Great Books about Computer History

Accidental Empires by Robert Cringely *** An absorbing story about the birth of Microsoft and Apple, and the characters who populated Silicon Valley.

Fire in the Valley by Michael Swaine and Paul Freiberger *** Originally published in 1984, this is the best account of the early days of personal computing, based on interviews with pioneers

Dealers of Lightning by Michael Hiltzik *** An absorbing read about the amazing innovations of PARC in the 1970s, including the infamous visit by Steve Jobs

Big Blues by Paul Caroll *** The rise and fall of IBM during the formative years of personal computing.

Inside Out Published for Microsoft's 25th anniversary, it's all about Microsoft, with Bill Gates' personal reminiscenses of the early days.

What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry traces the idea of personal computing back to the 1960s California counterculture scene.

Portrait's in Silicon by Robert Slater *** Case histories of the giants of computer history.

OnThe Edge:The Spectacular Rise and Fall of Commodore by Brian Bagnall *** The story of Commodore, which introduced the PET in 1977 and went on to great success withe the VIC-20 and the Commodore 64.

Iwoz by Steve Wozniak *** Did Woz really invent personal computing? He says he did!

The Ultimate History of Video Games by Steven L. Kent *** Games were really important to the development of personal computers, starting with Pong.

Core Memory by several photographers *** Combines computer history with images of late, great computers from the Silicon Valley computer museum.

From Counterculture to Cyberculture *** How the 1960s counterculture ideas about liberation led to the notion that computers could liberate us.

Tandy's Money Machine: How Charles Tandy Built Radio Shack into the World's Largest Electronics Chain by Irvin Farman  *** The story of Radio Shack, including its early involvement in personal computing.

Stan Veit's History of the Personal Computer by Stan Veit *** Stan Viet owned one of the first computer stores in New York City, and he knew the giants of the early software and hardware industry; this book is full of great stories of the early days.

Programmers at Work by Susan Lammers *** Interviews with prominant early software pioneers, including Bill Gates, Gary Kildall and Charles Simonyi, with samples of their code; an excellent look at how early programmers went about creating software for the first personal computers.

Other Recommended Books that May be Hard to Find

To Catch a Mouse Make a Sound Like a Cheese by Lewis Kornfeld
     (Kornfeld led Tandy's marketing of the TRS-80)

Software People by Douglas G. Carlston (Carlston had an early software company)

Running Wild: The Next Industrial Revolution by Adam Osborne (Osborne is a true pioneer
     who predicted much of what's happened since he wrote this book in 1979)

The Naked Computer by Jack Rochester and John Gantz

The Personal Computer Book by Peter A. McWilliams

      The Hidden History of Personal Computing

 Priming the Pump: How TRS-80 Enthusiasts Helped Spark the PC Revolution by David Welsh and Theresa Welsh

This book is an insider's story about the incredible people who made the hardware, who wrote the software that made is useful, and the all-important customers who eagerly bought the first off-the-shelf personal computer, the TRS-80 Model I. This book is based on the authors' own experiences as software producers as well as interviews with many microcomputer pioneers.

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