Programming Books C Java PHP Python Learn more Browse Programming Books
Buy New
$13.63
Qty:1
  • List Price: $21.99
  • Save: $8.36 (38%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Trade in your item
Get a $2.00
Gift Card.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution - 25th Anniversary Edition Paperback – May 30, 2010


See all 15 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Rent from
$4.84
Paperback
"Please retry"
$13.63
$12.14 $7.25
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"


Frequently Bought Together

Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution - 25th Anniversary Edition + Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins Of The Internet
Price for both: $24.67

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE
Shop the new tech.book(store)
New! Introducing the tech.book(store), a hub for Software Developers and Architects, Networking Administrators, TPMs, and other technology professionals to find highly-rated and highly-relevant career resources. Shop books on programming and big data, or read this week's blog posts by authors and thought-leaders in the tech industry. > Shop now

Product Details

  • Paperback: 520 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (May 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449388396
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449388393
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (139 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,959 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Steven Levy's classic book explains why the misuse of the word "hackers" to describe computer criminals does a terrible disservice to many important shapers of the digital revolution. Levy follows members of an MIT model railroad club--a group of brilliant budding electrical engineers and computer innovators--from the late 1950s to the mid-1980s. These eccentric characters used the term "hack" to describe a clever way of improving the electronic system that ran their massive railroad. And as they started designing clever ways to improve computer systems, "hack" moved over with them. These maverick characters were often fanatics who did not always restrict themselves to the letter of the law and who devoted themselves to what became known as "The Hacker Ethic." The book traces the history of hackers, from finagling access to clunky computer-card-punching machines to uncovering the inner secrets of what would become the Internet. This story of brilliant, eccentric, flawed, and often funny people devoted to their dream of a better world will appeal to a wide audience. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"A remarkable collection of characters . . . courageously exploring mindspace, an inner world where nobody had ever been before." -- The New York Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Very interesting book.
Jonathan
Steven Levy does a great job laying out the engaging and mostly unheard of story of the early days of computing.
John Morrison
This book is a must read for anyone interested in computing history.
Paul L. Trost

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By M. Helmke on June 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book is a history of the beginning, growth and rise of the use of computers by people outside of the big businesses and governments that worked to create them in proprietary silos. This 25th anniversary edition of Steven Levy's classic book retains its detailed and interesting chronicle of the events that brought computing power to the masses. It also records some of the problems, pitfalls, and failures along the way. Here you will find many names that computer lovers are sure to recognize from Bill Gates to Richard Stallman as well as many that are not as well known, but that deserve to have their victories recorded also.

I greatly appreciate that this book exists. To be honest, it wasn't always a fun read. That isn't a commentary on the quality of the writing, but rather on the ups and downs of the narrative. There were times when I found myself wishing I was there in the middle of the action and other times when I had difficulty knowing who to root for. There were still other moments when I found myself cringing as I read about events long past, wishing that different decisions had been made or disappointed at the actions and attitudes of geniuses.

I'm not going to spoil the book for anyone interested by giving out specific details. All I'll say here is that the story begins with a bunch of model railroaders who love technology and who fall in love with a computer they discover they may access freely in an out of the way room in a building at MIT in the late 1950s. They took their love of piecing together technological gadgets in imaginative and creative ways (hacks) and applied it to this new tool / toy.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Richard Bejtlich on May 12, 2001
Format: Paperback
I am a senior engineer for network security operations, who when nine years old in 1980 started computing on a Timex-Sinclair ZX-80. I probably first heard the term "hacker" when "War Games" was released in 1983. I read Steven's book because it is an early but enlightening account (first published in 1984) of the Hacker Ethic.
Consider: in a closed, self-policed environment, like the computer labs of the 1960s and early 1970s, freely sharing information makes sense. In an open, under-policed environment, like the modern Internet, deviants abuse the Hacker Ethic. Well-intentioned "white hats" may explore the phone system purely to understand its operation, but evil-minded "black hats" abuse the same knowledge to make free long distance calls. Does this mean information should be confined? No -- full disclosure is still the best way to counter black hat activity.
Steven lays the groundwork for these thoughts, and serves up gems from hacker history. His 1970s quote from Popular Electronics editor Les Solomon is the earliest reference I know linking hacking to kung fu: "The computer is...an art form. It's the ultimate martial art." Steven also shares tales of Sierra On-Line, Apple Corp., Homebrew Computer Club, the Altair, and even Bill Gates' 1975 rant against software piracy.
"Hackers" will make you appreciate your unlimited access to the machine on which you're reading this review. Hackers of the 1960s and 1970s would have given their first born child to possess the power and availability of modern PCs; now we take PCs for granted, like indoor plumbing or refrigeration!
Those who lived the early days of PCs will enjoy Steven's trip down memory lane. Those who are younger will discover the true meaning of the word "hacker" -- one who promotes access, freedom, decentralization, meritocracy, art, and joy through computers.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 15, 1999
Format: Paperback
Hackers is a watershed work... its ability to explain technical concepts is suitable for almost anyone, but its explanation of the human concept behind the early days of the computing industry -- WHY hackers were, not just WHAT they were -- is unparalleled except possibly in The Hacker Crackdown by Bruce Sterling. You might have thought you "knew" that the personal computer came from IBM, which it didn't, or from Apple, which it didn't. You might have thought even the term "hacker" meant a malicious attacker and destroyer of complex systems, when the opposite was and is true. No matter how much time you've spent in the industry, whether you're in hardware, software or management, this book will show you how much of what you thought you knew is wrong or incomplete. The players are three-dimensional, the strands linking the storylines are bright and strong, the tone isn't moralistic, and it shows clearly how not only the Hacker Ethic began and evolved, but gives us insight as to why it's still alive, well, relevant and NEEDED in an era of know-nothing suits, IPO-driven greed, and mindless hype. Buy it. Buy two. Buy three. Give them to your friends.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Paperback
To find out how you got to where you're at, you often have to look at where you came from. In the world of computers, that means going back to the late 1950's to observe the mindset and personalities that shaped the growth of the personal computer. Steven Levy has what could be considered the best analysis of those individuals in his book Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution - 25th Anniversary Edition. Yes, it's been 25 years since since this book was first published in 1985. But it's as relevant now as it was then. I read this book quite some time ago and enjoyed it immensely. My enjoyment with rereading it hasn't diminished.

Contents:
Part 1 - True Hackers - Cambridge - The Fifties and Sixties: The Tech Model Railroad Club; The Hacker Ethic; Spacewar; Greenblatt and Gosper; The Midnight Computer Wiring Society; Winners and Losers; Life
Part 2 - Hardware Hackers - Northern California - The Seventies: Revolt in 2100; Every Man a God; The Homebrew Computer Club; Tiny BASIC; Woz; Secrets
Part 3 - Game Hackers - The Sierras - The Eighties: The Wizard and the Princess; The Brotherhood; The Third Generation; Summer Camp; Frogger; Applefest; Wizard vs. Wizards
Part 4 - The Last of the True Hackers - Cambridge - 1983: The Last of the True Hackers; Afterword - Ten Years Later; Afterword - 2010
Notes; Acknowledgments; About the Author

When you walk into a Best Buy or any other retailer today, you simply pick up the computer you want, head home, plug it in, and away you go. But when you go back to the beginning, you start to understand just how amazing these things are. Levy steps into the inner sanctums of the large mainframe computers, devices that cost millions of dollars and allowed few the privilege of touching them.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?