Sunday, June 05, 2005

Turn On, Tune In, ..., Start the Computer Revolution

Almost every feature of today's home computers, from the graphical interface to the mouse control, can be traced to two Stanford research facilities that were completely immersed in the counterculture.…

What the Dormouse Said tells the story of the birth of the personal computer through the people, politics, and protest that defined its unique era.

“What the Dormouse Said:
How the 60's Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry”
(Viking, 287 pages) is John Markoff's hymn to the 1960's, and to the social idealists and, well, acid freaks who wanted to use computers to promote an agenda of sharing, openness and personal growth.

John Markoff is a senior writer for The New York Times who has coauthored Cyberpunk: Outlaws and Hackers on the Computer Frontier and the bestselling Takedown: The Pursuit and Capture of Kevin Mitnick, America’s Most Wanted Computer Outlaw.

John Markoff has been writing about computers, technology and the Internet for The New York Times since 1988. Before joining the Times, Markoff covered technology for The San Francisco Examiner and Infoworld, and wrote a weekly column for the San Jose Mercury News.

Markoff started covering technology in 1977, one year after Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs founded Apple computer, and just two years after two geeks from Seattle -- Paul Allen and Bill Gates -- first got together to write software.

Under Markoff's watch, the idea that everyone could own a personal computer has gone from fantasy to reality, e-mail has transformed how we communicate, and the Internet has given everyone the ability to publish their own version of the news.

Heroic New World? How heroic can you be, if your world is filtered through psylocibin? Could you, stand up for a changed world, stone cold sober. Hacker Culture by Douglas Thomas University of Minnesota Press 2003.

It's not as gripping as “Takedown”with Tsutomu Shimomura, but definitely worth the read.…
con·cept: Turn On, Tune In, ..., Start the Computer Revolution