The computer revolution happened in the mid-1970s, as proclaimed in the Homebrew Computer Club Newsletter, originated from “a hobby for fun.”[74] These computer hobbyists were certainly heroes. However, this study showed that computer hobbyists were different from hackers, who worried that personal computers had become a threat to their culture. While most historians would agree that the direction for developing computer technology had changed dramatically since the innovation of the Altair 8800 in 1975, it is still uncertain who should be credited for this change. This study suggests computer hobbyists as a more possible candidate than hackers.

The whole story of personal computers is more complicates than has been presented in this essay, and the story itself certainly has not ended yet. In 1980, IBM finally decided to enter the market of personal computers, and it acted fast.[75] In August 1981, the IBM Personal Computer was already in retail stores.[76] By 1984, IBM sold two million computers and the IBM Personal Computers had become an industry standard.[77] While Apple Computer and IBM continuously fought for their market shares in the following years, both companies eventually lost to Microsoft, which was a company devoted solely to software development. Moreover, if the personal computer has “atomized” its users—as Steels had once complained—then the rise of the Internet in the 1990s was again redefining the computers.[78] Will the combination of the Internet and personal computers finally achieve the hackers’ belief in information-sharing?[79] Nobody has an answer to this question, but surely many will come forward and attempt to finish this revolution.



74. Fred Moore,. “It’s A Hobby,” Homebrew Computer Club Newsletter (Menlo Park, CA). 7 June 1975.
75. Campbell and Aspray, “The Shaping of the Personal Computer,” 253.
76. Ibid., 256-57.
77. Segaller, Nerds 2.0.1, 183.
78. Steele, “Confessions of a Happy Hacker,” xiv.
79. Raymond, The New Hacker’s Dictionary 3d ed., 234.




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