10 Must-Read Books for Geeks – Part I

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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

iWozAuthors: Steve Wozniak, Gina Smith
Publisher: W. W. Norton
288 pages
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

ShowstopperAuthor: G. Pascal Zachary
Publisher: Free Press
312 pages
Book homepage

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

The Ultimate History of Video GamesAuthor: Steven L. Kent
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
624 pages
Book homepage

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

The Google StoryAuthors: David Vise, Mark Malseed
Publisher: Delta
336 pages
Book homepage

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?

Does IT MatterAuthor: Nicholas G. Carr
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press
208 pages
Book homepage

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 II

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.





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85 Responses to 10 Must-Read Books for Geeks – Part I

  1. I would recommend (anyone, not only geeks) “The art of deception” by Kevin Mitnick. :)

  2. Are you only including non-fiction? If not, Microserfs by Douglas Coupland definitely deserves a mention. It's a fantastic slice-of-life novel about a group of programmers who leaver a major software firm to form their own start-up.

  3. Are you only including non-fiction? If not, Microserfs by Douglas Coupland definitely deserves a mention. It’s a fantastic slice-of-life novel about a group of programmers who leaver a major software firm to form their own start-up.

  4. Another classic (IMOBO) is The Cuckoo's Nest by Cliff(ord) Stoll, an interesting read on the not-so-distant past of the Internet and also quite a nice detective story (all true, too).

    • I believe you mean The Cuckoo’s Egg. You have the correct author though. Minor nitpick, but the title has to do with a once common cracker's gambit. Outstanding read though!

      Someone else mentioned Microserfs, which I keep meaning to read, but in a similar light, Renegades of the Empire, tells the story of how a group of programmers created DirectX in secret without approval of management at Microsoft, when Microsoft wanted to back OpenGL. Another great read.

  5. Another classic (IMOBO) is The Cuckoo’s Nest by Cliff(ord) Stoll, an interesting read on the not-so-distant past of the Internet and also quite a nice detective story (all true, too).

    • I believe you mean The Cuckoo’s Egg. You have the correct author though. Minor nitpick, but the title has to do with a once common cracker’s gambit. Outstanding read though!

      Someone else mentioned Microserfs, which I keep meaning to read, but in a similar light, Renegades of the Empire, tells the story of how a group of programmers created DirectX in secret without approval of management at Microsoft, when Microsoft wanted to back OpenGL. Another great read.

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  16. Another good read is a fictional novel called "How to install Linux on a dead badger" very amusing book.

  17. Another good read is a fictional novel called “How to install Linux on a dead badger” very amusing book.

  18. I think geeks are so sexy! I love these book recommendations! thank you! so looking forward to part 2!

    I love WOZ!! did you see him on BRAVO while he was dating kathy griffin? oh my, it was awesome! he is such a big geek! it was so great to see him in action! they are no longer dating….but Kathy sure did expose him to lots of new stuff!

    he immediately broke into her iphone when she got it! what does that say? :)

    I am really going to read his book! I think it will be a great read!

    and did you know the google boys are burners? burningman.com! :) this was my 6th year! looking forward to next year: evolution! have you been…try it out :)

    I really want to read about google more!

    thank you so much!

    kisses

    g

  19. I think geeks are so sexy! I love these book recommendations! thank you! so looking forward to part 2!

    I love WOZ!! did you see him on BRAVO while he was dating kathy griffin? oh my, it was awesome! he is such a big geek! it was so great to see him in action! they are no longer dating….but Kathy sure did expose him to lots of new stuff!

    he immediately broke into her iphone when she got it! what does that say? :)

    I am really going to read his book! I think it will be a great read!

    and did you know the google boys are burners? burningman.com! :) this was my 6th year! looking forward to next year: evolution! have you been…try it out :)

    I really want to read about google more!

    thank you so much!

    kisses
    g

  20. Hate to say it but iWoz is one of the worst (auto)biographies I have ever read :( Very disappointing… I actually had trouble finishing the book… although I suppose it's written in a very accessible style (i.e. suitable for 10 year olds)

  21. Hate to say it but iWoz is one of the worst (auto)biographies I have ever read :( Very disappointing… I actually had trouble finishing the book… although I suppose it’s written in a very accessible style (i.e. suitable for 10 year olds)

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  23. I gather calling iWoz “easy to read” is the nicest way of saying “this reads like it was written by a child”. It was certainly a very interesting book but sentences should not begin with conjunctions! I wanted to punch him.

  24. I gather calling iWoz "easy to read" is the nicest way of saying "this reads like it was written by a child". It was certainly a very interesting book but sentences should not begin with conjunctions! I wanted to punch him.

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  28. for anyone/everyone & fiction:

    The Baroque Cycle
    ~Neil Stephenson

    is an absolutely masterful trilogy.

    ofc: don’t take my word for it, read it for yourself.

  29. for anyone/everyone & fiction:

    The Baroque Cycle

    ~Neil Stephenson

    is an absolutely masterful trilogy.

    ofc: don't take my word for it, read it for yourself.

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  31. correction: 10-must read books for computer geeks. Not all geeks work in IT/find IT related literature interesting.

  32. correction: 10-must read books for computer geeks. Not all geeks work in IT/find IT related literature interesting.

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  34. I know this book is a little "long in the tooth", but still holds a lot of value in today's world… and is definitely worth a read:

    The Cathedral & the Bazaar: Musings on Linux and Open Source by an Accidental Revolutionary

    Awesome book. Linux is becoming a bit a big player in the netbook market – about 10% of all netbooks currently use Linux, last time I checked.

  35. I know this book is a little “long in the tooth”, but still holds a lot of value in today’s world… and is definitely worth a read:

    The Cathedral & the Bazaar: Musings on Linux and Open Source by an Accidental Revolutionary

    Awesome book. Linux is becoming a bit a big player in the netbook market – about 10% of all netbooks currently use Linux, last time I checked.

  36. I didn't read through all the books, but I enjoyed THE SEARCH by John Batelle. "Google is the Database of Intentions"

  37. I didn’t read through all the books, but I enjoyed THE SEARCH by John Batelle. “Google is the Database of Intentions”

  38. Why the apple loving? One Apple related book, I could appreciate, purely due to it’s business model and original O/S which microsoft ripped off. But this just strikes me as being written by an Apple fan boy.

    And where the hell is Hitchiker’s?! It’s missing decent coverage of Open Source, FSF, BSD and Linux too! And what of the non-IT geekery? I believe astronomy probably should feature too!

  39. Why the apple loving? One Apple related book, I could appreciate, purely due to it's business model and original O/S which microsoft ripped off. But this just strikes me as being written by an Apple fan boy.

    And where the hell is Hitchiker's?! It's missing decent coverage of Open Source, FSF, BSD and Linux too! And what of the non-IT geekery? I believe astronomy probably should feature too!

  40. u people are truly inspirational to me.thanks many tons!for guiding me which book to look for.in order to start my career in geek world…………

  41. u people are truly inspirational to me.thanks many tons!for guiding me which book to look for.in order to start my career in geek world…………

  42. thanks for the book recommendations. I’ve added them to my Amazon list. I’m right in the middle of reading “from good to great by Jim Collins” and I would definitely recommend that to anyone in business.
    cheers

    dauntless

  43. thanks for the book recommendations. I've added them to my Amazon list. I'm right in the middle of reading "from good to great by Jim Collins" and I would definitely recommend that to anyone in business.

    cheers

    dauntless