Review: Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution

Hackers: Heroes of the Computer RevolutionHackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution by Steven Levy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is the story of the beginning of computers, written in the 1980s. I’d already read about many of the events portrayed in the book via other books or magazine articles. But this was nice and detailed. I like Steven Levy’s style. He really brings the people profiled to life. Knowing where computers have ended up – which companies and movements have won – makes it an especially interesting read compared to when it was first published and people weren’t sure where the industry was going or if it would crash like the Atari crash of the 1980s.

It was weird that I was alive for a good portion of the last part of the book, but hadn’t experienced it firsthand both from being too young and from neither myself nor my parents having geeky peers.

The book has 2 afterwards to update the reader on what’s happened since then. The second one is from 2010. It’s funny, even 11 years later it the Zuckerberg section read SO differently. Frankly, I’d really love if Levy would just make a sequel to the original book and really cover the 90s to today. Go deep on Google, Red Hat, Linus Torvalds, Facebook, and Twitter. Show the 3rd (or 4th?) wave hacker and how they are similar and different from those previous generations.

Good as a history book that reads like a long-form magazine article. Also easy to read in chunks as you have interest. Highly recommend.

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