July 18, 2013

Marty Gear 1940-2013

 Marty Gear died peacefully in his sleep today of congestive heart failure.

He'd been involved in cons for a mind blowingly long time, having attended his first World Con in 1953.

You may not be familiar with Mr Gear. However, if you are on the east coast and are in any way involved with cosplay at sci-fi or anime conventions, you probably owe something to Marty Gear.

   In the '80s he helped to organize the Balticon costume contest and over the years built it into a truly impressive affair. He assisted in organizing costume contests at other other cons as well including Dragon Con, Anime USA, Katsucon and he chaired Costume Con3, having succeeded in convincing its backers via the example of Balticon that a costume convention was viable on the east coast.  Mr. Gear organized the first chapter of the International Costumers Guild chapter in 1991.




There's an interview with him here.


He was always charming and professional. He will be greatly missed.

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July 07, 2013

More Than 20 Years Ahead of His Time

Actually...no.
We're over two decades behind where we ought to be.

Doug Englebert died last Tuesday and it is a testament to how screwed up our media is that I learned of his passing from XKCD.

Englebert was one of the greatest computer pioneers of all time.
 
After returning from service in the Philippine theater of operations in WW2 he studied electrical engineering and worked for NACA. He then worked on computers at Ames, and with Hewlett Crane developing magnetic core memory. In 1962 he put together a hand picked team of researchers at Stanford's Augmentation Reasearch Center.

Between 1962 and 1968, he and his 17 person team developed, amongst other things, the computer mouse, cursor (which he called a "bug") hypertext, instant messaging, video instant messaging, audio files, dynamic file linking, keyword searching, modern computer word processing and the hyperlink.

Here follow this "hyperlink" to the video of his 1968 demo of the fruits of their labors at the 1968 joint computer conference. watch the whole thing. It's 90 minutes that changed the world...just a bit slower than it ought to have.

It was all there...all of it was demonstrated except cat videos and pr0n and it was demonstrated in 1968.



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