Skip to Main Content
Thankfully, Ridley Scott's brilliant Super Bowl ad, proclaiming that 1984 won't be like 1984, heralded a Golden Age of Electronics instead of George Orwell's dyspeptic scenario. Apple's Macintosh debuted, Hewlett-Packard and its new LaserJet printer set record sales and profits for Silicon Valley companies, and I met Lynn Conway when we both joined the IEEE Spectrum Advisory Board. Although Conway was a bit shy and had held back from the limelight, I already “knew” her. As HP's Corporate Engineering Director, my job was to “know” the Valley. Operating a prototype Macintosh six months prior to introduction, I'd sparked Tom Whitney's Summerhill Partners' angel round that was the initial funding for Aldus Corporation and Pagemaker. I'd compared views with Xerox PARC's Warren Teitleman, both a Caltech classmate and a neighbor (with an Alto and then a Dorado by his home swimming pool). Warren and I had both known Carver Mead for 25 years. Mead was my senior advisor, urging me to join HP in 1962. By 1975, Mead and Conway were collaborating at PARC.
Date of Publication: Dec. 2012