The tech industry has a bad case of memory loss these days. Luckily, previous generations of the industry (along with journalists and academics) have done a pretty good job of cataloguing and contextualizing our history for us.
If you have any interest in engaging in or interacting with the tech industry, knowing the history gives you the upper hand. With that in mind, here are my picks for the minimum set of volumes you should read, in order to get a general idea of the important bits of computer history.
Rise of the Machines, by Thomas Rid
The Information, by James Gleick
The Devouring Fungus, by Karla Jennings
The New Hacker’s Dictionary, by Eric S. Raymond
Out of Control, by Kevin Kelly
Microserfs, by Douglas Rushkoff
In the Beginning… Was the Command Line, by Neal Stephenson
Man-Made Minds, by M. Mitchell Waldrop
Turing’s Cathedral, by George Dyson
Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution, by Steven Levy
What the Dormouse Said, by John Markoff
Fire in the Valley, by Michael Swaine and Paul Freiberger
Possiplex, by Theodor Holm Nelson
Weaving the Web, by Tim Berners-Lee
The Idea Factory, by Jon Gertner
Interface Culture, by Stephen Johnson
The Art of Unix Programming, by Eric S. Raymond
The Unix Haters Handbook, by Simson Garfinkel, Daniel Weise, and Steven Strassman
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