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HomeBrew Computer Reunion, 2013: From Revolution to Go Glass

A wonderful gathering of foundational history, alive and in person (and on robot teleconference in one case) in Mountain View, CA tonight. It was Homebrew Computer Club’s 38th birthday celebration and they invited the public. We had young and old, and it was great to hear the stories and just as wonderful to see the generation that follows. They understood there would not be the tech industry they are so much a part of were it not for the early days of Homebrew. So we heard Woz and Lee Felsenstein and others tell us they were about democratizing computers – putting computers in the hands of the people. This was revolutionary, they said and it certainly was.

I tried on Google glass. The juxtaposition of a story from Woz or Lee or Bob and “Ok glass” was phenomenal. (Ok glass is the voice command for Google glass to show you its menu of actions such as record a video or search or take a picture) “Reality expands to fill the available fantasies.” was the best descriptor tonight of the journey from then to now. From Peoples Computer Company, from Gordon French’s garage to ‘Ok, glass’

But is Google glass revolutionary? No, it is evolutionary. Power will not be taken from the government or a corporation and put in the hands of the people. That was Homebrew’s job. And they did it so well. Even though the method of human interaction may now be forever changed, make no mistake, Google Glass is designed to make money for Google. Google glass is FUN. Wearable computing is here, but it will not put people in control or democratize anything.

Evolution is a good thing and I applaud all the work that goes into the dynamics of the new, new things. The fantasies and dreams are huge and wonderful and game changers. But this is not a revolution. That’s ok. They happen when it is time. That time was celebrated tonight.

LeeHomebrew

Homebrew Computer Club Reunion

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