LaFarr Stuart

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LaFarr Stuart
Born (1934-07-06) July 6, 1934 (age 84)
OccupationComputer engineer (retired)

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


Computer music[edit]

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 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 PC sound-card maker Media Vision and to SigmaTel.

Control Data[edit]

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 he called LaFORTH and is notable for its implementation without an input buffer.[1]


In the 1980s, Stuart worked for Zytrex, which manufactured CMOS PAL programmable logic devices (PLDs).

Real-time clocks[edit]

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

Preserving computer history[edit]

Stuart owns the first DEC PDP-11 to enter California and often visits the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Brodie, Leo (10 June 1984). Thinking Forth. Punchy Publishing. Retrieved 23 August 2011.

External links[edit]