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Computer Lib/Dream Machines

4.50  ·  Rating details ·  102 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Nelson writes passionately about the need for people to understand computers deeply, more deeply than was generally promoted as computer literacy, which he considers a superficial kind of familiarity with particular hardware and software. His rallying cry "Down with Cybercrud" is against the centralization of computers such as that performed by IBM at the time, as well as ...more
Paperback, Second Edition, 336 pages
Published November 1st 1987 by Tempus Books of Microsoft Press (first published June 1974)
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Peter Morville
Sep 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
After borrowing the title of my latest book, Intertwingled, from one of the many neologisms in this brilliant manifesto by Ted Nelson, I knew I had to own a copy. So I bought a used First Edition. It wasn't cheap. But it's filled with all sorts of fascinating ideas and inspirations. And I love the sprawling magazine layout and two-books-in-one design. Computer Lib/Dream Machines is/are a wonderful, refreshing book/s that could never be contained in a Kindle.
Jun 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing

There are two books here, very dated but fascinating nonetheless. The first book, Computer Lib, is about computers in general, as they were in 1972-74 or so. Computers were becoming generally known to the public, and more and more widely used in all kinds of business and academia.

Flip the book upside down to the back, and you get Dream Machines - a look at the most clever computer-based and computer-related technologies of the day.

This book was the first "popular book" for the general public
Joe Raimondo
Feb 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Ted Nelson is, in my opinion, the most influential systems thinker of the past 60 years.
Michael Scott
About: Ted Nelson's dual-book Computer Lib/Dream Machines is a 1974 overview of the field of computing, both as practice (at the time) and as vision (much remains a dream). The book is largely forgotten now, but for decades - and surely before the resurgence of 'the cloud' in the mid-2000s - it was hailed as a masterpiece and must-read of the field. I'm glad I did, even belatedly. You should, too.

I won't spoil the fun by saying this is a book started from a genuine desire to tell everyone about
Feb 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating glimpse to the future in a highly readable and thoroughly entertaining book. As well as original text from 1974 there's extra text written for the 1987 version, updating on what has changed since 1974. Wish I'd read this years ago. I can easily see why it became a cult classic among the hackers (programmers) when first published.
Mar 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Batsh*t insane. But in a good way.
A delightful, manic piece of computer history, and still relevant today.
Dec 04, 2019 marked it as to-keep-reference
Citado en Hiperculturalidad. Nelson propone una interpretación de la sociedad basada en el hipertexto. En ese sentido la hiperculturalidad sería la interrelación entre distintas culturas contrario al enfrentamiento entre dos culturas opuestas.
Dec 30, 2015 added it
This is not a book, it is an experience. This book and its author were and still are visionary. I thoroughly enjoyed the format of pictures, notes, and text in a dual book front and back. Reading the original format of the book(s) is to step into a time machine that simultaneously goes backward and forward whirling through a rush of sometimes crazy, often times brilliant enormous thoughts siphoned straight from the mind of Nelson. The ideas and concepts in this pre-PC book influenced and shaped ...more
Nov 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Computer Lib/Dream Machines contains a treasure trove of information about the pre-PC world of computing which is both fascinatingly alien and eerily familiar. Nelson exclaims "You can and must understand computers NOW!", warning its readers that computers are a tool that can work for you if you understand them, and against you if you don't. It's a must read for any computer nerd.
Dec 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Tough to rate these days. Only my second read-through since I grabbed the '87 revision when it was new on the shelf. Mostly of historical interest, but still some really cool stuff to think about. There's a PDF scan of the original 1974 edition out there, but I haven't found the later one and the cheapest copy is $80 on Amazon!
Ed Selkow
Jul 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I stumbled across Computer Lib when I would hunt for alternative zines. I must have read it 5 times because I immediately realized what a treasure this book is. This is one of my treasures.
Jan 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Presages the advent of the World Wide Web.
Seth Wagoner
Aug 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
For it's time, this was absolutely incredible. I imagine the first edition is now worth a tidy some of cash if you're lucky enough to have one.
Kartik Singhal
Oct 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: partially-read
Mostly skimmed, quite dated. Must have been an interesting read in the decade it was published.
Jan 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Started me on the path.

Humanist vision of computers and their potential. Bridged the gap from Vannevar Bush to modern computing. Taught me to love things I hadn't met yet.
hey book
Gary Bennett
Jun 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the book that really started the microcomputer revolution; the ideas Ted Nelson presents can be considered as precursors of the internet as well.
Jan 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Ted Nelson invented the term 'hypertext', and we still do not have a system as good as Xanadu.
Probably we never will.
Jack Zhao
Don't feel it's relevant.
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Sharlene and Ted Nelson have been co-authoring books for twenty years. The Nelsons live in Washington State.