Found in 11 comments on Hacker News
mindcrime · 2020-07-17 · Original thread
I can give you the names of a handful of books that might be useful. Some are more technical, some less so. Some are more about personalities, some about the business aspects of things, some more about the actual technology. I don't really have time to try and categorize them all, so here's a big dump of the ones I have and/or am familiar with that seem at least somewhat related.

The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering -

Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution -

The Cuckoo's Egg: Tracking a Spy Through the Maze of Computer Espionage -

Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet -

Open: How Compaq Ended IBM's PC Domination and Helped Invent Modern Computing -

Decline and Fall of the American Programmer -

Rise and Resurrection of the American Programmer -

Accidental Empires: How the Boys of Silicon Valley Make Their Millions, Battle Foreign Competition, and Still Can't Get a Date -

Softwar: An Intimate Portrait of Larry Ellison and Oracle -

Winners, Losers & Microsoft -

Microsoft Secrets -

The Friendly Orange Glow: The Untold Story of the PLATO System and the Dawn of Cyberculture -

Troublemakers: Silicon Valley's Coming of Age -

Hard Drive: Bill Gates and the Making of the Microsoft Empire -

Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture -

The Supermen: The Story of Seymour Cray and The Technical Wizards Behind the Supercomputer -

Bitwise: A Life in Code -

Gates -

We Are The Nerds -

A People's History of Computing In The United States -

Fire In The Valley: The Birth and Death of the Personal Computer -

How The Internet Happened: From Netscape to the iPhone -

Steve Jobs -

The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation -

Coders -

Dreaming in Code: Two Dozen Programmers, Three Years, 4,732 Bugs, and One Quest for Transcendent Software -

The Pentagon's Brain: An Uncensored History of DARPA, America's Top-Secret Military Research Agency -

The Imagineers of War: The Untold Story of DARPA, the Pentagon Agency That Changed the World -

The Technical and Social History of Software Engineering -


"The Mother of All Demos" by Doug Englebart -

"Jobs vs Gates" -

"Welcome to Macintosh" -

"Pirates of Silicon Valley" -

"Jobs" -

And while not a documentary, or meant to be totally historically accurate, the TV show "Halt and Catch Fire" captures a lot of the feel of the early days of the PC era, through to the advent of the Internet era.

And there's a ton of Macintosh history stuff captured at:

dang · 2019-06-23 · Original thread
That's not always as absurd as it sounds. Particularly talented people can do it. The case of Seymour Cray, admittedly an outlier on the talent side, comes to mind. He was basically a senior team lead from the moment he got his first job, and that was in 1951.

I got that from this wonderful book, btw:

walkingolof · 2017-10-23 · Original thread
Wonder whats left of old Cray besides the name ?

Book tip:

tlb · 2016-09-29 · Original thread
The story of how Cray and his team created the CDC 6600 is really great [0]. Cray decided they had to get away from corporate interference so he picked a bucolic town a couple hours away from corporate HQ, moved his whole team there, and they worked in peace to develop a machine that was 10x faster than anything else.

It's unclear today if quantum computers will be useful, just as it was unclear in 1962 if supercomputers for large scientific numerical calculations would be useful. It'll be interesting to see.


gjkood · 2015-12-11 · Original thread
striking · 2015-10-21 · Original thread
For the question "What are some of the best books to learn from that you recommend for a young startup founder?", I decided to transcribe the answers.


"Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future" -

"Republic" - (classic, feel free to grab a PDF)

"The Principia : Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy" - (classic, feel free to grab a PDF)

"Thinking, Fast and Slow" -

"Molecular Biology of the Cell" - (different edition, forgive me; free through NCBI, thanks jkimmel!)

"Dealers of Lightning: Xerox PARC and the Dawn of the Computer Age" -

"The Supermen: The Story of Seymour Cray and the Technical Wizards Behind the Supercomputer" - (note: "that one's particularly good")

"Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage: Stories" -

"The Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosophy of Leadership" -

"The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time" -

"The Constitutional Convention: A Narrative History from the Notes of James Madison" -

"The Art Of War for Lovers" - (fixed! sorry about that...)

"Hold 'em Poker: For Advanced Players" -

"Solution Selling: Creating Buyers in Difficult Selling Markets" -

"The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition" -

"Winning" -

I wish he had answered in text. That would have made things easier :) However, I'm still very happy to have some new additions to my reading list!

gjkood · 2015-05-11 · Original thread
If you haven't already done so, I highly recommend reading "The SUPERMEN" by Charles J. Murray.

frik · 2015-03-21 · Original thread
Seymour Cray, the famous supercomputer architect (Cray-1, etc.), built a tunnel under his house:

  Another favorite pastime was digging a tunnel under his 
  home; he attributed the secret of his success to "visits 
  by elves" while he worked in the tunnel: "While I'm 
  digging in the tunnel, the elves will often come to me 
  with solutions to my problem."
-- , , ,

frik · 2014-05-10 · Original thread
I read about it in the "Supermen" book [1], he dug extensive tunnels. Doing repetitive work makes it probably easier to do daydreaming. That's how he designed his Cray super computers architectures in his head.


frik · 2014-01-16 · Original thread
A very good book about this topic:

The Supermen: The Story of Seymour Cray and the Technical Wizards Behind the Supercomputer

It's a great book about Seymour Cray (biography) that details all his work. He was one of the very best, a real hero. Sadly he died in a car accident in the nineties.

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