Mitch Altman at the Chaos Communication Camp 2011
|Born||December 22, 1956|
|Alma mater||University of Illinois|
Mitch Altman (born December 22, 1956) is a San Francisco-based hacker and inventor, best known for co-founding 3ware (with J. Peter Herz and Jim MacDonald), his pioneering work in Virtual Reality at VPL Research and inventing TV-B-Gone. He is also Chief Scientist and CEO of Cornfield Electronics.
Early life and education
Altman grew up in Rogers Park, Chicago, Illinois. After kindergarten his family moved to Highland Park, Illinois. Altman graduated from Deerfield High School (Illinois) in 1975. Altman is an alumnus of the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, where he earned an undergraduate degree (1980) and a master's degree (1984) in electrical engineering. While at the University of Illinois, Altman co-founded Hash Wednesday. Other sources claim Hash Wednesday was celebrated as early as 1973 making Altman's claim suspect. Altman moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1986 to work in Silicon Valley.
Altman is widely regarded as a pioneer of Virtual Reality. He worked at VPL Research with Jaron Lanier. Altman left VPL Research when it started getting military contracts.
Altman co-founded Silicon Valley start-up 3ware in February 1997 with J. Peter Herz and Jim MacDonald (who is on the advisory board of Cornfield Electronics).
Altman started Cornfield Electronics as a consultancy company. After the launch of TV-B-Gone Altman gave the company the tagline "Useful Electronics for a Better World".
In 2004 Altman released a one-button universal remote control called TV-B-Gone, to be used for turning off TVs in public places. According to Altman, "TV has become a worldwide epidemic and sadly, a way of life for some people". In an interview with the BBC, he stated "I don't want to make anyone's life more difficult. I just don't like TV, and I'd like people to think more about this powerful medium in their lives." Altman used money from the sale of 3ware to pay for the manufacture of the first 20,000 units of TV-B-Gone. Now he is currently selling the TV-B-Gone generation 4. He also invented a new product called the TV-B-Gone SHP (Super High Power).
In 2007, Altman and Jacob Appelbaum began discussing the idea of a hackerspace in San Francisco, which at the time lacked one. In October 2008 they and several others founded Noisebridge. Altman also travels extensively, teaching electronics workshops and visiting computer and electronics enthusiast groups around the world.
- Rubinstein, Dan (2005) "Mitch Altman", Out, December 2005, p. 157. Retrieved November 20, 2013
- Wheat, Dale (2011) Arduino Internals, Apress Academic, ISBN 978-1430238829, pp. 183-4
- Baichtal, John (2011) Hack This: 24 Incredible Hackerspace Projects from the DIY Movement, QUE, ISBN 978-0789748973, p. 54
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