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Fire in the Valley, 3rd Edition by Paul Freiberger, Michael Swaine

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Chapter 5The Genie in the Box

I think that most people’s real motivation for getting a computer was to learn—they wanted to see what they could do with it.

Dan Fylstra, publisher of VisiCalc

As the buyers of the first Altair computers found out, these new personal computers were nothing without software. Even then, it wasn’t clear how much they could do or what the programmers would be inspired to make them do. Within a few years there would be a multibillion-dollar market for personal-computer software, but in the 1970s it wasn’t immediately obvious that anyone could make money writing programs for these toys.

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