What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry

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Penguin, Apr 21, 2005 - History - 352 pages
“This makes entertaining reading. Many accounts of the birth of personal computing have been written, but this is the first close look at the drug habits of the earliest pioneers.” —New York Times

Most histories of the personal computer industry focus on technology or business. John Markoff’s landmark book is about the culture and consciousness behind the first PCs—the culture being counter– and the consciousness expanded, sometimes chemically. It’s a brilliant evocation of Stanford, California, in the 1960s and ’70s, where a group of visionaries set out to turn computers into a means for freeing minds and information. In these pages one encounters Ken Kesey and the phone hacker Cap’n Crunch, est and LSD, The Whole Earth Catalog and the Homebrew Computer Lab. What the Dormouse Said is a poignant, funny, and inspiring book by one of the smartest technology writers around.


1The Prophet and the True Believers
3RedDiaper Baby
5Dealing Lightning
6Scholars and Barbarians
8Borrowing Fire from the Gods

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About the author (2005)

John Markoff was one of a team of New York Times reporters who won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting. He has covered Silicon Valley since 1977, wrote the first account of the World Wide Web in 1993, and broke the story of Google’s self driving car in 2010. He is the author of five books including What the Dormouse SaidMachines of Loving Grace, and Whole Earth.

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