Friday, December 18, 2009

More Praise for RETURN TO THE LITTLE KINGDOM: Steve Jobs, the Creation of Apple, and How it Changed the World

Another excellent notice for Return to the Little Kingdom by Michael Moritz in Author Magazine: "Moritz tells the tale of the early years of the Apple Computer Company, starting with young Steve Jobs and Stephen Wozniak as high-school students and ending with the creation of the Macintosh. Even in the 1960s, the Mountain View-Cupertino-Sunnyvale area of Northern California was a hotbed of engineers and companies like Sylvania, Intel, and Ampex who made early electronic devices for Lockheed, which had large military contracts. The two Steves were “phone phreaks,” early hackers who built their own “blue boxes” that could fool phone company computers into allowing free long-distance calls. The lessons in circuitry and design that they taught themselves while “phreaking” soon led to building their own computers. Moritz recreates for us the wild, seats-of-their-pants days of Jobs and Wozniak scrambling to obtain funding (Jobs sold his car, Woz his personal calculator) for their project, and then getting friends and family to help assemble the first Apples in garages and bedrooms, surrounded by bags of computer chips. From the start, though both were highly-skilled, Jobs was clearly more interested in style and appearance, while his partner tackled technical aspects. The lesson of Apple may be that Jobs' obsession with details has always paid off. Younger readers will particularly enjoy learning about the Homebrew Computer Club, the 1970s bastion of geek power that launched Silicon Valley back when programs like BASIC came on cassette tapes. Older readers will thrill to the tales of backstabbing and greed that hit the Valley when Apple went public. This is a great entrepreneurial story, well-researched and well-told."

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