Insanely Great: The Life and Times of Macintosh, the Computer that Changed Everything

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Overview

The creation of the Mac in 1984 catapulted America into the digital millennium, captured a fanatic cult audience, and transformed the computer industry into an unprecedented mix of technology, economics, and show business. Now veteran technology writer and Newsweek senior editor Steven Levy zooms in on the great machine and the fortunes of the unique company responsible for its evolution. Loaded with anecdote and insight, and peppered with sharp commentary, Insanely Great is the definitive book on the most ...

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Insanely Great: The Life and Times of Macintosh, the Computer that Changed Everything

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Overview

The creation of the Mac in 1984 catapulted America into the digital millennium, captured a fanatic cult audience, and transformed the computer industry into an unprecedented mix of technology, economics, and show business. Now veteran technology writer and Newsweek senior editor Steven Levy zooms in on the great machine and the fortunes of the unique company responsible for its evolution. Loaded with anecdote and insight, and peppered with sharp commentary, Insanely Great is the definitive book on the most important computer ever made. It is a must-have for anyone curious about how we got to the interactive age.

In this "holy scripture for loyal clickers of the mouse" (San Francisco Examiner), veteran technology writer Steven Levy zooms in on the Mac and the fortunes of the unique company responsible for its evolution. Includes a new afterword on the PowerMac.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's 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. (Jan.)
Library Journal
``Insanely great'' was the kind of personal computer that Steve Jobs wanted his group at Apple to develop. As he recounts the history and development of the Mac, Levy concludes that they were successful. As opinionated as his treatment of computer hackers ( Hackers , LJ 11/1/84), this book is one of the first to give credit to some of the lesser-known individuals responsible for the basic research in this field --in particular, Levy acknowledges the substantial contributions of Douglas Engelbart, including the conception and demonstration of the first mouse and of windows. Levy's final chapter on technology and productivity alone is worth the price of the book; all his points are well taken. This is sure to be a popular publication.-- Hilary D. Burton, Lawrence Livermore National Lab, Cal.
Booknews
In celebration of the Macintosh's tenth anniversary, explores the conceptual background of the innovative personal computer and the histories of the people who were responsible for it. Levy has written widely about computers and is a columnist for MacWorld. No index. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140291773
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/28/2000
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 869,895
  • Product dimensions: 5.14 (w) x 7.72 (h) x 0.93 (d)

Meet the Author

Steven Levy is the author of Hackers, which has been in print for more than fifteen years, as well as Insanely Great: The Life & Times of Macintosh, the Computer That Changed Everything. He is also Newsweek's chief technology writer and has been a contributing writer to Wired since its inception. He lives in New York City with his wife and son.

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