Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/08/25/gg2_danb/
A Geeks Guide2 ...Dan Bricklin
40% discount at Reg Books
Geeks Guide2 This week we're serving up the thoughts of inventor, entrepreneur, and long-time blogger Dan Bricklin. Reg Books have 40% off Bricklin on Technology, a compilation of more than a decade's worth of blogs, podcasts, and essays - reorganised and embellished with new observations from the VisiCalc creator himself.
For those who don't know, In the spring of 1978 Dan Bricklin came up with the idea for the electronic spreadsheet. Frustrated at how initial erroneous calculations could invalidate all of the numbers that follow it, he mused in a private paper 'If only I had a magic piece of paper where I could change a number at the beginning of a set of calculations, and have all of other numbers automatically recompute themselves. If only I had an electronic spreadsheet'. The very next year, Dan and his friend Bob Frankston co-created VisiCalc, the world's first electronic spreadsheet program.
The story behind VisiCalc, Dan's most recognised work, is just one of the topics touched upon throughout Bricklin on Technology. As previously mentioned, the book is the result of more than ten years worth of technology commentary. Unlike some recent blog-compilations we have seen, Dan has collated his thoughts from the past decade and reordered them to support a 12 chapter narrative. The book's main theme discusses the interface between people and machines, and their evolution.
Bricklin on Technology begins by focusing on the human elements, primarily the emotional and sociological forces that affect what we're willing to pay for electronic media. As the book progresses the focus changes to technology. For example, we get an extensive discussion on both copy-protection and the long-term maintenance of software that runs our world.
The later stages of the book chronicle how inventors react to common human needs to produce a solution. This includes a discussion on the PC and its evolution over the past 30 years, the creation of the wiki, and the tale of the VisiCalc.
The book is crammed with interesting interviews, post-blog analysis based on reader comments, current opinions and thoughts, all of which offer an interesting read for anybody curious about the tech-world in which we now live.
Save 40% on Bricklin on Technology at Register Books today - that's a sale price of just £11.99*. All orders are despatched same working day.
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