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The Making of the Personal Computer - 2nd Ed
The Book
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Check out this thorough review at
(website for "The Industry Standard" magazine).

Read the Yahoo Chat Transcript featuring Paul and Michael discussing "Fire in the Valley".

First published in 1984, Fire in the Valley by Paul Freiberger and Michael Swaine told the sexy and compelling computer history story of the making of the personal computer. Based on interviews with over 100 of the individuals who did it, Fire in the Valley became a riveting, cult classic that combined solid reporting and exciting story-telling. Fire in the Valley was out of print for years. Now McGraw-Hill has released Fire in the Valley in a new edition, updated by Paul Freiberger and Michael Swaine with new chapters and pictures.

McGraw-Hill has published both an updated and revised paperback edition of this classic book, Fire in the Valley, as well as a special collector's edition that includes a CD-ROM containing digital files of all the photos, sexy sound bites from the original interviews by Freiberger and Swaine, and even more fully expanded information. The release of both editions of Fire in the Valley in January coincide with the 25th anniversary of the PC.

FIRE IN THE VALLEY, Updated Edition, tells the colorful and sometimes hilarious stories of the personal computer pioneers. Bill Gates, Paul Allen, Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison, Steve Wozniak, Ed Roberts, Ted Nelson are all there and more. The book captures the medley of influences of the times--the wild risk-taking, the 60s consciousness, rebellion against bureaucracy, the kitchen-table engineering -- that were essential to the making of the personal computer. Demand for this new edition heightened with the movie based on Fire in the Valley several months ago. This edition adds to the material about those heady days and brings the story into the present by putting the development of the Internet and the World Wide Web in perspective. Fire in the Valley is an inviting, lively and popular, people-centered computer history that helps understand how and why computers, the Internet and the Web have changed our lives.


"We were called computer nerds. Anyone who spends their life on a computer is pretty unusual."

-- Bill Gates in Fire in the Valley

"We didn't do three years of research and come up with this concept. What we did was follow our own instincts and construct a computer that was what we wanted."

- Steve Jobs in Fire in the Valley

"Fire in the Valley was the first, and is still the best, account of the people who created what venture capitalist John Doerr has called the "single largest legal accumulation of wealth in the century."

- From the forward to Fire in the Valley by John Markoff of the New York Times


Fire in the Valley: The Website is the companion Website for the book.

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Fire in the Valley by Paul Freiberger and Michael Swaine
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