[Smaug] Dawn of Personal computing: West Coast Computer Faire

Peter Belew peterbe at sonic.net
Tue Apr 19 12:01:50 PDT 2011


I just found this page:

  http://www.digibarn.com/collections/brochures/wcc-faire/index.html
  http://www.digibarn.com/collections/brochures/wcc-faire/page1.jpg

In those days, I was leaving Xerox PARC, working on a voice recognition project there, turned down an offer from Steve Jobs to develop software for the Apple ][, and then worked for IMSAI for a while.

At IMSAI I wrote the 8048 code for an 'intelligent keyboard' which could play music. The IMSAI in Matt Broderick's bedroom in "War Games" had such a keyboard. After IMSAI, I built an S-100 system out of a miscellany of parts, including an IMSAI power supply, a wooden box lined with aluminum for RFI/TVI suppression, and a backplane that was wire-wrapped. I wrote some business software in BASIC for a friend's business on that system.

At one of the Computer Faires in the SF Civic Auditorium I met Gianluigi Zappacosta, one of Logitech's founders, and bought my first mouse. I later visited the US headquarters of Logitech, above the Palo Alto Bike Shop on University Avenue in that city, and was given a Logi-mouse poster.

In the next decade the Intel '86 CPUs started to dominate the computer market, turning very commercial with IBM's PC entry.

See you all Thursday evening.
-- 
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