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Copies in Seconds: How a Lone Inventor and an Unknown Company Created the Biggest Communication Breakthrough Since Gutenberg--Chester Carlson and the Birth of the Xerox Machine (English Edition) di [Owen, David]
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Copies in Seconds: How a Lone Inventor and an Unknown Company Created the Biggest Communication Breakthrough Since Gutenberg--Chester Carlson and the Birth of the Xerox Machine (English Edition) Formato Kindle

5.0 su 5 stelle 1 recensione cliente

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Descrizione prodotto


The first plain-paper office copier -- which was introduced in 1960 and has been called the most successful product ever marketed in America -- is unusual among major high-technology inventions in that its central process was conceived by a single person. David Owen's fascinating narrative tells the story of the machine nobody thought we needed but now we can't live without.

Chester Carlson grew up in unspeakable poverty, worked his way through junior college and the California Institute of Technology, and made his discovery in solitude in the depths of the Great Depression. He offered his big idea to two dozen major corporations -- among them IBM, RCA, and General Electric -- all of which turned him down. So persistent was this failure of capitalist vision that by the time the Xerox 914 was manufactured by an obscure photographic-supply company in Rochester, New York, Carlson's original patent had expired. Xerography was so unusual and nonintuitive that it conceivably could have been overlooked entirely. Scientists who visited the drafty warehouses where the first machines were built sometimes doubted that Carlson's invention was even theoretically feasible.

Drawing on interviews, Xerox company archives, and the private papers of the Carlson family, David Owen has woven together a fascinating and instructive story about persistence, courage, and technological innovation -- a story that has never before been fully told.

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  • Formato: Formato Kindle
  • Dimensioni file: 4275 KB
  • Lunghezza stampa: 320
  • Editore: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edizione (30 giugno 2008)
  • Venduto da: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Lingua: Inglese
  • ASIN: B002Q0KS04
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  • Media recensioni: 5.0 su 5 stelle  Visualizza tutte le recensioni (1 recensione cliente)
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Formato: Copertina rigida Acquisto verificato
Ottimo volume, ricco di spunti e riferimenti bibliografici per conoscere a approfondire la storia della Xerografia e del suo inventore Chester Carlson.
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Le recensioni clienti più utili su (beta) HASH(0x94593ac8) su 5 stelle 29 recensioni
8 di 8 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
HASH(0x943a1888) su 5 stelle A Super Book on Electrostatic Copying 6 agosto 2005
Di Richard W. Detrick - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile
This book gives an excellent account of the processes and hurdles needed to bring a complex product to the marketplace. It will be especially enjoyable for anyone who was involved in the copying/duplicating business during the 60's and 70's.

The author mentions many of the early companies -- and many of the current companies -- that are significant "players" in this business. Also, many of the key inventors who are known only as "publication or patent names" are given life by the author. The reader can get behing the scenes and see the victories, struggles, and tensions facing the researchers and their companies.

This book is a good read -- difficult to put down -- especially for those in corporate research and development.
6 di 6 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
HASH(0x943a18dc) su 5 stelle Fine journalistic history 27 settembre 2004
Di Anson Cassel Mills - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina rigida
Copies in Seconds is fine account of the invention of the photocopier and, to a more limited extent, the story of how that invention changed the world. Owen well communicates the seemingly impossible odds against which Chester Carlson struggled, especially a youth spent in grinding poverty. Owen has an eye for detail that makes his characters live and an ear for words that rarely misses the mark. He provides both a good introduction to copying before xerography and a stimulating essay on his sources. The illustrations are well chosen, and full captions serve as an outline of his story.

Nevertheless, Owen's journalistic background sometimes works against him, as for instance, when he introduces an interview-demonstration straight into the text. What would be perfectly appropriate for a New Yorker essay sounds strained here. It would have been better to have replaced it with some David Macaulay-style graphics to aid the reader in understanding the technical aspects of early Xerox copiers. Also, I should hope that other books of this quality do not omit citations as Owen's does.

These are quibbles. Copies in Seconds is an excellent book, the sort that may tempt you to sneak away from your responsibilities to finish.
6 di 6 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
HASH(0x943a1d20) su 5 stelle Fascinating and very well written 7 gennaio 2006
Di suzanne312 - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile
I was fascinated by this book! The subject matter is intriguing on its own, and it's been beautifully enhanced by the presentation. Author knew exactly how to tell the story for best effect--when to give a history lesson, when to introduce characters, and just how much of each was appropriate. Also explained the complicated science behind xerography (the generic term for what a Xerox machine does) in a way a layman can understand. Extremely well done. I'm glad I happened across this book!
7 di 8 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
HASH(0x943a30fc) su 5 stelle Soul of an old machine 21 ottobre 2004
Di Donald B. Siano - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina rigida
I am old enough to remember trying to do library research before Xerox. Taking notes longhand, especially with my nearly illegible handwriting, was a chore that I really hated. When xeroxing came along, my life was made a little bit better--I could walk out of the library with something I could at least read and file, even if I didn't always get around to it. I still have several file cabinets of the stuff that I can't bear to throw away.

Mr. Owen has provided a very nice account of how the xerox machine was invented and developed into the indispensable tool we all know today, and a biography of the fascinating man who had the vision to see it through. Some parts of the story are pretty well known by those interested at all in the history of technology, but Owen provides lots of unique material that I've not seen elsewhere. This is not one of those business books that tries to derive "lessons" from xerox's missteps in its later years, but rather focusses on the genesis of the invention, up to the early years after the release of the model 914.

I was most intrigued by the struggle Carlson went through to get any industrial organization to help in the development of the machine--IBM and others really dropped the ball on this one! In the early years, the opinion of the "technical experts" was nearly one of universal dismissal. Later, when development was well underway, the marketing consultants also failed to predict even to an order of magnitude how many copies would be produced at the average business site. The lesson is, if you have something really unique, forget about polls and market research.

There were lots of interesting anecdotes for the author to have some fun with, and he does it very well. I especially appreciated when he injected himself into the story, interviewing some the principals, and even making a xerox by hand. This livens up the story considerably. The bibliography, while not exhaustive, is quite extensive and will be quite handy for anyone mining for another Ph. D. There are 18 pages of glossy photos and plenty of line drawings to help the reader along too.

This is an inspiring tale of how one man can still make a difference, and any reader will come away from it feeling a little better about the prospects for the future of mankind, and a little less cynical about the nature of man, the engineer.
5 di 5 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
HASH(0x943a31e0) su 5 stelle Finally, an enjoyable "Must Read" Business Book 14 agosto 2004
Di NWJ - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina rigida
David Owen captures the soul of Xerox as a start-up. A very enjoyable, fluid and fluent read about something as commonplace (now) as the office copier and the laser printer. Great history of a truly unique American company and its All-American product with important lessons for any company of any size. There's enough fact in this book for you to build your own copier, yet it's done in such a literate and subtle way, you will think you knew how it worked all along.
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