LaFarr Stuart

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LaFarr Stuart
Born(1934-07-06)July 6, 1934
DiedJuly 26, 2021(2021-07-26) (aged 87)
OccupationComputer engineering (retired)

LaFarr Stuart (born July 6, 1934 in Clarkston, Utah), was an early computer music pioneer, computer engineer and member of the Homebrew Computer Club.


In 1961, Stuart programmed Iowa State University's Cyclone computer, a derivative of the ILLIAC, to play simple, recognizable tunes through an amplified speaker that had been attached to the system originally for administrative and diagnostic purposes. A recording of an interview with Stuart and his computer music was broadcast nationally on the National Broadcasting Company's NBC Radio Network program Monitor on February 10, 1962.

In a subsequent interview with the Harold Journal, Navel Hunsaker, head of the Utah State University mathematics department, said of Stuart, "He always was a whiz with calculators."

From the late 1970s, Stuart mentored John Carlsen, who later contributed to the rapid growth of personal computer (PC) sound-card maker Media Vision and to SigmaTel.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Stuart worked for Control Data Corporation (CDC), where Seymour Cray designed the CDC 6600, the first commercial supercomputer.

During the 1970s, Stuart created a version of the programming language Forth, which became known as LaFORTH.[1] It is notable for its implementation without an input buffer.[2]

In the 1980s, Stuart worked for Zytrex, which manufactured complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor (CMOS) Programmable Array Logic (PAL) programmable logic devices (PLDs).

Stuart conceived installing battery-operated real-time clocks into computers, for which he received royalty payments until nearly 2000. Stuart jokingly admits contributing to the Year 2000 problem.

Preserving computer history[edit]

Stuart owned the first Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) PDP-11 to enter California and often visited the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Stuart, LaFarr. "My Forth and Mathematical Stuff". Retrieved 2020-03-30.
  2. ^ Brodie, Leo (27 December 2004). Thinking Forth. Punchy Publishing. ISBN 9780976458708. Retrieved 2020-03-30.

External links[edit]