Chapter 10 

Hackers, Heroes of the Computer Revolution

The Homebrew Computer Club

The Homebrew Computer Club was founded by Fred Moore and Gordon French as a way for electronics hobbyists and hackers to get together and exchange information and talk about their projects. The first meeting took place on March 5, 1975 in Gordon's garage in Silicon Valley. There were only 32 people in the first meeting, among them Lee Felsenstein, Bob Marsh, Bob Albrecht, Steve Dompier, Alan Baum and Stephen Wozniak. Dompier wrote a program that was able to play simple musical melodies on the Altair that could be heard on a radio because of electrical interference.

Some of the participants thought of making some add on boards for the 8800, and they even formed their own small companies to sell these boards. The membership of the club grew to hundreds, and members were sharing equipment and knowledge in a continuation of the Hacker Ethic developed at MIT. Many products were introduced and critiqued during club meetings, and their schematics and source code would be freely shared and improved.