Recently, in preparation for a new freelance gig, I put together a site with some writing samples. I started at Microsoft in 1988 so some of these samples look ancient - but whenever I start to think of 1988 as old in technology terms, I remember my grandfather, Emmet Cameron (seen at left with his friend Dave Packard, aka the "P" in HP). As an executive at Varian Associates in Palo Alto, he was working in Silicon Valley decades before any of us had even seen a personal computer. Boy was he proud when my first real job was at Microsoft!
In later years he enjoyed the benefits of financial success - a sprawling house in Atherton and trips all over the world - but he grew up dirt poor. Though his father was a fireman and his mother never even graduated from high school, my grandfather and his three sisters were brilliant, all tagged early by Lewis Terman at Stanford who followed them from childhood through old age as part of his Genetic Studies of Genius research. Grandpa was an interesting guy; in addition to being so smart he was funny, inventive, and tender.
I miss him. I'm grateful for author Christophe Leacute, who has preserved the legacy of my grandfather and his colleagues by writing about the early, less glamorous days of Silicon Valley in Making Silicon Valley by MIT Press.
Tonight I think I'll have a very dry martin with a twist a la Emmet Cameron!
1 month ago