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