(...) "The Internet and its multimedia wing, the World Wide Web, have added countless new terms to the English language. But none has more currency than ``Web years.'' A derivation of ``dog years,'' the idea is that the Web is changing so rapidly that a month or two in the Web business is like a year in real time.
That's why Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet, by Katie Hafner and Matthew Lyon, could not be more timely. The Internet is clearly the biggest technological development since the personal computer, and its main impact is yet to be felt. Already, though, its early history has been largely ignored in the rush to understand this week's breakthrough. It's important to provide an accurate record--especially while most of the Net's founders are still around to provide it." (Robert D. Hof, Book Review in "Business Week" vom 16. September 1996)
(...) "When I first saw the book, I groused to myself that something just a quarter-century old can't be said to have a "history". But then I decided it made perfect sense in a culture that measures time in nanoseconds. Besides, reading "Wizards" turned out to be like eating a hearty meal: It stays with you long after those little snacks are forgotten." (John Schwartz, Book Review in "The Washington Post" vom 26. August 1996)
(...) "Where Wizards Stay Up Late," by Katie Hafner, a contributing editor at Newsweek covering technology, and her husband, Matthew Lyon, who is the assistant to the president at the University of Texas, Austin, shows just how striking an innovation and collaboration the Arpanet really was. Everything from the size of the packets to monitoring and repairing the special switches from computers thousands of miles away was a problem that had to be tackled from the ground up and often modified when reality collided with theory. In the early going, the Honeywell hardware that BBN ordered did not come close to matching the specifications; BBN engineers valiantly struggled to take it apart and put it back together, wire by tiny wire." (Stephen Manes, Book Review in "New York Times" vom 8. September 1996)
(...) "In the book you see packet-switching grow and prevail despite AT&T's fierce
opposition. You see the Pentagon design the ARPANET for computer
resource-sharing, and instead of that it turns into a vast e-mail system,
planned by no one, predicted by no one, devised by no one person or
organization. Yeats's dark warning may have been an optimistic, accurate
"Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world."
The rough beast, the Net, is self-organizing." (Stewart Brand, GBN Book Club Review)
(...) "They (Hafner and Lyon) have conducted extensive interviews with the scientists involved, culled material from archives and private collections, and revised the historical record where necessary. For instance, they debunk the long-standing myth that the Internet was created as a test to see if computer networks could be designed to survive a nuclear war. Instead, as Lyon and Hafner show, the Net was built because the federal government needed a way for all the incompatible computers being used for government research to communicate with each other. In a sense, the Internet was the ultimate time-sharing project: a nationwide network capable of connecting any sort of computer with another computer." (David S. Benahum, Book Review in "Slate")
(...) "Hafner, along with her co-author and husband Matthew Lyon, was faced with the tedious task of shuffling through mounds of technical paperwork on the subject to put together the history of the project, which began in the early years of the Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA). In addition to the various scientific papers, there were interviews with many of the key people involved, and scores of oral archives to retrieve. Oh yeah, e-mail was also involved.
"It felt like detective work," said Lyon. "We were always looking for clues to things like who got
somewhere first, and who took certain steps. In trying to date things, we looked at people's
calendars to figure out what somebody was doing on a certain day."
The result is a fascinating history of how the Internet came into being, and why e-mail is its most
popular feature. (Rick Eymer, Barn Owl Books - Book Review)
"This is the way a world begins: distributed engineering. What a creation story it is, here fully told for the first time...To a current Net denizen it's like discovering that mountains, oceans, weather, fire, and gravity were each once somebody's bright idea." (Stewart Brand, Editor of the Whole Earth Catalog)
"Not only wizards but anyone interested in the most exciting new medium of our time
will stay up late reading Katie Hafner and Matthew Lyon's lively and important history of the Internet." (Steven Levy, Author of Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution)
"At last, an engaging and authoritative history of the Net, compellingly told. Where Wizards Stay Up Late will delight anyone curious about the Internet's origins. Even if you care only about the Net's future, read this book for the vital context it provides." (Paul Saffo, Director, Institute for the Future)
"Katie Hafner and Matt Lyon have done a real service to the computer community by conveying the sober and accurate truth about Internet history. The reality is even weirder than the myths." (Bruce Sterling, Author of The Hacker Crackdown: Law and Disorder on the Electronic Frontier)
The latest book from Katie Hafner and her husband Matthew Lyons, this is the true history of the Internet. Forget the little footnotes in the front pages of books like "Internet For Dummies". A clear, enjoyable exploration in the tradition of Steven Levy's "Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution". (Fringe Ware Catalog)