With more than 25 years of computer experience and 15 years devoted to microcomputers, Fred has truly witnessed the development of the personal computer as have few others. The son of an IBM Fellow, Fred literally grew up on computers. He participated in the testing and development of the BASIC computer language when he was eleven through a timesharing hookup to the original BASIC system at Dartmouth.
In the late '70s, Fred joined with the original personal computer pioneers as one of the early promoters of the Apple II. One of the first to successfully connect microcomputers to mainframes, while conducting research on database publishing at Stanford, he served as a computer consultant to large corporations and venture capitalists in the early days of the industry. In 1983, Fred was one of the founders of Ziff-Davis's computer publishing division, and worked on the start-up of ZD's first computer publication,
A+ Magazine, which rapidly became the leading publication about Apple computers. Later, during Fred's tenure as Editor in Chief, A+ won the Computer Press Association award for best computer magazine.
From A+, Fred moved to serve as Editor in Chief of MacUser magazine, where he founded MacUser Labs. He oversaw the development of the magazine during its period of most dramatic growth, bringing it up to parity with MacWorld. Next, Fred joined PC Magazine, the world's leading computer publication. As editor and Director of PC Magazine Labs, he helped develop benchmarks and scripts for testing thousands of products under review. Later, as editor of
PC Week, he founded PC Week Labs and helped establish PC Week as the leading product information source for corporate computing. After leaving PC Week to return to California, Fred helped launch and served as a columnist for a number of Ziff-Davis publications including
Windows Sources, Computer
Life, Family PC, and the ZD Personal Computing newspaper supplement. During Fred's 12-year tenure as a senior executive at Ziff-Davis, he worked closely with CEO Bill Ziff and other top management on company strategy, product positioning, and new product development in areas including print, CD-ROM, trade shows, and online. As a key proponent of ZD's "consultative sales" approach, Fred worked with computer manufacturers such as Dell, Northgate,
Zeos, Gateway, and Micron to develop direct sales strategies that used computer publications to create a new multi-billion dollar sales channel.
Next, Fred worked with Wired CEO Louis Rosetto on the launch of Wired magazine, and was part of the original "Wired Brain Trust." After Wired, Fred worked with
C|NET CEO Halsey Minor as an original member of the C|NET start-up team where he helped develop both television and online strategies. At both Wired and C|NET Fred played a major role in strategic issues, capital acquisition, marketing, editorial development, and recruitment of key personnel.
From 1996 to mid-1997 Fred served as Director of Strategic Development for CMP Media during the period leading up to their successful IPO in August 1997. While working for CMP Media's CEO, Ken
Cron, on long-term business strategies, Fred also wrote articles and columns in various CMP publications, including
Windows Magazine, Home
PC, and Computer Reseller News.
Fred has also served as a columnist for the San
Jose Mercury News and was the U.S. columnist for EYE-COM, one of Japan's leading computer
magazines. Fred was a regular technology commentator for National Public Radio's "All Things
Considered" and used to co-host the radio call-in show "On
Computers" with his pals John Dvorak, Gina Smith, and Leo LaPorte. Fred
has also served as President of the Computer Institute a non-profit scientific and cultural foundation involved in education research, the study of human-computer ecology, and the establishment of the San Francisco Computer Museum, a major facility planned for downtown San Francisco. The San Francisco Computer Museum is also the producer of the CoMA Festival of Computer and Multimedia Arts.
Fred has authored over a dozen computer books, including The Complete IBM Personal Computer -- the first hardware expansion guide to the IBM PC published in the early 1980's. His 1985 book,
Desktop Publishing, helped popularize the term and received an award from the Computer Press Association. The New York Times hailed Fred's
Windows 3.1 Bible as "the best" book on the topic. Fred also developed the Windows Bible CD-ROM, released in early 1994. The Windows 95 Bible was released in April of 1996, and his Windows 98 Bible (with co-author Kip Crosby) was published in April 1998. In a different area, he is working on a book, A Dictionary of Plant Names, to be published by Stanford University Press.
Fred has been named one of the most influential
people in the industry by several publications in both the U. S. and
Japan, and is listed in Who's Who in America. Fred has been widely quoted in publications such as Business Week, The
Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, U.S. News & World
Report, and the Atlantic Monthly, and has appeared on many radio and
television programs, including NPR's "All Things Considered,"
"CBS Evening News," and "ABC News."
Fred is Currently CEO of Lumeria, a pioneering Internet security, privacy, and infomediary company.