Michael’s review of The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution > Likes and Comments

30 likes · 
Comments Showing 1-10 of 10 (10 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Jim (new)


message 2: by Michael (new)

Michael Jim wrote: "You might also like Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution."

It does look like fun. I liked the fact that so much of this history was in my experience. From batch programming of mainframes with punchcards, to the first DEC mini-computers, then the early game PCs, and the quick progression in real PCs. With so much in this book, it's hardly fair to speak of what got left out. But perhaps the corporate success stories of DEC, Hewlett-Packard, and Netware behind their innovations were neglected. It's funny how in my 10 years in the Boston area Lotus went from nothing to a billion dollar company, then virtually disappeared. Also the Apple laser printer and LCD screen developments were big deals for the way we use computers, though not computer stories in themselves. The faces behind smart phone development remain to be covered.


message 3: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Out of curiosity, is there anything in this book about Seymour Cray?


message 4: by Michael (new)

Michael Nancy (NE) wrote: "Out of curiosity, is there anything in this book about Seymour Cray?"

No, the field of supercomputers was neglected except for some on Big Blue and Watson near the end. I looked up his life in Wiki and was surprised that parallel processing wasn't a key feature of the Cray models, just a fast CPU and a lot of design efficiency in peripheral circuits and integral cooling. If he hadn't died in an accident he likely would have made a big success with so-called "massively parallel" processors. I like this quote:

When he was told that Apple Computer had just bought a Cray to help design the next Apple Macintosh, Cray commented that he had just bought a Macintosh to design the next Cray.


message 5: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Thanks Michael. I was curious, but looking at the book description, got the impression it didn't delve into that area. Curious because my mother's family is from Chippewa Falls and Seymour's first wife, mother of his kids, was a family friend. We heard so many stories in the early years. Yes, the accident was a tragic loss.


message 6: by Lynne (new)

Lynne King Now this is an interesting subject Michael!


message 7: by Pramod (new)

Pramod Nair Thank you for this informative review.


message 8: by Michael (last edited Jul 15, 2015 04:39AM) (new)

Michael Pramod wrote: "Thank you for this informative review."

Lynne wrote: "Now this is an interesting subject Michael!"

Thanks for kind words. Isaacson knows how to tell a story. I keep hoping an author will capture what is behind world changing creativity, but for the most part that will remain a beautiful mystery.


message 9: by Divij (new)

Divij This is a really insightful review, not just because it highlights in what I'd personally agree with are the book's strengths but also because it could well serve as a summary or foreword to the book itself.


message 10: by Michael (new)

Michael Divij wrote: "This is a really insightful review, not just because it highlights in what I'd personally agree with are the book's strengths but also because it could well serve as a summary or foreword to the book..."

I appreciate the kind word. I could say the same about your review. I wish I had ome percent of the creativity and vision of these heroes.


back to top