By Patrick Biz
Contributing Writer, [GAS]
It is time for Part II of our 10 Must-Read Books for Geeks series. If you have missed last week’s article, just click here and you’ll be taken back in time to Part I. Here’s the next 5 titles to complete this great collection of books all geeks should own.
On The Edge: The Spectacular Rise and Fall of Commodore
Author: Brian Bagnall
Publisher: Variant Press
Raise your hand those who once owned a Commodore 64? God, I would pay a lot of money to go back to the 1980s when the C64 was the king of the hill. This particular book, however, is not about hot rods. The story of Commodore is about very affordable family computers. This book starts at the very beginning of Commodore, when they acquired MOS Technologies, a semiconductor manufacturer, that lead to the development of the PET. Once the PET was history, then came the VIC-20, followed by the Commodore 64, which is known as the most sold computer of all time. The story even introduces the 128, the Amiga, and the end of Commodore. How could such a successful company fall so abruptly from the top of the world? This is what you will find out if you get yourself a copy of On The Edge. Definitely one to buy for the Commodore lover. And while you’re at it, check out this VIC-20 TV ad to remember the good old days.
Authors: Steven Levy, Steven Levy
In this book, the word “hackers” does not refer to bad guys taking control of your Windows 98 PC or sending e-mail viruses. Hackers in this book are people who improved primitive systems by hacking electronics, thereby increasing their computing power and efficiency. In a period where computers were looked at like lab rats, university researchers and early developers such as Lee Felsenstein, Bill Gates and Steve Wozniak, pushed their limits and literally inspired what would be one day be seen as the computer revolution. Hackers offers a peek at a very formative time in geekdom and is worth reading no matter what year it is.
The Perfect Thing
Author: Steven Levy
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
What’s the coolest gadget of the third millennium? The iPod, no doubt about it. This is one of the coolest books I’ve read in years. When you decide to write about such a cool thing, you need to deliver cool content, and Steven Levy does it amazingly. If you want to learn about the development of the iPod, how it changed Apple, the music industry, and the way consumers buy their favorite songs, then you need to get a copy of the perfect book: The Perfect Thing. Just check out how cool the book cover is!
Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything
Authors: Don Tapscott, Anthony D. Williams
The Web, and Web 2.0 in particular, has changed our lives and is currently changing our entire economy. New possibilities inspired by social network groups and mass collaboration are smashing down boundaries, creating endless new business models for Internet companies. This book will definitively change your thinking and enlighten you. If you still have a hard time picturing what the Web 2.0 is, read Wikinomics – once you’re done you’ll be a real Web 2.0 Ninja. Fabulous read, and a very popular title lately.
The Second Coming of Steve Jobs
Author: Alan Deutschman
This is the story of Steve Jobs, starting from the moment he was pushed away from Apple in 1985, and following his story until his return in 1996. During his leave of absence, Jobs tried to revolutionize education with the NeXT Cube, his startup that never made it big. On the side though, he purchased Pixar, the company behind Toy Story, from George Lucas himself, and literally made a fortune with something he couldn’t care less about. Finally, his journey with NeXT ended when the company was purchased by Apple in 1996, bringing Jobs back to his mother company, and the rest is history. The story of Jobs’ post-1985 Apple career is captivating, and the author brings you a very well-written book that’s entertaining from the first to the very last page.
This completes the 10 Must-Read Books for Geeks series. If you are tired of reading Danielle Steel, I guarantee you now have quite an exciting pile of geeky books on your bedside table.