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.