This novel is based upon fact: the events surrounding the birth of the personal computer industry. These events, as well as the people, corporations, and organizations which were involved, serve as the factual foundation upon which my fictional drama takes place. My fictional characters are not intended to resemble real people, and any interplay my characters have with real persons and actual corporations is entirely a product of my imagination.

Of the many books and articles I have read to research this novel, the most useful was Steven Levy's fascinating book Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution. Also useful were Fire in the Valley: The Making of the Personal Computer, by Paul Freiberger and Michael Swaine; Silicon Valley Fever, by Everett M. Rogers and Judith K. Larsen; The Ultimate Entrepreneur: The Story of Ken Olsen and Digital Equipment Corporation, by Glenn Rifkin and George Harrar; and Charged Bodies: People, Power and Paradox in Silicon Valley, by Thomas Mahon.

Readers interested in the rich and fascinating history of the Apple Computer Corporation would enjoy Michael Moritz's excellent The Little Kingdom, as well as John Sculley's Odyssey, a work that I consider one of the most intriguing books published in the last decade-a business book that has all the page-turning qualities of best-selling fiction. I would like to thank all of these authors for fueling my imagination and giving me so much of the valuable background for this novel.

I am deeply indebted to my trio of technical advisors: Dan Winkler, Gerald Vaughan, and Bill Phillips. Any errors in this book are entirely my responsibility. The three of them did their best with me.

I would also like to express my heartfelt appreciation to the wonderful people at IBM and Apple Computer, Inc., who so patiently answered my questions. Thanks also to Mary Pershall, Richard Phillips, John Titus, and DeDe Eschenburg for their helpful contributions.

And to the people at Pocket Books-you're the best! A special thanks to my editor, Claire Zion, who believed in this project from the beginning and never lost sight of the vision, not even when I did. Steven Axelrod, you have truly been a blessing. And I will forever be grateful to Linda Barlow, who encouraged me to write Hot Shot and whose extensive contributions to the final draft were critical.

Thanks, Lyd, for helping me learn what sisters are all about. Ty and Zach, be your best.

Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Naperville, Illinois

Susan Elizabeth Phillips

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