Computer history books

Continuing the discussion from Adobe Co-Founder Charles Geschke Dead at 81:

Two more computer history books that I always recommend to others:

  • Fire In The Valley, by Michael Swaine and Paul Freiberger.

    This focuses more on the people and personalities than on the tech itself, but it’s a really great read.

  • Revolution In The Valley, by Andy Hertzfeld.

    Focuses entirely on development of the Mac. Based on all of the great anecdotes available from his web site,


Oh man, Revolution in the Valley is a wonderful book!

The Folklore website you mention is already awesome, but just seeing all those photos on the pages of a hardbound book makes it a better reading experience yet, IMHO.

I hadn’t yet heard of Fire in the Valley, so that’s on my reading list now. :slight_smile:

Thanks, David!

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An excellent biography of Ada Byron, Lady Lovelace that went into clearly explained detail about her revolutionary “thinking machine,” how it was developed, and what it could do. I read it in the 1980s-90s, and I cannot remember its exact name, but it could be this one:

Alan Turing: The Enigma. It’s an excellent, thoroughly compelling read. However, it does go into great detail about all his mathematical revelations, which went over my non-technical head, but everything else was exceptionally compelling, groundbreaking, and ultimately tragic:

In addition to “Steve Jobs” is Walter Isaacson’s “The Innovators:”

Though they are not strictly computer history books, Walter Isaacson’s wonderful bios of Leonardo Da Vinci and Ben Franklin go into detail about their innovations in engineering and science:

I’ve got his Einstein bio on my “to read” list:

And also on my list is Code Girls:

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