Nerds 2.0.1

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Product Description

The companion to the documentary series premiering on PBS in November 1998. A romp through the development of the "Information Superhighway" from the people who brought you "Triumph of the Nerds." Nerds 2.0.1 is the first light-hearted but comprehensive account of how the Internet developed from a medium for academic geeks, hackers, and policy wonks into a billion-dollar vehicle for communication and commerce. The brand names Microsoft, Apple, Netscape, Intel, Novell, AOL, 3Com, Java, Sun, Amazon, Yahoo!, and Excite are known worldwide, but for every one of these success stories lie a multitude of wrecked businesses by the side of the road.

Based on four years of research and interviews with the founders of the successful companies who started in their parents' garages with credit card advances and with the venture capitalists who supported them, as well as with the unlucky engineers who missed the patent deadlines and key phone calls, Stephen Segaller tells the human story behind the Internet. From the start of the Pentagon's ARPAnet in the 1960s, through the work of physicist Tim Berners-Lee and a young programmer named Marc Andreessen (who wrote the code for the Internet browser "Mosaic") on to the bazillionaires and their companies today, Nerds is a warm and engaging tale of billionaires rising from the development of a communications medium that one in three Americans uses but nobody owns.

The companion documentary series is hosted by the author of the best-selling Accidental Empires: How The Boys of Silicon Valley Make Their Millions, Battle Foreign Competition, and Still Can't Get a Date.

Amazon.com Review

Nerds 2.0.1: A Brief History of the Internet presents the development of the Web as a product of colliding, dualistic forces: the individuality of the personal computer and the universality of a global network. Along the way, other complementary opposites arise, such as the intersection of the "computer lib" hippie hacker and the IBM or Pentagon bureaucrat. The biographies of these visionaries, and the magnificent changes their ideas induced, make Nerds 2.0.1 compelling reading.

Nerds 2.0.1 is a unique computer-history book, in that it is really a history of networking. Author Stephen Segaller covers all the current heavy hitters of the technology industry in depth: Novell, 3Com, and Cisco. In particular, the story of the creation of Cisco--and the ousting of the original founders by the sponsoring venture capitalist--shows the high-level stakes and intrigue this billionaire world holds. Segaller also chronicles the failures of companies who didn't realize what their programmers had made available to them. IBM, Xerox, and, some would say, Microsoft are big players in this part of Segaller's tale.

The author puts technological developments in a helpful context: the infamous 100-hour Silicon Valley workweek, the "dog-year" life span of an Internet start-up, and the managerial shufflings of a sponsoring venture capitalist firm all make sense in the world he describes. --Jennifer Buckendorff

Product Detail

  • Product Dimensions: 8.97 x 5.99 x 1.11 inches;
  • ASIN: 1575000881
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