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50 Books Every Geek Should Read

50 Books Every Geek Should Read

Eric Dahl / InsideTech

January 12, 2010


“Dealers of Lightning: Xerox PARC and the Dawn of the Computer Age,” Michael A. Hiltzik
Bill Gates once famously told Steve Jobs that “we both had this rich neighbor named Xerox, and I broke into his house to steal the TV set and found out that you had already stolen it.” “Dealers of Lightning” tells the story of Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center that developed the mouse, the laser printer, hypertext, Ethernet, and WYSIWYG word processing, before spectacularly letting other companies steal most of them away.


“The Cuckoo’s Egg,” Cliff Stoll
Stoll’s story begins with a $.75 accounting error and ends with the capture of a German hacker trying to penetrate U.S. military networks. Stoll’s hunt eventually involved the FBI, CIA, NSA, and lots of military computers still using default passwords.


“The Perfect Thing: How the iPod Shuffles Commerce, Culture, and Coolness,” Steven Levy
Almost more than you ever wanted to know about the design of the most successful digital music player on the planet.


“Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time,” Dava Sobel
Geeks will be geeks, even in the 1700s. John Harrison’s obsession with the problem of longitude led to great advances in time keeping and navigation. And it’s a fascinating story.

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