After reading John McCarthy’s obituary this morning (by John Markoff), I was prompted to re-read Stewart Brand’s legendary tale of early computer scientists and hackers that was published in Rolling Stone in 1972.
Spacewar: Fanatic Life and Symbolic Death Among the Computer Bums.
I highly recommend it. The photo of Alan Kay and the Dynabook is priceless. Keep in mind this is a glimpse of the state of the art in Silicon Valley from 40 years ago. Pre-personal computer. Pre-Steve Jobs. Then take those four decades that intervene and add in the microprocessor, bountiful memory, graphics, the Internet, wireless, cell phones, smartphones, tablets …… No one, not even the most stoned futurist, could have predicted the technical bounty we take for granted today. Brand’s story puts it all in perspective for me. We stand on the shoulders of giants.
One thought on “The Story that Started Tech Journalism”
I am reading The Information and just finished the chapter on Babbage, 100 years too early with his steam-driven PC.
Tech history is just fascinating.