Silicon Valley's rise as the hub of the technology industry in the 1960s coincided with LSD's explosion on the cultural \n\nscene. Within a few miles of Stanford Research Center (SRI), where Douglas Englebart was envisioning the personal \n\ncomputer as a mechanism to "augment human intelligence," three organizations were then legally administering LSD to guinea \n\npigs. The Veterans Administration Hospital in Menlo Park and the Palo Alto Mental Research Institute were studying LSD to \n\nbetter understand schizophrenia. Meanwhile, the International Foundation for Advanced Study, founded by a former \n\nengineer, sought to give credibility to LSD's mind-expanding properties. These organizations offered leaders of the \n\ncounterculture (Ken Kesey, Allen Ginsberg) and some of the personal computer industry's founding fathers their first \n\ncommunions with acid. No doubt, their mind-blowing experiences influenced the communal ethos of the early personal \n\ncomputing industry and later the open source software movement. \n \nSource: John Markoff. What the Doormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer \n\nIndustry (Penguin 2005). \n\n\nMyron StolaroffA CIA agent introduced Myron Stolaroff to LSD in 1956 while Stolaroff was working as an engineer and corporate \n\nplanner for Ampex, a manufacturer of tape recorders. The Stanford University grad's first experience with acid transformed \n\nhim into an evangelist for the drug. In fact, he was so enamored of LSD's creative potential that he wanted Ampex to use it as \n\npart of its product development process, but his management team rejected the idea. In 1961, Stolaroff set up his own \n\norganization to study LSD. The International Foundation for Advanced Study introduced some of Silicon Valley's brightest \n\nengineers to acid.\n \nSource: John Markoff, What the Doormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer \n\nIndustry (Penguin 2005). \nPhoto of Myron Stolaroff from the Stolaroff Collection, courtesy Erowid.org\n\n\nDouglas EnglebartIntrigued by LSD's potential to "augment human intelligence," Doug Englebart, the father of the mouse, first took LSD \n\nwith a group of engineers at the International Foundation for Advanced Study. Englebart and the other engineers were told \n\nthat the drug would help them solve difficult technical problems. Englebart didn't get much of a creativity boost from LSD the \n\nfirst time he took it (he was given a very low dose), but the second time, he came up with an idea for a toy that would help \n\npotty train boys.\n \nSource: John Markoff, What the Doormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer \n\nIndustry (Penguin 2005). \n\n\nStewart BrandLong before he co-founded The Hackers Conference, The WELL (considered by many to be the first online social \n\nnetwork) and the Global Business Network, Stewart Brand was staging acid tests with Ken Kesey and his ragtag band of \n\nMerry Pranksters. In this photo, Stewart Brand (in white jumpsuit) is pictured with Ken Kesey on Kesey's infamous \n\nInternational Harvester school bus. Brand, who popularized the term personal computer in his book II Cybernetics \n\nFrontiers, took his first dose of acid at the International Foundation for Advanced Study in 1962. He's also credited with \n\nthe expression, "Information wants to be free."\n\nSources: John Markoff, What the Doormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer \n\nIndustry (Penguin 2005); Stewart Brand's Web site; NY Times\n\nTimothy LearyTimothy Leary is less known for his adventures in the computer industry than he is for his psychedelic \n\nadventures\u2014not to mention for getting kicked out of Harvard and encouraging an entire generation to turn on to LSD. \n\nBut in the mid-1980s, the ageing acid guru turned on to computers. He got into virtual reality and software development in a \n\nbig way and reportedly declared the Internet "the LSD of the 1990s." \n\nSource: Wikipedia\n\n\nTim ScullyTim Scully manufactured San Francisco's \n\npurest and most potent LSD in the mid-1960s. He worked under the tutelage of Augustus Owsley Stanley III, the eccentric \n\nGrateful Dead patron and acid enthusiast who's reds and greens and blues made Haight-Ashbury the acid Mecca. Scully, an \n\nengineer by training, designed sound equipment for the Dead. Both travelled with the Merry Pranksters\u2014Scully, of \n\ncourse, rigged the sound system on Kesey's bus. \nAfter Owsley's arrest in 1967, Scully synthesized LSD for the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, a spiritual group that sought \n\nto turn the entire world onto acid. The police eventually caught up with Scully, but before he was imprisoned, he started his \n\nown company designing biofeedback machines. In the late 1980s Scully began consulting for Autodesk, writing device \n\ndrivers for video displays and other equipment. He retired from the company as a senior software engineer in 2005. He \n\nrenounced drugs in 1970.\nSources: Lee, Martin A. Bruce Shlain. Acid Dreams. The Complete Social History of LSD: The CIA, The Sixties \n\nand Beyond (Grove Press 1992); jefro.net.\n\n\nJohn Perry BarlowThe one-time Grateful Dead lyricist and co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation has reportedly taken psychedelic drugs \n\n"more than a thousand times." But, he says in an essay for the anthology, Tripping, that it was his first experience with \n\nLSD in 1966 that truly altered his consciousness. \n\n\nDan IngallsDan Ingalls left his home in Cambridge, Mass. to attend graduate school at Stanford in 1966. It was the year before the \n\nSummer of Love, and LSD was on the cusp of becoming outlawed. But that didn't stop Ingalls, and many others in his \n\ngeneration, from experimenting with acid and other mind-altering substances. \n\nAt Stanford, Ingalls' interest switched from electrical engineering to software development. He designed optimization \n\nprograms and worked on speech recognition technology in the early days. His work in the field of software development \n\nhelped pioneer object-oriented programming. Ingalls has worked for almost every major computer company in Silicon \n\nValley, from Apple and Hewlett-Packard to Sun Microsystems and Xerox PARC.\n\nSource: John Markoff, What the Doormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer \n\nIndustry (Penguin 2005). \n\n\nSteve JobsIn an interview with John Markoff for Markoff's book, What the Doormouse Said, about the counterculture's \n\ninfluence on Silicon Valley, the Apple co-founder confided that "taking LSD was one of the two or three most important \n\nthings he had done in his life." During that interview, Jobs intimated that the trippy graphics that early iTunes players produced \n\nin synch with music reminded him of his youthful psychedelic experiences. Jobs' openness about his drug use prompted Albert \n\nHoffman, the Swiss chemist who first synthesized LSD in 1938, to ask him to \n\nhelp fund a study of LSD-assisted psychotherapy. Jobs reportedly never funded any of the research. \n\n\nKevin HerbertSoftware developer Kevin Herbert is a vocal proponent of LSD. In a 2008 interview with the Multidisciplinary \n\nAssociation for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), Herbert noted that dropping acid has helped him make important career \n\ndecisions (such as taking a job with Cisco), made him a more socially responsible technologist and has helped him solve \n\nperplexing technical problems. He told MAPS: "I think that LSD can help you out of these problems you've been wrapping \n\nyour mind around for weeks. It can give you a fresh perspective on a problem that's so complex that it's not good enough to \n\ntry to explain it to a co-worker..."