Though I do not remember hearing of Datapoint, I may have used one of their early systems before graduating from college. Regardless, this book was a interesting walk through computer history - including its technology, its people, and its business.
Datapoint started out knowing where it wanted to go, but dropped out of the race to get there just as it had the greatest opportunity. Its interaction with TRW, TI, and Intel, allowed it to give away the assets that were of greatest value - without knowing it was doing so. The politics of Datapoint’s leaders kept it moving in the direction it was going - not able to change course even as technology was moving around them.
The book was interesting - yet it did not have the mystery and suspense that can be found in other books describing the people and companies that defined early computer history. It provided the background and story of a company that could have been, but was not able to gain the greatness that could have been theirs. As it allows the reader insight into the early years that defined the personal computer, it would be an excellent book as an ancillary book for students enrolled in freshman Computer Science courses - whether within the major or in a service course.
This review is based on a free electronic copy of this book provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are mine alone.