Jim Warren, Early Influencer in Personal Computing, Dies at 85 – World News

Jim Warren, Early Influencer in Personal Computing, Dies at 85

Jim C. Warren Jr. was born on July 20, 1936, in Oakland, California, the only child of Jim Sr. and Gladys Warren. The family soon moved to Texas, where her father, a pilot, flew military transport planes during World War II.

Mr. Warren grew up in San Antonio. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and education from Southwest Texas State University and later, supported by a National Science Foundation grant, received a master’s degree in mathematics and statistics from the University of Texas.

But as he explained to John Markoff, a former reporter for The New York Times and author of “What the Dormouse Said: How the ’60s Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry” (2005), he felt limited by Texas conservatism. . In the early 1960s and was looking for a wider horizon. He then picked up a copy of LOOK magazine with a cover story on California as “The Golden State.”

Mr. Warren arrived in the Bay Area in the summer of 1964, visiting California. Faced with the freewheeling culture out there, he thought, “I’m at home, I’m home after all,” he recalled.

He embraced the region’s liberal politics, marched in rallies to oppose the war in Vietnam and supported the Free Speech Movement, centered at the University of California at Berkeley. For two years he was general secretary of the Mid-Peninsula Free University, an outgrowth of a movement that not only offered free courses in storefront locations and homes but also sponsored B-ins and organized anti-war demonstrations.

Shortly after arriving in California, Mr. Warren got a job teaching mathematics at Notre Dame College, a Catholic women’s school in Belmont, Calif., and became the chair of its mathematics department.

His personal life was increasingly deserted, as he sampled everything on the counterculture menu, including drugs, free love, and nudity. Mr. Warren promoted large parties held at his home in Woodside. A BBC film crew showed up to shoot footage for a documentary on the “Now” generation.

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