Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Kindle Price: £4.99

Save £10.00 (67%)

includes VAT*
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.

These promotions will be applied to this item:

Some promotions may be combined; others are not eligible to be combined with other offers. For details, please see the Terms & Conditions associated with these promotions.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

When Computing Got Personal: A history of the desktop computer by [Matthew Nicholson]
Audible Narration
Playing...
Loading...
Paused
Kindle App Ad

When Computing Got Personal: A history of the desktop computer Kindle Edition

4.9 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
£4.99

Length: 302 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Audible Narration:
Audible Narration
Switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the Audible narration. Add narration for a reduced price of £3.99 after you buy the Kindle book.
Ready

Kindle Daily Deal
Kindle Daily Deals: Books from 99p
Sign-up to the Kindle Daily Deal email newsletter to discover daily deals from 99p.
Get a £1 credit for movies or TV
Enjoy £1.00 credit to spend on movies or TV on Amazon Video when you purchase any Amazon Kindle Book from the Kindle Store (excluding Kindle Unlimited, Periodicals and free Kindle Books) offered by Amazon.co.uk. A maximum of 1 credit per customer applies. UK customers only. Offer ends at 23:59 on Wednesday, September 27, 2017. Terms and conditions apply

Product Description

Review

"a very satisfying read" - Andrew Binstock, Editor in Chief, Dr. Dobb's "I have read numerous books on the history of personal computing and rate this one highly." - Tim Anderson, ITWriting "I enjoyed this book; it has obviously been extremely well researched, and is well written and takes a coherent route through the history." - Kay Ewbank, I Programmer "Matt Nicholson ... was in a position to observe all this first-hand." - Wendy M Grossman, ZDNet "highly recommended for anyone with an interest in computing history" - Jason Slater, Technology News

About the Author

Matt Nicholson has been a computer journalist since 1983 and has edited a number of popular newsstand magazines, including PC Plus and What Micro.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 902 KB
  • Print Length: 302 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Matt Publishing; 1 edition (6 Feb. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00IANWO62
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #96,207 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images or tell us about a lower price?


Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
5 star
11
4 star
1
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 12 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the story of how we went from 1970, when no-one had a computer in their home or office, to today, when computers are everywhere. It’s a colourful tale, and the author tells it in a highly readable style backed by impressive research. It’s all there, from the development of the microchip and the first hobby computers to the entry of IBM and the rise of Microsoft, Apple and the Internet.
If you were there then it’s a real trip down memory lane; if you weren’t, it’s an eye-opener to see just how ‘Wild West’ the early microcomputer industry really was. Some illustrations would add to it, but the quality of the material makes it an excellent read nevertheless.
Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Although this book ends up dealing mainly with PC compatibles and Apple computers it does also cover the pre-micro period of mainframes and batch computing, timeshare etc.. The chapters are not truly chronological but rather each chapter deals with a certain topic and as a result the same information can (to some extent) appear in more than one chapter, which makes for a rather disjointed feeling at times as we seem to jump back to an earlier point in the story. The period of the home computer before the IBM compatible PC is rather skipped over, with only passing reference to the plethora of home computers of that time. I feel that too much time is spent on the Apple v Microsoft "battle" and political issues created by this. Most personal computer users are home users too and I feel that too much of the book deals with "high end" (ie priced beyond the means of the home user) machines and business uses rather than recreational use, with virtually no mention of the importance of the computer games market in driving the development of the PC.
All that said, I found this a fascinating, well-informed and insightful book and well worth reading.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
It's easy to underestimate just how much personal computing (including access to the internet) has done for us. Yet so many jobs have been transformed - mine as writer certainly has - as has everything from the sheer access to information to the ability to play immersive games in the personal sphere. Matt Nicholson, a long time IT journalist, takes us on the fascinating journey of the development of the desktop personal computer, from the earliest kit computers, through Sinclair Spectrums and BBC Bs to the IBM PC (with its many descendants) and the Apple Mac.

Nicholson tells the story at just the right level, bringing in all the key players and technologies and giving a real in-depth feel to his discussion of the technology, business and politics of the many decisions that left us with the personal computing landscape we have today. From the rise of Microsoft to Apple teetering on the knife-edge of disappearance before it found its way with a new generation of machines, if you are interested in computing this is an excellent account. I've read all the personality-based books on the early developments, that focus almost entirely on the likes of Gates and Jobs, but this achieves a much better balance between the people and the details of the technology (as long as you are techie-minded).

The only thing I really wasn't entirely happy with was the ending. Nicholson decided not to follow personal computing into the laptop/tablet/smartphone era. There's no mention, for instance, of Chrome and only passing references to iPhones and iPads. I think that's a shame, because it's still part of the same revolution, but I can understand him wanting to stick to the very specific rise of the desktop computer. Even so, the actual last few pages end very suddenly without a nice tie-up.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Matt Nicholson has chosen an interesting time to publish a history of the personal computer: the facts surrounding the rise of the PC are sufficiently well established that its story can be clearly told, but the demise of the PC is too current to permit a reflective discourse.

Wisely, Nicholson avoids this trap, concentrating instead on the three decades from the early 1970s in which PCs moved from a pipedream to being centre-stage in everyday life and work.

Nicholson is a journalist and this book is proper journalism. The story is big enough not to need sensationalism and is presented here as it happened, in a clear and breezy style with plenty of detail and a welcome lack of guess-work, navel-gazing or theorising.

To be clear, ‘When Computing Got Personal’ is about the PC business – the complex and evolving relationships between IBM, Microsoft and Apple is a constant theme, with supporting roles played by the usual suspects. It’s a story I thought I knew pretty well, but Nicholson’s depth, breadth and perspective provided plenty of food for thought and kept me engaged at all times.

This is a great read for anyone sitting at a desktop computer, wondering how it got to be what it is. You’ll need a certain familiarity with IT to keep up, but in return you’ll get a hold on one of the most important histories of the past fifty years.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Increasingly, people have "computer facility" with no real idea of where their computer came from. And of some of the tricks and accidents on the way. This is an excellent history of where the personal computer came from - and perhaps you'll learn something that comes in useful while surfing the next innovation wave - or whatever what is replacing plain old programming is called. Recommended.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

click to open popover