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Insanely Great: The Life and Times of Macintosh, the Computer that Changed Everything
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Insanely Great: The Life and Times of Macintosh, the Computer that Changed Everything

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  388 ratings  ·  30 reviews
The creation of the Mac in 1984 catapulted America into the digital millennium, captured a fanatic cult audience, and transformed the computer industry into an unprecedented mix of technology, economics, and show business. Now veteran technology writer and Newsweek senior editor Steven Levy zooms in on the great machine and the fortunes of the unique company responsible fo ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published January 1st 1995 by Penguin Books (first published July 5th 1993)
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The ebook is a reissue of an older book, originally published in 1994. The author has added a couple of appendices, one of which is his essay, "In Memory of Steve Jobs, 1955 - 2011," and the other a lengthy interview with Steve Jobs that took place shortly before the Macintosh launch (1984).

I enjoyed this review of the Mac's development, the fervor and frenzy and commitment. I've been a Mac user since 1991, but had forgotten a lot of the details — e.g., names of display features, software, etc.
A good overview of how the Macintosh came to be and of the people who made it happen.

Steven Levy is a writer who seems to divide opinions. I liked his earlier book Hackers a *lot*, and this book continues with the same style, although this time solely focused on Apple and Macintosh. This time a couple of his stylistic devices rubbed me the wrong way, though — he seems to have a real penchant for obscure words with perfectly good common alternatives. This style of writing can come across as prete
Peter O'Kelly
The Kindle edition of the latest edition of the book, which adds a lengthly 1983 Steve Jobs interview transcript, is available, as I type this, for $4.99. I read the original hardcover edition in 1994, but rereading it and the Jobs interview (and an afterword from the 2000 edition) was a fascinating experience.

I'd give the latest Kindle edition 5 stars if it weren't for some glaring typos and an obvious factual error that went uncorrected from the 2000 revision: Levy asserted, in reference to 1
Excellent book. Enjoyed it. (This review was created in July 2011, long after I read the book.)
Ben Galbraith
I generally love Steven Levy's work and this is no exception.
Erick Petersen
Interesting story behind the creation of the Macintosh computer and the general history of Apple. What was fascinating was learning about the people who designed these computers. Many of them were musicians, poets, artists who happen to be computer engineers as well. I was particularly impressed with the man who initially launched the Mac project for Apple, Jef Raskin, who majored in Philosophy and Engineering, taught computer science classes and conducted the San Francisco Chamber Opera Society ...more
Reading a new (old) book I picked from Phoenix used bookstore in Amsterdam near my apartment.
The book is called “Insanely Grea: the life and times of Macintosh, the computer that changed everything”. I am reading now about the incredibly intelligent visionaries of the sixties and seventies who visualized what a computer could be and do. Things that are today part of our everyday vocabulary like desktop, windows, mouse, informations ape and others were leaps of imagination beyond belief.

Then come
Tim Jin
Any Mac aficionado will love this book. I am very aware of Steven Levy's writing. He is one of the best technology chronologist of our time. Even though I am not a Mac User, I really enjoyed listening about how Apple got started. There is a secret hidden gem about Apple and their stories.

This company is like a blockbuster movie, lights, action, and drama. There is no other tech company out there like Apple that keep their consumers wanting more. I don't see multiple books about Intel, but there
Mark James
Interesting telling of the first days of the Macintosh, lots of great anecdotes from the creators. I would love to read a book like this about NeXT.
This book is provides a great overview of all the personalities, quirkiness, ideas, difficulties, and ultimately, as the title suggests, genius behind the development of the Macintosh computer. The narrative can be slow a bit at times but it's a fun read and one I would definitely recommend for anyone interested in business and/or computers. The divide between the engineers and those focused on the business side in the computer industry is certainly highlighted throughout the book but is by no m ...more
Joe White
Written in 94, the book might appear to be dated to some, but serves as an excellent perspective on the history of technological device development and the history of Apple. Even by 94, it assumed that windowed environments had become the standard operating interface for users and in the last chapter presaged devices such as the Iphone and Kinect.
(It wasn't until 95, and Windows 95, that the majority of business machines were running a windowed interface. DOS held on for a long-long time in the
Bruce Baker
Deals with the mac years. A great deal of information.
Phil Simon
An excellent look at the rise and challenges of the Macintosh. To me, this book was a bit of a trip down memory lane. I remember some of the very applications that Levy describes. I remember the frustrations of first using a personal computer, but didn't know the backstory behind the development of the Mac. Rife with interesting parables from key players like Atkinson and Woz, this is a really interesting book that ages surprisingly well.
This was decent, although 20 years old. I like Steven Levy and this was read by him, which made it better. The afterword and other updates to the audiobook after Jobs death as well as a very recent roundtable discussion among some of the key players were nice additions to this edition. It was fun to go back in time to remember how many things we take for granted were really innovative back then.
Erik Granlund
Even though I've heard this story at least 100 times now, the author was still able to make it interesting and added a couple little tidbits that I hadn't heard before.

I would recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about the creation of the Macintosh without all of the technical jargon.
Hans Gerwitz
Not Levy at his best. It's an enjoyable story despite the sloppy writing. Especially at the beginning when he tries to explain things, it's not that he oversimplifies, it's that he misunderstands his own subject. There are even errors that any editor should have caught, regardless of knowledge.
Tony Pitttarese
Well written and interesting. Rather out of date now.
Nicholas Moryl
A good history of the initial development of the Mac. Published shortly after Jobs' return to Apple, so don't expect much of the more recent history, but it's a decent chronicle of the original Mac project.
An interesting look at the history of personal computers and of course the Mac. Would be hard to recommend to anyone unless they had a interest in computers.
David Dietrich
Good stuff, which wasn't surprising since I'd really ejoyed Levy's "Hackers." Leaves off a few years before Jobs' triumphant return to Apple.
Great little history of the creative process behind creating the first Mac. A pleasure to read for any techie.
Jon Laiche
This book helped to direct and define my career as scholar, historian, teacher, techie, and modern pagan.
I'd read pretty much anything by Steven Levy, and have. This one is well written and fun.
Todd Everett
Insanely Great book! I now realize I need to read everything Steven Levy has written.
Denis Collins
An interesting particularly since I was reading it when Steve Jobs died.
Pedro Lima
Too many stories without a linking lead!
Behold, a dent in the universe.
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Steven Levy (born 1951) is an American journalist who has written several books on computers, technology, cryptography, the Internet, cybersecurity, and privacy. Levy is chief technology writer and a senior editor for Newsweek, writing mainly in the "Science & Technology" section. He also writes the column "Random Access" in the monthly feature "Focus On Technology." Levy is also a contributor ...more
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