I was working on…a military project with $1.5 million to build a display. It occurred to me maybe I could make a few concessions and do it for $99 instead.
–Don Lancaster, early computer hobbyist and writer
By the mid- to late-1970s, the fire of invention burned brightly in Silicon Valley, fueled by a unique environment of universities and electronics and semiconductor firms, and the legacy of revolutionary fervor left by the Berkeley Free Speech Movement and 1960s counterculture values. But tinder sparks were igniting in scattered places throughout the country. Some of those figurative sparks were fanned by a man who actually spent his days watching for real fires.
Don Lancaster wasn’t your typical ...