Twenty-five years ago, it didn't exist. Today, 20 million people worldwide are surfing the Net. Where Wizards Stay Up Late is the exciting story of the pioneers responsible for creating the most talked about, most influential, and most far-reaching communications breakthrough since the invention of the telephone.
In the 1960s, when computers where regarded as mere giant calculators, J.C.R. Licklider at MIT saw them as the ultimate communications devices. With Defense Department funds, he and a band of visionary computer whizzes began work on a nationwide, interlocking network of computers. Taking listeners behind the scenes, Where Wizards Stay Up Late captures the hard work, genius, and happy accidents of their daring, stunningly successful venture.
©1996 Katie Hafner (P)2012 Katie Hafner
First thing you should know is that this book is a history of the origins of the internet that was written in the mid-1990s, so while the internet was sort of a big deal it was still a pretty small place compared to today. Also since this is a history of the origins of the internet, the fact it was written when it was doesn't matter.
This is a history written more of a factual style than a novel style and it explains, in basic terms, a lot of the early technical issues and the resolutions to them. I have computer science degree and I've been creating websites since 1996 and didn't have any issue following what they were talking about, but I could certainly see how someone less knowledgeable on the subject might have a hard time following the terminology in audio format. Note again the author dumbs down most of it, but still if you don't know what they're talking about or don't understand something it might not be very interesting to you.
Still I very much enjoyed the book and it's an amazing story knowing what we know today -- and it's amazing how different the world is since this book was written.
Get your geek on with this deep look at the origins of what is now the Internet. If you what to examine networking history, is a great audiobook. Loved it!
Not with this narrator
The history of one of the most important technologies of the last 60 years
He has a monotone voice and almost no vocal range. It's like listening to my accountant uncle read a book I really want to read for myself.
Compared to a few other computer-history books I've bought recently, Especially Hackers by Steven Levy, and When Computing Got Personal by Matthew Nicholson, this book reads like an extended Wikipedia page. Extraordinarily lifeless and flat.
Ok, I'm not going to say it was riveting. There's not much intrigue, and the characters and subplots are many and various. But it's an important and pretty well written history, and lots of later books seem to reference it.
The book brought back my memories of comunacations tech in mid sixties, and high tech thru my 45 years as an Army Calibration Technician & Specialist both military and civilian.
This book is an excellent if somewhat dry recollection of how the Internet came to be.
Like stories of the development of personal computers in Silicon Valley that came later it is steeped in history and technology.
This is about people who were at the cutting edge of the new technology and a new engineering phenomenal. These were real innovators who created new concepts new products and the backbone of what made it possible for a lot of technology to come in the future.
Overall a very interesting book and well worth the read/listen.
Knowing about the origins of computing and the internet is something that hasn't been made that we'll known, even to people with an interest in technology.
I found the story fascinating, and often listened to bits of the story a couple times just to get the facts right.
The book mixes social, personal and technical aspects of the early days of computer networking - the people and the personalities behind it all really shine out. Whilst the subject is matter is technical the book should be accessible to non technical readers as it doesn't go too heavily into the technical aspects, a basic understanding of networking would help you get more out of the book though.
A great look at how it all got started, it's hard to believe how basic the Internet was in its earlier years.
"Interesting and informative"
The depth of the information.
The long and interesting history of packet switching and the origins of today's Internet.
Highly recommended for anyone wanting an in-depth and very detailed history of the origins of modern communication technology (e.g. packet switching) from which the Internet came to be. However, if you just want a light history of the Internet, this is probably a bit too detailed.
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