Larry Tesler

I met Bob Albrecht around 1966. He told me of his vision for kids and computers. I was already familiar with Pat Suppes' work at Stanford, and had visited Suppes' East Palo Alto test site. Bob's vision was different: more creative, less fundable.

When PCC opened, Bob invited me to visit. I was impressed. I lived close by for a few years in the '70s, and stopped in occasionally to watch kids and other visitors play.

Peninsula School kids went to PCC to use the computers. My daughter was one. In 1977, Phyllis Cole and I bought a Commodore PET for the school, making it one of the first schools to use commercial personal computers as learning tools. There was no software yet for the PET, so some friends of the school developed a few titles, mostly inspired by what we had seen at MECC and PCC. Peninsula sold the software so consumers and other schools could have something to run on their PETs. But the programs sold too well. The school had to pull them off the market to avoid threatening its non-profit status.

Around that time, Phyllis and Marc LeBrun took over the editorial tasks for PCC Newspaper from Bob Albrecht. When PCC Newspaper became People's Computers magazine, Phyllis became editor. She persuaded me to write articles about our PET software, which I did.

That was probably my last contact with PCC. I was working at Xerox PARC at the time, in Alan Kay's Learning Research Group. I left PARC in 1980 to join Apple, where I held many posts, some related to educational computing.

I left Apple in 1997 to co-found Stagecast, a K-12 software company, where I still am today. Stagecast Creator was chosen by the readers of Technology & Learning magazine as one of 20 "best software products of the past decade" and has won other awards. With Creator, kids today can make by themselves most of the games that their parents played at PCC or saw in the PCC newspaper. I have gone full circle.

Among Stagecast's friends are several alumni of PCC. David Thornburg is on our Advisory Board. Jane Laidley's company produced our QuickStart card. I welcome all PCC alumni to check out the Stagecast web site and see what we have empowered kids to do.

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Last Modified: Tue May 15 15:16:43 2001