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- Historically, VALGOL is a derivative of LAIDBACK, which was developed at the (now defunct) Marin County Center for T'ai Chi, Mellowness, and Computer Programming, as an alternative to the more intense atmosphere in nearby silicon valley.
- The center was ideal for programmers who liked to soak in hot tubs while they worked. Unfortunately, few programmers could survive there for long, since the center outlawed pizza and RC Cola in favor of bean curd and Perrier.
- Many mourn the demise of LAIDBACK because of its reputation as a gentle and nonthreatening language. For example, LAIDBACK responded to syntax errors with the message, SORRY MAN, I CAN'T DEAL WITH THAT.