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Life in Code: A Personal History of Technology

Ellen Ullman
Format
Book
Published
New York : MCD, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
ISBN
9780374534516, 0374534519, 9780374711412
Summary
"The last twenty years have brought us the rise of the internet, the development of artificial intelligence, the ubiquity of once unimaginably powerful computers, and the thorough transformation of our economy and society. Through it all, Ellen Ullman lived and worked inside that rising culture of technology, and in [this book] she tells the continuing story of the changes it wrought with a unique, expert perspective. When Ullman moved to San Francisco in the early 1970s and went on to become a computer programmer, she was joining a small, idealistic, and almost exclusively male cadre that aspired to genuinely change the world. In 1997 Ullman wrote Close to the Machine, the now classic and still definitive account of life as a coder at the birth of what would be a sweeping technological, cultural, and financial revolution. Twenty years later, the story Ullman recounts is neither one of unbridled triumph nor a nostalgic denial of progress. It is necessarily the story of digital technology's loss of innocence as it entered the cultural mainstream, and it is a personal reckoning with all that has changed, and so much that hasn't. [This book] is essential to our understanding of the last twenty years-- and the next twenty."--Jacket.
Contents
  • Part one: The programming life. Outside of time: reflections on the programming life ; Come in, CQ ; The dumbing down of programming: some thoughts on programming, knowing, and the nature of "easy" ; What we were afraid of as we feared Y2K
  • Part two: The rise and first fall of the Internet. The museum of me ; Fiber optic nights ; Off the high ; To catch a falling knife
  • Part three: Life, artificial. Programming the post-human: computer science redefines "life" ; Is Sadie the Cat a trick? ; Memory and megabytes ; Dining with robots
  • Part four: Three stories about what we owe the past. While I was away ; Close to the mainframe ; The party line
  • Part five: The hand that writes the code. Programming for the millions ; Boom two: a farewell.
Description
viii, 306 pages : illustrations, charts ; 22 cm
Technical Details
  • Access in Virgo Classic
  • Staff View

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