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A study of the evolution of the modern computer profiles the work of MIT psychologist J. C. R. Licklider, whose visionary dream of a human-computer symbiosis transformed the course of modern science and led to the development of the personal computer. Reprint.

Number of Pages: 512

ISBN: 014200135X

ISBN-13: 9780142001356


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The Dream Machine. Great book published by Stripe Press. I really love tech history books like this. Thx @stewart for recommendation.

Remember when I recommended it to @patrickc as "something I thought he'd be really interested in"?

When people ask me about Xerox Parc, I always tell them about J. C. R. Licklider Lick and how he formed the ARPA Information Processing Techniques Office in 1962 and started the great research funding for interactive computing and pervasive worldwide networks that has resulted in...

When people ask me about Xerox Parc, I always tell them about J. C. R. Licklider Lick and how he formed the ARPA Information Processing Techniques Office in 1962 and started the great research funding for interactive computing and pervasive worldwide networks that has resulted in most of the technology we use today: both via the inventions of the eventually 16 or so ARPA projects at various universities and think tanks, and by creating the next generations of computing researchers, many of whom became the founders and mainstays of Xerox Parc. The top book I recommend to read about this large process that stretched over 20 years is The Dream Machine by M. Mitchell Waldrop. It is the most accurate, has the most detail, and has the best organization and writing. He is able to admirably catch many of the most important parts of both the history and the spirit of the many headed research and engineering processes that together created our interactive networked information world.

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Waldrop interviewed dozens of contemporaries and examined reams of notes and primary sources to compose this massive biography of influence that stretches from MIT to the Pentagon to Xerox PARC and far beyond. If it sometimes seems that Licklider was a little too well beloved, esp...

Waldrop interviewed dozens of contemporaries and examined reams of notes and primary sources to compose this massive biography of influence that stretches from MIT to the Pentagon to Xerox PARC and far beyond. If it sometimes seems that Licklider was a little too well beloved, especially in comparison to some of the more colorful figures in computing's recent history, it is worth remembering that his patience and humility were the very qualities that helped deliver the home-computing revolution we take for granted today. If we had to choose just one 20th-century computer pioneer that we couldn't do without, it would have to be the man behind the Dream Machine.

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