Dealers of Lightning: Xerox PARC and the Dawn of the Computer Age

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Harper Collins, May 19, 2009 - Business & Economics - 480 pages
4 Reviews

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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A story of great discovery and invention by some of the brightest computer science minds and the corporate ineptness that almost prevented it. This the birthplace of Ethernet, Laser Printing, GUI based Operating Systems, Green Screen Technology, Personal Computing, Networked workplaces, the first worm, and many other great things. It's all here folks! By far one of the most accurate and entertaining reads of early computing and the technologies that changed the way we as a culture communicate on a global scale. It's a shame to realize Xerox PARC is not a household name considering almost everything they ever created changed the way we do business and communicate with each other. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants a better understanding of the history of computing, before Apple, Microsoft, Oracle or anyone other than DEC and IBM.  

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

This History of Xerox PARC will go down as one of the Classics in the History of Science & Technology. The level of detail is astounding. As a Special Projects Manager for a Simulation & Training System for the Xerox 9700 in 1982, I am finally able to glimpse the Corporate EcoSystem in the full paralyzing panorama of the time. Amen. 

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Contents

PART III
CHAPTER 18
CHAPTER 19
CHAPTER 20
CHAPTER 21
CHAPTER 22
CHAPTER 23
CHAPTER 24

CHAPTER 5
CHAPTER 6
CHAPTER 7
CHAPTER 8
PART II
CHAPTER 9
CHAPTER 10
CHAPTER 11
CHAPTER 12
CHAPTER 13
CHAPTER 14
CHAPTER 15
CHAPTER 16
CHAPTER 17
CHAPTER 25
CHAPTER 26
EPILOGUE
Afterlives
Source Notes
Glossary of Selected Terms
Bibliography
Acknowledgments
Searchable Terms
About the Author
Praise
Copyright
About the Publisher
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Michael A. Hiltzik is a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the Los Angeles Times. In 2004 he won a Gerald Loeb Award, the highest honor in American financial journalism. Hiltzik is the author of Dealers of Lightning: Xerox Parc and the Dawn of the Computer Age and A Death in Kenya. He lives in Southern California with his wife and two sons.

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