Artifact Details


Lam, Barry (Pak-Lee) oral history

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Barry Lam, the “Laptop King” was born in Shanghai and raised in Hong Kong, but moved to Taiwan to attend National Taiwan University when he was a teenager. He and some former classmates launched Kimpo in 1973 to produce handheld calculators. Lam became the president of Kimpo and proceeded to build the company into the world's largest contract calculator maker.

In the late 1988, Lam left Kimpo and started Quanta with a team of Kimpo engineers. Within two years, the young company had shown an early PC at a trade show and attracted Siemens and Philips Electronics as customers. From those humble beginnings, Quanta went on to become one of the leading PC design and manufacturing companies in the world under Lam’s leadership. Quanta engineers worked closely with their customers such as Apple and HP to design those companies’ notebook and laptop PCs. Lam and Quanta were key participants in the shift by Taiwanese companies from contract manufacturing to producing globally branded products.

In this oral history Barry Lam discusses his career in both Kimpo and Quanta within the framework of the evolving Taiwanese high tech ecosystem. He includes his personal views of some of the major people and companies in the development of Taiwan’s IC and PC industries.




Lam, Barry (Pak-Lee), Interviewee
Lin, Ling-Fei, Interviewer
National Science Council, Taiwan, R.O.C., Sponsor


Computer History Museum


36 p.; 55 p.

Copyright Holder

Computer History Museum




semiconductor history; Wen, Sayling; Digital Equipment Corporation; portable computer; notebook computer; laptop computer; Calculator; Kinpo Electronics; Monitor; Terminal; Compal Electronics; Texas Instruments, Inc. (TI); Quanta Computer; Leung, C. C.; original design manufacturer (ODM); electronics manufacturing service (EMS); Microsoft; Intel; Taiwan direct ship; ASF (affordability, scalability, flexibility); Hong Kong; Taiwan; Cloud computing; Business models; Chinese painting

Collection Title

Oral history collection

Series Title

Taiwanese Information Technology (IT) pioneers

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