June, 2006


22
Jun 06

pong

Silicon Valley is so great. A couple of weeks ago, I wanted to sell our old CRT television, so I put up a listing on Craig’s List. Within 2 hours, I had eight offers for it, so I just got back in touch with the quickest response — a guy named Bob Brown, who lives in Los Altos.

Anyway, he came over — the TV was in our garage, so I couldn’t really plug it into a video source, but asked he wanted me to turn it on — he said: “Sure, might as well see the raster.” My nerd antennae went up just a little bit. (To be honest, that’s not a terribly unusual thing to hear in SV, just moderately.)

Then he mentioned he had recently bought a TV for his son that he had fixed up (“it was just a bum IC — easy to fix.”) Right.

“What’s your background?” I asked. Electrical Engineer. Well, duh. Stanford guy. Worked for Atari. Oh, and he invented Pong. Right. Cool!

He didn’t actually invent Pong, but he’s the engineering lead who took it from being a stand up arcade game to being the game with paddles that we all had in our houses. We talked for a while about Breakout, my favorite (him: “…and then when you broke through to the top of the blocks — orgasmic!”)

Great, fun conversation. Totally blown away by the guy. And I avoided asking him the “how much LSD did it take” question that kept trying to get out.

So Silicon Valley is great that way. You never know who’s going to buy your old $50 television.


22
Jun 06

My Friend Reid

My good friend Reid Hoffman was just named as one of the “50 People that Matter” by Business 2.0. Only #22 :-), but he crushes Oprah, who came in at #38.


6
Jun 06

yes on 81

if you live in california, go vote today!

and consider voting "yes" on proposition 81. it’s a $600M bond to go towards library building & renovation. not a new tax, but a general obligation bond. libraries, including ours in sunnyvale, are going through a lot of behind-the-scenes work with communities lately to figure out what role in civic life they play now, and what they should be in the future. many libraries are completely crushed under the demand of 2006, trying to work out of facilities built in the 1960s or worse (like sunnyvale). so vote yes. ­čÖé


6
Jun 06

Experimenting with Vox

Just trying out a new blogging offering from SixApart (makers of Typepad): Vox. Started a new blog over there to see how I like it.


5
Jun 06

big night

Kathy & I watched one of our very favorite movies this weekend, for maybe the third for fourth time: Big Night. Fantastic, fantastic movie about 2 Italian brothers who come to the States to build a restaurant. It’s not a movie with a ton of action, but what a wonderful, beautifully written, filmed, acted & directed movie. The performance by Stanley Tucci is one of my favorites in any movie. I was introduced to this movie by my friend Al about a million years ago, and just love it. It’s one of those where if you’ve got the time and can notice the details, it doesn’t really get any better.

also in the Big category: season finale of Big Love this weekend. good work. watching the Sopranos finale tonight if I don’t fall asleep at 9:30 again.