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Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution

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Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution
Rating: ★★★★☆
ISBN: 1449388396

In this book, Steven Levy tells the history of modern computing. From the first MIT hackers who started working on model railroads before discovering early TX-0 and PDP-1 mainframes to video game creators working at Sierra; from Peter Samson, John “Captain Crunch” Draper, and Woz, to Richard Stallmann Steve Jobs and Bill Gates… decades the history of early computers and their progressive discovery by the general public.

Originally published in 1984, this book also describes the hacker ethics:

  1. Access to computers—and anything which might teach you something about the way the world works—should be unlimited and total. Always yield to the Hands-On Imperative!
  2. All information should be free
  3. Mistrust authority, promote decentralization
  4. Hackers should be judged by their hacking, not criteria such as degrees, age, race, sex, or position
  5. You can create art and beauty on a computer
  6. Computers can change your life for the better

A heavy book, full of information and anecdotes, and obviously the result of serious and in-depth research and numerous interviews with the people involved. But it reads like a novel… A novel about a part of the life of many of these relatively unknown hackers and who nevertheless one day played a decisive role in the computer revolution. Most often without realizing it themselves…

For a computer enthusiast like me, this book is fascinating. As pages go, I discovered technologies, people, or companies that I only knew by name before… A really interesting book that gave me a new outlook on many topics.