The Supermen: The Story of Seymour Cray and the Technical Wizards Behind the Supercomputer

Category: Hardware & DIY
Author: Charles J. Murray
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by mindcrime   2020-07-20
I can give you the names of a handful of books that might be useful. Some are more technical, some less so. Some are more about personalities, some about the business aspects of things, some more about the actual technology. I don't really have time to try and categorize them all, so here's a big dump of the ones I have and/or am familiar with that seem at least somewhat related.

The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering -

Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution -

The Cuckoo's Egg: Tracking a Spy Through the Maze of Computer Espionage -

Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet -

Open: How Compaq Ended IBM's PC Domination and Helped Invent Modern Computing -

Decline and Fall of the American Programmer -

Rise and Resurrection of the American Programmer -

Accidental Empires: How the Boys of Silicon Valley Make Their Millions, Battle Foreign Competition, and Still Can't Get a Date -

Softwar: An Intimate Portrait of Larry Ellison and Oracle -

Winners, Losers & Microsoft -

Microsoft Secrets -

The Friendly Orange Glow: The Untold Story of the PLATO System and the Dawn of Cyberculture -

Troublemakers: Silicon Valley's Coming of Age -

Hard Drive: Bill Gates and the Making of the Microsoft Empire -

Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture -

The Supermen: The Story of Seymour Cray and The Technical Wizards Behind the Supercomputer -

Bitwise: A Life in Code -

Gates -

We Are The Nerds -

A People's History of Computing In The United States -

Fire In The Valley: The Birth and Death of the Personal Computer -

How The Internet Happened: From Netscape to the iPhone -

Steve Jobs -

The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation -

Coders -

Dreaming in Code: Two Dozen Programmers, Three Years, 4,732 Bugs, and One Quest for Transcendent Software -

The Pentagon's Brain: An Uncensored History of DARPA, America's Top-Secret Military Research Agency -

The Imagineers of War: The Untold Story of DARPA, the Pentagon Agency That Changed the World -

The Technical and Social History of Software Engineering -


"The Mother of All Demos" by Doug Englebart -

"Welcome to Macintosh" -

"Pirates of Silicon Valley" -

"Jobs" -

And while not a documentary, or meant to be totally historically accurate, the TV show "Halt and Catch Fire" captures a lot of the feel of the early days of the PC era, through to the advent of the Internet era.

And there's a ton of Macintosh history stuff captured at:

by pklausler   2019-06-29
A fun read is
by dang   2019-06-26
That's not always as absurd as it sounds. Particularly talented people can do it. The case of Seymour Cray, admittedly an outlier on the talent side, comes to mind. He was basically a senior team lead from the moment he got his first job, and that was in 1951.

I got that from this wonderful book, btw:

by walkingolof   2017-10-25
Wonder whats left of old Cray besides the name ?

Book tip:

by frik   2017-08-20
I read about it in the "Supermen" book [1], he dug extensive tunnels. Doing repetitive work makes it probably easier to do daydreaming. That's how he designed his Cray super computers architectures in his head.


by frik   2017-08-20
A very good book about this topic:

The Supermen: The Story of Seymour Cray and the Technical Wizards Behind the Supercomputer

It's a great book about Seymour Cray (biography) that details all his work. He was one of the very best, a real hero. Sadly he died in a car accident in the nineties.

by frik   2017-08-20
Seymour Cray, the famous supercomputer architect (Cray-1, etc.), built a tunnel under his house:

  Another favorite pastime was digging a tunnel under his 
  home; he attributed the secret of his success to "visits 
  by elves" while he worked in the tunnel: "While I'm 
  digging in the tunnel, the elves will often come to me 
  with solutions to my problem."
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