Dave Anderson's first exposure to a computer was at California
State University, Fullerton.
Each student in
his biology class was given a password that allowed limited
access to the school's mainframe computer. Class members were
instructed to analyze their diets using a diet program on
the school's mainframe. After several runs of the diet program,
Hollywood wanted to see more of this compute. Knowing only
as much about computers as you can learn on television, he
quickly stole a password from a regular user and began to
explore. After 5 hours and 14 on-line sessions of how to use
the computer, he left the lab with a severe headache and no
better understanding of computers, except that they were fun.
Two years later
his friend bought an Atari
800. Hollywood's first thought after watching "Pac-Man"
race across the screen was, "How do they do that?"
After giving up on the computer manual, he went to the library
and checked out a book on BASIC written at Dartmouth in 1962,
thus becoming totally confused. A few months later a friend
recommended a book that would change his life forever - "Atari
BASIC for Kids." He was on his way.
L.A. and moved to Massachusetts in 1983, where he answered
a want ad by Infocom for a product tester. He was hired, and
later became the manager of testing.
It was also in
his days as a tester at Infocom, that be became the only employee
ever put on "trial" for murder: One day in November
Hollywood looked at the goldfish pond in front of the office
building and found it needed a cleaning. So he put the three
fish from the pond in a safe place, emptied the pond, scrubbed
it clean and then returned the fish - they died the next day.
His fellow imps
decided that for that he needs to be prosecuted. Marc
Blank was the prosecuting attorney, while Steve
Meretzky served as his defense. The result of the trial
was published in Infocom's internal newsletter, "InfoDope:"
"InfoTester Dave 'Hollywood' Anderson was declared innocent
by a jury of his peers in a sensational murder trial on Friday.
The jury needed only five minutes to reach its verdict, declaring
Anderson innocent of the charge of murdering three goldfish
in the Apt Courtyard Fish Pond on Wednesday, November 16."
In 1985 he took
a job as a game writer, resulting in his "Hollywood
Hijinx" (in collaboration with Liz Cyr-Jones) in
Hollywood was also
well known for his like of Hawaiian shirts. Often was he seen
wearing one and some baggy shorts in his beach-mural-lined
office at Infocom, while a cigar (still in the wrapper) was
firmly placed in his mouth.
whereabouts are unknown.