Wednesday, May 19th, 2010
Well I finally finished Hackers, an awesome book by Steve Levy documenting the pioneers of the personal computer. Starting with the Tech Model Railroad Club at MIT, it covers the people that programmed these first computers. They created everything from system compilers on the TX-0, to figuring out assembly language on their own, writing some of the first games seen on the Apple II. The Homebrew Computer Club is also covered in detail, including Steve Wozniak and the work he did with them before Apple.
It also really touched on what it feels like to be hacker. To be so absorb in a program that nothing else matters. The feeling of playing god as you create a universe within all that silicon, and the joy of an amazing hack, where others admire all the work that you put in. Your life affirmed by code. And throughout the book itís laced with the Hacker Ethic. Plainly stated in chapter two with countless examples of how many lived by it, even as it became corrupt when hackers went out and worked for a living programming games.
In all it was a great read, covering the history that lead up to, and the first few years of, the personal computer. A little slow going, but full of details and interviews with the people that were actually there: Greenblatt, Felsenstein, Williams, expressing how they were changing the world with this brand new invention. The PC.
Levy did an excellent job - D
Currently Playing: Age of Conan