We sat down with Chris Garcia, curator at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View to find out about the evolution of technology and the history and legacy of Silicon Valley.
The Computer History Museum is the place to see those huge computers that used punch cards to the advent of personal computers and smart phones. This is the place to see how technology evolved. What were the inflection points that helped shape this technical revolution and ushered in the Age of Information.
The museum has a treasure trove of artifacts and houses quite a few unusual objects including a 1960s Kitchen Computer, robots, Cray Supercomputers and early versions of Apple computers. We were also curious to find out how Garcia curates artifacts at the museum. What is that process like?
LISTEN: CURATOR CHRIS GARCIA OF COMPUTER HISTORY MUSEUM ON SILICON VALLEY’S HISTORY & CULTURE
Garcia grew up in Silicon Valley and remembers using Apple’s computers as a kid. He shares some fascinating backstories about Silicon Valley’s startup culture. For example, Nolan Bushenell’sAtari Inc helped shaped the startup culture of Silicon Valley like free food and a casual working atmosphere, which is now followed by many startups around the world.
Filmmaker Jason Cohen’s Silicon Cowboys traces the rise and fall of Compaq, the personal computer (PC) company. Compaq was the company that challenged IBM and changed the PC landscape in the 1980s.
Compaq was founded byRod Canion, Jim Harrisand Bill Murtoin Houston, TX. The founders were partially inspired by Silicon Valley’s culture. At one point Compaq was the fastest growing company in the tech industry. The company was eventually acquired by Hewlett-Packard (HP). In 2013 HP discontinued Compaq’s name.
We caught up with Cohen at the Computer History Museum, where Silicon Cowboys was partially filmed. We wanted to find about what drew him to make Silicon Cowboys? How was the idea born? How did Compaq change the PC landscape? And, how was Compaq’s culture different? Was he inspired by AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire, a TV series that is loosely based on Compaq.
LISTEN: JASON COHEN ON SILICON COWBOYS
Cohen is a Berkeley-based filmmaker. His short film Facing Fear was nominated for an Oscar in 2014.
Silicon Cowboys releases in the San Francisco Bay area on Friday, September 16, 2016
Title: SILICON COWBOYS
Running Time: 109 minutes
Status: Releasing on September 16, 2016 in theatres and VOD