Charged Bodies: People, Power, and Paradoxes That Launched Silicon Valley » MIRLIB.RU - ТВОЯ БИБЛИОТЕКА
Charged Bodies: People, Power, and Paradoxes That Launched Silicon Valley
Название: Charged Bodies: People, Power, and Paradoxes That Launched Silicon Valley
Автор: Thomas Mahon
Издательство: Pragmatic Bookshelf
Год: 2024
Страниц: 346
Язык: английский
Формат: pdf, epub (true), mobi
Размер: 10.1 MB

At the heart of Silicon Valley's meteoric rise is a story etched in the lives of those who shaped it and those who were forever transformed by it. Author Tom Mahon provides an insider's perspective on the birth of the semiconductor industry, which sparked the region's transformation from sleepy farmland to the heart and soul of the high-tech revolution. Through twenty-five extended, in-person interviews you'll meet a diverse cast of characters whose goal was to create technology and tools in service to humanity. In the Afterword to this edition, the author questions whether they accomplished their objectives and urges readers to rise up and rethink technology.

What did it take to create the atmosphere that transformed rich farmland into the wealthy center of high-tech? Five climates lined up in just the right way. Educational institutions (Stanford and Berkeley); an attractive location with balmy, Mediterranean-like weather; a history of technology development (Federal Telegraph in the early twentieth century); financial risk taking (the gold rush); and a cultural climate near the center of an ideological revolution (the hippie movement). The Santa Clara Valley had them all. In spades.

Before personal computers, or the Internet, or social media came "chips". Inventive minds took advantage of the quad-electron structure and unique properties - insulative and conductive - of silicon to create semiconductors. But Charged Bodies is more than just the story of new technologies emerging from "The Valley of the Heart's Delight." Using an approach like The Canterbury Tales, Tom Mahon captures the spirit of Silicon Valley in the 80s through the stories of the people all around him. The inventors and bankers have their say. But so do a range of other people who lived through that transition. Listen as artists and hackers, detectives and journalists, lawyers and scientists, flappers and philosophers tell the story of Silicon Valley in their own words.

Like that protozoan that belongs in both the plant and animal kingdoms, the microprocessor belongs in the domains of both electronic components and computer systems. And because that “computer on a chip” came from Silicon Valley, the microcomputer industry—the mass manufacturing and merchandising of personal computers—grew up around here, too.

Those computers are powerless without programs to direct them. So a microcomputer software industry developed here as well, creating programs for business, for learning, and for fun and games.

Work is also being done to create software that is “artificially intelligent,” allowing computers to be self-correcting: able not only to compute, but to compute about their computing; possibly able to create their own programs.

Software exists on a medium-either “floppy” or rigid disks, or silicon chips. A number of companies were started here to make both the memory media and the hardware to access the stored information.

Then, too, the microprocessor has found other applications besides driving computers, in such fields as telecommunications, computer-aided design, industrial control, and robotics. Companies in these industries are here, as well. And all of these companies—whether hardware or software vendors—have their support services: for machining, calibrating, tooling, documenting, publicizing, accounting, litigating, registering.

The microprocessor allows genetic engineers to handle the massive amounts of information they deal with. Many of the key patents in this new field are held by institutions in this area. So Silicon Valley promises to become Siliclone Valley, too. In fact, even now, thought is being given to merging recombinant DNA research with advances in semiconductor design to create “biochips,” or molecular electronics devices. Combine that with robotics and artificial-intelligence software, and we may someday see “living computers.” Should that ever happen, how will we define ourselves thereafter?

Clearly, the impact of Silicon Valley, and what it represents, goes far beyond new technology development and new enterprise formation, to hint at some major rethinking of our self-perception.

"If you’re curious about how Silicon Valley came to be, you should read this book. If you live or work in Silicon Valley, you must read this book". - Eric Redmond, Technology Innovation Executive

"Tom Mahon brilliantly captures the history, vision, heart and soul of Silicon Valley, warts and all, and masterfully shares the stories and people who make Silicon Valley the high tech powerhouse it is today and will be in the future". - Tim Bajarin, Creative Strategies, Inc.

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