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Bricklin on Technology

ISBN: 978-0-470-50058-3
372 pages
April 2009
Bricklin on Technology (0470500581) cover image
In a world that divides us, technology creates connection. Cell phones, e-mail, digital cameras, personal Web sites—they all join us, however tenuously, to what we value. Is connectivity what we’re willing to pay for? Should technology be our servant or a tool that helps us do other things? What can we really learn from Napster? What would intelligent standards for touch-screen user interface look like? How does technology evolve, and what drives that evolution?

For Dan Bricklin, technology cannot exist independently of the lives and needs of those who use it. For more than a decade he has shared his thoughts on this essential interdependence in blogs, podcasts, and essays. This volume compiles those observations, putting together case histories and new reflections for a fascinating study of how people and technology affect one another. Whether you’re a software developer or a student of human nature, you’ll find yourself drawn into this most intriguing discourse—because you are its subject.

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1. Introduction: Case Studies and Details.

2. What Will People Pay For?

3. The Recording Industry and Copying.

4. Leveraging the Crowd.

5. Cooperation.

6. Blogging and Podcasting: Observations through Their Development.

7. Tools: My Philosophy about What We Should Be Developing.

8. Hands On: Tablet and Gestural Computing.

9. The Long Term.

10. The PC: Historical Information about an Important Tool.

11. The Wiki: An Interview with Its Inventor.

12. VisiCalc.

Epilogue.

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Inventor, entrepreneur, and longtime blogger Dan Bricklin explores a diverse collection of subjects in this book. From the personal conversations of commuters heading home to those of warriors guiding missiles . . . from music to gesture recognition on the Apple iPhone . . . from the American Revolution to today's political conventions . . . from nuclear power plants to simple tools used by millions . . . this is technology at the human level.

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