Fire in the valley: the making of the personal computer by Paul Freiberger

By Paul Freiberger

"A publication to not be neglected, simply undeniable sturdy analyzing in regards to the drama of the children round the corner turning their desires into millions."--The ny Times"
Swaine and Freiberger catch the communal spirit of the early laptop golf equipment, the brilliance and blundering of a few of the 1st start-up businesses, the collection of naivete, noble goal and greed that characterised numerous pioneers, and the inevitable transformation of all this right into a significant undefined. needs to reading."--Philip Lemmons, editor-in-chief, BYTE journal

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Example text

If someone wanted to do only calculations, they didn't want to have to fire up a computer to run a calculator program.  He proposed to the Japanese engineers a revised design loosely based on the PDP­8.  But whereas these signals would represent numbers in a simple arithmetic chip and logical values (true or false) in a logic chip, the signals entering and leaving Hoff's chip would form a set of instructions for the IC.  The term that evolved to describe such a device was microprocessor, and microprocessors were general­purpose devices specifically because of their programmability.

He was beginning to view the computer as an individual educational tool, and games seemed a natural part of the package.  The company was not ready to handle customer support for individuals.  Ahl figured that Heath, a company specializing in electronics hobby equipment, would be willing to build a kit version of the DEC, which would lower the price even more.  Ahl had not designed the device, but he felt as protective of it as if it were his own child.  After some tense moments, Olsen said that he could see no reason why anyone would want a home computer.

Wozniak eventually gave up on his employers and built his computers out of a garage in a start­up enterprise called Apple.  The PDP­8, which had inspired Ted Hoff to design the 4004, was the closest thing to a personal computer one could find.  The story of its failure to seize that opportunity gives some indication of the mentality in computer company boardrooms during the early 1970s.  Ahl protested the cuts and was fired.  He was beginning to view the computer as an individual educational tool, and games seemed a natural part of the package.

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