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Science Minds Countdown, #7

Posted by AlienCG on June 24, 2009

I decided to go ahead with the countdown this week after all.  I should have thought about it a little bit and realized that some of my favorite science and tech minds gave us much of what we knew in the 80’s.

Steve Wozniak, Nolan Bushnell, Tōru Iwatani and Erno Rubik
Computer Programmers, Engineers and Inventors

Steve Wozniak is the co-founder of Apple Computers and the creator of many technologies that would advance the personal computer.  It was the Apple II computer that would be the best-selling computer of the 70’s and early 80’s.  He would do this prior to returning to UC Berkeley and earning his undergrad degree under the alias, Rocky Raccoon Clark.  Today, he is a philanthropist and was, of course, on Dancing With the Stars.  He was definitely a factor for forming the 80’s.

Nolan Bushnell an electrical engineer and the man who founded Atari, Inc. and Chuck E. Cheese’s.  He is responsible for one of the most iconic home video game systems of all time, the Atari 2600.  Unfortunately, he would not be with Atari in the 1980’s  as he sold the company to Time-Warner in 1978.  Still, it was his influence and his vision that produce this system for which games are still designed by home brewers.

Tōru Iwatani created the most recognizable video game character of all time while at computer software company, Namco, in Japan.  While there, he created a little yellow disk with a wedge removed that he called, Puck-Man.  The game was purchased by US company, Midway, who changed the name to Pac-Man because they feared kids would change the P to an F in the original name.

Erno Rubik is an architect and sculptor who did not create an electronic gadget, but a mechanical puzzle that is often the symbol of the 80’s.  The Rubik’s Cube was invented in 1974 and sold to American company, Ideal Toys, in 1980.  The puzzle would be one of the most popular toys of the 80’s.  It would become the object of mathematics classes as it can be solved through formula.  Rubik didn’t stop there, he created Rubik’s Revenge and several other puzzles and games throughout the 80’s and 90’s and is still creating them today.

I hope you enjoyed this look at the minds that formed the 80’s.  I will be returning to the early days of science.  Have a nice day and stay tuned for my look at entertainment of the 80’s (yes, Manuel, I’m getting to it).

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6 Responses to “Science Minds Countdown, #7”

  1. babybull40 said

    I use to play around with the Rubik’s Cube and never was able to solve it completely.. it was definitely a puzzler..Thanks for sharing all the great stuff that made todays technology better..

  2. That darned cube! I was terrible at it. One of my sons could solve it in very short order. Interesting stuffs aliencg! I’m still having fun.

  3. laura b. said

    Aw, the Woz. A bonafide genius, if not much of a dancer 🙂 I love that you were able to bring the 80s into your Minds of Science countdown and these guys are definitely worthy of being included.

  4. AlienCG said

    Just to let all of you know, these guys were going to end up in the countdown. They were going to appear later on, but then I decided to do this 80’s week thing.

  5. Manuel said

    I didn’t know that about Pac Man’s name. Cool!

  6. churlita said

    Isn’t it funny how Americans had to change the name because they just knew kids here would make it dirty?

    One of my high school teachers could do the Rubik’s cube behind his back.

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