By Robert X. Cringely
Desktop production is--after automobiles, power construction and unlawful drugs--the greatest on the planet, and it really is one of many final nice good fortune tales in American company. unintentional Empires is the trenchant, greatly readable heritage of that undefined, focusing as a lot at the astoundingly extraordinary personalities at its core--Steve Jobs, invoice Gates, Mitch Kapor, and so forth. and the hacker tradition they spawned because it does at the awesome expertise they created. Cringely unearths the manias and foibles of those males (they are continuously males) with deadpan hilarity and cogently demonstrates how their neuroses have formed the pc enterprise. yet Cringely provides us even more than high-tech voyeurism and insider gossip. From the start of the transistor to the mid-life challenge of the pc undefined, he spins a sweeping, uniquely American saga of creativity and ego that's right away uproarious, surprising and encouraging.
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Extra info for Accidental Empires: How the Boys of Silicon Valley Make Their Millions, Battle Foreign Competition, and Still Can't Get a Date
There were hardly any doors; Noyce had an office cubicle, built from shoulder-high partitions, just like everybody else. Thirty years later, he still had only a cubicle, along with limitless wealth. They use cubicles, too, at Hewlett-Packard, which at one point in the late 1970s had more than 50,000 employees, but only three private offices. One office belonged to Bill Hewlett, one to David Packard, and the third to a guy named Paul Ely, who annoyed so many coworkers with his bellowing on the tele phone that the company finally extended his cubicle walls clear to the ceiling.
Williams's specialty was finance; it was through his efforts that IBM had turned computer leasing into a goldmine. —and had been bred to lead the blue- suited men of IBM, not to design or use computers. Watson and Williams didn't have computer terminals at their desks. They didn't even work for a company that believed in terminals. Their concept was of data processing, which at IBM meant piles of pa per cards punched with hundreds of rectangular, not round, holes. Round holes belonged to Univac.
To hell with them," he said. As a leader, Noyce was half high school science teacher and 38 / WHY THEY DON'T CALL IT COMPUTER VALLEY half athletic team captain. Young engineers were encouraged to speak their minds, and they were given authority to buy what ever they needed to pursue their research. No idea was too crazy to be at least considered, because Noyce realized that great dis coveries lay in crazy ideas and that rejecting out of hand the ideas of young engineers would just hasten that inevitable day when they would take off for their own start-up.
Accidental Empires: How the Boys of Silicon Valley Make Their Millions, Battle Foreign Competition, and Still Can't Get a Date by Robert X. Cringely