What the Dormouse Said, by John Markoff

I’ve met John Markoff, a writer for the New York Times, a couple of times. He’s always seemed to me to be a very smart guy who really respects Silicon Valley. His latest book is a really fond history of how Silicon Valley grew up to start the PC industry. The full title: What the Dormouse Said: How the 60s Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry.

Lots of people in the book that I’ve met/known: Doug Englebart, Alan Kay, Larry Tessler (who ran Apple ATG when I was there). The book starts in the 60s with Doug Englebart — in many ways, the story is really all about what he did. Talks about SAIL & SRI & the Whole Earth Catalog & the Homebrew Computer Club, plus an awful lot about the politics of the time and how they affected attitudes here — really very West Coast attitudes and how those points of view were critical in developing a vision for a "personal" computer.

Also, there’s a shocking large number of words in the book devoted to LSD. Different times, for sure. Lots of funny anecdotes in the book. Really worth reading if you’re part of Silicon Valley.

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