By Patrick Biz
Contributing Writer, [GAS]
In this two-post series, I will share my thoughts and recommendations on what I consider to be great books for the geek nation. I have paid attention to cover a wide variety of topics that fall into one large common category: technology. These must-read books can all be purchased online from Amazon.
iWoz: Computer Geek to Cult Icon: How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-Founded Apple, and Had Fun Doing It
Authors: Steve Wozniak, Gina Smith
Publisher: W. W. Norton
Book homepage ($2.99)
If you want to understand how the Apple fairy tale began in the seventies, then iWoz is a must read. This is the personal story of Steve Wozniak, inventor of the Apple computer. This book explains the long process that led Wozniak to create the first affordable computer, how he met Steve Jobs, and how they founded the Apple empire. This easy-to-read book reveals a captivating story aimed at everyone interested by the debut of personal computing.
Showstopper! The Breakneck Race to Create Windows NT and the Next Generation at Microsoft
Author: G. Pascal Zachary
Publisher: Free Press
Showstopper is the story of Windows NT. How it all started as a command prompt OS and became a graphical user interface system following the success of Windows 3.0. The author takes you to the very heart of Microsoft’s project team where you’ll meet not only David Cuttler, the brilliant and brutal architect behind the operating system, but most of the engineers and project leaders involved in the development of Windows NT. See how some of the team members literally sacrificed their family and social life to make this thing work in time. While this is not a technical book, software developers as well as project leaders, and anyone interested by Microsoft products, will have a hard time pulling their eyes away from it.
The Ultimate History of Video Games
Author: Steven L. Kent
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
For you gamers out there, this is THE ultimate book to own. To understand where your favorite game console comes from, you need to know the story behind the pinball, the pong, and the development of the first consoles such as the Atari 4600. In this 624-page brick of a book, Kent covers all the angles, anecdotes and humorous stories, such as the rename of Puck-Man to Pac-Man to avoid an unfriendly rename starting with the letter “F”. Trust me, if you are either a passionate gamer or even a game developer, this is a must-have for your bookshelf.
The Google Story
Authors: David Vise, Mark Malseed
This book takes you back to 1998 before the PageRank algorithm was born. Larry Page and Sergey Brin created Google while they were students at Stanford University. You’ll learn how the co-partners redefined Internet search and reinvented advertising, while creating one of the most influencing organizations of all time. Whether you are a web developer, an entrepreneur, or simply passionate about the Internet and Google products, you’ll find The Google Story to be an unstoppable page-turner.
Does IT Matter?
Author: Nicholas G. Carr
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
Blinded by their arrogance and syndrome of God, too many IT managers are missing the whole point behind information and technology, which is to provide commodities, as Carr claims. IT must stop focusing on following technology and should realign its mission behind the concept of providing solutions to fulfill business needs. And just as the steam engine, railroad, telegraph and electricity, technology evolves to a point where manpower decreases substantially, and IT will be no exception. This is a must-read for high-level management! I recommend everyone involved in IT to keep this book on their bedside table.
Don’t miss part two of this great list of must-read books for geeks! Until then, please do not hesitate to share your thoughts and recommendations in the comments section below.