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The Inmates Are Running the Asylum by Alan Cooper
Albert Einstein, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Menlo Park, natural language processing, new economy, pets.com, Robert X Cringely, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, telemarketer, urban planning
Many games just wouldn't be fun unless facts were hidden, processes were obscured, and goals were unclear. Most good software engineers are at a disadvantage in the politeness realm. Robert X. Cringely says that programmers …are expressive and precise in the extreme but only when they feel like it. They look the way they do as a deliberate statement about personal priorities, not because they're lazy. Their mode of communication is so precise that they can seem almost unable to communicate. Call a nerd Mike when he calls himself Michael and he likely won't answer, since you couldn't possibly be referring to him.  Robert X. Cringely, Accidental Empires, How the Boys of Silicon Valley Make Their Millions, Battle Foreign Competition, and Still Can't Get a Date, Addison-Wesley, 1992, ISBN: 0-201-57032-7.
At Pearson, Brad Jones supported this project throughout, but the most credit goes to Chris Webb, whose tenacity, focus, and hard work really made The Inmates happen. I really appreciate the many people who provided moral support, anecdotes, advice, and time. Thanks very much to Daniel Appleman, Todd Basche, Chris Bauer, Jeff Bezos, Alice Blair, Michel Bourque, Po Bronson, Steve Calde, David Carlick, Jeff Carlick, Carol Christie, Clay Collier, Kendall Cosby, Dan Crane, Robert X. Cringely, Troy Daniels, Lisa Powers, Philip Englehardt, Karen Evensen, Ridgely Evers, Royal Farros, Pat Fleck, David Fore, Ed Forman, Ed Fredkin, Jean-Louis Gassee, Jim Gay, Russ Goldin, Vlad Gorelik, Marcia Gregory, Garrett Gruener, Chuck Hartledge, Ted Harwood, Will Hearst, Tamra Heathershaw-Hart, J.D. Hildebrand, Laurie Hills, Peter Hirshberg, Larry Keeley, Gary Kratkin, Deborah Kurata, Tom Lafleur, Paul Laughton, Ellen Levy, Steven List, T.C.
Albert Einstein, Andrew Keen, Apple II, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, butterfly effect, computer age, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, East Village, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Grace Hopper, gravity well, Guggenheim Bilbao, Honoré de Balzac, Howard Rheingold, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, John von Neumann, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Mercator projection, Mother of all demos, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, planetary scale, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Post-materialism, post-materialism, Potemkin village, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Robert X Cringely, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, social software, spaced repetition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ted Nelson, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, Thomas L Friedman, Turing machine, Turing test, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, walkable city, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, William Shockley: the traitorous eight
Kay was especially impressed by the ways in which MIT mathematician Seymour Papert used Piaget’s theories when he developed the LOGO programming language. 19 . See Michael A. Hiltzik, Dealers of Lightning: Xerox PARC and the Dawn of the Computer Age (New York: HarperCollins, 1999); Douglas K. Smith and Robert C. Alexander, Fumbling the Future: How Xerox Invented, Then Ignored, the First Personal Computer (New York: William Morrow, 1988). 20 . I take this phrase from Robert X. Cringely’s documentary for the Public Broadcasting System, The Triumph of the Nerds: The Rise of Accidental Empires (1996), which drew from his earlier book Accidental Empires: How the Boys of Silicon Valley Make Their Millions, Battle Foreign Competition, and Still Can’t Get a Date (New York: Harper Business, 1993). 21 . Journalist Steve Levy took the title of his book, Insanely Great: The Life and Times of Macintosh, the Computer That Changed Everything (New York: Viking Penguin, 1993), from Jobs’s own insistence that he and his team were on the verge of creating something not just functional or even proﬁtable but rather insanely great.
Climbing Mount Improbable by Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward
The generic name always begins with a capital letter and the specific name never does (nowadays, although the original convention was that it could if derived from a proper name. Even Darwinii would nowadays be written darwinii). If ever you see (and you often will) Homo Sapiens or homo sapiens it is always a mistake. Note, by the way, that the word ‘species’ is both singular and plural. The plural of genus is genera. *Judith Flanders has called my attention to the following amusingly relevant story in Robert X. Cringely’s book, Accidental Empires. The story concerns the Apple III, a desktop computer of the generation between the famous Apple II and the even more famous Macintosh, launched in 1980:‘…the automated machinery that inserted dozens of computer chips on the main circuit board didn’t push them into their sockets firmly enough. Apple’s answer was to tell 90,000 customers to pick up their Apple III carefully, hold it twelve to eighteen inches above a level surface, and then drop it, hoping that the resulting crash would reseat all the chips.’
Joel on Software by Joel Spolsky
barriers to entry, c2.com, George Gilder, index card, Jeff Bezos, knowledge worker, Metcalfe's law, Network effects, new economy, PageRank, Paul Graham, profit motive, Robert X Cringely, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, slashdot, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, thinkpad, VA Linux, web application
Microsoft has an incredible amount of cash money in the bank and is still incredibly profitable. It has a long way to fall. It could do everything wrong for a decade before it started to be in remote danger, and you never know—they could reinvent themselves as a shaved-ice company at the last minute. So don't be so quick to write them off. In the early 1990s everyone thought IBM was completely over: mainframes were history! Back then, Robert X. Cringely predicted that the era of the mainframe would end on January 1, 2000, when all the applications written in COBOL would seize up, and rather than fix those applications, for which, allegedly, the source code had long since been lost, everybody would rewrite those applications for client-server platforms. Well, guess what. Mainframes are still with us, nothing happened on January 1, 2000, and IBM reinvented itself as a big ol' technology consulting company that also happens to make cheap plastic telephones.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple II, back-to-the-land, Bill Duvall, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Buckminster Fuller, California gold rush, card file, computer age, computer vision, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, El Camino Real, general-purpose programming language, Golden Gate Park, Hacker Ethic, hypertext link, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of the printing press, Jeff Rulifson, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Mahatma Gandhi, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, Paul Terrell, popular electronics, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Robert X Cringely, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, union organizing, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight
—Steven Levy, author of Hackers, Crypto, and Insanely Great “Beautifully written, What the Dormouse Said does that important job of placing in a historical context the development of modern computer technology. It tells us not only what happened, but why. These people changed our world as much as any group ever and now I understand not only how it came to be but also why it was probably inevitable.” —Robert X. Cringely, author of Accidental Empires and host of the PBS series Triumph of the Nerds “Reviled and demonized, then trivialized by the official culture it so exuberantly opposed, the counterculture of the 1960s nevertheless remains the 2000-pound gorilla in the china closet of recent American history. With elegance and efficiency, What The Dormouse Said charts one of the most important and overlooked songlines from that mind-expanding moment.
The Future of the Internet: And How to Stop It by Jonathan Zittrain
A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andy Kessler, barriers to entry, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, c2.com, call centre, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, game design, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, illegal immigration, index card, informal economy, Internet Archive, jimmy wales, license plate recognition, loose coupling, mail merge, national security letter, packet switching, Post-materialism, post-materialism, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, Richard Stallman, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert X Cringely, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, software patent, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, web application, wikimedia commons
.”); Robert Seidman, America Online’s Elusive Exclusive with Time, Inc., IN, AROUND and online, Jan. 6, 1995 (“America Online announced an expanded agreement with Time, Inc. that will bring the ‘Entertainment Weekly’ magazine to America Online. The press release from America Online also stated that the agreement extends their exclusive arrangement with Time Magazine—that Time couldn’t be offered on any other online service.”). 43. See Robert X. Cringely, That Does Not Compute!, PBS, Sept. 17, 1997, http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/1997/pulpit_19970917_000543.html (“Compuserve [sic], which couldn’t decide whether it was a stodgy online service or a stodgy network provider doesn’t have to be either. AOL, which couldn’t decide whether it was an on-the-edge online service or an over-the-edge network provider, gets to stick to content and stop pissing off users by pretending to know what a modem is….
Digital Wars: Apple, Google, Microsoft and the Battle for the Internet by Charles Arthur
AltaVista, Build a better mousetrap, Burning Man, cloud computing, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, don't be evil, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, gravity well, Jeff Bezos, John Gruber, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Network effects, PageRank, pre–internet, Robert X Cringely, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, slashdot, Snapchat, software patent, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple, upwardly mobile
But by June 1998 it was still a minnow, in computing terms, selling perhaps a couple of million computers a year. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs Gates and Jobs were long-time friends as well as rivals: a couple of decades earlier, they had taken girlfriends on double dates together. So what did Gates think of the threat from Cupertino? Speaking in June 1998 to another journalist, Mark Stephens (who writes under the more arresting moniker of Robert X Cringely), he grew ruminative. ‘What I can’t figure out is why he is even trying,’ Gates said to Stephens. ‘He knows he can’t win.’11 (Typically, Gates was being accommodating; typically, Jobs wasn’t. Stephens had been commissioned by Vanity Fair magazine to write an article about the relationship between Gates and Jobs. Jobs had insisted that Stephens talk to Gates first. He then never quite got around to his interview.
Computer: A History of the Information Machine by Martin Campbell-Kelly, William Aspray, Nathan L. Ensmenger, Jeffrey R. Yost
Ada Lovelace, air freight, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, Build a better mousetrap, Byte Shop, card file, cashless society, cloud computing, combinatorial explosion, computer age, deskilling, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, garden city movement, Grace Hopper, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invention of the wheel, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John von Neumann, linked data, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, natural language processing, Network effects, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, pirate software, popular electronics, prediction markets, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, Robert X Cringely, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, the market place, Turing machine, Vannevar Bush, Von Neumann architecture, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, women in the workforce, young professional
THE SHAPING OF THE PERSONAL COMPUTER A good overview of the early development of the personal computer is Paul Freiberger and Michael Swaine’s Fire in the Valley (1984 and 1999). Stan Veit’s History of the Personal Computer (1993) is full of anecdotes and insights on the early development of the industry to be found nowhere else; Veit participated in the rise of the personal computer, first as a retailer and then as editor of Computer Shopper. The later period is covered by Robert X. Cringely’s Accidental Empires (1992); although less scholarly than some other books, it is generally reliable and is written with a memorable panache. Fred Turner’s Counterculture to Cyberculture (2006) provides a scholarly examination of the “New Communalists’” connections with and contributions to personal computing and online communities. Interesting analyses of entrepreneurial activity in the early personal-computer industry appear in Robert Levering et al.’s The Computer Entrepreneurs (1984) and Robert Slater’s Portraits in Silicon (1987).
From Airline Reservations to Sonic the Hedgehog: A History of the Software Industry by Martin Campbell-Kelly
Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, business process, card file, computer age, computer vision, continuous integration, deskilling, Grace Hopper, inventory management, John von Neumann, linear programming, Menlo Park, Network effects, popular electronics, RAND corporation, Robert X Cringely, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, software patent, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions
Kathy Rebello et al., “Novell: End of Era?” Business Week, November 22, 1993: 43–44. 68. Richard Brandt, “A Tricky Tack for Borland,” Business Week, August 2, 1993: 44–45. 69. Interview with Gordon Eubanks in Jager and Ortiz, In the Company of Giants. 70. Ibid., p. 55. 71. Steve Lohr, Go To: The Story of The Programmers Who Created the Software Revolution (Basic Books, 2001). 72. Ibid., pp. 96–97. 73. Robert X. Cringely, Accidental Empires: How the Boys of Silicon Valley Made Their Millions, Battle Foreign Competition, and Still Can’t Get a Date (Addison-Wesley, 1992). 342 Notes to pp. 272–283 Chapter 9 1. Ralph Watkins, A Competitive Assessment of the US Video Game Industry (US International Trade Commission, 1984); Yankee Group, Software Strategies; Creative Strategies International, Computer Home Software (1983); Creative Strategies International, Cartridge-Based Software: Further Developments (1984). 2.
Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions by Brian Christian, Tom Griffiths
4chan, Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, anthropic principle, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, Bill Duvall, bitcoin, Community Supported Agriculture, complexity theory, constrained optimization, cosmological principle, cryptocurrency, Danny Hillis, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, diversification, double helix, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, Firefox, first-price auction, Flash crash, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, global supply chain, Google Chrome, Henri Poincaré, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, knapsack problem, Lao Tzu, linear programming, martingale, Nash equilibrium, natural language processing, NP-complete, P = NP, packet switching, prediction markets, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Robert X Cringely, sealed-bid auction, second-price auction, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, sorting algorithm, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, stochastic process, Thomas Malthus, traveling salesman, Turing machine, urban planning, Vickrey auction, Walter Mischel, Y Combinator
See also Internet advertising and “Akamaized” Exponential Backoff and malicious wedding seating plan Wedgwood, Emma weighted strategies Welch, Ivo Whitney, Hassler Whittaker, Steve Whittle, Peter Wikipedia Wilkes, Maurice Williams, Robin Win-Stay, Lose-Shift wireless networking wisdom wishful thinking Wittgenstein, Ludwig work hours World War II worst-case analysis Wright, Steven X-Files, The (TV show) Yeltsin, Boris Yngve, Victor Young, Dean Zelen, Marvin Zelen algorithm Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (Pirsig) Zen of Python, The zero-sum zero-zero option Zijlstra, Peter Z-order Acknowledgments Thank you, first, to the researchers, practitioners, and experts who made time to sit down with us and discuss their work and broader perspectives: to Dave Ackley, Steve Albert, John Anderson, Jeff Atwood, Neil Bearden, Rik Belew, Donald Berry, Avrim Blum, Laura Carstensen, Nick Chater, Stuart Cheshire, Paras Chopra, Herbert Clark, Ruth Corbin, Robert X. Cringely, Peter Denning, Raymond Dong, Elizabeth Dupuis, Joseph Dwyer, David Estlund, Christina Fang, Thomas Ferguson, Jessica Flack, James Fogarty, Jean E. Fox Tree, Robert Frank, Stuart Geman, Jim Gettys, John Gittins, Alison Gopnik, Deborah Gordon, Michael Gottlieb, Steve Hanov, Andrew Harbison, Isaac Haxton, John Hennessy, Geoff Hinton, David Hirshliefer, Jordan Ho, Tony Hoare, Kamal Jain, Chris Jones, William Jones, Leslie Kaelbling, David Karger, Richard Karp, Scott Kirkpatrick, Byron Knoll, Con Kolivas, Michael Lee, Jan Karel Lenstra, Paul Lynch, Preston McAfee, Jay McClelland, Laura Albert McLay, Paul Milgrom, Anthony Miranda, Michael Mitzenmacher, Rosemarie Nagel, Christof Neumann, Noam Nisan, Yukio Noguchi, Peter Norvig, Christos Papadimitriou, Meghan Peterson, Scott Plagenhoef, Anita Pomerantz, Balaji Prabhakar, Kirk Pruhs, Amnon Rapoport, Ronald Rivest, Ruth Rosenholtz, Tim Roughgarden, Stuart Russell, Roma Shah, Donald Shoup, Steven Skiena, Dan Smith, Paul Smolensky, Mark Steyvers, Chris Stucchio, Milind Tambe, Robert Tarjan, Geoff Thorpe, Jackson Tolins, Michael Trick, Hal Varian, James Ware, Longhair Warrior, Steve Whittaker, Avi Wigderson, Jacob Wobbrock, Jason Wolfe, and Peter Zijlstra.
Commodore: A Company on the Edge by Brian Bagnall
Apple II, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Byte Shop, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, Douglas Engelbart, Firefox, game design, index card, inventory management, Isaac Newton, low skilled workers, Menlo Park, packet switching, pink-collar, popular electronics, prediction markets, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, Robert X Cringely, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ted Nelson
Yet with all these firsts, Commodore receives almost no credit as a pioneer. The history of early computers has tended to focus on Microsoft, IBM, and Apple, snubbing contributions made by Commodore. “There is a lot of revisionism going on and I don’t think it’s fair,” says Commodore 64 designer Robert Yannes. “People wanted to ignore Commodore.” An early-popularized story of the microcomputer revolution was Accidental Empires, by Robert X. Cringely (born Mark Stephens). The former Apple employee perpetuated a select view of the microcomputer revolution—a view that not everyone accepts as accurate. In Infinite Loop, Michael Malone writes, “The pseudonymous Cringely is notorious for his sloppy way with facts.” In his book, Cringely said, “Commodore wasn’t changing the world; it was just trying to escape from the falling profit margins of the calculator market while running a stock scam along the way.”
3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, airport security, Apple II, barriers to entry, big-box store, blue-collar work, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, deindustrialization, Detroit bankruptcy, discovery of penicillin, Donner party, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, feminist movement, financial innovation, full employment, George Akerlof, germ theory of disease, glass ceiling, high net worth, housing crisis, immigration reform, impulse control, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflight wifi, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, invention of air conditioning, invention of the telegraph, invention of the telephone, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, jitney, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, labor-force participation, Loma Prieta earthquake, Louis Daguerre, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market fragmentation, Mason jar, McMansion, Menlo Park, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, occupational segregation, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, payday loans, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, Productivity paradox, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, refrigerator car, rent control, Robert X Cringely, Ronald Coase, school choice, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Skype, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, The Market for Lemons, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban sprawl, washing machines reduced drudgery, Washington Consensus, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, working poor, working-age population, Works Progress Administration, yield management
In the past two decades digitalization has brought convenience and personalization throughout the world of entertainment and communication. Chapter 13 COMPUTERS AND THE INTERNET FROM THE MAINFRAME TO FACEBOOK If the automobile had followed the same development as the computer, a Rolls Royce would today cost $100 and get a million miles per gallon, and explode once a year killing everyone inside. —Robert X. Cringely, InfoWorld magazine INTRODUCTION The improvement in the performance of computers relative to their price has been continuous and exponential since 1960, and the rate of improvement dwarfs any precedent in the history of technology. The wonders achieved by computers and, since the mid-1990s, by the Internet have misled many analysts into believing that the current rate of economy-wide progress is the fastest in human history and will become even more rapid in the future.