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To upgrade or swap your voucher: -Open the Photo Op or Autograph voucher email that was sent to you from GrowTix and go into your order. We highly recommend printing and bringing with you to the event a printed copy of the QR code for each Photo Op and Autograph that you purchased for the fastest processing and best time optimization at the event.

What airport should I fly into? Are there special hotel rates? We offer special hotel rates for SVCC attendees. You can book your room here. Do I need to rent a car? There are many restaurants nearby as well. Public transportation is available from the San Jose airport and the trip takes about 10 minutes. We also recommend using a taxi service or Uber. Deaf and Disabled Services. The Deaf and Disabled Services Department was established to offer a hand to visitors with special needs, including: A rest area for the disabled, the elderly, expectant mothers, and parents with small infants A nursing area for mothers with infants Registration service for attendees with mobility issues Wheelchairs for loan in two-to three-hour increments on a first-come, first-served basis; all you need is an ID and a cash deposit.

American Sign Language interpreters for the deaf at large panels and the Costume Contest. Limited number of volunteer interpreters available for individual assistance Special limited seating for large programming events and the Costume Contest If you are an attendee with disabilities, SVCC wants to make your experience as fun and as entertaining as possible, but there are a few limitations on what can be provided. For example: Programming rooms fill up quickly, and all seating is on a first-come, first-served basis, so special seating may not be available if you wait until the last minute to get to the room.

Please read your Events Guide and plan your day accordingly, keeping in mind the popularity of most events. Special autograph sessions are always limited, so it is a good idea to make arrangements to have someone within your group save a spot for you in line. Keep in mind that Deaf and Disabled Services cannot guarantee any seating, autographs, or giveaways. How can I be part of an upcoming event? I am a Vendor; can I go to Panels?

Woz Squad. If I worked at the last event, am I already signed up to work again? What is the age limit to work at the event? You must be at least 18 years old. Photo Ops. What are Photo Ops? Photo Ops are opportunities to have a professional photo taken of you with your favorite celebrity guest by a professional photographer in the Celebrity Photo Ops Area.


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Photo Ops need to be purchased separately from the admission ticket. A celebrity may do several Photo Op sessions throughout the day. It is imperative that you arrive to your assigned photo op session in the Photo Op area at the latest 15 minutes before your time. They will NOT hold the celebrity for the entire session if the line has emptied.

If you are late and the line has emptied, we cannot guarantee you will get your Photo Op with that celebrity. If you do miss your time for that Photo Op, no refund will be given. So please manage your time wisely and check the Photo Op schedule for any updates. The prices for Photo Ops vary for each celebrity guest. How many people are allowed to pose in the Photo Op?

You can have up to three other people for a total of four in the Photo Op with you unless specifically stated. Infants 1 year and younger do not count towards this total. If you want more than four people in your picture, you must purchase a second Photo Op. I have a VIP Pass, but my friend that is in the photo with me does not.

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Can they stand in the VIP line with me? Anyone in your party that will be in your photo op with you can stand in the VIP line if at least one of you has a VIP pass. Some celebrities allow you to take pictures with them at their table with your own camera. Not all guests or agents allow this and you will have to check at their table.

Those that do will most likely charge a fee. Per the request of our guests and their managers, we ask that you please refrain from taking photographs of celebrities as you walk past their table or are waiting in line. Thank you for your cooperation. Can I buy Photo Ops online? We highly recommend purchasing them ahead of time in order to avoid disappointment. It is hard to tell who will sell out and who will not. Do I have to pre-purchase my Photo Ops online? No you do not. You can purchase photo ops at the convention but with cash only.

The advantage of pre-purchasing online are: You will not miss out in the event that a celebrity guest sells out before the convention starts, you avoid potentially long line-ups by purchasing from the comfort of your own home, and you can pay with Visa or MasterCard if purchased online.

Photo Ops purchased at the convention will be cash only. What exactly do I get for my money? Do I need to start lining up several hours prior to my Photo Op to ensure that I get my picture? You will not be allowed to wait in the Photo Op area until it is your time to queue. Once the line moves, it moves very quickly.

Photos are available for pick up within minutes of your photo being taken. You can also purchase digital copies of your photo, which will be emailed as soon as you pick up and scan out your photo and ticket at the Check-Out Station. I bought the wrong Photo Op. To upgrade or swap your Photo Op simply open the Photo Op or Autograph voucher email that was sent to you from GrowTix and go into your order. I have a conflict with my Photo Op time slots, what can I do?

There are Photo Ops occurring at any given time. We do our best to schedule them, but sometimes there is overlap with the ones you have purchased.


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  6. If this happens, you are able to swap out your Photo Op for another one. In order to exchange any Photo Op, you will need to come to the Epic Photo booth at the event and speak with them. All exchanges are subject to availability. We have implemented a brand new feature. Once you have purchased your Photo Op, go back into your GrowTix confirmation link. Type in your RFID wristband number. If you have not activated it, it will prompt you to activate it now. The KEY code will automatically populate in this area, or you can type it in now.

    You can manage all your Photo Ops here and at any time. Photo op is just that — a photo opportunity with your favorite celebrity guest. Out of fairness to everyone, we discourage conversation with the guests aside from a quick hello. The autograph area is a better place to have a longer conversation with the guests. Autographs are strictly prohibited in the Celebrity Photo Op area but can be purchased in the Celebrity Row area.

    Can I use my personal camera to take photos in the Photo Op Area? Personal cameras, cellphones, or other recording devices are strictly prohibited in the photo op area. Can I get it retaken? Epic Photo Ops provides mirrors in the booth for a quick check but it is your sole responsibility to look how you want to look for your photo. The media guests cannot return to the photo op area for retakes, so before you arrive for your photo op, please make sure that you appear how you would like to present yourself for your photo. The photographer will try to catch things like closed eyes before you leave the photo op booth.

    Only in the event of closed eyes, do they automatically offer you a retake. Sometimes in the heat of the moment, after picking up your photo, you may have forgotten to scan out your photo and ticket at the Checkout Station, or there was an error in the scanning process which prevents our system from automatically sending you your JPEG. Please allow up to 48 hours for an answer, not counting weekends. It may be something as simple as a misspelled email address that causes you not to receive a confirmation per email.

    Should the convention have already started, just go to the Epic Photo Ops Help Desk, located in the photo op area with a piece of government issued photo id and they can help you there as well. What if I lose or forget my Photo Op ticket? Please bring a piece of photo ID.

    Event Highlights

    Can I use my Photo Op ticket on a different day or at a different time? Photo ops are sold per session to ensure that we always know exactly how many people are coming per photo op. Consequently, you may only use your photo op for the session that it was purchased. If you purchased a photo op session and decide to come at a different time or day, you will be denied entry for your photo op. You can, however, go to our help desk in the photo op area and exchange it for a different day as long as that session is not sold out. Where can I get an Autograph from my favorite Celebrity?

    The rest of the Celebrity Guest Autographs can be purchased at their table in Celebrity Row during the convention cash only. I bought an Autograph online, how do I redeem it at the event? If you pre-purchased an Autograph online, you will receive an email confirmation from GrowTix. You may redeem your Autograph QR code at any time during the convention prior to the Autograph signing session.

    We highly recommend planning your time accordingly and doing this step in advance. Will there be an autograph authentication service on-site? We will be using James Spence Authentication, www. Tickets can be pre-purchased online or on-site. A friend can stand with you in the VIP line at celebrity tables if they are also getting an Autograph with you. Can I bring my own items to be signed? But you will only receive one signature per autograph purchased. Please refer to our weapons policy to see what items are strictly prohibited from being brought to the event. Photographs are strictly prohibited in the Autograph area but can be purchased online or in the Celebrity Row area.

    How do I request a refund for an Autograph? Panels, Special Events, Attractions. What Panels will be held? Celebrity Spotlight Panels are where you can ask your favorite star a question, hear entertaining behind-the-scenes stories, and make once-in-a-lifetime memories. Panel Programming also covers hundreds of geeky topics. The official SVCC Mobile App will give you all the information you need, including the convention schedule; a full list of Panels, special guests and exhibits; a map of the show floor; and up-to-the-minute news and information about the convention.

    The app will be available to download on Android and iOS operating systems closer to the event. If you already have the app installed from previous events, you will not have to install a new one — it will be updated closer to the event. How can I see a schedule of all that is happening? The SVCC app is still the best way to see the most up to date schedule.

    However, you can also utilize the Schedule Page on our website for information about the event. Please check back often as these are updated frequently. How early can I start lining up for a panel? You can line up for the first panel of the day an hour beforehand.

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    All other panels will not have a wait line unless the panel room is currently full. Will the panel rooms and ballrooms be cleared out between Panels? Panel rooms and ballrooms will not be cleared out between Panels. How do the Panels work? Each panel room will have two separate lines: one line for VIP members and one for General Admission pass holders.

    Press Pass holders will need to join the general admission line. VIP ticket holders are granted priority entry, but not priority seating. Seating is first come, first served. Will there be overflow rooms for the Panels? Please plan to get in line early for your favorite Panels. What kind of question should I ask during a panel? We encourage attendees to ask thoughtful questions during Panels. The author did a great job putting together a cohesive, chronological narrative with fascinating first person perspectives.

    I thought this was a unique and valuable record of the origins of silicon valley, despite the author's uncritical examination of the topic. This review was originally posted on Doing Dewey I don't recommend consuming this outside of a physical paper page-turner; it's essentially a series of quotes from various technorati from over the years. At times it was quite difficult to keep track of who everyone is — this made the lack of diversity in the industry quite painfully obvious — there's an appendix with a list of names and short bios, but jumping back and forth like this on a Kindle is not easy.

    I enjoyed learning more about some of the old school technology history th 3. I enjoyed learning more about some of the old school technology history that I did not experience firsthand, e. I wish there had been more firsthand commentary from the "author". Mar 10, Taylor Barkley rated it really liked it. Really interesting and impressive. Filled in a whole lot of gaps in my knowledge about recent tech history.

    Highly recommend to anyone interested in tech. Amazing book, will take some time to finish but something different and something to just quickly read a chapter and then put it down and read the next later. Sep 24, Vladimir Slaykovsky rated it it was amazing. One of the best books about the history of Silicon Valley startups. Aug 02, Rene Bard rated it really liked it. I've never read a non-fiction book like this one. It is mostly dialogue that has been spliced together from tech interviews with over experts who worked in and reported on the rise of Silicon Valley as it became one of the greatest tech centers in the world.

    At first I had my doubts about whether the author's idea to cut-and-paste words would work; obviously, one would have to be very careful not to quote people out of context. Also, done poorly, the end result could be very dull. But to Fis I've never read a non-fiction book like this one.

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    But to Fisher's credit I think he succeeds. I really enjoyed it, and I learned some things along the way. By the way, the "Uncensored" in the title probably refers to the many F-bombs dropped by these intrepid wizards of tech. There's something about dialogue that causes it to reach a deeper level within me than mere didactic prose. How 'bout you? And by deeper I mean, in this case, it imparts the feeling that you understand more of what is going on than you would if the stories related in this book were just narratives related in third person by a single author. So much of what makes Silicon Valley interesting to insiders and outsiders alike is how its entrepreneurial promise attracted, and still attracts, a very idealistic type of personality.

    When one hears these stories, told by its primary actors, in their own words, it allows a subjective function to happen inside the reader.

    One begins to make correlations and assemble a parallax view that is somehow richer than a straightforward narrative told from only one point of view. Overall, the book is arranged chronologically beginning from Englebart's concept of a human-friendly computer interface back in the s up to the present time of Facebook and Twitter. Miller does an exceptional job of introducing a theme at the beginning of each chapter - there are approximately 30 chapters - and then arranging the dialogue to stay on point. I found his treatment compelling and, for me, it was a fast read.

    Oct 21, Daniel Olshansky rated it really liked it. Steve Jobs is a prominent character throughout the book, and though many have told his story through many different avenues, I still managed to learn a lot of new things about him. This book helped fill a lot of gaps in my knowledge of how Silicon Valley came to be what it is today.

    There were companies like General Magic that I had never heard of before, and others, like Atari, whose prominence I never fully understood. There was so much content in this book, that my review will never do it justice. I applaud Ben Fisher on compiling it all together in such an organized and engaging manner. He showed us an operating system called Smalltalk where you could make changes to the OS on the fly. Atari As a millennial who is a tad too young to have witnessed the Atari revolution, I have always been familiar with the name but never thought too much of it. I underappreciated the importance of Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney in forming the industry and culture that I have come to love.

    Who knew that people thought VR was going to take off 30 years ago? Activision According to the book, this was the first software only company creating hundreds of software engineering millionaires. Sounds pretty common now, but someone had to be first. Prior to MySpace there was Friendster. However, no one ever talks about The WELL - the first social network on the internet launched in the mid 80s.

    Some things never change…. They could have also been the first to have color on a personal computer. Sadly, their laser printer business was so profitable that the individuals in charge just kept the status quo. General Magic As I write this, I work at a company called Magic Leap which is trying to build one of the first consumer facing Augmented Reality headsets.

    Ironically, there was a company called General Magic in the early 90s which built the equivalent of an iPhone - Apps, phone, contacts, touch screen, browser, etc. This book reminded me of how dominant it once was. Ebay was very much a side project for a very long time until Pierre realized he has to dedicate his full attention to it. The company was really trying to create a transparent and supportive community through its reputation system where everyone has an incentive to trust everyone else. It reminds me a lot about what the Blockchain industry is trying to achieve today.

    Google Google was another company where I managed to learn a lot more than expected. Furthermore, this student managed to rewrite the whole crawler in python in a weekend, making it several orders of magnitude faster, which took Larry several months to do at first. Larry was the introverted adult with a grand vision and occasional ephinaies. Sergei was also known to e the one to sleep with interns during company getaways. A rope connected to a space station orbiting the earth could act as an elevator into space. It has a lot of interesting things to see and do, but it was always too rowdy, loud, hipster and uptempo for me.

    South Bay has has more of a suburb, family, grad school feel which appeals to me much more. This book brings to light how these two cultures emerged. San Francisco was the place where hippies got together to do drugs. The media industry set up camp in SF in the early 90s, and slowly started merging with with Silicon Valley South Bay during the 90s.

    At that point, South Bay and San Francisco turned into a a giant melting pot of tech. Jul 28, Todd Stockslager rated it really liked it Shelves: business. Review title: Working for Silicon Valley This is an oral history of Silicon Valley following the model adopted by Studs Terkel, and like his great books on working, the Depression, and World War II, applies this deceptively simple approach to telling a complex story. Like those earlier Terkel classics, the technique works best to uncover the hidden nuances in and about the history we think we already know by using the words of the people who really do know because they were there and made the his Review title: Working for Silicon Valley This is an oral history of Silicon Valley following the model adopted by Studs Terkel, and like his great books on working, the Depression, and World War II, applies this deceptively simple approach to telling a complex story.

    Like those earlier Terkel classics, the technique works best to uncover the hidden nuances in and about the history we think we already know by using the words of the people who really do know because they were there and made the history. I say deceptively simple because recording and transcribing hundreds of interviews doesn't make a cohesive and readable book. Readability requires judicious correction of grammar and syntax from the spoken language to turn it into written language that reads well. It requires choosing the right quotes to retain accuracy while selectively editing for brevity.

    It requires research and selection of other sources to pick up the voices of those who couldn't be interviewed by Fisher, such as those deceased Steve Jobs or unwilling to talk. Here Fisher smartly relies almost completely on other interviews or blogs to maintain that consistent feel and cadence of reading spoken language. Cohesion requires organizing the content into meaningful topics and providing context and transitions between them. Here the interviewer's skill in framing the questions and controlling the flow of the individual interviews is important, but also in grouping the content into a useful framework.

    Fisher approaches the material in roughly chronological order, arranged in three broad sections: Book 1: The founding of the Valley roughly Book 2: The rise of the dot. Fisher does include a cast of characters at the back with short biographies, and a small section of photographs of the key characters; keep a bookmark there as you may find yourself as I did flipping there often to refresh your memory who is speaking and why they matter. And of course the big stories are here, starting with Xerox PARC, where by now it is a well worn trophe that Jobs stole the look and feel of the mouse-driven windowing interface for the first Mac.

    What is interesting to learn here from those who worked inside of Xerox PARC was that they felt that Jobs was not technical enough to recognize that the real innovation in the lab was the object-oriented operating system underneath the GUI, which Apple did not replicate; while it may seem like nostalgic regret coming from the losers left behind by subsequent history, several of those Xerox veterans talk about how different and better the future they envisioned would be if Apple had.

    Another surprise for me was how important Atari was in establishing the culture, operating model, and financing model for early Silicon Valley startups. What seemed at the time I was in my late teens in the late s then like simple game controllers were in fact some of the first applications of microprocessor hardware, firmware, and distributable software media--and Atari's sudden and dramatic corporate flameout was also an early model for many to follow. In Book 2, Silicon Valley began to move beyond the Silicon-based hardware to encapsulate the cultural changes that hardware enabled. The WELL modeled online bulletin boards, blogs, and early social media, while General Magic, founded by disgruntled former Apple employees, began to try to build a handheld device that could read and send email, take pictures, run apps, sent text messages, and make phone calls, a decade before the iPhone.

    While those ideas ran too far ahead of the current technological capabilities and of the company's funding, resulting in another crash landing, the seeds of the future were planted. We also learn here why Wired , a magazine I used to love reading, was so important, and how Pixar united the technology, art, and entertainment fields to uniquely enable computer animation and the making of "Toy Story".

    It all builds the feeling of inevitability only arising because of the recency bias of living through it to the rise of the internet era and its killer apps: Facebook, eBay, Twitter, and iTunes after Napster paved the way and uncovered the legal landmines. These "Network Effects", as Fisher titles this section, connected users not just to the internet as we saw in Book 2, but to each other as peer to peer networking transformed searching Google , shopping eBay and social networks Facebook.

    While mentioned briefly, Amazon is conspicuously not covered by a separate chapter. It was these distributed connections that opened up the internet economy and started the transformation of the global economic, political, and cultural frameworks that is only just beginning to shatter the certainties we used to depend on.

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    While Fisher concludes with a chapter of speculation by his interview subjects on what the future may look like, I found those of faint interest. Despite, or because of, their history in envisioning, developing, and selling these technologies, I suspect that their visions of the future are likely to fall far wide and short of the changes to come. But Fisher has provided a fun and necessary look at the recent past that got us to now,and a reminder of how fast and how much our world has changed because of that few square miles of California real estate.

    Aug 21, Maynard Handley rated it liked it. Much better than I expected! I'm not a fan of oral history and the whole Studs Terkel thing; I have little patience for the rambling, disorganized nature of most speech. But the author of this book gives himself too little credit; he did a remarkably good job of reorganizing the shapeless mess that is a pile of conversations into this stream of quotes that tells the story.

    It's a stunt, but it's a stunt done well! Is it accurate?

    I think so, by my recollections and experiences anyway. I was at Ap Much better than I expected! I was at Apple from about to , with friends who have stayed on at one company or another all the way through to now. Everyone has their own take on what this history "means", but my take is this: most people and this includes visionaries and engineers establish a world view early in life late teens or so and reality cannot convince them that this world view was perhaps anything from but a small part of the entirety to completely incorrect.

    And so many people are doomed to unhappiness when they try to change the world because, if you're operating a completely flawed model of the average human being, then you're going to be surprised and disappointed when that average human being doesn't respond to your world-changing the way you predicted This is a story that plays out again and again and again in this text.

    We keep hearing one character after another telling us that "I got into computers to make everyone an artist or a programmer, or a scholar and 'the system' somehow perverted their dream and here we are today". Hearing this stream of delusion becomes tiresome after a while; not one of these characters ever considered the possibility that utterly nothing is stopping anyone today from using computers to do all those things except that most people simply are not artists, or programmers, or scholars, and they don't want to be.

    It's a shame to hear so much of this whining, because it detracts from the people involved. Yes, you did remarkable things, and you measurable improved the world. But you're making an ass of yourself, and destroying the goodwill you are due, by your whining about how people aren't using things the way you want them to; and your refusal to understand why this is happening the way it is makes you come across as a lot less intelligent than I'm sure you are!

    If anything, by the end of the book I'm left with perhaps more respect than is justified for the few people who didn't succumb to this particular "old man shouts at cloud" disease, the people who were aware enough of both their own biases, and the real world, to occasionally change track and accept reality. They may, all three, be horrible people by many metrics; but and let this be a lesson to all the junior visionaries out there they actually achieved their goals, and in a way that's broadly beneficial to most of humanity, primarily by being grounded in reality, and by being smart enough to change their minds when they realized that their worldview was of limited accuracy.

    Apr 03, Quinton Baran rated it really liked it. This is an interesting book, with a novel presentation - each chapter is almost entirely direct quotes from interviews, both from other sources and that the author conducted. It includes many of the prime players in the computer industry in Silicon Valley, starting in the 's and proceeding to the late 's. The quotes are arranged in a conversational mode, where a quote is made, and then someone else "responds" to the quote.

    I bookmarked the back section, which has an alphabetical by last This is an interesting book, with a novel presentation - each chapter is almost entirely direct quotes from interviews, both from other sources and that the author conducted. I bookmarked the back section, which has an alphabetical by last name listing of almost all the sources that are used, with a short write-up of their contributions.

    I flipped back to this section often throughout the reading. There is also a picture section, which helped me to root to several of the main players. The author described their process for creating the quote structure as overwhelmingly manual - laying them out in storybook form on walls, etc. This alone makes the book very interesting. Combine that with a collection of thoughts, ideas, interjection, and intrigue, and we see the development of companies and technology.

    My biggest complaint is that I often just found myself getting into the story of a company, and the chapter would end, often with another subject being addressed in the next chapter. I was surprised to find several players that were involved in different companies such as Sean Parker with Napster and Facebook, one that I was actually aware of before I read the book. Many of the events described were central to my life as I suppose it is for almost everyone of my generation and also many of the younger generations , such as the development of Atari, Apple, Netscape, Google, eBay, Facebook, and Twitter.

    There is a very sympathetic tone for Steve Jobs, with conversely a commentary on Bill Gates when he comes up, as he only tangentially touches Silicon Valley directly, being in New Mexico and Redmond. There is an almost sickly sweet memorize of Steve Jobs in the second to last chapter, with a couple of people giving some counter point that is presented much like sour grapes.

    The last chapter is a visionary chapter, discussing many possible and potential technological advances in the coming years, including self driving cars, AI, and fusion power. I found this chapter interesting to read. Overall, an intriguing historical tome. I am not quite sure how much business application it has for generating ideas and self improvement. In fact, there is a decent amount of content that casually glorifies drug use.

    May 29, Andrew Tollemache rated it really liked it. I loved the format and structure of this book. Adam Fisher's "Valley of Genius" seeks to take a number of pivotal events in the history of technology and Silicon Valley and has each of event told from the POV of the people who might have been involved. He also has the recollections I loved the format and structure of this book.

    He also has the recollections of dozens of key but more obscure people as well. He also doesnt just tell the same old known tales like the start of Apple and Atari or how Facebook started. There is the story of Magic which never went anywhere in the s but had some many vital people like the Ebay founders come out of it.

    I also liked the behind the scenes story of Napster which seemed to have made none of its key players any real money or any money really, but still gutted the music biz. FIsher is not above letting some of these guys rehash some of the conflicts and feuds they had with each other decades ago. IN the end he concludes the Valley's real contribution was not so much any one piece of a tech but its development of a hyper evolutionary way of financing promising new ideas long before they migthh have had merit.

    The social networks built as people left one firm to start another allowed a much more informal way of vetting ideas without having to wait for slow pitches and low hanging fruit Reading this book reminds me of watching a Ken Burns documentary. It tells the story by jumping back and forth from narrator to narrator as of they were in conversation. The continuity expresses the history. The book is about what could be called the human side of the foundation of 'geek' technology.

    Unlike prior telling of this story the technology itself is deemphasized, and the narrative is nonlinear. Reading it conveys a sense of having been there. I am an older guy from a different part of Reading this book reminds me of watching a Ken Burns documentary. I am an older guy from a different part of the country. I was a bit science fiction fan, and for into personal computing already having had some experience with a time sharing terminal based system.

    Is the world changing as much as the actors in this story feel? Time will tell. The book evolves through stories of apple, parc, and Netscape to hit a few highlights. Stewart Brand of the whole Earth catalog plays an important role. The well is highlighted. The penultimate chapter is about Steve Jobs and his death. By choosing how he presents it the author of course colors the readers understanding of the event. To summarize what I read: life is about the pursuit of enlightenment and enlightenment comes from recognizing beauty.

    I like that. The invention of the car was the extension of the ability to walk, it expanded human capacity. Artificial intelligence is the extension of the brain. As the car extended our ability to get around the computer extends our ability to express ourselves. Mixed reality instead of virtual reality, virtual reality being a special case of mixed reality.

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    Feb 21, Frank rated it it was amazing Shelves: computer-science , history. I have been working in the tech industry for almost 2 years now, and before reading this book, I never really thought about learning the history of how the tech industry, specifically the history of silicon valley, came to be. In college, my peers and I studied computer science, programming late into the night, attended hackathons, studied coding interviews together, but we never talked about the history of technology, nor did we discuss its present and future.

    In order to understand where this I have been working in the tech industry for almost 2 years now, and before reading this book, I never really thought about learning the history of how the tech industry, specifically the history of silicon valley, came to be. In order to understand where this industry is going, it is important to analyze the past. Adam Fisher did a phenomenal job in comprehensively capturing the period in the California Bay Area during the 80s, 90s, and early s.

    Fisher's interview content is blunt, to the point, and offers truly an uncensored look into the intense work culture back then, consisting of all-nighters, crazy parties, and high-stress situations. In a way, it is no different from many startup companies today. This book gives us the information to celebrate the past, how far we have come, but also learn from the mistakes, and pave a better path forward for this industry in the next couple of decades.

    Jun 25, A. Pfeffer rated it it was amazing. Punctuated by the dozen or so monumental companies Atari, Google, Apple, Twitter, etc throughout the history of Silicon Valley, the book is really a winner by way of hidden gems coming from some incredibly bright minds. The dynamic perspectives about graphical interfaces, and The Well, and who Steve Jobs really was at three different times in his life, and why tehcnology has only come so far since computers were first introduced, and how media like HotWired shaped the valley, and how it's a pl Punctuated by the dozen or so monumental companies Atari, Google, Apple, Twitter, etc throughout the history of Silicon Valley, the book is really a winner by way of hidden gems coming from some incredibly bright minds.

    The dynamic perspectives about graphical interfaces, and The Well, and who Steve Jobs really was at three different times in his life, and why tehcnology has only come so far since computers were first introduced, and how media like HotWired shaped the valley, and how it's a place where geeky engineers coexist with punk anarachists looking to change the world. It's a book about the space between the stories we already know, and why Silicon Valley attracted so many people and so much money, and why it will continue to for decades to come.

    Or at least how it expects to, and also why it's still such an important piece of America's fabric. It's definitely not the most diverse cast of characters ever interviewed, but for better or worse, these were the guys who have shaped the industry for the last fifty years. Perhaps the book's sequel in another fifty years will look very different, but it's a solid bet it will still be the "Valley of Genius" for the foreseeable future.

    Oct 13, Max Metral rated it really liked it. I almost put this book down after the first couple chapters. It is the ultimate Silicon Valley navel gazing. Everything was invented there it wasn't , all their failures were just great ideas too early they weren't , and nothing was going on in Seattle or Boston or New York or the rest of the damn world that had any real impact on the technology revolution.

    There is a good deal of this book that seems completely oblivious to how little any one person, place or event can lay claim to even the s I almost put this book down after the first couple chapters. There is a good deal of this book that seems completely oblivious to how little any one person, place or event can lay claim to even the smallest part of the connected revolution in all its forms. Nonetheless, once you forgive the participants from their own myopia, it is a fantastic walk through of the happenings of the last 30 years, many of which I happened to have been a part of.

    The chapter on General Magic was amazing, I was lucky enough to spend a summer working there and had really no context for just how special a place it was at the time there's a movie out now too - go see that. The chapter on Napster was also very enjoyable. Overall, I'm really glad I read the book - it energized me again to question everything and just go out and try to change the world. That's what a book is supposed to do, so well done Adam Fisher. Sep 24, Todd Benschneider rated it really liked it.

    This is one long book, almost 19 hours in audible format. I would recommend reading it rather than the audio format. The book is made up of hundreds of historical people commenting on particular events, often these comments are only a single sentence, so in the audio book format the commentary doesnt flow well, I almost gave up on it in the first hour, but by the end I had adapted to it and was able to envision the conversations.

    I think anyone born after would benefit most from this book, This is one long book, almost 19 hours in audible format. I think anyone born after would benefit most from this book, because it really describes the timeline context of today's technology and helps outline exactly what part each person such as Bill Gates, Sergi Brin, Elon Musk, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg among hundreds of others actually played in the evolution of history. However, if you have already read the biographies of a a few of these people and lived through that period of to today then the book may not provide a great return on your 19 hour time investment.

    Lots of valuable content though, someday this book will be a great history book on the information technology revolution. The interview commentary format takes some getting used to though. Aug 25, Brian rated it really liked it.