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Bill Godbout Perishes in Northern California’s Camp Fire

 

People of a certain age, who mindfully lived through the early microcomputer revolution during the first half of the 1970s, know about Bill Godbout. He was that guy who sent out crudely photocopied parts catalogs for all kinds of electronic components, sold from a Quonset hut near Oakland airport. Godbout also developed electronic kits (including DMMs and clocks) and boards and supported the budding electronic music industry as well. I received many of his catalogs and recall ordering sixteen precious 2012 1Kbit SRAMs from him for my senior EE project—a logic analyzer.

By 1976, Godbout got into the S-100 board business. His parts and boards business grew into CompuPro, one of the early participants in the nascent S-100 microcomputer industry. He rubbed shoulders with (and sold parts to) notables of that period including Lee Felsenstein (designer of Processor Technology Sol), Adam Osborne (Osborne Computers), George Morrow (Thinker Toys, Morrow Design), and Mark Greenberg (NorthStar Computers). Godbout was both a pioneer of that era and an enabler for many other pioneers.

The Camp Fire, currently raging in northern California, took Bill Godbout on November 8. The fire burned his house and workshop to the ground. He is survived by his wife Karen and daughter Brandi. They have lost everything they own. There is a family-led GoFundMe campaign to support their needs in this difficult time. The campaign has a modest $10,000 goal and it’s a third of the way there after one day. If you participated in the early microcomputer revolution and remember Bill Godbout and Godbout Electronics, consider helping his family out.

Thanks.

 

 

2 thoughts on “Bill Godbout Perishes in Northern California’s Camp Fire”

  1. So sad to hear. I was there at the beginning. Designed the IO board that went into the World’s First BBS. I helped Randy and Ward a little with the software. The Intel 8251 was a dog. The 8253 and 8255 were excellent.

  2. Wow, yes sad indeed, I knew him well in the mid 70s he helped me get some “Tiger Amps” audio power projects off the ground that where in 1970s Popular Electronics Mag, he had the parts and so much more. So sorry I did not hear about this until today, I got out of the loop for a bit got hit by a women that did know how to stop her car end of October of 2018, ending up with a concussion, yes dazed an confused so to speak! I went to Monte Vista High School in the 1970s a student in Danville, Ca. Oakland was my go to Hunt QHut, hunting space, Bill almost gave me the stuff, and I showed him what I built along the way. Class A act! miss you Bill!

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