TitleBirnbaum, Joel oral history part 2
DescriptionThis two-part interview series with Joel Birnbaum is insightful for his unique role as both the IBM research Vice President and later the Hewlett-Packard research Vice President. He led IBM’s original research team with John Cocke investigating and prototyping RISC architectures, and followed that by bringing RISC technology to HP and applying it much more broadly to new computing domains.
The second interview primarily covers his experiences at HP, trying to get the company to understand “systems” rather than “products”. He opens with a brief review of several IBM Fellows and his relationship with them, then moves to the opening findings at HP about its different culture—especially its embrace rather than rebuff of the central research group. RAS = reliability, availability, and serviceability—were big items he had to teach.
Small things mattered—partition heights, vinyl vs. carpet floors, skylights. And science projects vs. practical projects—big difference in goal and outlook and reward.
Birnbaum talks at length about pervasive vs ubiquitous computing, and the “domesticated computing” phrase, and ‘the painting’ which generated its own form of ‘hate mail’ to his surprise. He describes his vision of information appliances, using either “Batman’s Belt” or the Swiss Army knife as metaphors, and he closes by extending that to today’s tools from Apple.
|Birnbaum, Joel S., Interviewee|
|House, Chuck, Interviewer|
PublisherComputer History Museum
Place of PublicationMountain View, CA
Collection TitleCHM Oral History Collection
CreditComputer History Museum
|102746891||Birnbaum, Joel oral history|