on 5 November 2000
This book is a little-known gem. I found this book on a friend's booksheld, pick it up, glanced at the back.... and was completely captivated. I sat down and read straight for almost 5 hours. The tale Bass tells is enthralling. Not only does it serve as a fasicinating introduction to computers, but it is also probably the most wonderful account of friendship, idealism and dedication that I have ever read. It is a unique insight into the intellectual, post-hippie society of Silicon valley, while at the same time being a thrilling tale of science against the casino. Truth is indeed stranger than fiction!
on 14 December 1998
Bunch of geniuses, Norman Packard, Doyne Farmer etc set out to put a computer in their shoes to beat the casinos at roulette. A brilliant true story comparable to Steven Levy's "Hackers" and "Artificial Life", you will learn a lot from any of these books and I highly recomand them all. A slightly sad ending occurs only if you don't recognise the names and what they did *after* the escapade!
on 28 November 2015
This story really will rock your world if you any interest in physics, late history, gambling (and winning) or just have a curiosity to learn of the extraordinary. This true story of bringing down the house using "magic shoes" (that is shoes with computers in them, don't want to say too much there): will blow your mind. Beautifully written, inspirational stuff. A true underdog story with an ending... you'll have to find out! (This is one of those rare non-fiction books I *could* read again... then maybe again.
on 21 July 1999
What must be remembered is not how well (or not) this experiment in trying to beat roulette odds went, but rather what it inspired many of the participants to go on to, specifically chaos theory. The actual story of trying to build a computer in a shoe and a program that could predict the ball's movement ranks up there alongside 'Soul of a New Machine' by Tracy Kdder.
on 10 May 1999
A good build up to a technology progression against a protected system. Like the scene in Apollo 13 where scientists use slide rules, these guys had the bare essentials to work with. Anything else had to be made from scratch.
Ending is a little dissapointing. You always want the underdog to win, but then if they did really win, they wouldn't want to publish it.