Where Did It All Begin?

Where did it all begin?

The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution – by Walter Isaacson

   Walter Isaacson begins his 2014 book with Charles Babbage, (1791 – 1871) a British mathmatical engineer and polymath best known for hatching the concept of a programmable computer, and Ada Lovelace (1814 – 1852) and their visions for the future.  Ada, a mathematician who is credited with writing the first computer program in collaboration with Charles Babbage, was the child of Lord Byron, the poet, and Anna Isabella Byron.

   One common theme throughout the book is that many of these innovators came from backgrounds where one parent was mathematical, a garage tinkerer, with CB radios and vacuum tubes and the other parent was more scholarly and creative thus giving the innovative child a rich and varied upbringing. 

   The Innovators is not always easy to read at times.  Walter does not shy away from explaining the science behind vacuum tubes and microchips. Whoosh!  Over my head! 

    Walter covers many different people and organizations that contributed to the building of the Internet and computing today.  Somehow, he manages to help the reader keep track of them all and come away with the knowledge that many teams of people impacted our electronic lives!

   Awesome and uplifting book!  You ought to read it!

Check out this in-depth review of the book by The Wall Street Journal





Leslie Lewis

Educational Technology Specialist at Salt Lake City School District.

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