By Robert X. Cringely
Desktop production is--after automobiles, strength construction and unlawful drugs--the biggest on the planet, and it truly is one of many final nice luck tales in American company. unintentional Empires is the trenchant, enormously readable background of that undefined, focusing as a lot at the astoundingly strange personalities at its core--Steve Jobs, invoice Gates, Mitch Kapor, and so on. and the hacker tradition they spawned because it does at the extraordinary know-how they created. Cringely unearths the manias and foibles of those males (they are continually males) with deadpan hilarity and cogently demonstrates how their neuroses have formed the pc company. yet Cringely supplies us even more than high-tech voyeurism and insider gossip. From the delivery of the transistor to the mid-life predicament of the pc undefined, he spins a sweeping, uniquely American saga of creativity and ego that's right now uproarious, stunning and encouraging.
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Additional resources for Accidental Empires: How the Boys of Silicon Valley Make Their Millions, Battle Foreign Competition, and Still Can't Get a Date
The twist that Noyce added was to deposit a layer of insulat ing silicon oxide on the top surface of the chip—this was called the "planar process" that had been invented earlier at Fairchild —and then use a photographic process to print thin metal lines on top of the oxide, connecting the components together on the chip. Thepe metal traces carried current in the same way that Jack Kilby's gold wires did, but they could be printed on in a single step rather than being installed one at a time by hand.
Then, after his di vorce and remarriage, Noyce tried to join the snobbish Los Altos Country Club, only to be rejected because the club did not ap prove of his new wife, so he wrote another check and simply duplicated the country club facilities on his own property, within sight of the Los Altos clubhouse. "To hell with them," he said. As a leader, Noyce was half high school science teacher and 38 / WHY THEY DON'T CALL IT COMPUTER VALLEY half athletic team captain. Young engineers were encouraged to speak their minds, and they were given authority to buy what ever they needed to pursue their research.
It's logical, I know, to assume that the personal computer came from shrink ing a mainframe, but that's not the way it happened. The PC business actually grew up from the semiconductor industry. In stead of being a little mainframe, the PC is, in fact, more like an incredibly big chip. Remember, they don't call it Computer Val ley. They call it Silicon Valley, and it's a place that was invented one afternoon in 1957 when Bob Noyce and seven other engi neers quit en masse from Shockley Semiconductor.
Accidental Empires: How the Boys of Silicon Valley Make Their Millions, Battle Foreign Competition, and Still Can't Get a Date by Robert X. Cringely