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Insanely Great: The Life and Times of Macintosh, the Computer that changed Everything by [Steven Levy]
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Insanely Great: The Life and Times of Macintosh, the Computer that changed Everything Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 49 ratings
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Length: 338 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This sensible and entertaining book outlines "how technology, serendipity, passion, and magic combined to create . . . the most important consumer product in the last half of the twentieth century: the Macintosh computer." Levy ( Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution ) describes the travails that beset Apple, the company run by Steven Jobs that created the Mac--"dippy new-age culture," a "mission from God" mentality and a Silicon Valley image. "What's the difference between Apple and Boy Scouts?" he queries, reviving a long-running joke. Answer: "The Boy Scouts have adult supervision." And Levy's view of Jobs himself seems reasonable: "a con man," and "a slick marketer" whose impulsive management style and overbearing ego "drove people crazy." As the author recounts, in 1985 Apple's directors forced Jobs out; he left Apple while creating a new comuter company, Next. "It made no dent in the universe," Levy reports. John Sculley replaced Jobs, but he too was relieved of his position as CEO in 1993, when Apple's directors judged him "too much a visionary." This solid work adroitly covers the information age.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

A breezy, anecdotal, yet discerning history of the people, ideas, and technology that led to the user-friendliness of the Macintosh computer. Levy (Artificial Life, 1992, etc.) is among our best interpreters of computer technology (he speaks fluent geek). Here, however, his overbearing passion for the Macintosh keeps this from being a first-class treatment; though he recounts Apple's wrong turns and the widespread criticisms of Steve Jobs, his report lacks the rigor of Tracy Kidder's The Soul of a New Machine or even of his own Hackers (1984). Moreover, there are surprising gaps here: The early days of home-computing are limned only briefly, as are Apple's beginnings. But in tracing the evolution of how humans conceive of, and relate to, information in cyberspace, the author has done his research. From a 1945 essay by Vannevar Bush describing a ``memex''--a sort of desk/cockpit with monitors for ``piloting'' one's way through information--that inspired Douglas Engelbart to invent the desktop metaphor and the now-ubiquitous mouse, Levy takes us to the golden age of Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center (``Nerds now think of it as Camelot''). There, although Xerox overlooked the invention of the personal computer, Allan Kay wrote SmallTalk-- the simple operating system that would one day be embodied in the Mac--and conceived of the ``DynaBook,'' the inspiration for Apple's PowerBook and considered ever since the Grail of computer designs. As the creation of the Mac looms, Levy focuses on the personal contributions and internal politics of those working at Apple; on software offerings like PageMaker, which revolutionized desktop publishing; and the last step in evolving the Mac as we know it: Bill Atkinson's HyperCard, the program that changed the way computer-users think about information. Everything you never realized you wanted to know about the Mac, by a very smart, infectiously enthusiastic partisan. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Top international reviews

M. Macrae
5.0 out of 5 stars Life of a loony who changed the world.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 29, 2015
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RichyS
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyably written. Great transcript for this anniversary edition.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 4, 2014
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M. Rocks
5.0 out of 5 stars Insanely great book.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 26, 2014
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Rod Tyler
5.0 out of 5 stars Rod
Reviewed in Canada on February 10, 2014
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Celestino Rey López
3.0 out of 5 stars Wrong non English characters
Reviewed in Spain on February 20, 2014
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