Found in 19 comments on Hacker News
nbzso · 2021-04-08 · Original thread
In the rare moments when I get the naive idea of "Privacy on The Internet" tingling in my head, I kick myself in the but and reread this book:
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:

utopian3 · 2019-07-16 · Original thread
“Where Wizards Stay Up Late” is a fantastic book that has some good insight on Lick’s imagination and contributions to technology. And LOADS more!

Dunedan · 2019-06-12 · Original thread
As this post talked a bit about the history of computer networks I have to jump in and highly recommend "Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins Of The Internet" ( to everybody curious about how that thing called internet came to be. It's such a great book about an era not so long ago, but often already forgotten.
kuhhk · 2018-12-30 · Original thread
I highly recommend reading the book “Where Wizards Stay Up Late”, which covers much of the history that this article touches upon. Great book.

no_protocol · 2018-07-27 · Original thread
Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet

By Katie Hafner and Matthew Lyon


I read the Audiobook version of this book. It presents a narrative of the development of the very early stages of the internet. I enjoyed it. I think it would also have been fine in print or ebook formats. It is not too long and seems to present the events in a mostly linear fashion.

You'll get a great overview of the names, organizations, and machines that were used in this period.

timrichard · 2018-05-27 · Original thread
There seem to be a few formats on Amazon, including an unabridged audiobook [1] :

Kindle edition sells to US-only accounts though, which is a bit annoying :-(

[1] The Kindle version + Audible upgrade is nearly always cheaper than Audible alone. Not sure why.

chrisvogt · 2017-05-10 · Original thread
I read Levy's "Hackers..." in 2015 and also strongly recommend it. I also recommend "Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet" [1], which ties in to a lot of the same stories.


lancefisher · 2017-04-15 · Original thread
If you're not too familiar with the story, Where Wizards Stay Up Late is a good history of the beginning of the internet.
wpietri · 2017-03-25 · Original thread
You're definitely wrong about phones. In 2002-5, Palm was shipping a variety of Treos, which even at the time were clear early-adopter smartphones. Plenty of other companies were investigating the market and shipping early experiments.

The IBM quote has no apparent basis in fact:

And you're entirely wrong about 1990. Plenty of people thought there would be a global network. The WELL started in 1985, and plenty in that community had good notions about the future. The initial work on the Internet goes back to the 1970s, and many there too understood where it was going:

So if you're going to use the past to predict the future, please at least use some actual past, rather than one you make up to justify your notions.

late2part · 2016-10-22 · Original thread
No, it wasn't. That's a myth, disturbed in many sources, including [1]. Also in [2]:

Many people have heard that the Internet began with some military computers in the Pentagon called Arpanet in 1969. The theory goes on to suggest that the network was designed to survive a nuclear attack. However, whichever definition of what the Internet is we use, neither the Pentagon nor 1969 hold up as the time and place the Internet was invented. A project which began in the Pentagon that year, called Arpanet, gave birth to the Internet protocols sometime later (during the 1970's), but 1969 was not the Internet's beginnings. Surviving a nuclear attack was not Arpanet's motivation, nor was building a global communications network.

Bob Taylor, the Pentagon official who was in charge of the Pentagon's Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (or Arpanet) program, insists that the purpose was not military, but scientific. The nuclear attack theory was never part of the design. Nor was an Internet in the sense we know it part of the Pentagon's 1969 thinking. Larry Roberts, who was employed by Bob Taylor to build the Arpanet network, states that Arpanet was never intended to link people or be a communications and information facility.



bch · 2016-02-06 · Original thread
"Where Wizards Stay Up Late"[0] is a fascinating account of the invention of the internet (Licklider a major player). I found it to be _much_ more interesting than I expected from the subject material. Highly recommended.


wpietri · 2013-12-30 · Original thread
You should go read about the history of the Internet. AT&T was a major barrier to early efforts in creating the Internet. See, e.g., In my view, the breakup of the Bell System laid the groundwork for the Internet to thrive.

For that matter, read about the origins of antitrust law. Monopolies and oligopolies neutralize the market's usual power to straighten things out. Giant companies aren't generally interested in innovation; they're interested in dominance. (See The Innovator's Dilemma for more on the economics of why.)

If it makes you feel any better, it's not like the FCC's going to go around kicking down telco doors and inspecting routers. Proof of net neutrality failures will come from us, the nerds. As individuals, measuring our own networks, and as the techies at innovative companies, going public when telcos try to discriminate against them.

tjgq · 2013-07-06 · Original thread
If you are interested in the early history of the Internet, and would like a lot more detail than provided by this paper, I cannot recommend the following book enough: "Where Wizards Stay Up Late - The Origins Of The Internet":
nkassis · 2010-10-29 · Original thread
For those wanting to learn the history check out:

Where the wizards stay up late,

Also, check out this, a true gem on google video:

nkassis · 2010-08-12 · Original thread
Al gore invented the Web Site.

In all seriousness, Where the wizards stay up late ( gives a good account of the beginning of the net. For the web there is How the web was born (

anamax · 2008-11-17 · Original thread

Also, long hair and drugs doesn't make you "cool". (If it did, meth heads would be cool.)

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