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85 Reviews
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121 of 128 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent essay writing on topical subjects
Paul Graham has delivered final proof that he is a marvelous essayist with his volume of fairly diverse writings, Hackers & Painters. I first came across his writing with his article, "A Plan For Spam," on using Bayesian filtering to block spam and found it a well written and informative technical article. I next came across him some time later when he wrote an essay on...
Published on August 8, 2004 by A Williams

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143 of 184 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Read a few of his online essays first
In our celebrity worshipping culture, it seems that getting the limelight or making a large amount of money by themselves confer great wisdom. Paul Graham is undoubtedly a very intelligent man and a talented software developer who was able to make a lot of money back in the bubble days. As you read his essays, though, you will be disappointed to find that he is no wiser...
Published on December 25, 2004 by H. Hemken


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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Honesty, I like, June 29, 2006
This review is from: Hackers and Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age (Hardcover)
Thumbs up goes to Paul Graham for Hackers & Painters. He's a hacker and a painter, and although most of his essays printed in the book are available online, I really recommend buying this book.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this a while back, December 30, 2013
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Slava F. (North America) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hackers and Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age (Hardcover)
and really really enjoyed it. An important book to help understand the culture and process that brought us the current (as of 2006-2014) Internet.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for tech entrpreneurs and founders, October 21, 2013
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This review is from: Hackers and Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age (Hardcover)
In this book, Paul Graham sketches 'big Ideas' across a wide variety of topics, including nerds/socialization, wealth building, and the deep connections between technology and art. All in all, a strong collection of essays that provide much food for thought. If you know a young person who is tech-minded and might be an entrepreneur - buy this book for them. Highly recommended..
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Software as an Art Form, January 11, 2005
By 
Craig L. Howe (Darien, CT United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hackers and Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age (Hardcover)
Paul Graham penned a unique book: A collection of essays that combine personal and business experience.

The author sees great software development as an art form.

"Great software, likewise, requires a fanatical devotion to beauty," Graham writes. "If you look inspire good software, you will find that parts no one is ever supposed to see are beautiful too."

The collection offers readers positive advice and leadership tips; a roadmap to what is increasingly becoming a computerized future.
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13 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Cannot finish it, July 26, 2009
By 
Ankur Patwa (Waltham, MA,USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hackers and Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age (Hardcover)
This book looks like a "bar rant" like J. Fuentes said. The book has a very bad format and flow. A couple of good ideas here and there (that is why I give it an extra star); but you have to read through boring material. I was enthused at the starting but soon it went downhill from there. All the "technology talk" can be found in wiki (for a non-hacker) and a hacker (by experience) should already know this stuff.I had to keep the book down half-way as it seems like a badly written auto-biography! Paul Graham had a successful career but I think he should NOT write. Technologists; please do not waste your time!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Couldnt get past the beginning, June 25, 2014
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Amazon Customer (San Francisco, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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As a long time open source software contributor, I really thought I'd like it. But the first chapter(s?) kept obsessing over the authors high school angst. Seriously boring and a turn off...
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Put my thoughts into words, January 31, 2005
By 
Nathan (Eaton Rapids, Michigan) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hackers and Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age (Hardcover)
After graduating in 2004, I walked away with the exact thoughts as this essay, (Why Nerds are Unpopular). I was neither a "nerd", nor was I the coolest person. I mastered the art of being friends with everyone and viewing the false world of high school objectively. I have never seen an essay as accurate as this, parallel to my views and experiences. The only problem is there is a "berlin wall" between people knowing these facts and details, and actually acting to make a change. Till then, the nomenclature, nerds, will stand.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great ideas worthy of more in-depth research., November 1, 2013
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This book was less intriguing than I thought it would be even though it gave me some new ideas to contemplate.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dormant power packed ideas, April 4, 2007
This review is from: Hackers and Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age (Hardcover)
I live in the heart of silicon valley and moved here for creative reasons.

In 2003, I got this book and let it sit on my shelf until I heard about a Y combinator event at Stanford last year.

I read it before the event where Paul was going to speak and have read it 3x since. It reminds me why I live in palo alto and why I get results by combining hacker, Type A thoughts with left brain, artsy.

Mr. Graham's book will be quoted in my book, "What They Don't Teach You At Stanford Business School" in Chapter 14: Duality. [...]
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Graham's good fortune is my good fortune..., December 9, 2004
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This review is from: Hackers and Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age (Hardcover)
While it's possible that Mr. Graham didn't start a business and sell it for (I imagine) a mint to Yahoo! just so he would have time to edify me with his writings, it has worked out that way. I bought this book as much because I owe him for all the information I've picked up off his website (and the two Lisp books I bought used, including a PRISTINE copy of On Lisp that somebody sold at half.com for $25.00) as because I thought I would find the subject matter of particular interest. But what do I know? It's all fascinating. And well-written, too, if you can forgive Graham's habit of beginning sentences with "and."

Blaise Pascal once wrote, "I have made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter." Mr. Graham has taken to time to make this book shorter. I highly recommend to to geeks, nerds, and even unscarred smart people everywhere.
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Hackers and Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age
Hackers and Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age by Paul Graham (Hardcover - May 2004)
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