Stephen Gary “Woz” Wozniak is an American computer engineer and programmer who founded Apple Computer, Co. (now Apple Inc.) with co-founder, Steve Jobs, and Ronald Wayne. His inventions and machines are credited with contributing significantly to the personal computer revolution of the 1970s. Wozniak created the Apple I and Apple II computers in the mid-1970s. Wozniak has several nicknames, including “The Woz”, “Wonderful Wizard of Woz” and “iWoz” (a reference to the ubiquitous naming scheme for Apple products). “WoZ” (short for “Wheels of Zeus”) is also the name of a company Wozniak founded. He is sometimes known as the “Other Steve” of Apple Computer, the better known Steve being co-founder Steve Jobs. He is of mostly Polish ancestry. Wozniak portrays a parody of himself in the first episode of the television series Code Monkeys; he plays the owner of Gameavision before selling it to help fund Apple. He later appears again in the twelfth episode when he is in Las Vegas at the annual Video Game Convention and sees Dave and Jerry. He also appears in a parody of the “Get a Mac” ads featured in the final episode of Code Monkeys’ second season. Wozniak is also interviewed and featured in the documentary Hackers Wanted and on BBC. On September 30, 2010 he appeared as himself on The Big Bang Theory dining in The Cheesecake Factory where Penny works and is approached by a robot Sheldon. Leonard tries to explain to Penny who Steve is, but she says she knows him from Dancing with the Stars.
Jan Aleksander Rajchman was an American electrical engineer and computer pioneer. He received the Diploma of Electrical Engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich in 1935, and became a Doctor of Science in 1938. Rajchman emigrated to America in 1935. He joined RCA Laboratory directed by Vladimir K. Zworykin in January 1936. He was a prolific inventor with 107 US patents among others logic circuits for arithmetic. He conceived the first read-only memory, which was widely used in early computers. He conceived and developed the selectively addressable storage tube, the ill-fated Selectron tube, and the core memory. He was a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He is also a member of Sigma Xi, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the Physical Society, the New York Academy of Sciences, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Franklin Institute. He received the 1960 IEEE Morris N. Liebmann Memorial Award and the 1974 IEEE Edison Medal For a creative career in the development of electronic devices and for pioneering work in computer memory systems.
Marvin Lee Minsky is an American cognitive scientist in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), co-founder of Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s AI laboratory, and author of several texts on AI and philosophy. Isaac Asimov described Minsky as one of only two people he would admit were more intelligent than he was, the other being Carl Sagan. 3D profile of a coin (partial) measured with a modern confocal white light microscope. Minsky’s inventions include the first head-mounted graphical display (1963) and the confocal microscope (1957, a predecessor to today’s widely used confocal laser scanning microscope). He developed, with Seymour Papert, the first Logo “turtle”. Minsky also built, in 1951, the first randomly wired neural network learning machine, SNARC.
Klaus Schulze is a German electronic music composer and musician. He also used the alias Richard Wahnfried. He was briefly a member of the electronic bands Tangerine Dream and Ash Ra Tempel before launching a solo career consisting of more than 60 albums released across five decades. In 1969, Klaus Schulze was the drummer of one of the early incarnations of Tangerine Dream for their debut album Electronic Meditation. Before 1969 he was a drummer in a band called Psy Free. He met Edgar Froese from Tangerine Dream in the Zodiac Club in Berlin in that time West-Germany. In 1970 he left this group to form Ash Ra Tempel with Manuel Göttsching and Hartmut Enke. In 1971, he chose again to leave a newly-formed group after only one album, this time to mount a solo career. In 1972, Schulze released his debut album Irrlicht with organ and a recording of an orchestra filtered almost beyond recognition. Despite the lack of synthesizers, this proto-ambient work is regarded as a milestone in electronic music. The follow-up, Cyborg, was similar but added the EMS Synthi A synthesiser.
Richard William “Wil” Wheaton III is an American actor and writer. He portrayed Wesley Crusher on the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, Gordie Lachance in the film Stand by Me and Joey Trotta in Toy Soldiers. He plays a recurring role as a fictionalized version of himself on the CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory. He appeared as himself in several episodes of situation comedy The Big Bang Theory, starting in the fifth episode of the third season “The Creepy Candy Coating Corollary” (2009). On The Big Bang Theory, Wheaton behaves in comically petty and manipulative ways towards the regular characters, particularly Sheldon Cooper with whom he is alternately a friend and an enemy. Wheaton appears in twelve episodes in a recurring, guest-starring role on Eureka, playing Dr. Isaac Parrish, the head of the Non-Lethal Weapons Lab at Global Dynamics and a thorn in Fargo’s side.
Jeff Jarvis is an American journalist. He is the former television critic for TV Guide and People magazine, creator of Entertainment Weekly, Sunday editor and associate publisher of the New York Daily News, and a columnist on the San Francisco Examiner. He is a co-host on This Week in Google along with Leo Laporte and Gina Trapani, a show on the TWiT Network which covers cloud computing and social networking. In 2009, Jarvis wrote a book called, “What Would Google Do?” In the book, he discusses how companies can become successful like Google, and talks about how Google, and other top websites, such as Facebook, Craigslist, Wikipedia, and Digg, have changed the business model. He gives advice on how companies can copy Google’s success, and how other successful companies have already done so, such a Dell and Apple.
Benjamin “Ben” Burtt, Jr. is an American sound designer for the films Star Wars (1977), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) and WALL-E (2008). He is also a film editor and director, screenwriter, and voice actor. He is most notable for creating many of the iconic sound effects heard in the Star Wars film franchise, including the “voice” of R2-D2, the lightsaber hum and the heavy-breathing sound of Darth Vader. Burtt was born in Jamesville, New York, and graduated with a major in physics from Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania. In 1970, he won the National Student Film Festival with a war film Yankee Squadron, reputedly after following exposure to classic aviation drama through making an amateur film at the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome, a living aviation museum in Red Hook, New York, under guidance from its founder, Cole Palen. For his work on the special-effects film Genesis, Burtt won a scholarship to the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, California, where he earned a master’s degree in film production.