Silicon Cowboys - documentary

Silicon Cowboys
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Silicon Cowboys, a 2016 technology documentary following the extraordinary story of three friends who dreamt up the idea of the portable computer in the early 1980's.


In an age of the iPhone looking back to early days of modern computing is like looking into the stone age. But you can't understate the importance of the Compaq portable computer which was released in March 1983. For it shaped the future of computers forever, in fact, Compaq is the reason why people ask "are you a Mac or a PC", rather than Mac or IBM.


The documentary explores Rod Canion, Jim Harris and Bill Murto who were engineers at Texas Instruments when they decided to go it alone and set-up Compaq. Their company became a tremendous success, becoming the fastest ever to achieve $1 billion in sales.


The centrepiece of the "Silicon Cowboys" documentary is how the lumbering behemoth IBM wanted to blow Compaq out of the water, but not through innovation and compatibility rather by using its massive market dominance and filing spiteful lawsuits. IBM failed miserably. If there is one lesson to take from technology it is openness and innovation always wins.

Technology, History

Jason Cohen
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