Len Shustek is chairman of the board of trustees of the Computer History Museum. In 1979, he co-founded Nestar Systems, an early developer of networks for personal computers. In 1986, he co-founded Network General, a manufacturer of network analysis tools including The Sniffer™. The company became Network Associates after merging with McAfee Associates and PGP. He has taught computer science at Carnegie-Mellon and Stanford Universities, and was a founder of the “angel financing” firm VenCraft. He has served on various boards, including the Polytechnic Institute of New York University.
Electronic mail is one of “killer apps” of networked computing. The ability to quickly send and receive messages without having to be online at the same time created a new form of human communication. By now billions of people have used email.Read More
Gary Kildall was a pioneer of personal computer software. He wrote programming language tools, including assemblers (Intel 4004), interpreters (BASIC), and compilers (PL/M). He created a widely-used disk operating system (CP/M). He and his wife, Dorothy McEwen, started a successful company called Digital Research to develop and market CP/M, which for years was the dominant operating system for personal microcomputers. Thousands of programs were written to run under it, and a million or more people might have used it.Read More
On January 9th and 10th of 1986, at Rickey’s Hyatt House in Palo Alto, California, there was an historic gathering of the pioneers who invented personal computing. The event was sponsored by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), and hosted by the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). Called the “ACM Conference on the History of Personal Workstations”, it was chaired by Alan Perlis of Yale University and organized by John White of PARC. The speakers were a “who’s who” of innovative computing, including Allen Newell, Gordon Bell, JCR Licklider, Larry Roberts, Doug Engelbart, Alan Kay, Chuck Thacker, Butler Lampson, Wes Clark, and others. If you were lucky enough to have been there, you were a witness to a remarkable event.Read More
By the mid-1980s, mass-produced personal computers had finally become powerful enough to be used for graphics. Apple had released their drawing program MacPaint  with the first Macintosh in 1984. But at $2500 the Mac was expensive, and it only displayed black and white images.Read More
It seems appropriate, every so often, for a history museum to think about its own history. On September 24, 2014, we celebrate the 35th anniversary of our “grandfather”: the Digital Computer Museum that began in Marlboro Massachusetts in 1979.Read More
Rather than using IBM proprietary components developed for their many other computers, the IBM PC used industry standard commercial parts. That included adopting the Intel 8088 microprocessor as the heart of the computer.Read More