Hal W. Hardenbergh (Felger Carbon) died - RIP

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Hal W. Hardenbergh (Felger Carbon) died - RIP

Post by NeilBlanchard » Tue Jul 01, 2008 8:07 am


Those of you who have read the SPCR forums have probably read posts by Felger Carbon. His name was Hal W. Hardenbergh. Sadly, he passed away last Wednesday.

jhhoffma wrote:I thought it might be nice to have a little tribute to him on the front page of the site, maybe just an announcement and a link to a forum thread where people can post their thoughts and condolences.

I'm not sure how appropriate it is, but it seems like we should do something for someone who's provided so much help and info to those who frequent SPCR.
I agree Jack, so I'm starting a thread. RIP Felger Carbon -- you will be missed.

Here's his last post:

Last edited by NeilBlanchard on Fri Jul 04, 2008 11:38 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Post by thejamppa » Tue Jul 01, 2008 9:02 am

I will miss him. May he rest in peace and may not tick too badly Guy in Upstairs when Felger starts tinkering his famous projects in there. Dead but not Forgotten. Felger still is part of this community now and in the future with his legancy living in here.

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Post by Bluefront » Tue Jul 01, 2008 9:46 am

Really sad....he and I communicated frequently via PMs. Never met him other than through SPCR, but I considered him a friend. R.I.P. FC. :cry:

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Post by Matija » Tue Jul 01, 2008 11:17 am


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Post by AuraAllan » Tue Jul 01, 2008 11:30 am

He was a great guy to have on these forums.
Always very helpful.

He'll be missed around here for sure.

R.I.P FC :(

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Post by psiu » Tue Jul 01, 2008 11:51 am

I'll just quote from one of the threads it was first announced in:
psiu wrote:
bjojoj wrote::cry: I am really sorry to hear this. My sincere condolances to his friends and family. May he rest in peace. :cry:
Same here.

Funny how the internet can bring people of such different backgrounds together when just a few years ago most of us would have never known he existed. I can't claim to know him anymore than his SPCR online persona would allow, but as far as I could tell he was a curious, thoughtful, intelligent, and kind person.

Definitely a loss here, and I'm sure a million times over to his family and friends.

RIP Felger Carbon.

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Post by spookmineer » Tue Jul 01, 2008 1:40 pm

My condolences to his family and friends :(

A very active member, about half of the threads in the user review section were started by him viewforum.php?f=27. It felt like he was the "unofficial" SPCR staff member, his comparative findings are very useful.

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Post by CA_Steve » Tue Jul 01, 2008 3:02 pm

So sad to hear.

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Post by josephclemente » Tue Jul 01, 2008 5:46 pm

I'd always read a thread when I saw his name attached to it. So sad to see him go. :(

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Post by jhhoffma » Tue Jul 01, 2008 6:09 pm

Thanks for this Neil. It's been weighing on my mind. I wanted to post my own thread, but thought it would be better coming from the mods.

Though like most of us, I didn't know Felger Carbon in life, but I'm sure we all felt a kinship with someone like him. F/C was always lurking around here, helping out the newbs when he could and providing insight with his frankenstein airflow experiments. I kind of looked to him as a big-brother figure 'round here, and was always waiting for his next post on the "new and improved" version of some wacky experiment that would end up shining empirical proof over some hotly contested debate.

Farewell, Brother. May you rest in peace and may you find the silence you sought.

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My friend "Felger Carbon"

Post by TPeterson » Tue Jul 01, 2008 10:36 pm

I first met in-person the man you all knew as "Felger Carbon" in about 1983. By then he had become my friend through correspondence and phone calls (Remember, Al hadn't yet invented the Internet) that began at least 2 years earlier when I became a customer of Digital Acoustics, his company in Santa Ana, CA.

He used his real name then, Hal W. Hardenbergh. He adopted the nom de plume Felger Carbon about 15 years ago when he finally dropped the name "Former FNE", referring to his original editorial persona Felgercarb N. Eloi, usually abbreviated as FNE. Under that name he wrote and published the DTACK Grounded newsletter (see, http://linux.monroeccc.edu/~paulrsm/dg/dg01.htm) through most of the 1980s while he also ran Digital Acoustics.

D.A. had been formed (using proceeds of a previous very successful business) to make microprocessor-based acoustic-measurement instruments for a market of noise-pollution control that failed to materialize. So...Hal went into the business of making other sorts of computer-based gadgets, including the one that made me his customer: an add-on board for the Commodore PET or Apple II that supercharged them with a Motorola MC68000 processor with its data-throttling pin (DTACK) firmly grounded--a pedal-to-the-metal hot rod in its day. These products proved to have a limited market, despite working fabulously well and being comparatively very inexpensive.

When "Kindly Uncle Jack" (In his very entertaining D.G. stories FNE always called Commodore founder Jack Tramiel that or "KUJ") brought out the Atari ST, the first freestanding MC68000 hot rod, Hal decided that he'd become the next Bill Gates by offering a compiled BASIC for the machine, to be called "DBASIC". His business model would be to give away the compiler, but sell the manual. He almost single-handedly wrote the compiler (I think that James Shaker helped a bit) and I helped him write some of the manual. Hal folded up the D.A. tent and moved to Santa Fe, NM to open DTACK Grounded, Inc and sell DBASIC manuals.

It took less than about 6 months to very firmly establish that this business model was not going to work for the Atari ST market. Hal carted all the unsold copies of the manual to the dump, declared himself an "unemployed bum", and moved to Santa Clara, CA where there were far more engineering jobs than in Santa Fe at the time (ca. 1988).

In Santa Clara, Hal worked for a couple of video-processor specialty companies for a few years, while continuing to send irregular issues of an abbreviated newsletter that he called "Dear Folks", which dealt with various industry trends, such as the evolution of memory sizes and costs and the hard disk drive cost-size "sweet spot". Then he decided that it was time to retire and just play with computer toys for his own (and his friends') amusement.

He then played with computer toys and wrote entertainingly about it for about 10 years, stopping only long enough to relocate to Klamath Falls when his Santa Clara lease expired and he realized that he had no further need to live in crowded Silicon Valley. About that time he also discovered SPCR and got back to his old passion, acoustics and noise. But it seems that sometime recently his deteriorating health finally overcame his strongly optimistic outlook and he decided to do something else, something at least as dramatic and decisive as his previous career changes had been. He bought a gun. :(

We've carried on a nearly daily email correspondence ever since Hal got an ISP account. These replaced our phone calls and letters of long ago and I've gotten used to not hearing Hal's voice very often. But it's going to be difficult to stop looking for those notes in my inbox.
Last edited by TPeterson on Wed Jul 02, 2008 7:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Goodbye Hal.

Post by Firetech » Wed Jul 02, 2008 1:35 am

A very great loss to the SPCR family. :(

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Post by Sooty » Wed Jul 02, 2008 2:53 am

RIP Felger, a great loss to SPCR :(

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Post by JShaker » Wed Jul 02, 2008 6:23 am

I met Hal back in about 1974; I was 14 at the time. My father and I were visiting his facility, Digital Acoustics. He showed me a game that was running on a Wang 2200 computer. It was a simulated football game, all ascii text based. It even had <STREAKER> scroll horizontally across the screen occasionally. From that moment on... Hal changed my life forever. I was hooked on computers and electronics in general.

I eventually went to work for Hal when I turned 20. He taught me the real life engineering facts that universities fail to teach. He always demonstrated to me through his actions that if you believe in something, you put your time into it. He was a great man to work for and with. I could not and would not have picked any better mentor. During that time he treated me as a son; not only giving me guidance in my engineering but my personal life as well.

I have and will miss him.

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Post by MikeC » Wed Jul 02, 2008 7:51 am

TPeterson & JShaker --

Thank you for sharing with us a slice of your friendship with Felger Carbon. His good humored, insightful posts obviously made quite an impact here, and his absence will be missed.

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Post by andyb » Wed Jul 02, 2008 9:11 am

TPeterson & JShaker

It is very generous and kind of you to have taken the time and effort to give us some of the interesting history and background of the late "Hal W. Hardenbergh" - May he rest in peace.

Please also pass on my condolences to his friends and family.


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Post by Nick Geraedts » Wed Jul 02, 2008 11:27 am

This is very sad news. I never new Hal myself, but I did notice his contribution to the forums around here.

He will be deeply missed.

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Post by disphenoidal » Wed Jul 02, 2008 11:20 pm

My condolences to all his friends and family, whether they knew him as Felger or Hal or anything else.

I know he will be missed around here. Felger Carbon posts were always among my favorites.

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Post by Bluefront » Thu Jul 03, 2008 1:51 am

A few years ago when the 220mm fans were coming out, you could only get one with a case. Apparently F.C. bought a bunch of these setups. One day I got a PM from him, offering to give me one of these new fans to see what I could do with it. I accepted the offer....a few days later I got a box with two fans, which I proceeded to incorporate into a new setup.

I doubt anyone else on these forums would be so generous....I miss you F.C.

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Post by Licaon » Fri Jul 04, 2008 12:50 pm


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Post by Tzupy » Sat Jul 05, 2008 6:17 am

Me :( too.
May your rebirth be a fortunate one, Felger Carbon.

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Post by peerke » Sat Jul 05, 2008 3:00 pm

I am shocked and very sad to read this.
Like many in these forums I didn't know him personally but I knew him as an active, informed, friendly and kind member. When quickly reading through very long threads his posts were always the must reads. I think everyone who knew him, personally or otherwise, will miss him.
My condolences to his family and friends.

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Post by dhanson865 » Sat Jul 05, 2008 5:11 pm

He earned my respect. I can't say the slightest negative thing about him. He will be missed.

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Post by ultraboy » Sat Jul 05, 2008 7:48 pm

My condolences to the family and friends.

I'll remember Felger Carbon, and his numerous positive contributions to this community.


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Post by rpsgc » Sun Jul 06, 2008 1:26 am

Although I didn't know him, I feel a great sadness for his passing... :(


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Post by cmthomson » Sun Jul 06, 2008 5:40 pm

D.A., DTACK grounded, Dear Friends, SPCR...

Thank you TPeterson for the bio. I had no idea that Felger's path and mine had crossed so many times...

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Post by Redzo » Sun Jul 06, 2008 9:59 pm

His ideas and thoughts will be missed. May he rest in peace...

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Post by Brians256 » Fri Jul 11, 2008 8:55 am

I am greatly saddened by this, especially since I moved down to Klamath Falls not too long ago and missed the opportunity to get to know him. I looked for an obituary in the local paper but it seems to have not included him. I didn't even know he was in poor health.

Rest in Peace.

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Post by walle » Thu Jul 17, 2008 2:26 pm

My condolences to his family, friends and loved ones.

I will be missing his presence here, there’s not much else to say.

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Post by continuum » Fri Jul 18, 2008 9:34 pm

My condolences, and also those from Ars Technica who also read SPCR's forums.


I suspect our paths crossed a few times as well, only I never knew at the time.

His contributions will be missed. :(

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