Bill Godbout (October 2, 1939 – November 8, 2018) was an early computer pioneer and entrepreneur known for manufacturing and selling computer equipment, parts, and electronic kits in Silicon Valley, during the 1970s and 1980s.
|Died||November 8, 2018 (aged 79)|
He and his company, Godbout Electronics (and later CompuPro and Viasyn), were very influential in the early years of the personal computer market. Together with George Morrow, he worked on the IEEE-696 better known as the very popular S-100 bus.
After college, he went straight into a job at IBM, although he left to pursue the use of the Intel 8080 microprocessor. In the 1970s, he established Godbout Electronics in the San Francisco Bay area, out of a Quonset hut at Oakland International Airport. The New York Times called it a "popular electronics store." According to the Vintage Computer Federation, he was "a legend in the S-100 community for his 1970s-1980s work at Godbout Electronics and CompuPro."
Godbout manufactured S-100 compatible cards, which "formed the backbone of early systems like the Altair 8800 and homebrew machines, allowing techies to interface their processors and memory with peripherals and form useful microcomputers."
In the 1980s, Godbout focused on networking and moved his company, renamed Viasyn, to Hayward, California. He was chairman of the business. Viasyn focused on custom computing equipment for “things like medical offices, the early electronic music scene, and even niche areas like elevator control systems."
Personal life and deathEdit
Near the end of his life, he lived in the community of Concow, California with his wife Karen. The couple had a daughter, Brandi. Godbout was a keen pilot, and would often fly planes with his friend Gary Kildall.
- http://www.imsai.net/history/quinn/quinn-1.htm the Surplus Connection
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-11-14. Retrieved 2009-07-01.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) Selling surplus parts
- Shea, Tom (May 21, 1984). "Q&A: William Godbout". InfoWorld. 6 (21): 64. ISSN 0199-6649.
- Pournelle, Jerry (April 1985). "Over the Moat". BYTE. p. 355. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
- http://www.retrotechnology.com/herbs_stuff/s100bus.html the development of the S-100 bus
- "Bill Godbout". NameBase. Retrieved 2012-01-20.[dead link]
- "RIP Bill Godbout: Cali wildfire claims the life of master maverick of microcomputers". The Register. November 18, 2018. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
- "A 'Perfectly Imperfect' Life: The Victims of the California Wildfires". The New York Times. November 14, 2018. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
- "Camp Fire: Searching for the missing, remembering the dead — now at 56". The Mercury News. November 15, 2018. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
- "Fire in the Valley: The Birth and Death of the Personal Computer". Pragmatic Bookshelf. October 20, 2014.
- "R.I.P. Bill Godbout, 79 – Vintage Computer Federation". vcfed.org. Retrieved 2018-11-13.
- "Silicon Valley microcomputer pioneer dies in Camp Fire". ABC 7 News. Archived from the original on 2018-11-19.