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Museum honors Adobe, chip gurus

Adobe founders John Warnock and Charles Geschke, and chip heavies Carver Mead and John Cocke join Steve Wozniak and Vint Cerf in the Computer History Museum's Hall of Fellows.

Silicon Valley's Computer History Museum announced Monday that it will honor the founders of Adobe Systems and two other technology pioneers.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based museum will induct Adobe alumni John Warnock and Charles Geschke, along with semiconductor innovators Carver Mead and John Cocke, into its Hall of Fellows on Oct. 22 at a ceremony in San Jose, Calif.

The museum is home to one of the world's largest collections of historical computing artifacts, ranging from turn-of-the-century census-tallying machines to the Alto, the Xerox device that presaged the PC era.

Warnock and Geschke started Adobe in 1982 with the aim of merging computing tools with print publishing. The PostScript font technology the two developed enabled the first widespread use of printing from a PC. Since then, Adobe has expanded to encompass a broad range of publishing and graphics technologies, from the PDF electronic document format to Photoshop image-editing software.

Mead has been a leading force in semiconductor design for several decades. He helped pioneer the VLSI (Very Large-Scale Integration) methods common in the chip industry today and most recently has gained attention as founder of Foveon, a Silicon Valley start-up that could revolutionize digital photography with a new type of image sensor that captures more detail than current chips.

Cocke, who died earlier this year, developed the RISC (reduced instruction set computing) chip design format, the underlying force for chips that power everything from expensive Sun Microsystems servers to cell phones.

"We are excited to have such a revolutionary group of inductees, whose innovation and tireless persistence have moved our industry forward," John C. Toole, CEO of the Computer History Museum, said in a statement.

Computing trailblazers previously honored by the museum as fellows include Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak, Unix co-creator Dennis Ritchie, Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, U.S. Navy computing pioneer Grace Hopper and "father of the Internet" Vinton Cerf.