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Go To: The Story of the Math Majors, Bridge Players, Engineers, Chess Wizards, Maverick Scientists, and Ico by [Steve Lohr]

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Go To: The Story of the Math Majors, Bridge Players, Engineers, Chess Wizards, Maverick Scientists, and Ico Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 10 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"...[the author] with clear prose that makes sense of a complicated subject..." -- Newsweek, 11/12/01

"...a clear, understandable introduction... An excellent primer for anyone curious about the insides of a PC..." -- New York Times Book Review, 11/4/01

"BASIC was an open city, Shanghai a hundred years ago. There were no laws." -- Alan Cooper, the "father" of Visual Basic

"Go To is an enlightening read and does a fine job of demonstrating the power of imagination." -- Boston Globe, 12/30/01

"Lohr has done his journalistic legwork here... it's not so much a book about programming as a book about programmers." -- Dr. Dobb's Journal, 2/1/02

"That book I just read--was completely fascinating! Surprising, yes, but that is precisely my reaction to Go To." -- devX, 1/7/02

"They took anyone who seemed to have an aptitude for problem-solving skills-bridge players, chess players, even women." -- Lois Haibt, a member of IBM's original Fortran team --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Amazon.com Review

Exploring the strange and hazy days before nerds ruled the earth, tech writer Steve Lohr's Go To is a great introduction to the softer side of the information age. Sure, he covers the Microsoft and Apple stories, but he also digs deeply to learn how Fortran and Cobol were developed and ventures into the open-source world. Lohr is adept at personalizing the process of software development, which serves to make some of the business and technical decisions more comprehensible to the lay reader.

IBM conducted yearly employee reviews called the "Performance Improvement Program," or Pip, for short. The Pip, like most such programs today, followed a rigid formula, with numbers and rankings. [John] Backus decided the Pip system was ill-suited for measuring the performance of his programmers, so his approach was to mostly ignore it. One afternoon, for example, he called Lois Haibt over for a chat. He talked about her work, said she had been doing an excellent job and then pushed a small piece of paper across the desk saying, "This is your new salary," a pleasing raise, as Haibt recalled. As she got up to leave, Backus mentioned in passing, "In case anyone should ask, this was your Pip."

Since he starts early in the history of the field, Lohr gets to share some of the oddities of the days before programming was professionalized. Developers were kids, musicians, game experts, and practically anyone who showed an interest. Many readers will be surprised and delighted to read of the strong recruitment of women and their many contributions to software development--an aspect of geek history that has long been neglected. Go To should break down a few preconceptions while building up a new respect for the coders who guided us into the 21st century. --Rob Lightner --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.


Product details

  • ASIN : B009ZOKVVA
  • Publisher : Basic Books; Revised ed. edition (November 5, 2008)
  • Publication date : November 5, 2008
  • Language : English
  • File size : 687 KB
  • Text-to-Speech : Enabled
  • Screen Reader : Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
  • X-Ray : Not Enabled
  • Word Wise : Enabled
  • Print length : 268 pages
  • Lending : Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.1 out of 5 stars 10 ratings

Customer reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5
10 global ratings
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4 star
43%
3 star
23%
2 star 0% (0%) 0%
1 star 0% (0%) 0%
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Reviewed in the United States on February 12, 2004
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Top reviews from other countries

Guillaume Bersac
5.0 out of 5 stars Geek power !!!
Reviewed in France on May 31, 2015
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