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Nerds 2.0.1: A Brief History of the Internet Paperback – 31 Oct 1999

3.4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 412 pages
  • Publisher: TV Books,US (31 Oct. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1575000881
  • ISBN-13: 978-1575000886
  • Product Dimensions: 22.8 x 15.2 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,272,830 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Amazon Review

Nerds 2.0.1: A Brief History of the Internet presents the development of the Web as a product of colliding, dualistic forces: the individuality of the personal computer and the universality of a global network. Along the way, other complementary opposites arise, such as the intersection of the "computer lib" hippie hacker and the IBM or Pentagon bureaucrat. The biographies of these visionaries, and the magnificent changes their ideas induced, make Nerds 2.0.1 compelling reading.

Nerds 2.0.1 is a unique computer history book, in that it is really a history of networking. Author Stephen Segaller covers all the current heavy hitters of the technology industry in depth: Novell, 3Com, and Cisco. In particular, the story of the creation of Cisco--and the ousting of the original founders by the sponsoring venture capitalist--shows the high-level stakes and intrigue this billionaire world holds. Segaller also chronicles the failures of companies who didn't realise what their programmers had made available to them. IBM, Xerox, and, some would say, Microsoft are big players in this part of Segaller's tale.

The author puts technological developments in a helpful context: the infamous 100-hour Silicon Valley workweek, the "dog-year" life span of an Internet start-up, and the managerial shufflings of a sponsoring venture capitalist firm all make sense in the world he describes. --Jennifer Buckendorff, --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


A companion book to the PBS television series chronicles the thirty-year development of the Internet from its beginnings as a cold war effort to build a network of government computers in order to save money.

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The book starts out really good with the very beginning of the Internet. From that point on soooo many things are missing, it makes one sick. There is no mention of USENET, Jon Postel (oops - there is phrase about him) , IRC, CIX, Yahoo, Gopher protocol, Linux (or free software), Clifford Stoll, the continent of Europe , etc, etc. The space that could have been used to explore these people and things that helped promote and shape the Internet are instead devoted to talking about the history of VisiCalc, Apple, (worse) Microsoft and others. These companies, of course, were DRAGGED kicking and screaming into the Internet. They were FORCED to use open protocols. Their history is almost completely irrelevant to the Internet except for the fact it shows how mainstream computer companies missed the boat for years. Basically, a lot of real and important history is completely forgotten in this book.
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Format: Hardcover
Basically, I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the internet. OK, so it does miss out a lot, but that is the nature of the subject. If Nerds 201 had been twice as long it could not have covered every twist and turn of the story. The book manages to give the history of computer networks a human face . It's worth it just for the anecdotes and, as far as I know, it's the only book out there that tries to take it all in from the beginning. The only thing I would say is that there are a few typos and you have to concentrate to follow the plot in some of the earlier chapters. Maybe that is all stuff that could be ironed out in the next edition.
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Format: Hardcover
Several other reviewers have perhaps missed the subtitle of the book: "A Brief history...". So not everyone got a mention... so what? It isn't a definitive history but a generally chronological collection of intertwined stories revolving around the networking of computers, but not restricted exclusively to that core topic.
I'll be honest: I started reading the book, found the early chapters heavy going and put it down several times in favour of other books. However, once I got into the meat of the book I found it very interesting, telling the personal stories of a number of people who were instrumental in various phases of how we come to be where we are today in the popular world of computing.
Several of the stories told in the book were unknown to me; others filled in little details of which I was not aware; and others still were news to me. The net result is that I close the book being better informed than I was previously.
I feel that the book manages to blend details and anecdotes to good effect and results in an overall entertaining read.
Whether you are a Microsoft-basher or not, whether you think the Altair or VisiCalc really warrant inclusion in a discussion about the Internet, there is no denying they each have their place in the long, winding story that brings us to where we are today, and consequently they have a valid place in this book.
Perhaps Nerds 2.0.2 will include all those missing details which other reviewers have highlighted. ;o)
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Format: Hardcover
I'll agree with people who think this book misses many of the major parts of the Internet, but I also think that it really does hit on many of the major "events" of the Internet. It gives a very good way-back history and, come on now, who could write a book describing the 1990's of the Internet? The book would have to be thousands of pages. This book really hits on some good highlights. yeah it covers a lot of Microsoft, but you have to - even if they were dragged online. I found it easy to skip paragraphs at a time, but I couldn't put the book down entirely.
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