About this project
Please join us on November 11th, 2013 for a historic event--the Homebrew Computer Club Reunion. The legendary Homebrew Computer Club was a grassroots group of hardware hackers who kickstarted the personal computer revolution, and forever changed the course of consumer technology--and in the process--the world.
For one night in November, dozens of original surviving Homebrew Computer Club members will reunite to celebrate their legacy and to impart their wisdom to the next generation of hackers and creators whose innovations will shape the future. Attendees will include Hypertext pioneer Ted Nelson, and Homebrew original and sometimes "moderator" Lee Felsenstein.
In March 1975, The Homebrew Computer Club held its first meeting in Gordon French’s Menlo Park garage. Made up of Silicon Valley computer hobbyists and DIY hackers, it would be hard to overstate the impact this group would have on the future of computing. In fact, if one had to pick the single most important moment in personal computing history, the first meeting of the Homebrew Computer Club in that dimly lit garage in Menlo Park might be at the top of the list. Homebrew members didn’t invent the computer, nor most of its discrete and necessary components, but as Sir Isaac Newton is quoted as saying, “If I have seen farther it is by standing on the shoulders of giants…”
The original Homebrew members stood on the shoulders of giants like Alan Turing and John Backus, who in turn stood upon the shoulders of pioneers like Pascal, Lovelace, Babbage and even those in the 17th century like Leibniz. From the invention of the wheel to the invention of the microprocessor, humanity has always built upon the greatness created by previous generations. The Homebrew meetings represent a moment in history when brilliant minds came together and were able to see further into the future than perhaps any single era in the history of human innovation. Please contribute to honor the original members of the Homebrew Computer Club and to attend their historic reunion, where the Silicon Valley community can stand upon the shoulders of these great innovators, and see further into the future than anyone else before them.
But most importantly, you can't bring together this group of old timers and merry pranksters without fun and hijinks as a major by product.
Proposed Agenda for Event
6:00pm: Meet up and catch up, food & drinks display of homebrew computers.
7:15pm: Auditorium event guest speakers: Lee Felsenstein, Ted Nelson, and Gordon French - a Homebrew retrospective
8:45pm: Random Access Session - people with similar interests cluster to share information, like in the original Homebrew meetings
Who We Are
Lee Felsenstein is an original member and moderator of the Homebrew Computer Club meetings. Lee is also the designer of the “SOL”, the PennyWhistle modem, and the Osborne 1 - the first mass-produced portable computer.
Hilda Sendyk is an original member of the Homebrew Computer Club. She is currently a Learning and Development & Training consultant, public speaking coach, and technical writer. She was manufacturing manager for three of the earliest personal computer companies: Imsai, North Star Computers, and George Morrow Designs.
Matt Spergel was born and raised in Santa Clara County. Matt has co-founded Hack the Future, organized and implemented the Bay Area wide “Invent” hackerspace outdoor campaign, ran an educational technology business, and now leads the charge for a social media events website for downtown San Jose. Matt recently moved back from Chicago where he was hired to launch the 3D Printer Experience, the premier independent 3D printer store in the country.
Joël Franusic is hacker and evangelist for Twilio. Joël is also an organizer of the Bay Area's long running developer culture series SuperHappyDevHouse. He lives in San Francisco, exploring the history of computing and writing playful hacks.
Michael Selvidge is a San Francisco native, Michael works at Twilio as Senior Manager, Corporate Communications. A computer history nerd, Michael also co-founded Highground Hackers which works to connect engineering talent with non-technical experts in different fields of public concern.
Fundraising is to cover the costs of organizing this event (event space, event staff, security, food and drinks, travel for Homebrew members, etc).
Buffet style food will be served, and anyone with a ticket to the event, regardless of funding tier, will be fed. Drinks too!
This isn't an event to pitch people, it's an event to honor achievements and share visions for the future.
We have already confirmed the participation of 25 original members through the organizers' connections to Homebrew, and we expect many more to RSVP once the event is funded and finalized.
$30,000: Pictures from a professional photographer at the event will be licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY 3.0) and placed on the Internet Archive.
Risks and challenges
Having the Computer History Museum as a venue removes the majority of the risks associated with running an event like this.
The funds raised will help cover expenses for the event and help bring out the original Homebrew Computer Club members.
After this Kickstarter is funded, our remaining challenges will be logistical. We will need to sign contracts with event staff, caterers, photographers; finalize the agenda and brief all event staff on the plan; and so on.
For the stretch goals, we are assuming that we will be able to find a photographer who will be willing to license their work under Creative Commons (CC BY 3.0).Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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