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The Dream Machine
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I recently read, and recommend, The Dream Machine - great walk throught this and many related topics and events. https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1732265119
⬐ hngrymyndYes it is great, listening to audiobook now.
Also recommend ‘where wizards stay up late: the origins of the internet’ ‘Hackers’ ‘Masters of Doom’
Do the true implications of cybernetics escape us?
I highly recommend The Dream Machine for an in-depth chronicle of the connections and influences that brought early computing to where it is today.
⬐ throw_PLUTOGood one. For an even earlier history, one should read 'The Friendly Orange Glow: The Untold Story of the PLATO System and the Dawn of Cyberculture' by Brian Dear. The author spent decades researching and interviewing the pioneers. The PLATO system had chat rooms, instant messaging, screen savers, multiplayer games, flight simulators, crowdsourcing, interactive fiction, emoticons, e-learning (like MOOCs) etc.
The Dream Machine by Mitchell Waldrop  is an exceptional book documenting the early times in computing. Being a scientific journalist (Science and Nature magazines), he provides an unbiased account—which is not an easy job, to distill from first-person recollections—from Alan Turing up to the Mac.
And you will read it like you don't know how it's gonna end. Because that's how things happened.
(Really appreciate Patrick Collison and Stripe Press for re-publishing it)
> I think knowing the history of how we got to where we are helps to understand ot more.
This is a great attitude, especially in our largely ahistoric industry. I wish I thought this way when I started programming.
The book "The Dream Machine"  does a fantastic job going into the ideas driving the pioneers. It especially focuses on ARPA and PARC, so you'll get a nice overview of the ideas explored there. And it is a fun read too.
It was out of print for quite some time, until Stripe Press bought the rights and brought it back to print . They also give it away at conferences, as they want more people to be exposed to the ideas of the book.
One book frequently overlooked when it comes to computer and internet history is The Dream Machine. It tells the story of J.C.R. Licklider, who was a psychology and computer science professor, and a director at ARPA. He had the vision for the "Intergalactic Computer Network" which became the Internet, and either directed or came into contact with nearly every project that created fundamental computing technologies.
The Dream Machine is a good read about the vision of J.C.R. Licklider, a man who instigated the work that led to the internet. It's a very well written book and gives great insight into the pre-web era of networking
Amazon link (non affiliate): https://www.amazon.com/dp/1732265119
⬐ lewisfReading this now and agree that it's very well-written.