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Technical Accomplishments of Ron Crane- RIP

Ronald C. Crane photo

Ron Crane may be best known for being an eccentric design engineer, but he had many technical accomplishments that were not documented. Those include:

Thomas Haigh on "The Other Women of ENIAC: Rethinking IT Innovation"

On March 20, 2017, Thomas Haigh, PhD engaged in conversation with Alan J Weissberger, ScD at an IEEE Silicon Valley History meeting in Santa Clara, CA. Tom talked about his education, industrail and academic career, upcoming book projects and the evolution of computing.  Of particular interest was his remark that "you don't learn about history of computing in a university computer science program.  

IEEE Milestone Dedication for SHAKEY: The First Robot With Artificial Intelligence

When I came to Santa Clara, CA in the Spring of 1970 the hottest topics were artificial intelligence and its manifestation in Shakey the robot. There were several IEEE talks per quarter on that topic at Stanford Research Institute (SRI) in Menlo Park.

SHAKEY has had a huge impact on artificial intelligence, robotics and autonomous vehicles. Technology used by the Mars rovers and in Google Maps is based on the Shortest Path Algorithm devised at SRI during SHAKEY's 1966-72 development period. This video is fun to watch.

History Session @ Flash Memory Summit, Aug 7th, Santa Clara, CA

Session 302-C: An Interview with Simon Sze, Co-Inventor of the Floating Gate (History Track)
Organizer: Brian A. Berg, President, Berg Software Design


Simon Sze, Professor, National Chiao Tung University (Taiwan)

Session Description:

What was the origin of the “floating gate” transistor, the foundation for all of today’s nonvolatile memory? Believe it or not, it arose out of a lunchtime conversation at Bell Labs about replacing core memory and layered chocolate or cheesecake! Come hear Simon Sze, father of the floating gate, share details of this and many other interesting stories about how storage technology has progressed, including work by Intel, Toshiba, and many now-forgotten companies.

Intended Audience:

Who Coined the Term Silicon Valley?

At a superb IEEE CPMT lecture by Paul Wesling on the Origins of Silicon Valley, computer historian Roy Mize insisted that the term "Silicon Valley" was not coined by either Ralph Vaerst or Don Hoeffler, whom generally get the credit.  Roy insists that the term was in popular use before 1971, but can not identify a single individual that made it up.
I first came to Santa Clara in March 1970 (worked at Fairchild Systems Technology in Sunnyvale).  At that time, this area was referred to as Santa Clara Valley- the orchard capital of the U.S.  I don't remember people referring to this place as Silicon Valley until many years later.

Bob Metcalfe's Closing Keynote at Ethernet Innovation Summit - May 23, 2013, CHM in Mt View, CA

Metcalfe's key points are summarized in this article:

His talk along with the Q & A session can be viewed at:

NetEvents announces 2013 Innovation Award Winners (by category) at Ethernet Innovation Summit is at:


Inventor Ted Hoff's Keynote @ World IP Day- April 26, 2013 in San Jose, CA

The World IP Day program was to promote and celebrate the many benefits of intellectual property in San Jose and the SF Bay Area. San Jose and Silicon Valley lead the nation in patent generation and the City cohosted this West Coast event to celebrate the contributions of innovators and creators worldwide. Marcian E. "Ted" Hoff's keynote speech is summarized in this article.

CHM lecture: IBM Fellow Grady Booch on Computing: The Human Experience


In this interesting and informative lecture at the Computer History Museum (CHM) on March 11, 2013, Grady Booch asked and tried to answer this question: ”What does it take to make “sentient” devices (that can feel, sense, think and reason) out of silicon and software?”

But before we can address that question, there are many others that need to be thought about. For example, what does it mean to be intelligent? Is intelligence only in the mind or can it also be computable? Some such as Marvin Minsky believe the mind to be computable; others such as Roger Penrose do not (more about him later in this article). Components of life appear to be common to many species, but sentient life is uncommon.

The Race for Microprocessor Leadership in Silicon Valley: Jan 7, 2012 IEEE Life Member Meeting in Mt View, CA


The microprocessor changed what is now known as Silicon Valley from a mostly agricultural and defense electronics region into a center of innovation for many new technologies. How did that happen and what challenges were faced along the way?

CEO John Hollar's CHM Progress Report at Jan 7, 2012 IEEE Life Member Meeting

John Hollar, Computer History Museum (CHM) President and CEO, delivered a progress report on CHM activities at the January 7th IEEE Life Member meeting in Mt View, CA.  The CHM has become the leading institution that's archived computer artifacts, but also a thought leader on the impact of computing on our society.

Four CHM areas were cited by John as being particularly successful:

1.  Events such as lectures and conversations, such as the Revolutionary series, have been very well attended and widely acclaimed for excellence.  The Revolutionaries series launched with 13 lectures in 2011 and won such acclaim that it has been extended for another 14 events in 2012-13.


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