If you’re not familiar with the company Fairchild, you should be. We all should, really. They were an early semiconductor company, one formed by people who worked under transistor inventor William Shockley, but who got sick of his lousy management, and went off to form their own company in 1957. One of those people was Gordon Moore, of Moore’s law fame! And then later, a group of engineers left Fairchild to found Intel! So, they’re a big deal.
That shot up there must be from the late-ish 1960s or so, and it shows six parking spots in front of Fairchild Semiconductor, and, incredibly, four of them are filled with Volkswagens. VWs were certainly common, but even this is an unusually high density, and quite varied, too, showcasing a lot of VW’s lineup. From left to right, the cars parked here are a 1966-ish Chrysler New Yorker, a ’63-’65 VW Beetle, a ’68-’70 VW Type 2 bus, another Beetle, too obscured by the next car, a 1966 Oldsmobile Delta 98, to tell the exact year, and then capped off with a ’66-’68 VW Type 3 Fastback. That’s a lot of Volkswagens!
I suspect that back in their day, VW may have had a popularity among tech folks not unlike what Tesla enjoys today, appealing to iconoclastic people or drivers interested in something a bit more unusual. Hell, don’t forget that Steve Jobs sold his old VW Microbus to get the money to found Apple. It somehow fits.
Fairchild is today perhaps best remembered for making the first home video game console that used cartridges to store software; they really were the first to market with the very idea of cartridges, period. I have one of these machines, known as the Fairchild Channel F:
And right there, that’s the very first video game cartridge that was sold, ever. Well, not that specific one, but that one there is part of the first class of these carts. Here, if you like you can watch a video about Fairchild and the Channel F:
That video also has a clip from an old film where an illusion happens, making a talking head look like he has cat ears:
It’s because of a plaque on the wall behind him, at just the right spot. Was this on purpose? It almost seems like it has to be, right?