Hackers & Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age

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"O'Reilly Media, Inc.", 2004 - Computers - 258 pages
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"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  - Felipe Martins - Goodreads

The first half of the book was quite good. Later, however, with essays on spam and language design I quickly lost interest. I might have felt different if this topics excited me. Read full review

Contents

Why Nerds Are Unpopular
1
Hackers and Painters
18
What You Cant Say
34
Good Bad Attitude
50
The Other Road Ahead
56
How to Make Wealth
87
Mind the Gap
109
A Plan for Spam
121
Beating the Averages
169
Revenge of the Nerds
181
The Dream Language
200
Design and Research
216
Notes
223
Acknowledgments
237
Image Credits
239
Glossary
241

Taste for Makers
130
Programming Languages Explained
146
The HundredYear Language
155

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About the author (2004)

Paul Graham , designer of the new Arc language, was the creator of Yahoo Store, the first web-based application. His technique for spam filtering inspired most current filters. He has a PhD in Computer Science from Harvard and studied painting at RISD and the Accademia in Florence.