One of the stops that summer was Rickeys Hyatt House in Palo Alto. There a fateful encounter occurred after Microsoft BASIC was demonstrated to a group of hackers and hobbyists from a newly-formed local group known as the Homebrew Computer Club. “The room was packed with amateurs and experimenters eager to find out about this new electronic toy,” the club’s newsletter reported. Some of them were also eager to act on the hacker credo that software, like information, should be free. This was not surprising given the social and cultural attitudes — so different from the entrepreneurial zeal of those who had migrated up from Albuquerque — which had flowed together in the early 1970s leading up to the formation of the Homebrew Computer Club.
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