Sebastopol, CA—There was a time, not too long ago, when the typewriter and notebook ruled, and the computer as an everyday tool was simply a vision. Newly released in paperback form, Revolution in the Valley takes this vision back to its earliest roots: the hallways and backrooms of Apple, where the groundbreaking Macintosh computer was born. The book traces the development of the Macintosh, from its inception as an underground skunkworks project in 1979 to its triumphant introduction in 1984 and beyond.
The stories in Revolution in the Valley come on extremely good authority. That's because author Andy Hertzfeld was a core member of the team that built the Macintosh system software, and a key creator of the Mac's radically new user interface software. Dubbed the "software wizard," Hertzfeld was the ultimate insider.
Revolution in the Valley evolved from stories that Hertzfeld wrote and collected on his website, folklore.org, combining his own stories with those contributed by others to tell short snippets of a long tale.
"When I began to write stories for my website in June 2003, I had no intention of trying to publish them in book form," Hertzfeld says. "I was excited by the idea of developing a web site to facilitate collective historical storytelling, where a group of participants could collaborate to recollect an interesting event. I chose the format of numerous interlinked anecdotes because it seemed natural for the web and better suited to a collaborative effort than a single, continuous narrative, allowing a tale to be elaborated indefinitely without compromising the voices of the individual authors."
When Revolution in the Valley begins, Hertzfeld is working on Apple's first attempt at a low-cost, consumer-oriented computer: the Apple II. He sees that Steve Jobs is luring some of the company's most brilliant innovators to work on a tiny research effort, the Macintosh. Hertzfeld manages to make his way onto the Macintosh research team, and the rest is history.
Through lavish illustrations, period photos, and Hertzfeld's vivid first-hand accounts, Revolution in the Valley reveals what it was like to be there at the birth of the personal computer revolution. The story comes to life through the book's portrait of the talented and often eccentric characters who made up the Macintosh team. Some 30 years later, millions of people are benefiting from the technical achievements of this determined and brilliant group of people.
With the recent death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, Revolution in the Valley is a particularly resonant recollection; in fact, Jobs helped Hertzfeld collect the unique archival photos gathered here. In Revolution, Hertzfeld describes Jobs' "reality distortion field," how the first Macintosh was influenced by Porsche and Louis Comfort Tiffany, and how the initial machine was autographed inside the case by each of the 35 team members. Steve Wozniak wrote the book's foreword, framing the extraordinary story of the extraordinary young men who changed tech—and the modern world—forever.
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