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D. Gordon Smith
The Subway Fold

George Gilder

Silicon Eye

Bringing a new technology to market against established competition is never easy, and often results in much frustration. In Silicon Eye tells the story of the Foveon imager, and how it promises to make imaging cheap enough to become ubiquitous - if it can deal with the competion in the form of CCD digital cameras that is. More generally the book shows how brilliant ideas for analogue devices based on the brain and other biological systems have struggled when they have had to compete with the relentless - Moore's law - march of the more established digital devices.

I felt that this book wasn't really that good at describing the technology - much of what Gilder writes verges on technobabble. So if you want to find out what devices we're likely to have in the next few years, then I wouldn't recommend this book. The book is much more successful in describing the group dynamics of the people responsible for the technology. It starts about two decades ago at Caltech - the era of Richard Feynman's Lectures on Computation, and moves forward to companies formed to exploit the new technologies. Unlike many similar books, this is not just written in retrospect - Gilder was clearly interviewing people as the drama progressed.  |  Chronon Critical Points  |  Recent Science Book Reviews