|About the Book|
Strings Cross paints an honest, seldom seen tapestry of American history - from its orange ranch settlements in Southern California through its deceptions over how the personal computer came about and the path one of Microsofts co-founders took toMoreStrings Cross paints an honest, seldom seen tapestry of American history - from its orange ranch settlements in Southern California through its deceptions over how the personal computer came about and the path one of Microsofts co-founders took to become the richest man in the world.What was life really like for those who reached adulthood during WW II, only to immediately inherit the Cold War that followed - men and women whose country, America, would come to call them The Greatest Generation?Who in that Greatest Generation were politically dangerous: too liberal, a threat, Communists?Answers to these questions weave seamlessly with portrayals of life in modern America: its computer pioneers, sexual-revolution upheavals, and later wars. Strings Cross is a bold, satirical and beautifully written account of an ordinary American, Everyman, a man buffeted by history, moods, and beliefs. The grandson of immigrants from Europes east and west whose fathers kin settle in a New York ghetto, his mothers among the first to help turn an arid California desert - ten hours by horse due west of Los Angeles - into a lush forest of orange trees.When his grandfathers illness shifts the tale from that ranching paradise to San Diego, his parents meet and his life - along with an insiders history of that colorful beach town - unfolds.Who holds the first patent for a personal computer?Who first published a paper on how to include pictures in a computer printout?Who created the first operating system for a personal computer?Strings Cross shocks, startles its reader with a factual account of the awakening digital age, birth of the personal computer, and the extent to which recent technological history has been distorted. In a first-person aside, the author details his personal claim to the patent and the paper, answers to the first two questions. His patent for a personal computer, the Dinkiac I, was filed on May 17, 1971, almost five years prior to that April Fools Day in 1976 when Apple Inc. was founded. His presentation of a method for adding pictures to printouts had taken place three years earlier at a national computer conference in Atlantic City.Of the final question, Dr. Essen has much to say. He opens your eyes to the bitter struggle over the operating system DOS, that tiny bit of possibly-stolen software that made Bill Gates the richest man in the world. Only a person intimate with the times, and some of its participants, can tell that story. He writes: To briefly outline that cloudy tale, told so many times before, it was Gates, himself, that sent IBM to meet with DRI [Gary Kildall] ... .