This is the first half of the story of Richard (Richie) Lary, who was born in Brooklyn in 1948. He was very mathematically inclined, so he thought he might become an accountant, but he got exposed to computers in high school and was hooked. He basically programmed his way through college at Brooklyn Poly on a DEC PDP-8, that he found in a lab, while hardly attending classes. He then had one job interview at DEC, where he was hired on the spot. Six year later, he was one the key architects of the VAX computer and then one of the key architects and implementers of the Digital Storage Architecture (DSA), which was the foundation for DEC’s proprietary VAXcluster architecture, which is still one of the best implementations of scale-out, shared file-system storage. This part 1 interview only gets us up to ~1986 but it is a rip-roaring story and Richie is one of those rare individuals, who if you ever met him, you would never forget him.