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Hackers by Steven Levy

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Appendix B. Afterword: Ten Years After

I think that hackers—dedicated, innovative, irreverent computer programmers—are the most interesting and effective body of intellectuals since the framers of the U.S. Constitution . . . No other group that I know of has set out to liberate a technology and succeeded. They not only did so against the active disinterest of corporate America, their success forced corporate America to adopt their style in the end. In reorganizing the Information Age around the individual, via personal computers, the hackers may well have saved the American economy . . . The quietest of all the ’60s sub-subcultures has emerged as the most innovative and powerful.

Stewart Brand Founder, Whole Earth Catalog

In November 1984, on the damp, windswept headlands north of San Francisco, one hundred fifty canonical programmers and techno-ninjas gathered for the first Hacker Conference. Originally conceived by Whole Earth Catalog founder Stewart Brand, this event transformed an abandoned Army camp into temporary world headquarters for the Hacker Ethic. Not at all coincidentally, the event dovetailed with the publication of this book, and a good number of the characters in its pages turned up, in many cases to meet for the first time. First-generation MIT hackers like Richard Greenblatt hung out with Homebrew luminaries like Lee Felsenstein and Stephen Wozniak and game czars Ken Williams, Jerry Jewell, and Doug Carlston. The brash wizards of the new Macintosh computer met up ...

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