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  1. 9.1 hrs • 5/17/2016 • Unabridged

    Computers have changed since 1981, when Tracy Kidder memorably recorded the drama, comedy, and excitement of one company’s efforts to bring a new microcomputer to market. What has not changed is the feverish pace of the high-tech industry, the go-for-broke approach to business that has caused so many computer companies to win big (or go belly up), and the cult of pursuing mind-bending technological innovations. The Soul of a New Machine is an essential chapter in the history of the machine that revolutionized the world in the twentieth century.

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    The Soul of a New Machine

    9.1 hrs • 5/17/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 3.9 hrs • 11/1/2015 • Unabridged

    The history of computing could be told as the story of hardware and software, or the story of the Internet, or the story of “smart” hand-held devices, with subplots involving IBM, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, and Twitter. In this concise and accessible account of the invention and development of digital technology, computer historian Paul Ceruzzi offers a broader and more useful perspective. He identifies four major threads that run throughout all of computing’s technological development: digitization—the coding of information, computation, and control in binary form, ones and zeros; the convergence of multiple streams of techniques, devices, and machines, yielding more than the sum of their parts; the steady advance of electronic technology, as characterized famously by Moore’s Law; and the human-machine interface. Ceruzzi guides us through computing history, telling how a Bell Labs mathematician coined the word digital in 1942 (to describe a high-speed method of calculating used in anti-aircraft devices), and recounting the development of the punch card (for use in the 1890 US Census). He describes the ENIAC, built for scientific and military applications; the UNIVAC, the first general purpose computer; and ARPANET, the Internet’s precursor. Ceruzzi’s account traces the world-changing evolution of the computer from a room-size ensemble of machinery to a “minicomputer” to a desktop computer to a pocket-sized smart phone. He describes the development of the silicon chip, which could store ever-increasing amounts of data and enabled ever-decreasing device size. He visits that hotbed of innovation, Silicon Valley, and brings the story up to the present with the Internet, the World Wide Web, and social networking.

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    Computing by Paul E. Ceruzzi
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  3. 20.4 hrs • 10/26/2015 • Unabridged

    Levy profiles the imaginative brainiacs who found clever and unorthodox solutions to computer engineering problems. They had a shared sense of values, known as “the hacker ethic,” that still thrives today. Hackers captures a seminal period in recent history when underground activities blazed a trail for today’s digital world, from MIT students finagling access to clunky computer-card machines to the DIY culture that spawned the Altair and the Apple II.

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    Hackers

    20.4 hrs • 10/26/15 • Unabridged
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  4. 9.2 hrs • 6/1/2014 • Unabridged

    A “skillful, literate” (New York Times Book Review) biography of the persecuted genius who helped create the modern computer To solve one of the great mathematical problems of his day, Alan Turing proposed an imaginary computer. Then, attempting to break a Nazi code during World War II, he successfully designed and built one, thus ensuring the Allied victory. Turing became a champion of artificial intelligence, but his work was cut short. As an openly gay man at a time when homosexuality was illegal in England, he was convicted and forced to undergo a humiliating “treatment” that may have led to his suicide. With a novelist’s sensitivity, David Leavitt portrays Turing in all his humanity—his eccentricities, his brilliance, his fatal candor—and elegantly explains his work and its implications.

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    The Man Who Knew Too Much by David Leavitt
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  5. 8.6 hrs • 1/7/2014 • Unabridged

    John Naughton is The Observer's "Networker" columnist, a prominent blogger, and Vice-President of Wolfson College, Cambridge. The Times has said that his writings, "[it] draws on more than two decades of study to explain how the internet works and the challenges and opportunities it will offer to future generations," and Cory Doctrow raved that "this is the kind of primer you want to slide under your boss's door." In From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg, Naughton explores the living history of one of the most radically transformational technologies of all time. From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg is a clear-eyed history of one of the most central, and yet most taken-for-granted, features of modern life: the internet. Once a technological novelty and now the very plumbing of the Information Age, the internet is something we have learned to take largely for granted. So, how exactly has our society become so dependent upon a utility it barely understands? And what does it say about us that this is so? While explaining in highly engaging language the way the internet works and how it got to be the way it is, technologist John Naughton has distilled the noisy chatter surrounding the technology's relentless evolution into nine essential areas of understanding. In doing so, he affords readers deeper insight into the information economy and supplies the requisite knowledge to make better use of the technologies and networks around us, highlighting some of their fascinating and far-reaching implications along the way.

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    From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg

    8.6 hrs • 1/7/14 • Unabridged
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  6. 15.7 hrs • 3/6/2012 • Unabridged

    “It is possible to invent a single machine which can be used to compute any computable sequence,” twenty-four-year-old Alan Turing announced in 1936. In Turing’s Cathedral, George Dyson focuses on a small group of men and women, led by John von Neumann at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, who built one of the first computers to realize Alan Turing’s vision of a Universal Machine. Their work would break the distinction between numbers that mean things and numbers that do things, and our universe would never be the same. Using five kilobytes of memory (the amount allocated to displaying the cursor on a computer desktop of today), they achieved unprecedented success in both weather prediction and nuclear weapons design, while tackling, in their spare time, problems ranging from the evolution of viruses to the evolution of stars. Dyson’s account, both historic and prophetic, sheds important new light on how the digital universe exploded in the aftermath of World War II. The proliferation of both codes and machines was paralleled by two historic developments: the decoding of self-replicating sequences in biology and the invention of the hydrogen bomb. It’s no coincidence that the most destructive and the most constructive of human inventions appeared at exactly the same time. How did code take over the world? In retracing how Alan Turing’s one-dimensional model became John von Neumann’s two-dimensional implementation, Turing’s Cathedral offers a series of provocative suggestions as to where the digital universe, now fully three-dimensional, may be heading next.

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    Turing’s Cathedral

    15.7 hrs • 3/6/12 • Unabridged
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  7. 4.6 hrs • 3/20/2011 • Unabridged

    Behind the scenes at Microsoft, some of the nation’s most savvy and successful managers are at work every day. How can their innovative perspectives and daily practices help guide your own journey on the road to success? Microsoft veteran Julie Bick reveals the company’s insider strategies, packed with on-the-job insights and practical techniques. From vice presidents to front-line managers, Bick interviews Microsofties to learn how they: * Launch new products and get the most out of not-so-new products * Design websites and do business on the Internet * Work with service agencies, dealers, coworkers, and the press * Hire the best people they can and keep them happy An entertaining read for seasoned managers and a smart business tool kit for the new kid on the block, this is a storehouse of advice that can give you the edge in any industry.

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    The Microsoft Edge

    4.6 hrs • 3/20/11 • Unabridged
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  8. 8.9 hrs • 3/7/2011 • Unabridged

    In 1982, a little upstart named Sun was making waves in the high-tech industry with its groundbreaking workstation technology, even as early competitors dismissed the company as not worth losing sleep over. Since then, Sun Microsystems has become a formidable presence in the industry, making its own rules and taking no prisoners, and is currently poised to reach the highest point of its ascendancy—the challenge of Microsoft’s dominance over the future of computing. The driving force behind this once fledgling company is a man who has been described as brash, unconventional, ambitious, forward-looking, and sometimes his own worst enemy. Scott McNealy turned Sun into the multibillion-dollar success it is today—a developer of innovative software like Java that is revolutionizing the computing landscape. High Noon is the inside story of Sun’s rise to power, from its shaky start in Silicon Valley through its transformation under the aggressive and inspirational leadership of McNealy. Karen Southwick reveals the behind-the-scenes maneuverings of McNealy and Sun, with candid interviews from the key players and insights into the inner workings of the high-tech industry. This book examines how scrappy underdog Sun overcame its larger and supposedly tougher competitors, combining hard work, tenacity, and talented people to build a more innovative and flexible company. Among High Noon’s revelations: –A new perspective on how the complex, contradictory McNealy shaped his company and fashioned its strategy –Insight into central issues facing the high-tech industry, such as network computers and the future of the Internet –An insider view of the maneuverings of industry powerhouses, including Microsoft, Oracle, Netscape, IBM, and Intel –Both entertaining and instructive, High Noon offers valuable lessons for taking charge of your destiny and succeeding in a fast-paced, unpredictable, and even hostile environment

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    High Noon by Karen Southwick

    High Noon

    8.9 hrs • 3/7/11 • Unabridged
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  9. 6.3 hrs • 9/14/2010 • Unabridged

    The true father of the modern computer was not John von Neumann, as he is generally credited. That honor belongs to the two men, John Mauchly and Presper Eckert, who built the world’s first programmable computer: the legendary ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer). Their three-year race to create the ENIAC is a compelling tale of brilliance and misfortune that has never been told before. Mauchly and Eckert developed a revolutionary vision: to make electricity “think.” Funded by the US Army, the team they led constructed a behemoth the size of a three-bedroom apartment. It weighed thirty tons, cost nearly half a million dollars—plus $650 an hour to run—and had eighteen thousand vacuum tubes with miles of wiring. But in 1945, the ENIAC was the cutting edge in technology and a herald of the digital age to come, blazing a trail to the next generation of computers that quickly followed.  Based on original interviews with surviving participants and the first study of Mauchly and Eckert’s personal papers, ENIAC is a dramatic human story and a vital contribution to the history of technology that restores to the two inventors the legacy they deserve.

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    ENIAC by Scott McCartney

    ENIAC

    6.3 hrs • 9/14/10 • Unabridged
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  10. 8.1 hrs • 6/24/2005 • Unabridged

    A hotbed of activity for farsighted thinkers and determined doers, the high-technology industry has given rise to a pioneering group of entrepreneurs and executives that is not only behind today’s most innovative technological advances, but at the forefront of a dynamic new movement in business. Armed with groundbreaking management approaches, the members of this visionary group are changing the way companies are modeled and offering new ideas on how companies should be run. Having helped their own organizations survive and thrive in a competitive, pressure-filled arena, they offer invaluable lessons for executives and managers in all industries. Now, in Silicon Gold Rush, their inspirational stories are told and their strategies for success revealed. Written by Karen Southwick, former editor of Upside magazine’s book division, this enlightening behind-the-scenes account spans the gamut of emerging technology management styles, from proven successes such as Cisco Systems to new kids on the block like PeopleSoft. Providing valuable insights into myriad key issues, from nurturing creativity and motivating employees to finding new markets and weathering tough times, Silicon Gold Rush examines the modi operandi of the technology world’s emerging stars and heavyweights. The book reveals the maverick leadership techniques that are finding their way into mainstream corporate culture with far-reaching consequences. Along with an overview of the high-tech environment, Silicon Gold Rush delivers in-depth coverage of the changing role of the high-tech CEO, the growing importance of the customer in the development and marketing processes of technology companies, the essentials of internal corporate organization, and the increasing frequency of mergers and alliances. To illustrate the dynamics of the technology industry that make it so exciting and instructive to watch—the scramble for financing, the feverish move of product from design to delivery, the constant risk of failure—it tracks the progress of CrossWorlds Software, Inc., a start-up venture headed up by Katrina Garnett, founder and chief executive. Delivering insider analysis of the thinking and motivations that drive today’s high-tech powerhouses, this eye-opening book presents fascinating interviews with more than twenty trailblazing CEOs and senior executives, including Yahoo!’s Tim Koogle, 3Com’s Eric Benhamou, PeopleSoft’s Dave Duffield, Cisco’s John Chambers, and Novell’s Eric Schmidt. A one-of-a-kind book that delves into the management ideas and strategies of high-tech leaders who are “rewriting the rules of business,” Silicon Gold Rush is essential reading for anyone—in any industry—seeking the inside track on contemporary business transformations.

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    Silicon Gold Rush by Karen Southwick

    Silicon Gold Rush

    Foreword by Geoffrey A. Moore
    Read by Sneha Mathan
    8.1 hrs • 6/24/05 • Unabridged
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  11. 6.0 hrs • 1/9/2001 • Abridged

    The Internet Revolution, like all great industrial changes, has made the world’s elephantine media companies tremble that their competitors—whether small and nimble mice or fellow elephants—will get to new terrain first and seize its commanding heights. In a climate in which fear and insecurity are considered healthy emotions, corporate violence becomes commonplace. In the blink of an eye-or the time it has taken slogans such as “The Internet changes everything” to go from hyperbole to banality—“creative destruction” has wracked the global economy on an epic scale. No one has been more powerful or felt more fear or reacted more violently than Bill Gates and Microsoft. Afraid that any number of competitors might outflank them—whether Netscape or Sony or AOL Time Warner or Sun or AT&T or Linux-based companies that champion the open-source movement or some college student hacking in his dorm room—Microsoft has waged holy war on all foes, leveraging its imposing strengths. In World War 3.0, Ken Auletta chronicles this fierce conflict from the vantage of its most important theater of operations: the devastating second front opened up against Bill Gates’s empire by the United States government. The book’s narrative spine is United States v. Microsoft, the government's massive civil suit against Microsoft for allegedly stifling competition and innovation on a broad scale. With his superb writerly gifts and extraordinary access to all the principal parties, Ken Auletta crafts this landmark confrontation into a tight, character- and incident-filled courtroom drama featuring the best legal minds of our time, including David Boies and Judge Richard Posner. And with the wisdom gleaned from covering the converging media, software, and communications industries for the New Yorker for the better part of a decade, Auletta uses this pivotal battle to shape a magisterial reckoning with the larger war and the agendas, personalities, and prospects of its many combatants.

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    World War 3.0

    6.0 hrs • 1/9/01 • Abridged
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  12. 7.2 hrs • 6/1/2000 • Unabridged

    This is a story with all the ingredients of a modern legend, representing nothing less than the proverbial American Dream—writ extra-large. It is a story of hard work, brilliance, and extraordinary commitment, featuring the story’s original cast members, who could not possibly have foreseen the unprecedented success that awaited them: the forging of a technology empire that would change the world forever. What began as a modest start-up partnership only twenty-five years ago has already surpassed all the giants of contemporary capitalism. How did Microsoft achieve all of this in so short a time? Cheryl Tsang steps inside the famous culture of loyalty, the storied “maniacal work ethic,” and the hardcore world of reckless risk-taking to reveal, once and for all, exactly what makes Microsoft tick.

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    Microsoft First Generation

    7.2 hrs • 6/1/00 • Unabridged
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