40 years ago today (May 21st 1983) "The Story of Mel” was published on Usenet by its author, Ed Nather. For years, “Mel” was considered a fictional character. Even though throughout the years some details were discovered, not much was known about the life and work of Mel Kaye. Now, Mel’s identity is finally revealed.
(Mel’s portrait, as Melvin Kornitzky, in the UCLA 1951 yearbook)
After years of researching, digging into public archives, and searching for actual proofs, we present a biographical article in which we unfold the identity of Mel Kaye.
A short excerpt from the article:
Mel Kaye (Melvin Kornitzky) was a software engineer, employed at Librascope and at Royal McBee in New York and Los Angeles between the years 1956-1960. Among other programs, he developed a Blackjack game for two models of first-generation digital computers – the LGP-30 and the RPC-4000. His Blackjack game was highly regarded by fellow engineers and computer science students. Mel also conceived the ingenious hack described in The Story of Mel by Ed Nather, which was published on the internet in 1983. Ed Nather’s story won Mel world fame in the hacking community and is regarded as a seminal epic in hacking folklore.