I share my favorite hobby with my father. Some fathers and sons spend time rebuilding old cars; my dad and I enjoy rebuilding a 1963 LINC Computer.
In 1961, Wesley Clark, a computer pioneer and part time neurophysiologist, designed the LINC -- the first personal computer – based on his firm belief that "a computer should be just another piece of lab equipment" that could greatly facilitate neurophysiological research. In early 1963, NIH and NASA sponsored a program to evaluate the usefulness of the LINC. A panel chose twelve laboratories for this program and the laboratory of my father, J. Walter Woodbury, was one of the awardees of a LINC that first year, 1963. At the time he was Professor of Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Washington (Seattle). The LINC was designed to aid Neurophysiologists with real-time experimental measurements.
Like many others, I was hooked on computers the first time my dad showed me how to use it and grew up on the LINC. The LINC was a big success and despite its ~$40K price tag, 40 or more LINCs were built those first few years. Our LINC functioned flawlessly until the mid-1980’s when it rather suddenly developed an excessive “crash rate”. After sitting in a corner for two decades, we are bringing this important historical relic back to life.
2013-14 is the 50th anniversary of the LINC
Related celebrations (25 May 2013): BCL-CSL Reunion