100 Icons that Defined a Digital Generation
256 pp., 8 x 10 in, 334 color illus., 44 b&w illus.
- Published: May 12, 2020
- Publisher: The MIT Press
- Rights: for sale in North America only
A celebration of the early years of the digital revolution, when computing power was deployed in a beige box on your desk.
Today, people carry powerful computers in our pockets and call them “phones.” A generation ago, people were amazed that the processing power of a mainframe computer could be contained in a beige box on a desk. This book is a celebration of those early home computers, with specially commissioned new photographs of 100 vintage computers and a generous selection of print advertising, product packaging, and instruction manuals. Readers can recapture the glory days of fondly remembered (or happily forgotten) machines including the Commodore 64, TRS-80, Apple Lisa, and Mattel Aquarius—traces of the techno-utopianism of the not-so-distant past.
Home Computers showcases mass-market success stories, rarities, prototypes, one-offs, and never-before-seen specimens. The heart of the book is a series of artful photographs that capture idiosyncratic details of switches and plugs, early user-interface designs, logos, and labels. After a general scene-setting retrospective, the book proceeds computer by computer, with images of each device accompanied by a short history of the machine, its inventors, its innovations, and its influence. Readers who inhabit today's always-on, networked, inescapably connected world will be charmed by this visit to an era when the digital revolution could be powered down every evening.
Will appeal to the most avid computer aficionados.
From the Apple Lisa to the Mattel Aquarius, detailed images of the machines that gave rise, over the years, to the digital revolution.
New York Times Book Review