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Constructing tomorrow on the kitchen table : cultural imperatives in computer hobbyist publications (1975-1980)

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Constructing tomorrow on the kitchen table : cultural imperatives in computer hobbyist publications (1975-1980)

Latour, Luis (2003) Constructing tomorrow on the kitchen table : cultural imperatives in computer hobbyist publications (1975-1980). Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

This thesis explores this shift by examining several nation-wide computer hobbyist magazines that charted this change in popular imagery. A close analysis of Byte, Creative Computing and Dr Dobbs Journal of tinyBASIC calisthenics and orthodontia ( running light without overbyte ) also reveals a cultural worldview that was heavily influenced by Science Fiction. The promise of a future fully integrated with technology, which was a recurring theme in novels and the television series, Star Trek , very clearly motivated the computer hobbyists to pursue experiments with the construction of homebrewed computer systems. This thesis also challenges the popular image of the early computer 'nerd' as an awkward teenage 'geek' with too much time on his hands. Instead, the readership of Byte offers a different picture of the computer enthusiast as a white, middle-class male engineer in his mid-thirties with large amounts of disposable income. Finally, this thesis analyses the construction of a community of computer aficionados throughout the United States, particularly through the hobbyist's development of a prestige value-system attached to hardware and software projects.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > History
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Latour, Luis
Pagination:v, 155 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (M.A.)
Program:History
Date:2003
Thesis Supervisor(s):Carr, Graham
ID Code:1981
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:24
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:23
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