Inventor Nerd, Music Nerd, Technology Nerd

Bob Moog (American pioneer of electronic music) was born on May 23, 1934

Robert Arthur Moog, commonly called Bob Moog, was an American pioneer of electronic music, best known as the inventor of the Moog synthesizer. The Moog synthesizer was one of the first widely used electronic musical instruments. Early developmental work on the components of the synthesizer occurred at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center, now the Computer Music Center. While there, Moog developed the voltage controlled oscillators, ADSR envelope generators, and other synthesizer modules with composer Herbert Deutsch. Moog created the first voltage-controlled subtractive synthesizer to utilize a keyboard as a controller and demonstrated it at the AES convention in 1964. In 1966, Moog filed a patent application for his unique low-pass filter U.S. Patent 3,475,623, which issued in October 1969. He held several dozen patents. Moog employed his theremin company (R. A. Moog Co., which would later become Moog Music) to manufacture and market his synthesizers. Unlike the few other 1960s synthesizer manufacturers, Moog shipped a piano-style keyboard as the standard user interface to his synthesizers.

Advertisements
Computer Nerd Event

Windows 3.0 is released on May 22, 1990

Windows 3.0, a graphical environment, is the third major release of Microsoft Windows, and was released on May 22, 1990. It became the first widely successful version of Windows and a rival to Apple Macintosh and the Commodore Amiga on the GUI front. It was followed by Windows 3.1. Windows 3.0 originated in 1989 when a group of Microsoft programmers independently decided to develop a protected mode Windows as an experiment. They cobbled together a rough prototype and presented it to company executives, who were impressed enough to approve it as an official project. Windows 3.0 succeeded Windows 2.1x and included a significantly revamped user interface as well as technical improvements to make better use of the memory management capabilities of Intel’s 80286 and 80386 processors. Text-mode programs written for MS-DOS could be run within a window (a feature previously available in a more limited form with Windows/386 2.1), making the system usable as a crude multitasking base for legacy programs. However, this was of limited use for the home market, where most games and entertainment programs continued to require raw DOS access.

Movie Nerd Event, Science Fiction Nerd Event

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back was released on May 21, 1980

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (also known as The Empire Strikes Back) is a 1980 American epic space opera film directed by Irvin Kershner and written by Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan, with George Lucas writing the film’s story and serving as executive producer. Of the six main Star Wars films, it was the second to be released and the fifth in terms of internal chronology. Following a difficult production, The Empire Strikes Back was released on May 21, 1980, and initially received mixed reviews from critics, although it has since grown in esteem, becoming one of the most popular chapters in the Star Wars saga and one of the most highly-rated films in history. It earned more than $538 million worldwide over the original run and several re-releases, making it the highest grossing film of 1980. When adjusted for inflation, it is the 12th highest grossing film in the USA and Canada as of 2010. In 2010, the film was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being “culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant.”

Technology Nerd

William Redington Hewlett (co-founder of Hewlett-Packard) was born on May 20, 1913

William (Bill) Redington Hewlett was an engineer and the co-founder, with David Packard, of the Hewlett-Packard Company (HP). Hewlett attended classes taught by Fred Terman at Stanford and became acquainted with David Packard during his undergraduate work at Stanford. He and Packard began discussing forming a company in August 1937, and founded Hewlett-Packard Company as a partnership on January 1, 1939. A flip of a coin decided the ordering of their names. The company incorporated in 1947 and tendered an initial public offering in 1957. Hewlett was president of the Institute of Radio Engineers in 1954. Also in 1939 he married Flora Lamson, and the couple eventually had five children: Eleanor, Walter, James, William and Mary. There are 12 grandchildren. He was President of HP from 1964 to 1977, and served as CEO from 1968 to 1978, when he was succeeded by John A. Young. He remained chairman of the executive committee until 1983, and then served as vice chairman of the board until 1987.

Computer Nerd, Science Nerd

James Gosling (Canadian computer scientist) was born on May 19, 1955

James Arthur Gosling is a Canadian computer scientist, best known as the father of the Java programming language. Gosling is generally credited with having invented the Java programming language in 1994. He created the original design of Java and implemented the language’s original compiler and virtual machine. Gosling traces the origins of the approach to his early 19s graduate-student days, when he created a pseudo-code (p-code) virtual machine for the lab’s DEC VAX computer, so that his professor could run programs written in UCSD Pascal. Pascal compiled into p-code to foster precisely this kind of portability. In the work leading to Java at Sun, he saw that architecture-neutral execution for widely distributed programs could be achieved by implementing a similar philosophy: always program for the same virtual machine.

Artist Nerd, Music Nerd

Mark Mothersbaugh (co-founder of Devo) was born on May 18, 1950

Mark Allen Mothersbaugh is an American musician, composer, singer and painter. He is the co-founder of the new wave band Devo and has been its lead singer since 1972. His other musical projects include work for television series, films, and video games. Mothersbaugh attended Kent State as an art student, where he met Devo co-founders Jerry Casale and Bob Lewis. In early 1970, Lewis and Casale formed the idea of┬áthe “devolution” of the human race; Mothersbaugh, intrigued by the concept, joined them, building upon it with elements of early poststructuralist ideas and oddball arcana, most notably unearthing the infamous Jocko-Homo Heavenbound pamphlet (the basis for the song Jocko Homo). This culminated in 1973, when the trio started to play music as Devo. Since Devo, Mothersbaugh developed a successful career writing musical scores for film and television. In film, Mothersbaugh has worked frequently with filmmaker Wes Anderson, and scored most of his feature films (Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou). His music has been a staple of the children’s television shows Rugrats, Beakman’s World, Santo Bugito and Clifford the Big Red Dog. He also wrote the new theme song for the original Felix the Cat show when it was sold to Broadway Video, some music for Pee-Wee’s Playhouse in 1990 and the theme song for the Super Mario World TV series for DiC Entertainment in 1991.

Computer Nerd, Science Nerd

Alan Kay (American computer scientist) was born on May 17, 1940

Alan Curtis Kay is an American computer scientist, known for his early pioneering work on object-oriented programming and windowing graphical user interface design, and for coining the phrase, “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” He is the president of the Viewpoints Research Institute, and an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is also on the advisory board of TTI/Vanguard. Until mid 2005, he was a Senior Fellow at HP Labs, a Visiting Professor at Kyoto University, and an Adjunct Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Kay has lectured extensively on the idea that the computer revolution is very new, and all of the good ideas have not been universally implemented. Lectures at OOPSLA 1997 conference and his ACM Turing award talk, entitled “The Computer Revolution Hasn’t Happened Yet” were informed by his experiences with Sketchpad, Simula, Smalltalk, and the bloated code of commercial software. On August 31, 2006, Kay’s proposal to the United States National Science Foundation (NSF) was granted, thus funding Viewpoints Research Institute for several years. The proposal title was: Steps Toward the Reinvention of Programming: A compact and Practical Model of Personal Computing as a Self-exploratorium. A sense of what Kay is trying to do comes from this quote, from the abstract of a seminar on this given at Intel Research Labs, Berkeley: “The conglomeration of commercial and most open source software consumes in the neighborhood of several hundreds of millions of lines of code these days. We wonder: how small could be an understandable practical “Model T” design that covers this functionality? 1M lines of code? 200K LOC? 100K LOC? 20K LOC?”