2014 Book Goal: 52 (mostly non-fiction)
2014 Books Read: 63 (90% non-fiction)
Walter Isaacson’s book, The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution seemed to be an offshoot of his book, Steve Jobs. It was natural to take a look at the entire revolution instead of just one shiny piece. This is that look.
As a historical timeline, the book does a good job of giving the who, what, when and where of the progression from Charles Babbage’s original theory to present day.
The book drags at times while setting the scene for what is, to me, more interesting… the 70’s to today, but it is all good information that is worth the read. As much as I have followed the history of computing since I became aware of them in the late 70’s, Isaacson did give me some information that I hadn’t previously read. Sure, it is just a tiny bit of trivia here and there, but I have done a lot of reading on the subject over the last 40 years. His ability to add anything to that is impressive.
For me, the book took a turn to my comfort zone once the subjects of those days that coincided with my life came up. I was a part of the early days of BASIC programming, the DARPANET, Gopher, Archie, Modiac, the advent of the GUI (graphical user interface), the BBS (bulletin board systems) – I even ran an online auction (selling sports memorabilia) well before EBAY. This is the stuff I cut my technological and business teeth on – this is the stuff that made my mind spin as I dreamt of the possibilities as a youth. This was great fun to relive thought Isaacson’s book.
If, like me, this sort of historical stuff interests you then you are in for a good time. Again, it moves slowly at times but that didn’t bother me at all. After these two books by Isaacson, I think I will give some of his other works a read.
by Chris Doelle