Sunday, February 28, 2016

To Absent Friends - Wesley A. Clark

Well, I had never heard of Wesley A. Clark, either, until a small obit in this morning's Post-Gazette caught my eye.  The fact that I am even writing this Blog, and that you are reading it on either a desk top home computer, tablet, or smart phone is the indirect result of the work of Wesley Clark, who died this past Monday at the age of 88.

Clark was a physicist who designed the first modern personal computer.  Working with scientists, programmers, and engineers at MIT in the late 1950's, Clark's ideas and designs built the bridge from massive, expensive, and inaccessible mainframe computers to those handy little gadgets that we all seem to be, for better or worse, connected to today.  As the obit said today, Clark and his colleagues "early on had the insight that the cost of computing would fall inexorably and lead to computers that were then unimaginable" in the late fifties and early sixties.

No word in the obit as to whether or not Clark became wealthy because of his work.

RIP Wesley A. Clark.

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