Tech Visionaries and LSD: Turn On, Tune In, Geek Out

9 tech visionaries who's mind-blowing adventures on acid forever influenced the computer industry.

By , CIO |  Offbeat, John Markoff, slideshow

Tim Scully

Tim Scully manufactured San Francisco's purest and most potent LSD in the mid-1960s. He worked under the tutelage of Augustus Owsley Stanley III, the eccentric Grateful Dead patron and acid enthusiast who's reds and greens and blues made Haight-Ashbury the acid Mecca. Scully, an engineer by training, designed sound equipment for the Dead. Both travelled with the Merry Pranksters—Scully, of course, rigged the sound system on Kesey's bus.

After Owsley's arrest in 1967, Scully synthesized LSD for the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, a spiritual group that sought to turn the entire world onto acid. The police eventually caught up with Scully, but before he was imprisoned, he started his own company designing biofeedback machines. In the late 1980s Scully began consulting for Autodesk (ADSK), writing device drivers for video displays and other equipment. He retired from the company as a senior software engineer in 2005. He renounced drugs in 1970.

Sources: Lee, Martin A. Bruce Shlain. Acid Dreams. The Complete Social History of LSD: The CIA, The Sixties and Beyond (Grove Press 1992); jefro.net.

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Republished with permission from CIO.com (view original version)

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