Artifact Details


Hardy, Ann oral history part 1

Catalog Number





Eager to escape the conservatism of her religious family, Ann Hardy pursued a position as a programmer for IBM in the 1950’s – at the time, a shockingly independent move for a young woman. Beginning in octal, she went on to becoming one of the two first women to receive management training in IBM Research in Poughkeepsie, working on the IBM Stretch/Harvest supercomputer project for the NSA.

Frustrated with the glass ceiling for women at IBM, she headed west to the University of California, Berkeley, and then in 1962 on to join her husband Norm Hardy at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, to program Livermore’s Stretch and CDC 6600. It was at Livermore that Ann was introduced to timesharing, which would change her life. Joining Tymshare in 1966, Ann was almost solely responsible for rewriting the timesharing operating system developed at Berkeley’s Project GENIE for the SDS 940, to make it work with the real world peripherals that a commercial machine needed, including disk drives.

Ann rose up to become Vice President of the Integrated Systems Division at Tymshare, from 1976 to 1984, which did online airline reservations, home banking, and other applications. When Tymshare was acquired by McDonnell-Douglas in 1984, Ann’s position as a female VP became untenable, and was eased out of the company by being encouraged to spin out Gnosis, a secure, capabilities-based operating system developed at Tymshare. Ann founded Key Logic, with funding from Gene Amdahl, which produced KeyKOS, based on Gnosis, for IBM and Amdahl mainframes. After closing Key Logic, Ann became a consultant, leading to her cofounding Agorics with members of Ted Nelson’s Xanadu project.




Brock, David C., Interviewer
Hardy, Ann, Interviewee
Hsu, Hansen, Interviewer
Weber, Marc, Interviewer


Computer History Museum

Place of Publication

Mountain View, CA, USA


132 p.






IBM; Stretch; Livermore; SDS 940 timesharing system; Tymshare; Tymnet; timesharing; Key Logic; Agorics; Secure operating systems; gender

Collection Title

CHM Oral History Collection


Computer History Museum

Lot Number