. I can thoroughly recommend this book - it won't change the way you work with the Internet but it will give you an appreciation of the work (and fun) involved in getting it started.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good introduction to the history of the Internet, 13 Dec 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet (Paperback)
I have read this book from cover to cover serveral times as it is a set book for the Open University course 'You, your computer and the net'. It descrides the historical foundations and development of the Internet and World Wide Web in a non-technical and facinating way. This book will give you an insite into the technologies and personalities involved in this medium and will interest computer users at all levels.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and very indepth, 6 May 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet (Paperback)
However at times it may be a bit too indepth. The Authors have done an amazing amount of research but they also seem to be unable to cut out bits that are of no use to the overall picture.
That said, they do tell you a LOT about the history of the internet in very easy to read terms. As others have mentioned there are some ommisions - and it is a bit to US-centred (the inventor of packet switching only gets brief mention for example) - but it is still a very worthwhile read for anyone wanting to learn more about the roots of the internet.
The last gripe I have is the writing style is a bit disjointed. For a while the book reads in a chronological pattern, then it keeps jumping back and forward. A few comments are made at the end of a chapeter then repeated in full on the start of the next chapter (next page) - I think they may have been trying to write a website not a paper book....
Overall, a very, very good read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Account of the Internet's Birth!, 3 Oct 2000
By 
stumartin@btinternet.com (OXFORD, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet (Paperback)
If you've ever wanted to know how the Internet came about then this has to be the book for you!
I've read many books on the Birth of the Internet and I don't think any have matched "Where Wizards Stay Up Late". When I received this book in the post it was opened immediately and I couldn't put it down.
This book really does look into the origins of the Internet and allows the reader to appreciate the Global Information System we have today called the "Internet".... that's with a Capital 'I' (Read the Book).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars essential read for ou course (T171), 6 Jun 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet (Paperback)
I hadn't read this type of book before and thought I would find it very hard work to read, but it was surprisingly enjoyable.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very nice story of the ARPANET, 16 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet (Paperback)
History-geeks must-read. I love the fact that the author has had many interviews with the people who actually were there in the beginning.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, 8 Oct 2013
By 
Chris Smith (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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I have the original paperback and absolutely love this book. Being a computer geek myself I find it very interesting and entertaining read. I've read it through a couple of times, love it.
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Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet
Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet by Matthew Lyon (Paperback - 20 Jun 1998)
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