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on 29 September 2017
Fantastic book. Currently about 2/3rds of the way through. The title can be a bit misleading and this book will probably be of far more interest to those with an interest in history, engineering, science, etc, rather than people looking for a book on the modern meaning of the word hacker. A fascinating read and provides not only a historical overview of key advances in computer science, but also helps to portray the personalities and characters behind it all.
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VINE VOICEon 28 January 2016
This is now a classic, I read it in the early nineties first and this is an updated version.
It follows various eras of computing the early pioneers in the fifties labs (Cambridge, Boston), the Homebrew era in Northern California and finally home games programming in the 80s. My favourite era is the homebrew one that led to Apple computers.
The writing is consistently entertaining and there's a lot of historical detail. I reread this on my kindle recently and enjoyed it the second time.
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on 9 January 2011
If you work within the field of computing and have an interest in how and why things have developed the way they have, then this book is one that you really should get. In this context, "Hacker" is not a perjorative term; it does not refer to the people that set out to maliciously damage systems, but rather to those that tried to understand how and why things work they way they do, by deconstructing them, and then trying to make them work more efficiently.

The author provides details of how many of the pioneers of modern computing honed their skills; the relationships between the various people and also tries to give an insight into their thinking. It's clear that in many cases, no-one was particularly driven to go down a particular route, they were just trying to see what they could do. It's equally clear that some of the development was as the result of external forces from people that probably knew little if anything about the potential of the coming computer revolution.

The book can seem a bit lengthy; the author has tried to highlight the activities a very large number of people that were active through the first few decades of the modern computing era. But it is a very worthwhile read.
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on 8 January 2014
If you thought the term 'Hackers' had anything to do with computers you were mis-informed - but they invented the entire industry, bootstrapping it from skills learned from people running the early mainframe computers while on the search for components for their giant train set. Amazingly detailed, Steven Levy has lived and worked among the generation of geeks who became the household names from Microsoft and Apple, the games houses and software companies that are now world wide big business. And with the development of the Raspberry Pi it might be starting all over again!!
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on 28 June 2017
Best non fiction story you will buy relating to computers.
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on 20 June 2017
Brilliant.
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on 1 August 2017
Fantastic book. Hard it in paperback but now on kindle. A great read
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on 10 October 2013
This is a great book for anybody interested in computers, very interesting and eye opening content. I'm an IT consultant and programmer so this book was brilliant for me.
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on 3 June 2014
Despite being a bit too American for my taste the author depicts masterfully the stories of the pioneers who invented a way of using computers that changed the world. If you're a hacker yourself this is a must read!
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on 12 August 2015
I'm extremely pleased with the book and would definitely use this supplier again.
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