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Books - Book Review - Hackers: Heroes Of The Computer Revolution - 25'th Anniversary Edition


Hackers: Heroes Of The Computer Revolution - 25'th Anniversary Edition


Computers / Culture / History / Non-fiction

Released By / Year

O'Reilly / 2010

Book Review

If you have any deeper interest in computers whatsoever then this book is for you.

"Hackers: Heroes Of The Computer Revolution" covers the years 1958 - 1983 and concentrates on a number of characters who had major roles in the computer revolution, the transition of the computer from a shared corporate mainframe to personal home entertainment system.

The first half of the book was fascinating to me since that happened before I was born and was unknown territory. The second half is even more fascinating since I was able to put it into context of some distant, faded memory of a part of my childhood. As someone who met his first computer in 1983 (a Commodore 64) and followed the evolution closely through the years, the details about these first years of home computing are fascinating.

Steven Levy's writing style is engaging and he has put an impressive amount of detail into the book. He walks a fine line of keeping the technical issues flavored with many personal twists and this keeps the book interesting throughout. The most captivating part of the book for me was the last section about the growth of Sierra On-line.

I found the Hacker Ethic described in the book in broad terms very interesting because I believe in many of the same things that provide the basis for it and I recognized some of the elements as being part of what led me to create this website, such as the sharing, openness and free flow of information.

This 25'th anniversary Edition comes with two interesting afterword sections by the author and these provide both a sense of closure and a sense of the evolution that has happened since the book was written in 1984.

Written By Steen
Online: Tuesday, May 7, 2013