Dealers of Lightning (Google eBook)
In the bestselling tradition of The Soul of a New Machine, Dealers of Lightning is a fascinating journey of intellectual creation. In the 1970s and '80s, Xerox Corporation brought together a brain-trust of engineering geniuses, a group of computer eccentrics dubbed PARC. This brilliant group created several monumental innovations that triggered a technological revolution, including the first personal computer, the laser printer, and the graphical interface (one of the main precursors of the Internet), only to see these breakthroughs rejected by the corporation. Yet, instead of giving up, these determined inventors turned their ideas into empires that radically altered contemporary life and changed the world.
Based on extensive interviews with the scientists, engineers, administrators, and executives who lived the story, this riveting chronicle details PARC's humble beginnings through its triumph as a hothouse for ideas, and shows why Xerox was never able to grasp, and ultimately exploit, the cutting-edge innovations PARC delivered. Dealers of Lightning offers an unprecedented look at the ideas, the inventions, and the individuals that propelled Xerox PARC to the frontier of technohistoiy--and the corporate machinations that almost prevented it from achieving greatness.
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Review: Dealers of Lightning: Xerox PARC and the Dawn of the Computer AgeUser Review - Ian Billick - Goodreads
I enjoyed it primarily because I'm interested in scientific institutions. It also provides insight into what was going on in the tech industry in the 1970's. Pre Steve Jobs, a bit of Microsoft getting ... Read full review
Review: Dealers of Lightning: Xerox PARC and the Dawn of the Computer AgeUser Review - Bill DePhillips - Goodreads
Read this in grad school. It's an entertaining account of the most productive and famous computer research lab ever, the Palo Alto Research Center. They basically invented the personal computer but the funder of the center, Xerox, didn't have the foresight to see its potential. Read full review