Don Norman: Designing For People

Nielsen Norman Group

The Dream Machine: J.C.R. Licklider and the revolution that made computing personal.

— I am biased, but this is the very best book I have yet read on the development of the Information processing industry -- the PC, the Internet, etc. I lived through this era and know, studied with, or am good friends of a large proportion of people discussed here. It is strange, but when you are living through a revolution, it is invisible. That's why books like this that put everything in perspective are so valuable. Sure, we knew it was exciting, but we thought that was the way things always were.
I seem to have followed just a few years behind all the events described here, so I benefited from the results, whether it was the TX-0 computer, the early PDP series, Lick himself, or the people and early Alto machines at Xerox PARC I knew Lick when he was just a psychoacoustician (the field I started in), so I am delighted to have him receive proper recognition for the seminal role he played, especially in funding the early days of time-shared computers from his vantage pint at ARPA.
Pointer to the book at >