It had its genetic coding in the ’60s…antiestablishment, antiwar, profreedom, antidiscipline attitudes.
–Jim Warren, microcomputer industry pioneer
The San Francisco Bay Area in the late 1960s and early 1970s was a hotbed for political activists, but it also had a large and active community of electrical engineers. The two groups overlapped, and it was where the overlap occurred that the spark ignited.
Lee Felsenstein had dropped out of engineering school at the end of the 1960s and had gone to work for a company called Ampex as a junior engineer. Ampex didn’t require him to work with computers, and that was fine with Felsenstein, who had been cool toward computers ever since ...