Internet History Books

At Linucon 2.0 in Austin on 1 October, I gave a talk on Internet history and promised to post here the list of Internet history books from that talk. Here it is, from Neuromancer to Where Wizards Stay Up Late.
The Matrix: Computer Networks and Conferencing Systems Worldwide
John S. Quarterman, 1989
Descriptions of essentially every network in the world circa 1988, with their uses, who ran them, how they ran them, their technology, and how to send mail to and from them, plus chapters on protocols and history of how things got that way. The title, other than the obvious allusion to Neuromancer, also refers to a table in the middle of how to address mail with the various combinations of ! @ :: etc. that were needed at the time.
Casting the Net
Peter H. Salus, 1995
All about BBN and the ARPANET.
Where Wizards Stay Up Late
Katie Hafner and Matthew Lyons, 1998
Sort of a social history of the ARPANET.
The Victorian Internet
Tom Standage, 1999
About the telegraph and the many things people attempted to use it for and the social effects it had, many of which sound a lot like the Internet
Dead Media Project
Bruce Sterling,
Did you know that in Budapest you could once listen to an opera through your telephone?
William Gibson, 1985
This one wasn’t on the biblio. slide, but I mentioned it in the talk. The original cyberpunk novel, set in a near future that features a cyberspace that connects just about everything and supports a matrix of users and uses that is navigated via a visual interface.
Many others
I’m all ears for further suggestions
There are other strains of history beyond technical and social that have not been written up in books. In the talk I alluded to a secret history of the Internet that intertwines with what we know today as free software or open source, but which goes back much farther than that; one could argue back through Spinoza and Aquinas.


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