Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution

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US hardcover 1st edition.

Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution is a non-fiction book about the history of computer hardware and software development from the early days of university computers, to the 80s with personal computers. It was written by Steven Levy and first published in 1984.

Status

I own an audio book of the 25th Anniversary Edition read by Mike Chamberlain.

Review

Good

  • The book is well-written and interesting from beginning to end.
  • The book tells a lot of interesting stories about many of the of big names in the computer hacking industry.
  • The added chapter from the 25th anniversary edition is a nice follow-up to where Levy left off in 1984.

Bad

  • The author romanticizes too much of the early history of computers and hackers. There is a lot of religious and magical metaphor for something that is actually a hard science. I get that he's trying to evoke a feeling of mystery, but it's kind of silly sounding.
  • Too much of the book is about Sierra On-Line. Granted, it was a major computer company, but it was one of many.
  • While the stories about the people involved are really great, I wish the author had gotten more technical with his description of hardware and software.
  • At one point the author suggests D&D players use an 18-sided die! For shame!

Ugly

  • Nothing.

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