search for books and compare prices
cover image
Go to: The Story of the Math Majors, Bridge Players, Engineers, Chess Wizards, Maverick Scientists and Iconoclasts-The Programmers Who Created the Software r
The price is the lowest for any condition, which may be new or used; other conditions may also be available.
Includes prices for new and used copies from resellers listed at Amazon (for that country).
Rental copies must be returned at the end of the designated period, and may involve a deposit.
Jump down to see edition details for: Hardcover
Bibliographic Detail
Publisher Basic Books
Publication date October 17, 2001
Pages 250
Binding Hardcover
Book category Adult Non-Fiction
ISBN-13 9780465042258
ISBN-10 0465042252
Dimensions 1.25 by 6.50 by 9.50 in.
Weight 1.15 lbs.
Availability§ Out of Print
Original list price $27.50
§As reported by publisher says people who bought this book also bought:
Return to the Little Kingdom | The Innovators | Swimming Across | Steve Jobs and the Next Big Thing
Summaries and Reviews
Ranging from the 1950s to the present day, this intriguing study traces the scientific research, technological innovations, and personalities who created the software revolution and explores the impact of these accomplishments on the development of computers and programming. 60,000 first printing. description: Review: Exploring the strange and hazy days before nerds ruled the earth, tech writer Steve Lohr's Go To is a great introduction to the softer side of the information age. Sure, he covers the Microsoft and Apple stories, but he also digs deeply to learn how Fortran and Cobol were developed and ventures into the open-source world. Lohr is adept at personalizing the process of software development, which serves to make some of the business and technical decisions more comprehensible to the lay reader.

IBM conducted yearly employee reviews called the "Performance Improvement Program," or Pip, for short. The Pip, like most such programs today, followed a rigid formula, with numbers and rankings. [John] Backus decided the Pip system was ill-suited for measuring the performance of his programmers, so his approach was to mostly ignore it. One afternoon, for example, he called Lois Haibt over for a chat. He talked about her work, said she had been doing an excellent job and then pushed a small piece of paper across the desk saying, "This is your new salary," a pleasing raise, as Haibt recalled. As she got up to leave, Backus mentioned in passing, "In case anyone should ask, this was your Pip."

Since he starts early in the history of the field, Lohr gets to share some of the oddities of the days before programming was professionalized. Developers were kids, musicians, game experts, and practically anyone who showed an interest. Many readers will be surprised and delighted to read of the strong recruitment of women and their many contributions to software development--an aspect of geek history that has long been neglected. Go To should break down a few preconceptions while building up a new respect for the coders who guided us into the 21st century. --Rob Lightner

Book cover for 9780465042258
The price comparison is for this edition
from Basic Books (October 17, 2001)
9780465042258 | details & prices | 250 pages | 6.50 × 9.50 × 1.25 in. | 1.15 lbs | List price $27.50
About: Traces the scientific research, technological innovations, and personalities who created the software revolution and explores the impact of these accoomplishments on the development of computers and programming.

Pricing is shown for items sent to or within the U.S., excluding shipping and tax. Please consult the store to determine exact fees. No warranties are made express or implied about the accuracy, timeliness, merit, or value of the information provided. Information subject to change without notice. is not a bookseller, just an information source.