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Homebrew Computer Club Reunion, 2013

Computer History Museum, Silicon Valley

Homebrew, Gordon FrenchA big and great reunion is in the works from the founders, great and small, known and unknown, of the computer industry. November 11, 2013 is the next Homebrew Computer Club Reunion at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View.

I love the start ups, apps, clouds, dreamers, failures, and wild success stories. 10 million from Kickstarter? You go Pebble! see The Pebble story here

I love how everyone is constantly reinventing themselves and disturbing tech is the new, new, new thing. (The new, new thing is so old now.) But the latest app and start up (and Philz Coffee) is here because of those who gathered together to share information, chips, and good times. Whether you are crowdfunding, just got funded or dreaming up a pitch that outdoes all others, you are here because of those who came before. A lot of that credit goes to Homebrew and company..

As Steve Wozniak describes in Atari Archives

Without computer clubs there would probably be no Apple computers. Our club in the Silicon Valley, Homebrew Computer Club, was among the first. It was in early 1975, and a lot of tech-type people would gather and trade integrated circuits back and forth. You could have called it Chips and Dips. We had similar interests and we were there to help other people, but we weren’t official and we weren’t formal. Our leader, Lee Felsenstein, who later designed the Osborne computer, would get up at every meeting and announce the convening of “the Homebrew Computer Club which does not exist” and everyone would applaud happily.
The theme of the club was “Give to help others.” Each session began with a “mapping period,” when people would get up one by one and speak about some item of interest, a rumor, and have a discussion. Somebody would say, “I’ve got a new part,” or somebody else would say he had some new data or ask if anybody had a certain kind of teletype.
During the “random access period” that followed, you would wander outside and find people trading devices or information and helping each other. Occasionally one guy would show up and say, “Is there anyone here from Intel? No? Well, I’ve got some Intel chips we want to raffle off.”

And that’s why some of you are here today to pitch a VC. And it is why I ended up knowing Paul Sciarro, first CEO of Pinterest and told my list about Pinterest before it got funded and was in pre-beta. The ripples are felt everywhere by all of us in one way or the other.

Learn more about the reunion from 2 original members of Homebrew, Hilda Sendyk and Lee Felsenstein in this Forbes article.

See you there! Here’s a post and pics from the one in 2001: SLAC in 2001

If you can’t make it, here’s a video Daniel Kottke sent me of a recent panel he is on with Woz and Andy Hertzfeld: Panel with Daniel Kottke, Andy Hertzfeld, and Steve Wozniak

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