[FoRK] #digital now completely zeroed out

Ken Ganshirt @ Yahoo ken_ganshirt at yahoo.ca
Tue Feb 8 19:46:18 PST 2011

> From: Marty Halvorson <marty at halvorson.us>
> Subject: Re: [FoRK] #digital now completely zeroed out
> To: fork at xent.com
> Received: Tuesday, February 8, 2011, 6:55 PM
> On 2/8/2011 1:00 PM, Wayne Baisley wrote:
> > RIP, Ken Olsen. #dec founder swapped out at '11/84.
> One of the smartest men I've ever met.  He came to
> Albuquerque for dinner with an old friend (Tom Stockebrand,
> who managed one of DEC's advanced development groups), and
> attended our weekly staff meeting.  He asked amazing
> insightful questions of every speaker.  Some of which
> resulted in much better projects.  I was one of the few
> invited to attend the dinner where he continued to impress.
> The world has lost another in a long line of brilliant and
> effective leaders.

He was very smart but he had a serious blind spot and I don't know where it came from. 

After helping to create an entire new industry that had virtually all of the characteristics of the "PC revolution" he refused to accept that what he had foreseen and helped create could be repeated at another level of "smaller", "more affordable" and "distributed". Unfortunately for Digital Equipment Corp it could and it did happen. And they missed it.

What's scary is where it should have been DEC leading the charge because they would have had the most cred, it turned out to be IBM who legitimized it. Dontcha just love the irony?


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