Accidental Empires is subtitled How the Boys of Silicon Valley Make their Millions, Battle Foreign Competition, and Still Can’t Get a Date. The book, written by Bob Cringley of PBS fame talks from an insider’s perspective on the advent of semiconductors, the first days of Apple and Microsoft, the first killer app, and so much more.
As geeky as it sounds, this book is a real page turner. Cringely (pronounced Krinj-lee) educates, informs, and entertains as he revels in the history of the PC from the 1950s to 1992, when the book was published. At around 300 pages it’s quick read, and was later adapted into a PBS mini-series called Triumph of the Nerds, which I will review in the near future. But the book offers so much more in terms of commentary, insight, and the sheer volume of tales.
This book is for anyone who’s ever wanted to know who really invented the mouse, the GUI, laser printers, and ethernet.
Hint: it wasn’t Apple or Microsoft. Not even close.