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Bill Godbout killed in California wildfires

Discussion in 'General Announcements' started by W9GB, Nov 15, 2018.

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  1. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Bill Godbout
    Bill Godbout died on November 8, 2018 when his home and workshop were engulfed in the Camp Fire of 2018 - which consumed most of the town of Concow, where he lived.

    He was a legend in the early days of microcomputers, especially the S-100 bus (Altair, IMSAI)
    He is featured in the book The Silicon Boys, 1999 by David A. Kaplan about the pioneers of Silicon Valley.

    In 1976, he started in the S-100 board business by selling RAM memory boards out of his Godbout Electronics mail order business. His contacts and experience in getting chips fast and at good prices help him get going quickly and allowed Godbout Electronics to fill a market need for boards that Altair, IMASI and even Processor Technologies could not meet in those early days.

    In the end Godbout/CompuPro had more different types of S-100 RAM boards than anybody else in the business. All their boards were static RAM boards. As the business grew they evolved into most other S-100 board types eventually putting together complete S-100 systems. Their S-100 boxes were arguably the most solid and reliable ever made. His innovative products played a large part in the success of the S-100.
    Bill played a major role in setting the specs for the S-100 bus IEEE-696 standard, being one of its authors. Page.htm#Bill_Godbout

    Ironically, I have a winter project for restoring a late 1970s CompuPro system with card cage.

    Bill Godbout’s follow-on company, Viasyn is seen at 12:30 (Computer Chronicles) in 1985
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2018
    N4FZ likes this.
  2. VA3VF

    VA3VF Ham Member QRZ Page


    All wildfires are horrible, but this one is already a catastrophe of unimaginable proportions.

    The confirmed number of dead is terrible enough. The unaccounted for is..., no words to decribe it. I hope and pray they are found safe and sound.
    K9ASE likes this.
  3. W7UUU

    W7UUU QRZ Lifetime Member #133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Very sorry to hear. What a horrid series of fires :(

    RIP Bill - a name I've known for decades

  4. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member QRZ Page

    The details were horrific ... the fire came up so fast, Concow had no warning or time to evacuate.
    It was at least three days before his death was reported.
    Identifying bodies took time — and over 1,000 are still missing (not found/identified).
  5. W7UUU

    W7UUU QRZ Lifetime Member #133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Oh my goodness - so horrible :(:(

  6. G3ZPF

    G3ZPF Subscriber QRZ Page

    Sorry to hear about this awful situation. My condolences to any family with relatives who were caught up in this.

    It is unfortunate that (from what I see on news) some politicians are looking for someone to blame instead of looking after the survivors.

    Sometimes nobody is directly to 'blame'. Bad **** happens to good people :-(
  7. K1TGX

    K1TGX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Very sorry to hear of Bill's passing. I breadboarded my 1st micro in 1976 and eventually built an 8080 and interfaced it to an S-100 bus. I spoke to Bill a couple of times back then for advice and I believe the 1st board I populated on my interfaced bus was a static ram card from him - 4Kb iirc.

    Good Guy!
  8. W1GCF

    W1GCF Ham Member QRZ Page

    So sad to hear this. I worked on Electronic Music equipment and then S-100 products for those customers. I then worked for "The Computer Store" in Burlington MA. It all started there with me. I remember Godbout well and fondly from those days. So sorry to hear of his passing.
  9. WA6Q

    WA6Q Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have been in Paradise for 37 years. I've lost nearly everything...the first night November 8th I lived in my truck featured on my QRZ page. There are more than 30 thousand people displaced at this time. The infrastructure is gone, the town is gone...there is nearly nothing standing. The appearance is similar to bombed-out villages on the outskirts of Paris France during the German invasion of World War II...I was escorted by a Federal Marshal and National Guard's men to view my QTH Saturday, December 1st at 4:50pm...I fell to my knees...I didn't know of Godbout in Concow...bless his family...and my God help us all.

    William Burke
  10. WB0MPB

    WB0MPB Subscriber QRZ Page

    I am at a loss for words for you William. I have no way of knowing how you must feel at this time. To lose everything you own and even the town you lived in for 37 has to be about more than your heart can bear. The only positive is that you made it out with your life. Just to lose all that Amateur equipment that is shown on your QRZ page is bad but to lose everything is horrid.
    So I wish all the best for you as you rebuild your life and you will be in my prayers today. I wish I could do more but I have very little myself.
    Take care my friend.
    John, WB0MPB

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