Lee Felsenstein is an icon of the history of personal computing. He was a co-founder and moderator of Silicon Valley's legendary Homebrew Computer Club and chief engineer for the Osborne portable computer, among other accomplishments!
Lee went through the ’60’s counterculture as an engineer and emerged resolved to build a networked computer system for the purpose of empowering communities. The resulting system, opened in 1973, “opened the door to cyberspace and found it to be an hospitable place” (in his words), and provided him with a clear vision of the potential of personal computers. Homebrew Computer Club is one of the most famous institutions in the history of personal computing. Its mid-1970s meetings at Stanford University attracted hundreds of enthusiasts from across Silicon Valley, most notably Apple's Steve Wozniak. Lee Felsenstein was co-founder of the group and led the meetings. Later, he was an engineer at Processor Technology whose Sol-20 computer was a precursor of the Apple 2. In the early 1980s he was chief engineer at Osborne which made the first commercially successful portable computer and was also the West Coast Editor of the short-lived ROM magazine.
Lee is also known for his pioneering work in social media. He co-created Community Memory, the first public-access social media system, which he describes in Social Media - Archaeology and Poetics (Edited by Judy Mallory), recently published by MIT Press. While initially conceived as an information and resource sharing network linking a variety of counter-cultural economic, educational, and social organizations with each other and the public, Community Memory was soon generalized to be an information flea market, by providing unmediated, two-way access to message databases through public computer terminals. Once the system became available, the users demonstrated that it was a general communications medium that could be used for art, literature, journalism, commerce, and social chatter.
Here is your chance to grab two friends and enjoy the chance to meet with Mr. Felsenstein and pick his brain in Silicon Valley or San Francisco!
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