Bob Jacobsen

Probably not coincidentally, my association with People's ComputerCompany in the mid-1970s began literally by accident. I'd been involved in a minor automobile accident and needed immediate cash to pay off the deductible. Being broke at the time, I called a temporary outfit to put my typing skills to work. They told me of a job at a strange computer magazine, and asked if I knew how to typeset on an IBM Composer. Desperate times calling for desperate measures, I told them to say yes--assuming I could figure it out quickly. Fortunately that proved to be true, and my first days at PCC were happily spent typesetting articles for early issues of PCC, Doctor Dobb's Journal and shortly, Computer Music Journal. Soon I became circulation manager, and after a few months was asked by Bob Albrecht and Dennis Allison to become the first executive director of PCC. I was young and foolish enough to accept....

Those were wonderful, crazy times---similar to the start-up dot-com frenzy that we all recently experienced. Personal computing and PCC were both growing at a huge pace. I remember my first job as executive director was to move PCC out of the cramped space in Menlo Park we were sharing with Dymax and into our own offices. After a quick search, we found inexpensive offices nearby above a storefront on El Camino Real which we were able to fix up--mostly cut-rate or with our own labor! We published DDJ and CMJ, transformed PCC into People's Computers magazine, published several books and struggled to produce everything on a tight schedule. We also wrestled with cash flow, and while the pay wasn't great, we always had a pot of robust Peet's coffee in the kitchen to keep us going! Those years were a powerful education for me in finance, management and publishing. But mostly, it's the great people who worked there and the incredible teamwork that I remember.

After PCC, I continued for a time in non-profit management, then began a technical sales career that lasted for many years. Finding that I enjoyed the technology more than the sales, I shifted to the information technology field and took classes at UC Berkeley to earn my certification in project management. After working at Pacific Bell, Apple Computer and Amdahl, I joined Charles Schwab's technology group in 1996, and now manage service and client availability projects. I live in Walnut Creek, California with my wife, Sandi and our 3-year-old daughter, Tess. Life is good, and I still drink Peet's coffee! I'd love to hear from my former colleagues at PCC---you can reach me at I wish you every success!

Bob Jacobsen
September, 2001

CONTACT Bob Jacobsen
Last Modified: Fri Oct 12 11:45:47 2001