The Dream Machine by M. Mitchell Waldrop
J.C.R. Licklider and the Revolution That Made Computing Personal

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 2 Critic Reviews



In 1962, decades before "personal computers" and "Internet" became household words, the revolution that gave rise to both of them was set in motion from a small, nondescript office in the depths of the Pentagon. In an age when the word "computer" still meant a big, ominous mainframe mysteriously processing punch cards, the occupant of that office-an MIT psychologist named J.C.R. Licklider-had somehow seen a future in which computers would become an exciting new medium of expression, a joyful inspiration to creativity, and a gateway to a vast on-line world of information. And now he was determined to use the Pentagon's money to make it all happen.

Written with the novelistic flair that made his Complexity "the most exciting intellectual adventure story of the year" (Washington Post), M. Mitchell Waldrop's The Dream Machine is the first full-scale portrait of J.C.R. Licklider and how his dream of a "human-computer symbiosis" changed the course of science and culture. But more than that, it is an epic saga of technological advance that spans the history of modern computers from the Second World War to the explosion of creativity at Xerox PARC in the 1970s to the personal computer boom of the 1980s and the Internet boom of the 1990s. Capturing the drama, passion, and excitement of the brilliant men and women who were caught up in one of the great intellectual and technological adventures in human history, The Dream Machine has the hallmarks of a classic.

About M. Mitchell Waldrop

See more books from this Author
M. Mitchell Waldrop, formerly a senior writer at Science magazine, is the author of Complexity and Man-Made Minds.
Published August 1, 2001 by Viking Adult. 528 pages
Genres: History, Computers & Technology, Science & Math. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Dream Machine

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

As Waldrop tells this history, allowing readers to follow its multiple paths with the ease and delight of falling dominoes, he gets the names straight for his audience: When we think of the mouse and Windows and word-processing, insert Douglas Engelbart and delete Bill Gates;

| Read Full Review of The Dream Machine: J.C.R. Lic...

The New York Times

See more reviews from this publication

M. Mitchell Waldrop has written a sprawling history of the ideas, individuals and groups of people that got us from punch cards to personal computers.

Oct 07 2001 | Read Full Review of The Dream Machine: J.C.R. Lic...

Reader Rating for The Dream Machine

An aggregated and normalized score based on 17 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review