I enjoyed Stephen Levy’s earlier book, “Hackers”, about the early days of computers and microcomputers.
This one is equally good. It is a fast paced read that outlines the early days of personal computers, the GUI interface and Apple before slowly going into more depth the closer it gets to the release of the Mac and then giving us all the gory details of personality and the like.
Levy was a long time columnist in Macworld and had marvellous access to the engineers, programmers and designers to write this book so gives a good account of the trials, tribulations and successes of the entire team, not just the famous “Steve” at the helm. Technical details are often covered without becoming too difficult or too dominating to the main thread of the tale.
The coverage of the design and production of the Macintosh is excellent, shedding more light on the relationship between the Mac and the work of Xerox PARC, this book rightly gives credit to such programmers as Atkinson and Hertzfeld for solving many problems that PARC had left in their incarnation of the W.I.M.P. interface.
My only criticism is that Levy shares my wholesale enthusiasm and love for the Mac, so he gets a little one eyed occasionally; though he doesn’t descend into Microsoft or Windows bashing as one is sometimes tempted nor does he
indulge in deifying the many great talents involved in the history of Apple.