Go To: The Story of the Math Majors, Bridge Players, Engineers, Chess Wizards, Maverick Scientists, and Iconoclasts-- the Programmers Who Created the Software Revolution

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9780465042265: Go To: The Story of the Math Majors, Bridge Players, Engineers, Chess Wizards, Maverick Scientists, and Iconoclasts-- the Programmers Who Created the Software Revolution
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In Go To, Steve Lohr chronicles the history of software from the early days of complex mathematical codes mastered by a few thousand to today's era of user-friendly software and over six million professional programmers worldwide. Lohr maps out the unique seductions of programming, and gives us an intimate portrait of the peculiar kind of genius that is drawn to this blend of art, science, and engineering, introducing us to the movers and shakers of the 1950s and the open-source movement of today. With original reporting and deft storytelling, Steve Lohr shows us how software transformed the world, and what it holds in store for our future.

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Exploring the strange and hazy days before nerds ruled the earth, tech writer Steve Lohr's Go To is a great introduction to the softer side of the information age. Sure, he covers the Microsoft and Apple stories, but he also digs deeply to learn how Fortran and Cobol were developed and ventures into the open-source world. Lohr is adept at personalizing the process of software development, which serves to make some of the business and technical decisions more comprehensible to the lay reader.

IBM conducted yearly employee reviews called the "Performance Improvement Program," or Pip, for short. The Pip, like most such programs today, followed a rigid formula, with numbers and rankings. [John] Backus decided the Pip system was ill-suited for measuring the performance of his programmers, so his approach was to mostly ignore it. One afternoon, for example, he called Lois Haibt over for a chat. He talked about her work, said she had been doing an excellent job and then pushed a small piece of paper across the desk saying, "This is your new salary," a pleasing raise, as Haibt recalled. As she got up to leave, Backus mentioned in passing, "In case anyone should ask, this was your Pip."

Since he starts early in the history of the field, Lohr gets to share some of the oddities of the days before programming was professionalized. Developers were kids, musicians, game experts, and practically anyone who showed an interest. Many readers will be surprised and delighted to read of the strong recruitment of women and their many contributions to software development--an aspect of geek history that has long been neglected. Go To should break down a few preconceptions while building up a new respect for the coders who guided us into the 21st century. --Rob Lightner

About the Author:

Steve Lohr, senior writer and technology correspondent for the New York Times, and is co-author of U.S. v. Microsoft. He lives in New York City.

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Book Description INGRAM PUBLISHER SERVICES US, United States, 2002. Paperback. Condition: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. In Go To, Steve Lohr chronicles the history of software from the early days of complex mathematical codes mastered by a few thousand to today s era of user-friendly software and over six million professional programmers worldwide. Lohr maps out the unique seductions of programming, and gives us an intimate portrait of the peculiar kind of genius that is drawn to this blend of art, science, and engineering, introducing us to the movers and shakers of the 1950s and the open-source movement of today. With original reporting and deft storytelling, Steve Lohr shows us how software transformed the world, and what it holds in store for our future. Seller Inventory # APC9780465042265

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Book Description INGRAM PUBLISHER SERVICES US, United States, 2002. Paperback. Condition: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.In Go To, Steve Lohr chronicles the history of software from the early days of complex mathematical codes mastered by a few thousand to today s era of user-friendly software and over six million professional programmers worldwide. Lohr maps out the unique seductions of programming, and gives us an intimate portrait of the peculiar kind of genius that is drawn to this blend of art, science, and engineering, introducing us to the movers and shakers of the 1950s and the open-source movement of today. With original reporting and deft storytelling, Steve Lohr shows us how software transformed the world, and what it holds in store for our future. Seller Inventory # APC9780465042265

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Book Description Basic Books. Paperback. Condition: New. 272 pages. Dimensions: 7.8in. x 5.1in. x 0.7in.In Go To, Steve Lohr chronicles the history of software from the early days of complex mathematical codes mastered by a few thousand to todays era of user-friendly software and over six million professional programmers worldwide. Lohr maps out the unique seductions of programming, and gives us an intimate portrait of the peculiar kind of genius that is drawn to this blend of art, science, and engineering, introducing us to the movers and shakers of the 1950s and the open-source movement of today. With original reporting and deft storytelling, Steve Lohr shows us how software transformed the world, and what it holds in store for our future. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 9780465042265

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