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Palo Alto before the Internet: Coming of age in the late 1980s
Living in Palo Alto before the Internet?!

Living in Palo Alto before the Internet?!

Inspired by a Quora question, naturally (embedded below):

What was it like to live in Palo Alto before 1990?

Despite its cozy, symbiotic relationship with Stanford University‘s computer science and engineering pioneers that stretched back decades, Palo Alto was much less monolithically tech-focused before the commercial Internet explosion of the 1990s. It formed the northern terminus of Silicon Valley back then (no, really; San Francisco was almost an afterthought to the tech community).

Peace, love, and 8-bit CPUs
While it was never quite as far out there as Berkeley, Palo Alto had a strong utopian flower-child streak. I knew kids named Oak and Sparrow.
Tonier than its South Bay neighbors such as Mountain View and Sunnyvale, it was pleasantly upper-middle-class, yet not “wealthy” on the whole (that would be Atherton or Los Altos Hills), housing a disproportionate number of educated professionals of all kinds — including many Stanford faculty, of course. (Professors and their families really lived in those beautiful homes of Professorville.)



Read Antone Johnson's answer to What was it like to live in Palo Alto pre-1990? on Quora

Also published on Medium.

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