The Dream Machine: J.C.R. Licklider and the Revolution that Made Computing Personal

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Viking, 2001 - Science - 502 pages
4 Reviews
In 1962, decades before "personal computers" and "Internet" became household words, the revolution that gave rise to both of them was set in motion from a small, nondescript office in the depths of the Pentagon. In an age when the word "computer" still meant a big, ominous mainframe mysteriously processing punch cards, the occupant of that office-an MIT psychologist named J.C.R. Licklider-had somehow seen a future in which computers would become an exciting new medium of expression, a joyful inspiration to creativity, and a gateway to a vast on-line world of information. And now he was determined to use the Pentagon's money to make it all happen. Written with the novelistic flair that made his Complexity "the most exciting intellectual adventure story of the year" (Washington Post), M. Mitchell Waldrop's The Dream Machine is the first full-scale portrait of J.C.R. Licklider and how his dream of a "human-computer symbiosis" changed the course of science and culture. But more than that, it is an epic saga of technological advance that spans the history of modern computers from the Second World War to the explosion of creativity at Xerox PARC in the 1970s to the personal computer boom of the 1980s and the Internet boom of the 1990s. Capturing the drama, passion, and excitement of the brilliant men and women who were caught up in one of the great intellectual and technological adventures in human history, The Dream Machine has the hallmarks of a classic.

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Review: The Dream Machine: JCR Licklider and the Revolution That Made Computing Personal

User Review  - Nick Black - Goodreads

Not so much a biography of Licklider as an accessible history of computing -- especially the one-off (ENIAC, EDVAC, Illiac, ad nauseam) era -- tied together by Licklider's story (Waldrop leaves him ... Read full review

Review: The Dream Machine: JCR Licklider and the Revolution That Made Computing Personal

User Review  - Scott Hotes - Goodreads

Lent to me by chance by a coworker, I am having a hard time putting this down. I've made it through the first quarter of this (fairly dense) book and already we've covered the contributions of N ... Read full review

Contents

Tracys Dad
1
Missouri Boys
7
The Last Transition
24
Copyright

11 other sections not shown

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About the author (2001)

M. Mitchell Waldrop, formerly a senior writer at Science magazine, is the author of Complexity and Man-Made Minds.

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