anyone read dealers of lightning?

Marcin Wichary mwichary at
Wed Jun 10 01:01:43 CDT 2009

Ars Technica just reviewed and
book as a Father’s Day gift:

> Tracy Kidder's *Soul of a New Machine* was first published in 1981, so it
> may not, at first glance, seem very relevant to today's technology—but it's
> important to see where we've been before thinking about where we might be
> going. The book chronicles the development of Data General's first 32-bit
> minicomputer—and the hackers and young college grads that spent the better
> part of a year making it happen in record time. The story, which Kidder
> fleshes out with clever character studies of those on the hardware and
> software teams (which were often at odds with each other), is oddly similar
> to the "90 hours a week and loving it" story of the development of the
> Macintosh chronicled in *Revolution in the Valley*.

Contributing writer Chris Foresman believes the tale is still relevant:
> "While computers are rarely designed in the manner that the Data General
> MV/8000 (aka "Eagle") was," he says, "the long hours, constant stress, and
> odd camaraderie are not unlike that experienced in many of today's
> technology startups."

On Mon, Jun 8, 2009 at 5:20 PM, Rich Alderson <RichA at> wrote:

> > From: CSquared
> > Sent: Sunday, June 07, 2009 7:03 PM
> > I've been following all the comments about Soul with considerable
> interest.
> > Am I the only one who found it a bit sad?  I finally got around to
> reading
> > it a couple of years ago, and it seemed to me to describe all too
> accurately
> > what strikes me as the employee abuse that characterized way too much of
> the
> > engineering development process during that era.
> "during that era"?  I saw the same kinds of things 20 years later, and
> don't think they've stopped since then.  It's something you sign up for,
> in expectation of appropriate reward.

Marcin Wichary
Sr. user experience designer, Google
Graphical User Interface gallery >>

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