Harry Huskey in 1988 at his Westside home with his 1954 Bendix G15. (Dan Coyro -- Santa Cruz Sentinel file)

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (AP) — One of the last surviving members of the team that created the pioneering ENIAC computer in the 1940s has died. Harry Huskey was 101.

The University of California-Santa Cruz says Huskey died April 9 at his home in the city. Huskey was a professor emeritus at the university.

Huskey was teaching mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania in the 1940s when he joined the ENIAC team. ENIAC made its public debut in Philadelphia in 1946 as one of the world’s first electronic computers. It weighed 30 tons and was 150 feet long.

Huskey later designed the Bendix G15 in the 1950s, which was billed as the first personal computer.

He taught at the University of California from 1954 to his retirement in 1986 at the age of 70.

Almost 30 years ago, when the Smithsonian Institution asked for one of Huskey’s G-15s, Mercury News computing editor Jim Bartimo wrote the following article:

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From the archives — July 5, 1988

Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, beware: Your place in computer history is in danger.

Sure, most of America believes you created the first personal computer, but a 71-year-old professor emeritus at the University of California, Santa Cruz may have beaten you by more than 20 years.

Harry Huskey in 1988 at his Westside home with his 1954 Bendix G15. (Dan Coyro — Santa Cruz Sentinel file)

It seems that Harry D. Huskey developed a personal computer in 1954 for the Bendix Corp., which sold 400 of them. And just Friday, a moving truck was on its way to cart one of Huskey’s G-15 computers off to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.

The Smithsonian isn’t exactly saying the G-15 is the first personal computer; perhaps it’s just an ancient forerunner. But considering the characteristics of a personal computer — small, inexpensive and designed for one person — …read more

Source:: East Bay – Business

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