Friday, June 26, 2015

The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution

by Walter Isaacson

Cover image for The innovators : how a group of hackers, geniuses, and geeks created the digital revolution

Isaacson, author or the best-seller, Steve Jobs, continues to explore the computer industry in his latest book, The Innovators. This time he traces its history – and tells the colourful saga of those first inventors and they who followed.

Did you know that Lady Ada Lovelace, daughter of Lord Byron, applied her imagination to mathematics as her father did to poetry, and envisioned a “general-purpose machine” about 100 years or more before it was technologically possible to create one? Yes, in fact, Isaacson repeatedly refers to her creative spirit as a source of inspiration to many of her successors.

From the creation of the first digital machines, to the advent of computer programming, the invention of the microchip, the video game, the personal computer, the Internet, and the myriad of computer software applications, Isaacson captivates the reader by revealing the colourful personalities – men and women – at the heart of “the computer revolution”. The chapters on Lady Lovelace and her business partner, Charles Babbage; the Harvard undergrad/drop-out Bill Gates; Alan Turing; and the development of the Internet, may especially engage readers.

Isaacson’s chronological progression, fascinating insights into the innovators’ personalities, and his own personable narrative style, make this “a good read” – and a long one, at 488 pages excluding the endnotes, photo credits, and index. 

Perhaps this is a book to enjoy while on summer vacation?

Find this book in the Mississauga Library System on-line catalogue.

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