Fred Moore (activist)

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Fred Moore (1941–1997) was a US political activist who was central to the early history of the personal computer. Moore was an active member of the People's Computer Company and one of the founders of the Homebrew Computer Club, urging its members to "bring back more than you take."

Fred Moore was also active in disarmament and social justice activism, as well as nonviolent civil disobedience and direct actions. As a UC Berkeley freshman in 1959, he held a two-day hunger strike on campus against the compulsory Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) program, attracting media attention and influencing later activists of the student movement of the 1960s.[1] After the 1980 reinstitution of draft registration in the United States, Moore became a leader in the draft resistance movement, for a time editing the newspaper, Resistance News.[2]

Moore was a single father, raising his daughter Irene Moore, born 1968. He married Julie Kiser in 1992, and they had a daughter Mira Moore, born 1993.[citation needed] Moore died in an automobile accident in 1997.[1]

Skool Resistance[edit]

Moore applied the politics of draft resistance to what he saw as an oppressive educational system summarised in the institution of school. In 1971 he published Skool Resistance where he said "Learning is living. If you try to separate learning from living, you end up with some artificial environment that can be defined as skool."[3]

Homebrew Computer Club[edit]

Fred was co-founder with Gordon French of the Homebrew Computer Club which first met on March 5, 1975. [4] This club was subsequently called "the crucible for an entire industry."[5]

Popular culture[edit]

Moore is prominently featured in the books What the Dormouse Said by John Markoff and Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution by Steven Levy. Both highlight Moore's contribution to the democratization of the Internet and access to computer technology. Markoff wrote in 2000 that Moore's "original communitarian vision of the power of personal computers has re-emerged to challenge the computer industry's status quo, in the form of the free software movement."[1]

See also[edit]

  • Walking the Rainbow: Fred Moore Remembered, a film by Markley Morris


  1. ^ a b c John Markoff: A Pioneer, Unheralded, In Technology And Activism The New York Times, March 26, 2000
  2. ^ Ed Hasbrouck, "Life Outside the Mainframe", Peacework, August 2005,
  3. ^ "Mini-Manual for a Free University". Education Resources Information Center (ERIC) Archive. Education Resources Information Center (ERIC). 1974. 
  4. ^ John Markoff, What the Dormouse Said (ISBN 0-670-03382-0)
  5. ^ McCracken, Harry (November 12, 2013). "For One Night Only, Silicon Valley's Homebrew Computer Club Reconvenes". TIME Magazine. Retrieved November 12, 2013. …the open exchange of ideas that went on at its biweekly meetings did as much as anything to jumpstart the entire personal-computing revolution. It was the crucible for an entire industry. 

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