Part II: How a pair of American spies created the Soviet Silicon Valley

Affairs, social security checks and the mini-fab

Broken CD with wrench

Radio Reg Based on the rather insane number of messages I've received over the last couple of weeks, you guys really, really wanted part two of our interview with Steve Usdin, author of Engineering Communism. Well, here it is.

Episode 16 of Semi-Coherent Computing picks up where we last left off with the tale of two Americans who became spies for the Soviets and then helped create the Soviet version of Silicon Valley. If you missed the first show, check it out here.

The first run proved one of our most popular episodes of SCC to date with the downloads now heading toward the 7,000 mark. We also managed to clear out all of Amazon's Engineering Communism stock in the US and UK. Thanks, as always, for your interest.

In this show, we get a bit more of a personal touch. Steve talks about his views on Joel Barr and what the man was really like in person. In addition, we learn more about Barr's impressive love life, his counter-culture party house in Leningrad and his min-fab invention, which let you produce small amounts of ASICs via a desktop machine.

Funny enough, Barr actually returned to the US after decades of work for the Soviets and obtained a US passport. He even started receiving Social Security payments, which will make you all feel really good.

So, on we go with Barr's story.

Semi-Coherent Computing - Episode 16

Open source types can get Ogged and Vorbed here, those plagued by low-bandwidth can catch a smaller, crappier quality show here or a monster-sized show here.

You can also grab the show off iTunes here or subscribe to the show via this feed.

You'll find Usdin's web site here and can buy the book on Amazon or from Yale Press here.

Thanks for your ears. ®

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