Hackers & Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age

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"O'Reilly Media, Inc.", May 18, 2004 - Computers - 272 pages
235 Reviews

"The computer world is like an intellectual Wild West, in which you can shoot anyone you wish with your ideas, if you're willing to risk the consequences. " --from Hackers & Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age, by Paul Graham

We are living in the computer age, in a world increasingly designed and engineered by computer programmers and software designers, by people who call themselves hackers. Who are these people, what motivates them, and why should you care?

Consider these facts: Everything around us is turning into computers. Your typewriter is gone, replaced by a computer. Your phone has turned into a computer. So has your camera. Soon your TV will. Your car was not only designed on computers, but has more processing power in it than a room-sized mainframe did in 1970. Letters, encyclopedias, newspapers, and even your local store are being replaced by the Internet.

Hackers & Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age, by Paul Graham, explains this world and the motivations of the people who occupy it. In clear, thoughtful prose that draws on illuminating historical examples, Graham takes readers on an unflinching exploration into what he calls "an intellectual Wild West."

The ideas discussed in this book will have a powerful and lasting impact on how we think, how we work, how we develop technology, and how we live. Topics include the importance of beauty in software design, how to make wealth, heresy and free speech, the programming language renaissance, the open-source movement, digital design, internet startups, and more.


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Review: Hackers & Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age

User Review  - Goodreads

This is a book of essays that Paul Graham wrote about creating the company ViaWeb that eventually became YahooStores. He was part of the team that created one of the first online stores. Graham always ... Read full review

Review: Hackers & Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age

User Review  - Boyan Mihaylov - Goodreads

Very interesting read for both technical and not so technical people. One gets to know better how the IT world works, what it is driven by, and where it is heading towards. Read full review

All 12 reviews »


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Page 15 - ... that hacking was cold, precise, and methodical, and that painting was the frenzied expression of some primal urge. Both of these images are wrong. Hacking and painting have a lot in common. In fact, of all the different types of people I've known, hackers and painters are among the most alike. What hackers and painters have in common is that they're both makers. Along with composers, architects, and writers, what hackers and painters are trying to do is make good things.

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