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Revolution in the Valley: The Insanely Great Story of How the Mac Was Made

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Posted July 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A coffee-table book for nerds

    Macintosh computer is the most iconic computer of all time, and probably one of the most significant consumer electronics products ever. The successors of the original Macintosh have remained aspirational products ever since, and Mac fans are oftentimes known for their cult-like admiration for their computers. One name that immediately comes to mind when Mac is mentioned is that of Steve Jobs, Apple cofounder and a mercurial and controversial visionary that has shaped Apple products for the most of company's history. However, Jobs is a strange bird - a head of a technology company without any concrete technological skills. The bulk of the work on the original Apple computer was done by the other company cofounder (Steve Wozniak) and the team that actually built Mac was composed of largely unknown engineers and technicians who worked on the computer over many years with the utmost passion and dedication. This book is a tribute to that creative and dedicated team. It is written in a form of many anecdotes of crucial events and developments in the process of creating the first Mac. Most of the stories are told from the point of view of Andy Hertzfeld, but there are numerous contributions by other team members as well. The book is filled with images of old hand-written designing notes, pictures of the team members, various Polaroid screen-shots of the development of Mac's GUI, and many, many more moments that elicit a form of nostalgia for those early days of the computer industry. The whole book is in fact a tribute to those more innocent days when idealism was a much more potent motivator than money and stock options. It also paints a picture of Silicon Valley when it was possible for young fresh-out-of-college engineers to find meaningful work and live in places like Palo Alto. Whether you are a Mac fan or someone with a curiosity about the first-hand accounts of the early personal computer industry, you will find a lot in this book to keep you interested. It's a homage to the real nerd inside of all of us.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2005

    Fascinating 1st hand account of Mac history

    This is THE book for every Mac aficionado! Walk with those who were there through the birth of a truly historical product. This is a nicely designed hardback that fits well in the hand, is filled with wonderful photos and anecdotes from those most involved from the earliest days of the Macintosh. I have found most fascinating the copies of actual hand-written notes from the earliest brainstorming meetings, complete with corrections and revealing marginal comments. I will definitely keep this where I can thumb through it while on hold or wanting some entertaining distraction ¿ and where it will be seen by my PeeCee buddies!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2005

    Interesting Look Back

    This book, written by one of the members of the team that created the first Macintosh is at times a tale of intrigue, passion, hard work, long hours, junk food, and lots of creativity. It also shows how this group put together a computer that changed the history of the high tech field and how even now some 20 years later, the effects of this change can still be felt. Not only is the story told by the author, but numerous sidebars illustrate anecdotes about the 'movers and shakers' of the Macintosh's creation..from the engineers and designers to upper management, as well as the inevitable clashes between all of them. One thing that comes through at all times is how committed everyone was to seeing the Mac through to creation. The famous '1984' commercial is also discussed at some length and how it almost never was shown during the Super Bowl broadcast, due to some Apple execs expressing their disapproval of it at a preview showing. The commercial was also shown late one night on a TV station in Idaho so it would be eligible to receive an award as best commercial of the year. And speaking of passion, Steve Jobs is shown at times in this book to be a visionary, a hard worker, a clod, and most of all a man driven to put the best computer of its time on the market. Clearly he and the Macintosh design team succeeded in doing so. For any Macintosh or computer history buffs, this is a book well worth having.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2004


    Interesting anecdotes in a series of short stories about the development of the MAC. Beautiful graphics and very well written.

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