BY AMY H. JOHNSON
Over the years the START staff has read just about anything we could get our hands on regarding our favorite subject: the computer business. Here we present a list of titles which we recommend for your permanent collection.
Clifford Stoll, Doubleday $18.95
What began as a 75-cent accounting discrepancy ended this year with the espionage conviction of three West German crackers. Man-on-the-spot Stoll is the real-life technosleuth who tracked them along a twisted path through science labs, telephone networks, defense contractors and American military computers - without a single car chase or blazing gun.
Steven Levy, Dell $4.50
Back in the days when BASIC, brains and plastic baggies nearly guaranteed big bucks, people like Apple's Jobs and Woz and Sierra On-Line's Roberta and Ken Williams reaped the financial rewards of being in the vanguard of the personal computer revolution. Hackers chronicles their rise, from their vacuum-tube roots at MIT to their heyday at the West Coast Computer Faire.
The Media Lab
Stewart Brand, Penguin $20.00 (hb), $10.00 (pap)
MIT's present is America's future. Wander the halls of the university's Media Lab, where applications such as personalized videotext newscasts, intelligent animation and virtual reality are being researched by some of the most innovative thinkers in the country. As Brand observes, "It's a fair sign you're doing something interesting when both the Defense Department and the artists want it."
Soul of a New Machine
Tracy Kidder, Atlantic Monthly Press $16.95 (hb), Avon $4.95 (pap)
Kidder won a Pulitzer Prize and started a journalistic trend with this you-are-there portrait of the Data General Eagle computer project. With a fine eye for the praiseworthy and punishable within the human psyche, Kidder captures the spirit and drive of the engineers and businesspeople playing the high-stakes hardware game.
West of Eden
Frank Rose, Penguin $19.95
Neither Steve Jobs nor John Sculley appear as the hero in this unsparing tale of the mid-1980s power struggle for control of Apple Computer. Rose has unerringly focused on the one company which represents the "Power to the People" philosophy which fueled the personal-computer industry, and chronicles the corporation's transition from Jobs' brash entrepreneurism to Sculley's market-driven caution.