John Markoff (Part 1 of 2)

Technology Columnist and Author

SDForum Distinguished Speaker Series
55 minutes, 25.5mb, recorded 2005-06-08
John Markoff
How did the the licensing of the transistor Silicon Valley? Did Moore's Law come from Gordon Moore or was it borrowed from somone else else? And how did LSD and the Vietnam war help start the PC revolution? This is Part 1 of a two-part presentation. Part 2 will be published shortly.


John Markoff talks about his book, "What The Dormouse Said: How the 60s Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry." In the 60s, John McCarthy was working on replacing human intelligence using artificial intelligence and Doug Engelbart was working on augmenting human intelligence using computers. Both of them profoundly influenced several other engineers including those at Xerox PARC and the Stanford Artifical Intelligence Laboratory (SAIL). John Talks about their contribution and how the PC revolution eventually unfolded.

This is Part 1 of a two-part presentation. You'll find Part 2 here.

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John Markoff was born in Oakland, California in 1949, grew up in Palo Alto and graduated from Whitman College, Walla Walla, Washington, in 1971. He attended graduate school at the University of Oregon where he received a masters degree in 1976. He joined The New York Times in March of 1988 as a reporter for the paper's business section. He now writes for the Times from San Francisco where he covers Silicon Valley, computers and technology issues.

At the Times he broke the story identifying Robert Tappan Morris as the author of the 1988 Internet worm that crashed thousands of computers. He writes frequently on technology policy issues and he also broke the story of the Clinton Administration's plan to introduce Clipper chip system.

He came to the Times from the San Francisco Examiner where he worked for three and a half years. He has written about the field of technology since 1977. From 1984 to 1985 he was West Coast editor for Byte Magazine, and from 1981 to 1983 he was a reporter and an editor at Infoworld. From 1983 to 1985 he wrote a column on personal computers for the San Jose Mercury News.


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