By Robert X. Cringely
Machine production is--after vehicles, power creation and unlawful drugs--the biggest on the planet, and it truly is one of many final nice good fortune tales in American company. unintentional Empires is the trenchant, greatly readable background of that undefined, focusing as a lot at the astoundingly extraordinary personalities at its core--Steve Jobs, invoice Gates, Mitch Kapor, and so forth. and the hacker tradition they spawned because it does at the striking expertise they created. Cringely finds the manias and foibles of those males (they are regularly males) with deadpan hilarity and cogently demonstrates how their neuroses have formed the pc company. yet Cringely supplies us even more than high-tech voyeurism and insider gossip. From the beginning of the transistor to the mid-life difficulty of the pc undefined, he spins a sweeping, uniquely American saga of creativity and ego that's without delay uproarious, surprising and encouraging.
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Extra resources for Accidental Empires: How the Boys of Silicon Valley Make Their Millions, Battle Foreign Competition, and Still Can't Get a Date
Jack Kilby at Texas Instruments had already built several discrete components on the same slice of germanium, including the first germanium resistors and capacitors, but Kilby's parts were connected together on the chip by tiny gold wires that had to be installed by hand. TI's integrated circuit could not be manu factured in volume. % The twist that Noyce added was to deposit a layer of insulat ing silicon oxide on the top surface of the chip—this was called the "planar process" that had been invented earlier at Fairchild —and then use a photographic process to print thin metal lines on top of the oxide, connecting the components together on the chip.
When balancing your checking account isn't, by itself, enough, why not create an alternate universe where checks don't exist, nobody really dies, and monsters can be killed by jump ing on their heads? That's what computer game designers do. They define what it means to be a sky and a wall and a man, and to have color, and what should happen when man and monster collide, while the rest of us just try to figure out whether interest rates have changed enough to justify refinancing our mortgages. 20 THE TYRANNY OF THE NORMAL DISTRIBUTION Who are these ultrasmart people?
The briefing started over a second time, and finally a light bulb went off in Al Williams's head. " he exclaimed. IBM played for a short time with a concept it called telepro cessing, which put a simple computer terminal on an executive's desk, connected by telephone line to a mainframe computer 42 WHY THEY DON'T CALL IT COMPUTER VALLEY somewhere. The idea was that the Big Boss would be able to look into the bowels of the company and know instantly how many widgets were being produced in the Muncie plant.
Accidental Empires: How the Boys of Silicon Valley Make Their Millions, Battle Foreign Competition, and Still Can't Get a Date by Robert X. Cringely