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Felsenstein (Lee) papers
M1443  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
The papers of computer designer Lee Felsenstein contain material about the development of personal computers through the 1970s and 80s.
Background
Lee Felsenstein is an electronic design engineer known for his contributions to the early history of personal computing. Born in Philadelphia, PA in 1945, Felsenstein studied electrical engineering and computer science at the University of California, Berkeley, where he took part in the 1964 Free Speech Movement protests and was employed as a junior engineer at Ampex. Working as a contract engineer since the 1970’s, much of Felsenstein’s output has focused on making personal computing more publicly accessible. His contributions to the history of computing include designing the 1973 Pennywhistle modem, an early acoustic coupler modem affordable to hobbyists, and the Osborne 1, the first commercially successful portable computer, released by the Osborne Computer Corporation in 1981. Additionally, Felsenstein is known for co-founding the Community Memory Project, a publicly-accessible computer bulletin board system self-branded as an “information flea market,” in 1973, and for his role from 1975 to 1986 as moderator of the Homebrew Computer Club, a Silicon Valley-based group of computing enthusiasts whose membership included Bob Marsh, Steve Wozniak, Adam Osborne, and Jerry Lawson, among others.
Extent
56 Linear Feet
Restrictions
While Special Collections is the owner of the physical and digital items, permission to examine collection materials is not an authorization to publish. These materials are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. Any transmission or reproduction beyond that allowed by fair use requires permission from the owners of rights, heir(s) or assigns.
Availability
Open for research except for Series I: Community Memory Project, Subseries 1.6: Payroll, which is closed until Jan. 1, 2060. Computer media is also closed until processed. Note that material must be requested at least 36 hours in advance of intended use.