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How the Computer Became Personal


An extraordinary achievement in computer history.

Joanne McNeil

A magisterial history and a gift to all curious technophiles.

Claire L. Evans
cover of Laine Nooney's book The Apple II Age hown against a cyan background

Laine Nooney, Assistant Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication, documents the history of the personal computer in The Apple II Age: How the Computer Became Personal (University of Chicago Press).

Less captivated by the stories of Apple's engineering and marketing feats, Nooney looks to the Apple II's remarkable software as the reason for the computer's transcendence. What follows is a series of software creation stories — VisiCalc and The Print Shop to games like Mystery House and Snooper Troops — that show why the computer became an essential household appliance. 

Nooney specializes in historical, cultural, and economic analysis of the video game and computer industries. They co-founded ROMchip: A Journal of Game Histories and co-host, with NYU Stern colleague Joost van Dreunen, Unboxing: Play and Profit for the Gaming Curious, a podcast about the game industry.

Laine Nooney is seen talking on the Motherboard's Twitch channel

Matthew Gault, staff writer at Motherboard, interviews Nooney about their new book.

Watch the interview

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Media, Culture, and Communication

Our media studies programs train agile researchers of a shifting media landscape. Learn to analyze media and technology in their cultural, social, and global contexts.

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