Found in 6 comments on Hacker News
jmtulloss · 2020-06-18 · Original thread
I highly recommend The Dream Machine[0] for an in-depth chronicle of the connections and influences that brought early computing to where it is today.


The Dream Machine by Mitchell Waldrop [1] is an exceptional book documenting the early times in computing. Being a scientific journalist (Science and Nature magazines), he provides an unbiased account—which is not an easy job, to distill from first-person recollections—from Alan Turing up to the Mac.

And you will read it like you don't know how it's gonna end. Because that's how things happened.

(Really appreciate Patrick Collison and Stripe Press for re-publishing it)


AriaMinaei · 2020-04-18 · Original thread
> I think knowing the history of how we got to where we are helps to understand ot more.

This is a great attitude, especially in our largely ahistoric industry. I wish I thought this way when I started programming.

The book "The Dream Machine" [0] does a fantastic job going into the ideas driving the pioneers. It especially focuses on ARPA and PARC, so you'll get a nice overview of the ideas explored there. And it is a fun read too.

It was out of print for quite some time, until Stripe Press bought the rights and brought it back to print [1]. They also give it away at conferences, as they want more people to be exposed to the ideas of the book.



One book frequently overlooked when it comes to computer and internet history is The Dream Machine. It tells the story of J.C.R. Licklider, who was a psychology and computer science professor, and a director at ARPA. He had the vision for the "Intergalactic Computer Network" which became the Internet, and either directed or came into contact with nearly every project that created fundamental computing technologies.


sbolt · 2019-04-02 · Original thread
The Dream Machine is a good read about the vision of J.C.R. Licklider, a man who instigated the work that led to the internet. It's a very well written book and gives great insight into the pre-web era of networking

Amazon link (non affiliate):

Fresh book recommendations delivered straight to your inbox every Thursday.