Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Digital Man/Digital World

Half a century ago, computers filled entire rooms and consumed enough electricity to power over 100 households. The Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) transformed the entire industry, making computers smaller, less expensive and more accessible. DEC’s founder, Ken Olsen, was a major contributor to the innovations that made possible the Information Age. In 1986, Fortune Magazine named Olsen "America's most successful entrepreneur."

Olsen joined the Gordon College Board of Trustees in 1961, inspired by the openness with which science is taught at Gordon as well as with the critical thinking and empirical approaches of the faculty. Today Gordon College is home to the Ken Olsen Science Center and the Ken Olsen Archives--the largest intellectual property donation in history from Olsen. The loggia of the building also serves as a museum to Ken Olsen and all the employees and inventions that made up Digital Equipment.

Digital Man/Digital World: The Story of Ken Olsen and Digital Equipment Corporation, premiered at this year's Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis. The film was nominated for Best Documentary at the festival, where the producers of the film, the family of the late Ken Olsen and Gordon College President D. Michael Lindsay and Vice President Dan
Tymann were present. "From the first minicomputers to the first corporate credit union, the documentary highlights the many dimensions of Ken's leadership," said Tymann. "His impact on Gordon's community and culture was also significant--those pathways are still felt here today."

The documentary will be shown in its first public television broadcast on WFYI Indianapolis tonight at 8 p.m. It will then air on 300-plus PBS affiliates around the country this summer.

Photo: Ken Olsen, founder and president of Digital Equipment Corporation.
Digital Man/Digital World was made possible by a grant from Gordon College.


Steve Kercher said...

"His world is under anesthetic
Subdivided and synthetic
His reliance on the giants
In the science of the day

He picks up scraps of information
He's adept at adaptation
Because for strangers and arrangers
Constant change is here to stay"

Digital Man, RUSH

Unknown said...

This was a beautiful documentary. Thanks to all for creating it and giving us a portrait of this giant.