Before we had all these desktops connected to the internet, with gigabyte video cards powering
photo-realistic games, we had micro computers, and text adventures, and we wrote our own games
in BASIC or Assembly Language. This early era of computing, everything from the Altair 8800 and
Apple II to the IBM PC and Mac, was a wonderful time where one or two people could create a game
or a business application. Not like today, having to rely on a 30 man team or more to handle all the
code. Look how big Microsoft is.
Robert Cringely has covered the early Micro in
from the stuff that happened at Xerox PARC to the rise of Microsoft, which started with just Bill
Gates and Paul Allen. His unique approach is that of a gossip columist, having the inside dirt on
the industry. He wrote for InfoWorld back when this book was written, it was published in
1992, but you feel like it all happened yesturday, not like you're looking back on it years later.
The tone of the whole book is awesome, like this section right here:
The two programmer subspecies that are worthy of note are the hippies and
the nerds. Nearly all great programmers are one type or the other. Hippie programmers
have long hair and deliberately, even pridefully, ignore the seasons in their choice
of clothing. They wear shorts and sandals in the winter and T-shirts all the time.
Nerds are neat little anal-retentive men with penchants for short-sleeved shirts
and pocket protectors. Nerds carry calculators; hippies borrow calculators. Nerds
use decongestant nasal sprays; hippies snort cocaine. Nerds typically know fourty-six
different ways to make love but don't know any women. Hippies know women.
The book also went on to become a PBS Special,
Triumph of the Nerds, which came out in 1996 along
with a re-release of the book and two more chapters. The Special was also hosted by Cringely. This second
release of the book is the one that's in circulation, and it made for a great read. Going on about
little things that would have been lost over time. I'm glad I had a chance to get through it, it
was a breeze to read.
Currently Playing: Legends of Zork