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Anita Helen Klock

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Anita Clock (born August 16, 1956) is an American computer scientist, most notable for her work for Mattel during the 1970s and 1980s on the Intellivision and its Entertainment Computer System peripheral.

Anita Helen Klock
Born8/16/1956 (age 61)
🏳️ Nationality
💼 Occupation
👔 EmployerMattel
Notable workPatent #4617643, Syntax Error Correction Method and Apparatus
👩 Spouse(s)
William J Looney (m. 1984)
👴 👵 Parent(s)Edgar and Helen Klock
👪 RelativesLeta Kelley and Shirley Klock (Siblings)

Personal Life[edit]

Anita Klock was born in Washington to Edgar Severinsen Klock (3/18/1917-11/17/2008)[1] and Helen Klock (9/29/1917-4/3/1996).[2] She worked in Lawndale, California and currently lives in Eugene, Oregon.

She married William J Looney in 1984.

She has two siblings: Leta Kelley and Shirley Klock.[1]


Between 1977 and 1979, Klock programmed hardware drivers on the development team for the Intellivision.[3]

After the release of the Intellivision, Klock joined the team developing the LUCKI, or Low User-Cost Keyboard Interface, which was renamed to the Entertainment Computer System (ECS) before release. This was a peripheral for the Intellivision that was designed to give it the full functionality of a home computer, and that replaced Mattel's original Keyboard Component project, which had stalled.[4] On this project, Klock developed the implementation of BASIC that came with the ECS.[5] One of the goals of the ECS was that it be able to serve as an introduction to computer programming for children, so Klock also had to make it very user-friendly. One of the ways she accomplished this was through the invention of syntax highlighting, a feature in which a text editor automatically colors different elements of the code differently to make it easier to read. Klock's system color-coded each part of a BASIC command, and would preprocess the code to highlight any errors, which would be left uncolored.[6] This was a significant feature for the ECS, which described it as being able to tell the user "if there's a problem and exactly where the problem lies" "as soon as [they] enter a command or statement."[6]

Klock and Jan B. Chodak filed a patent for this system in 1982, called Syntax Error Correction Method and Apparatus.[7] The patent was granted in 1986. This is the first known implementation of syntax highlighting, which has now become a feature in almost all modern code-oriented text editors.


Patent #4617643, Syntax Error Correction Method and Apparatus


Her name is often incorrectly written as Anita Clock.

See Also[edit]

Blue Sky Rangers



  1. 1.0 1.1 "Edgar Severinsen Klock". Tillamook Headlight-Herald. Retrieved 2018-03-27.
  2. "Helen Klock | April 3, 1996 Obituary | NewspaperArchive®". newspaperarchive.com. Retrieved 2018-03-27.
  3. Adams, Ernest (August 13, 2007). "Celebrating Female Game Devs of Yesteryear". Next Gen.
  4. "Intellivision Classic Video Game System / Entertainment Computer System". www.intellivisionlives.com. Retrieved 2018-04-11.
  5. "Intellivision Classic Videogame System: Blue Sky Rangers 20th Reunion". www.intellivisionlives.com. Retrieved 2018-03-27.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Mattel Intellivision: Intellivision Computer Module Owner's Guide (1983)(Mattel)(US). 1983. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  7. Syntax error correction method and apparatus, 1982-10-29, retrieved 2018-03-27

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