H.O.T.Y – Hobbyist of the Year

Year Name Honor
2007 Claude Kagen

Claude was honored for his efforts in the early years of hobbyist computing. In 1965 he founded the R.E.S.I.S.T.O.R.S. (Radically Emphatic Students Interested in Science, Technology, and Other Research Subjects).

2006 Alex Goldfinger

Alex has been a charter member of the group. In the past he has served as editor of the newsletter and always was ready to contribute and help with booth monitoring at the Computer shows. He sreved on the BOD for many years. I’m sure other membes can contribute other attributes and contributions the Alex has made to the Group.

2005 Cass and Ruth Lewart

Dual award to Ruth and Cass Lewart. Both have been very active computer hobbyists for nearly 30 years. They were officers in the Bookdale User Group (http://www.bcug.com/) for many years and are also long-time members of ACGNJ. In addition to speaking at TCF for many years, Cass has been a speaker at meetings of ACGNJ, PPCUG, and other computer clubs. He is the author of several books about PC technologies and has contributed papers to the Trenton Computer Festival Annual Proceedings Book.

2004 Lennie Libes

Lennie has been involved in the creation and running of both The Amateur Computer Group of New Jersey and the Trenton Computer Festival for 30 years. She has taken on the thankless background tasks that nobody wants to do because they needed doing, and has kept things moving smoothly with her expert handling and care.

2003 Frank Warren

Frank has been an outstanding member of the ACGNJ for many years and a font of wisdom from a technical point of view, member of the TCF Steering Committee, Frank also stepped forward from Veep to Pres. when Neil Sanford passed away then two successive elected terms as President. Frank has given many presentations on banking, money, gold, and secure financial transactions, security with respect to Thawt, a secure ID certificate provider, and several on networking and wireless. And has kept the club’s Geneology SIG alive for several years.

2002 Arnold Milstein

Arnold has handled public relations for ACGNJ, making sure that the group is promoted at local computer shows. He also takes care of the club equipment. At special occasions, such as Microsoft events, he has often been first to volunteer to help, the first to arrive and the last to leave. When asked to do a job for the group he rarely declines.

2001 Peter Fillingham

Peter was the leader of the LUNICS (a loose acronym representing the various forms of Unix-like systems) Special Interest Group of ACGNJ for many years, and has been an outspoken proponent of open-source programming Linux, and its Unix-like cousins.

2000 Jerry Entin

Jerry Entin, leader of the Concordia Group and member of the Trenton Computer Festival Steering Committee, Jerry was cited for his contributions to ACGNJ and the Trenton Computer Festival.

1999 John Raff

John has been a supporting member of the club for many years, working in the background on Facilities, Webmaster, Vice President, Board of Director, PC-Symposium chair and active in TCF.

1997 Scott Vincent

Scott started his group efforts in the Heath Group and when that disbanded and mixed with ACGNJ continued his help with Borad of Directors, President and Presiden of TCF.

1997 John Hampton

Posthumous award to his widow in recognition of his work for TCF.

1996 Charlie Arnold

For his long-term service to ACGNJ.

1995 Alan Bloom

Honored for his contributions on behalf of the hearing-impaired.

1994 Bill Snell

Honored for his long time contributions to personal computing, including running a BBS, working as TCF Festival Director, and for other accomplishments over a period of 18 years.

1993 Bruce Arnold

Honored for his work outside the computer group teaching others how to program, and for writing software to help people use personal computers to do things they would otherwise have been unable to do.

1992 Dave Raibert

SIG/M treasurer.

1991 Al Katz

Honored for his work in creating and perpetuating the Trenton Computer Festival.

1990 Bob Todd

SIG/M distribution coordinator.

1989 Fred Gohlke

Honored for revitalizing the ACGNJ newsletter.

1988 Hank Kee

SIG/M librarian.

1987 Steve Leon

SIG/M editor.

1986 Sol Libes

For his championing of public domain software in his magazines, despite losing advertising from software manufacturers who saw public domain software as a threat. The tradition of honoring distributors of public domain software was continued with the awards for 1987, 1988, 1990 and 1992.

1985 Harold McIntosh

Of University of Mexico City. With students, wrote the Regular Expression Compiler, an equivalent of Unix shell script processing, particularly in the parsing of Unix regular expressions for CP/M. (Bob Todd notes that the award really should have gone to the students, who did most of the work.)

1984 Rich Conn

SIG/M, awarded for the same reason. He created major portions of the first ZCPR and all of ZCPR2 and ZCPR3, putting all of the code into the public domain.

1983 Ward Christensen

The first HOTY, creator of MODEM7, which was the first generally successful PC modem program and enabled users to download files from his bulletin board system, which was the first BBS. His award was for making this software available to everyone.


The annual award recognizes meaningful volunteer service to the community and/or the organization through computer-related activities. Although nominees for the award may be professionals in the computer field, the focus of the award is on non-commercial activities.

HOTY was conceived in 1983 by the SIG/M SIG at ACGNJ and many of the early awards were given to those involved in distributing or writing public domain software. In 1986, when interest in SIG/M had declined to nearly nothing, the ACGNJ Board took over the responsibility of selecting the HOTY.

Thanks to Bob Todd’s history of the award.

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