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Insanely Great: The Life and Times of Macintosh, the Computer that Changed Everything
Stock image - cover art may vary
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0140291776
ISBN-13: 9780140291773
Publisher: Penguin Books
Release Date: June, 2000
Length: 336 Pages
Weight: 9.6 ounces
Dimensions: 7.7 X 4.8 X 0.8 inches
Language: English
   
   

Insanely Great: The Life and Times of Macintosh, the Computer that Changed Everything

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Back in the early 1980s, word spread about an inviting little personal computer that used something called a mouse and smiled at you when you turned it on. Steven Levy relates his first encounter with the pre-released Mac and goes on to chronicle the machine that Apple developers hoped would "make a dent in the universe." A wonde...
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55

Customer Reviews

  Great view into the development of the Mac

This book shines for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of how the Macintosh came to be. Everyone knows the basic story of how Apple based the Mac on the innovations of Xerox, but the real story is much deeper than that. Xerox PARC provided the innovation and spark, but there was a lot more blood and guts work that followed, especially considering the state of computer technology at the time. While there is of course a lot about Steve Jobs, equal attention is given to the various engineers who did nuts and bolts software and hardware development. Those looking for corporate intrigue and board room warfare could probably find better accounts elsewhere, although these are also covered here (as they inevitably had an effect on the Mac's development over the years.)

Given how commonplace the GUI and its various metaphors (folders and files, desktop, trash can, etc.) are today, it's easy to lose sight that the original Mac (and Lisa) team were really venturing way off into the unknown.

This book is a great read for anyone or any company trying to do the same.
 
  I for "Internet"

Once upon a time, a guy named Steve had a vision: to take IBM's place in the computer industry. Not by copying IBM's ideas as Michael Dell did. No. By innovating...
Steve Jobs, a charismatic and driven individual, who wears the same outfit so he doesn't have to waste his time deciding what to wear, and who once was exiled from his own company, came back. Although many critics always thought of Jobs as an opportunistic individual, more than creative and visionary, and labeled him as a "One Hit Wonder" was able to make a "Come Back." This book tells the story of the first Mac, the one that only a few people knew about, and then, it takes you through a journey of one of the greatest companies ever founded: Apple, Inc. The story that almost wasn't told. After years of mismanagements and senior executives not understanding what Apple Computers was all about, Steve Jobs returned not just to save the company, but also to redirect where the company was headed. As many people said, "Apple was off track," and it was, it really was. However, Jobs' return not only brought blood back to Apple, but also put them on the black ink once again.
Before picking up this book, ensure that you have enough time to read it all at once. You won't be able o put it down. If you are a Mac fan, or if you are just interested in knowing a bit more of what Apple has gone through, this book is for you.
Enjoy it!
 
  Awesome, informative, a must-have for Macintosh Loyalists

The fact that someone sat down and wrote this book is simply amazing. The history of the Macintosh is one that frought with misunderstanding and misconception due to distortion of facts. Since I am a professional and have worked on Macs since they first shipped, I wanted to be clear on a few of the tales that have been told. "Insanely Great" did that. It cleared the fog surrounding the truth about Macintosh and the people that brought it to life. And it is true..."Real Artists SHIP!". Thanks Steve for a wonderful book.Yours in Macintosh,Mike Murdock, OwnerMMAC
 
  No hero worship here.

What I find most satisfying about Levy's style is that he resisted the urge to indulge in hero worship. It's really difficult when dealing with the sort of people he's talking about.After all, this is the computer that's always been "better", stands to reason the people behind it would be interesting. So it's a real relief for me that Levy didn't focus on any one of the people involved (it wouldn't have been easy anyway since the Macintosh project involved so many people who left their mark).The book is quite entertaining, and attains just the right level of concentration required to mimic the frenzied work that went into the mac. When you come out of 'insanely great' you get the feeling that you know a lot of these people, and that you understand what they did. This is only true because Levy speaks of their faults as well as their amazing abilities. The book isn't a blow by blow account of the development of the mac. I got the sense that numerous little details had been kept out of my view so that the bigger picture could present itself. This was probably a good decision to make, since the book could have gone on endlessly. If you want to know how the germ of an interface that felt like home was born, how it took a group of people who believed it would change the world to make it a reality, to get some idea of what went on while the great texts of the Macintosh religion were being discovered and written, and if you want to hear some of the greatest corporate/computer metaphors you'd ever encounter, you need this book. Maybe, just maybe you'll come out of this with a real understanding of why 'real artists ship' and what it means to make a dent in the universe. If you've ever used a Mac and wondered why it felt so good, you should read Levy's book.
 
  This book should ship with Macintoshes

Do you want to understand the Macintosh Religion? This book may not be the Bible, but it is pretty much the handbook. Enthusiastcally recommended.