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Last Updated: Friday, 22 April 2005, 11:12 GMT 12:12 UK
Moore's Law original issue found
The original Electronics magazine which published Moore's Law
Engineer David Clark had the prized magazine under his floorboards
A copy of the original Electronics magazine in which Moore's Law was first published has turned up under the floorboards of a Surrey engineer.

David Clark had kept copies of the magazine for years, despite pleas from his wife to throw them away.

Now the couple are celebrating after collecting the $10,000 (5,281) reward which was offered by chip maker Intel.

Moore's Law, the principle that has driven the computer chip industry, celebrated 40 years this week.

"I am totally astonished. It is the most bizarre thing that has ever happened to me," Mr Clark told the BBC News website.

"I am really pleased about it because I studied physics and have always had interest in electronics. I could see the next 30 years were going to go like Moore's Law said, so I decided to go into electronics."

The "law" was adopted after Intel co-founder Gordon Moore wrote in the 1965 Electronics magazine article that the number of transistors on a chip would double every 24 months.

Chips that can work faster and faster have driven the technological and digital revolution so far.

Desperately wanted

"We're delighted to at last have an original copy of the April 1965 edition of Electronics Magazine," said an Intel spokesperson.

"Dr Moore's article established a theory that has underpinned advancements in the semiconductor industry over the past 40 years and is the basis of our continued research and development at Intel.

"We are delighted to have a copy of the article back in the home of Intel in Santa Clara and are extremely grateful to Mr Clark for making this possible."

The publication is now defunct, but neither Dr Moore, who is now retired, nor Intel had a mint condition original of the magazine.

Intel posted the reward on online auction site eBay in the run-up to the 40-year anniversary of the article on 19 April, in the hope that someone would have a copy for posterity.

Since the offer was posted, the search has been on all around the world to find an original.

Mr Clark, who admits he is "a bit of a hoarder", collected the Electronics magazine issues, as well as others, after the Philips Central Library in the UK - now closed - started to clean them out.

I could feel the hairs standing up on my arms. I think I've got that, I thought - although I wasn't sure
David Clark
"In the 70s, they started throwing out large quantities of these magazines," he said.

"I was in my 20s at the time and thought you shouldn't throw them out because they are recording the golden age of electronics."

He gave several hundreds of them a home first in his loft, then under the floorboards and had not looked at them since.

Until last Wednesday, when his RSS news reader popped up with headlines from technology site Slashdot, and various other, with news of the reward.

"I could feel the hairs standing up on my arms. I think I've got that, I thought - although I wasn't sure.

"I took the rest of morning off, and pulled the furniture back; I hadn't seen them for 15 years. I started sorting through them."

The first pile he looked at only went as far back as 1970. It was not until he looked at another hidden and securely wrapped pile that he found the issue at the very top of the stack.

Part of history

When he contacted Intel, he thought they would not know what he was talking about.

He was officially told he was the "winner" two days ago. Intel had had hundreds of e-mails claiming to have an original copy, but Mr Clark's was the first authentic claim.

Dr Gordon Moore
Neither Dr Moore nor Intel had an original of the magazine
A bound copy of the volume of Electronics which contained the issue disappeared, soon after the reward was publicised, from the University of Illinois' engineering library.

Mr Clark now intends to use the money to help pay for his daughters' weddings. His wife also has some plans for the cash.

He did offer to hand over the copy himself to Dr Moore, who now lives in Hawaii.

"I feel quite fond of the law, so feel like a bit of history and pride in returning it to him," said Mr Clark.

In an interview with the Associated Press agency recently, Dr Moore said: "Electronics was one of the trade magazines that you read and throw away. It wasn't an archival journal."

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