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Publisher's Summary

Steven Levy's classic book traces the exploits of the computer revolution's original hackers - those brilliant and eccentric nerds from the late 1950s through the early '80s who took risks, bent the rules, and pushed the world in a radical new direction. With updated material from noteworthy hackers such as Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Richard Stallman, and Steve Wozniak, Hackers is a fascinating story that begins in early computer research labs and leads to the first home computers.

Levy profiles the imaginative brainiacs who found clever and unorthodox solutions to computer engineering problems. They had a shared sense of values, known as "the hacker ethic" that still thrives today. Hackers captures a seminal period in recent history when underground activities blazed a trail for today's digital world, from MIT students finagling access to clunky computer-card machines to the DIY culture that spawned the Altair and the Apple II.

©2010 O'Reilly Media (P)2015 Audiobooks.com Publishing

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Brilliant work reflecting on a great passion!

Most of the men described in this book have pioneered the computer to what it is today. It's about the code, the framework and the over the top devotion to an idea that has become an enormous tool we walk around with in our pockets everyday. Awesome!!! T

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Remember Why You Got Into Computing

I am in IT. Before reading this book I never considered myself a "hacker". Before reading this book I would have never considered myself in context and in league with the pantheon of computer legend like the MIT AI team and Woz. This book made me feel young again. It helped me shed a little of the jadedness that had begun creeping into my psyche.

Read this book and return with me to a time when pushing that power button meant it was time to explore potential and discover cool new possibilities that you were sure you were the first to find.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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It's a classic

A must read for anyone interested in the history of the software industry. The "hacker ethic" theme feels outdated now, but the stories are captivating.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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The Digital Wild West

Steven Levy's history of the early evolution of computers and those that pioneered the science, the titular Hackers, is still one of the most complete and authoritative resources on the subject. This book was a very difficult read at times, but I'm extraordinary glad I stuck with it. Also, if you're an old school computer game fan, Levy's history of Sierra and Ken and Roberta Williams might be worth it alone.

That said, I would only recommend this to someone already somewhat versed in computer history. If you're a newbie in this field, "Where Wizards Stay Up Late" by Katie Hafner has a much lower barrier of entry and is actually referenced several times in here. However, if the ARPANET is already old news to you and you're eager to start learning about Lee Felsenstein you couldn't ask for a better deal than this book.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • William
  • Kennesaw, GA, United States
  • 02-24-16

amazing look at early computer pioneers

if you love vintage computer stories this book is required reading. from MIT to Sierra Online, it's a tour de force look at an entire new realm of human accomplishment

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Good to the end

Read this several years ago and was as fascinated today. Excellent story, wonderful history and a real feeling of amazement if the early days of computers. Reminds me of days and nights working on comp-sci projects, deadlines and the joy of discovering something new or finally understanding something from class. Listen to this book and have fun.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Hackers was Astoundingly Informative

First of all this is a book that is not for a person seeking a fictitious storyline that has perfect characters within. No, this is a book for someone who is looking for a read that has imperfect characters to match this imperfect world. As far as I know, this is a factual recreation of men and the turmoils they faced in 1950s to the 1980s.

The world looked down on these men and their magical machines, yet they pushed on bravely. None were without fault but that is human nature.

If you are looking for a great insight into the minds of the early hackers, and what hackers really were before the name was changed by the media then get this book. Also the book gives a listener just a dab at how computers came into mainstream through the lives of many young intellects.

Steven Levy did a superb job at writing this and was as complete in his writing as a subject like this allows.

Mike Chamberlain lends his incredible voice into this book that gives it the energy that I have come to expect from him.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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One of my all time favorite books

This book will inspire you with the hacker spirit. I must have read it eight times already and look forward to the next time.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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Stunningly bad writing

Has Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution turned you off from other books in this genre?

No, The Innovators by Walter Isaacson is a fantastic contribution in this space, though it focuses more on the hardware.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Mike Chamberlain?

Someone who knows that the emphasis does not always belong on the last noun phrase of the sentence.

Any additional comments?

Below are two quotes from this book. I checked the written text to make sure that these were not themselves quotes, but were in fact the author's own words.

"... it would rush through in an exhilarating rush."

"...[the Fibonacci sequence], a numerical trait established early on by some random math hacker."

Surely we're not calling Leonardo of Pisa ("Fibonacci"), the medieval mathematician about whom fairly little is known, a "random math hacker" are we? Incorrect and otherwise cringe-worthy snippets like this abound.

Though it doesn't cover exactly the same material, please read the Isaacson book instead.

Alternately, go read the jargon file. :)

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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must read for anyone that has an interest in tech

well researched and well written, the narrator voice is a bit commanding, but you'll get used to it.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Martin & Nina
  • 03-17-16

Enjoyable and inspiring

I really enjoyed this, brought a smile to my face at times but also found it quiet sad that many of these men have not been recognised for their contributions unlike Steve Jobs for example. Being a programmer myself I found this very inspirational and found myself wanting to code after a marathon session listening to it.

I do however feel that it would have been nice have at least mentioned the British hackers that made many things possible for these US counterparts.

On the whole, a GREAT listen!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Matt
  • 06-26-16

A brilliant story of computer history

Definitely recommended for anyone with an interest in the history of modern computing. whilst it felt slow to start, it soon picks up and provides a great insight into the lives of those responsible for technology today

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Ash
  • 05-21-16

Good but a little meandering...

I know it's held up as a classic and it certainly captures the spirit of the time but at times it feels over long and I wish the author had gotten to the point a bit more (in other cases a story ends just as it's getting good).

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-04-17

Solid and enjoyable.

Starts really strong kind of started to lose interest at the end. Would recommend listening in multiple chunks instead of consistently until finished.

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  • Julian
  • 12-30-16

Not even a good piece of history. Overrated events

Not useful at all. Some day to day events that are overrated as historical moments of hacking? Omg all USA, where is the rest of the world. ignoran author.

0 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • L A G Axelsson
  • 04-13-17

It's a must

Where does Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

If you are anything like me, a computer enthusiast that started out with a Commodore 64 at the age of 13, and had the privilege tp spend most of my working life experiencing the continues evolvement of computers, this is a must.

Any additional comments?

If you have any interest in the history of computers, I absolutely recommend this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful