accidental-195x300Technology writer and blogger Robert X. Cringely (the one behind the 1996 TV miniseries Triumph of the Nerds, not the InfoWorld columnists) has announced he is going to be rebooting his written-in-1989, updated-in-1996 history of Silicon Valley, Accidental Empires for the modern Internet age: he is going to blog it.

Over the next few months, Cringely will be reposting the entire book to a blog, and inviting reader participation to help him update it for the final e-book form.

Like most blogs, this new one will allow reader comments. And it’s those comments I’ll use in part to update the work when it later appears in eBook form.  What happened to these people?  What stories do you remember? Where did it go from here?

Once the entire book has been serialized, my friend and eBook expert Parampreet Singh (he of the Toronto Singhs, of course) and I will pick the best of these reader annotations along with several thousand words of new material I’ve been saving-up and publish what ought to be an enormous number of electrons — Accidental Empires Rebooted.

And the e-book promises to be interesting, as well: Cringely talks about giving readers the ability to flip back and forth between the original 1996 version and the newly-updated one. Cringely can do this because the original contract from 1989 didn’t mention e-book rights, thus leaving them with him. (Hopefully his print publisher won’t try to pull a HarperCollins.)

This promises to be an interesting experiment, and I will certainly read right along—leaving all e-book experimentation aside, it sounds like a very interesting book in its own right.

(Found via


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