Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/08/09/wood_icons/

Dead geeks depend on the kindness of strangers

Will a wooden Jobs be so lucky?

By Ashlee Vance

Posted in Bootnotes, 9th August 2006 19:22 GMT

Into the Valley Critics will argue that being made out of wood and having a GPS unit strapped to your bum counts as a blow to one's dignity. Register readers, however, see the woody GPS strap-on as a point of pride.

Many of you will recall that six, wooden Silicon Valley icons - Lee de Forest, Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard, William Shockley, Fred Terman and Bob Noyce - are making their way around the country. Our story from last week details why these folks are considered "Fathers of Silicon Valley" and the nature of their journey. We won't rehash the information here.

But we will thank our readers for their efforts in pushing this project along. Where members of the Slashdot crowd gave the traveling dead icon idea a hard time, you folks stepped up to help these figures get from place to place.

Check out the Hewlett and Packard page, for example. You'll see that reader Ron Pottol picked up the HP figure from downtown Palo Alto. Pottol took the figure on a trip to Apple's HQ in Cupertino and then to Halted Specialties Company in San Jose. Reader Richard Harrington then saw the figures at HSC.

At present, the HP figure is trapped atop the Lick Observatory.

[Update: The project's leader Julie Newdoll received this note Wednesday afternoon.

Hi Julie,

We were delighted when Bill and Dave showed up here yesterday. This seemed like a totally appropriate place for them to visit, as one of their very first 1938 garage projects was building a piece of custom electronics for one of our Lick Observatory telescopes. Dave described this in his book "The HP Way", pages 39-40.

Please be assured they were inside last night, entertained (and entertaining) and well cared for. Details and photos will follow. I last saw them at 6AM, and they were quite well, thank you. Sorry if they are not communicative at the moment; perhaps they're just having too much fun with this whole escapade, as are we.

Rumor had it they might be starting back down the hill today toward the end of their journey, but I cannot yet confirm that.

We LOVE your project!

Remington P.S. Stone - Director of Mt. Hamilton Operations at Lick Observatory

The most outstanding photo to be displayed from the project thus far has to be this shot of Bob Noyce with a bunch of pigs. We explain the other white meat factor here.

If you have the time, give each hitchhiker's page a read. The photos and updates can be quite funny.

Incidentally, Lee de Forest has gone missing, and the artists are yet to sell one of these figures. ®