- Wesley A. Clark
Wesley Allison Clark (born 1927) is a
computer scientistand one of the main participants, along with Charles Molnar, in the creation of the LINClaboratory computer, which was the first mini-computerand shares with a number of other computers (such as the PDP-1) the claim to be the inspiration for the personal computer.
Clark was born in
New Haven, Connecticutand grew up in northern California. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeleyin 1947, and received an electrical engineeringdegree from MITin 1955. Clark worked for Washington Universityfrom 1964–72, and as a consultant thereafter. He founded Clark, Rockoff, and Associates in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife, Maxine Rockoff. His oldest son, Douglas, is a professor of computer science at Princeton University.
New York Timesseries on the history of the personal computer had this to say in an article on August 19, 2001"How the Computer Became Personal":
In the pantheon of personal computing, the LINC, in a sense, came first—more than a decade before Ed Roberts made PC's affordable for ordinary people. Work started on the Linc, the brainchild of the M.I.T. physicist Wesley A. Clark, in May 1961, and the machine was used for the first time at the
National Institute of Mental Healthin Bethesda, MD, the next year to analyze a cat's neural responses.
Each Linc had a tiny screen and keyboard and comprised four metal modules, which together were about as big as two television sets, set side by side and tilted back slightly. The machine, a 12-bit computer, included a one-half megahertz processor. Lincs sold for about $43,000—a bargain at the time—and were ultimately made commercially by Digital Equipment, the first minicomputer company. Fifty Lincs of the original design were built.
Clark had a small but key role in the planning for the
ARPANET(the predecessor to the Internet). He suggested to Larry Robertsthe idea of using separate small computers (later named Interface Message Processors) as a way of standardizing the network interface and reducing load on the local computers.
In 1981 Clark received the
Eckert-Mauchly Awardfor his work on computer architecture. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineeringin 1999.
* [http://www.smartcomputing.com/editorial/dictionary/detail.asp?guid=&searchtype=1&DicID=19576&RefType=Encyclopedia Wesley Clark article] in "Smart Computing Encyclopedia"
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.