Smarter Than Their Machines: Oral Histories of the Pioneers of Interactive Computing
is based on oral histories archived at the Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota. Included are the oral histories of some key pioneers of the computer industry selected by John that led to interactive computing, such as Richard Bloch, Gene Amdahl, Herbert W. Robinson, Sam Wyly, J.C.R. Licklider, Ivan Sutherland, Larry Roberts, Robert Kahn, Marvin Minsky, Michael Dertouzos, and Joseph Traub, as well as his own. John has woven them together via introductions that is, in essence, a personal walk down the computer industry road. John had the unique advantage of having been part of, or witness to, much of the history contained in these oral histories beginning as a co-op student at Arthur D. Little, Inc., in the 1950's. Eventually, he would become a pioneer in his own right by creating the computer industry's first successful software products company (Cullinane Corporation). However, an added benefit of reading these oral histories is that they contain important messages for our leaders of today, at all levels, including that government, industry, and academia can accomplish great things when working together in an effective way. This is how the computer industry was created, which then led to the Internet, both totally unanticipated just 75 years ago.
Table of Contents
Two Entrepreneurs with the Same Idea
Two Computer Designers who Thought Big
Timesharing in Academia and ARPA
Packet Switching and ARPANET
Artificial Intelligence and Changes at MIT and DARPA
Creating Something Great in Unusual Places
Creating the Industry's First Successful Software Products Company
About the Author(s)John Cullinane
, Northeastern University and Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
John Cullinane first came in contact with computers in the 1950 s as a co-op student at Arthur D. Little, Inc., the premier industrial consulting firm of its era. This led to jobs with companies such as CEIR, Inc., Philip Hankins & Co., and Auerbach Corporation. At Philip Hankins & Co., he learned the inherent potential in selling software as a product, which sparked the idea for a new venture. Eventually, he would form the first company to specialize in selling software as a product with particular focus on database software as the foundation for many interactive computer systems for industry, government, and academia. At the time industry experts said it couldn't be done, others had failed, etc. However, Cullinane Corporation would go on to become the first successful software products company in the computer industry and set the stage for other software companies to follow. In the process, it would be a major factor in creating the industry as it exists today. John is also a social entrepreneur, having created the Boston Public Library Foundation, he was the first president of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, and founding Chairman of the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council, among others. As a graduate of Northeastern University he has also been the recipient of many awards and honorary degrees. For example, he received the first honorary degree ever awarded outside the island of Ireland by the University of Ulster for his efforts in promoting peace in Northern Ireland through jobs. John, as a Fellow at the Center for Business and Government, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, wrote the Entrepreneur s Survival Guide 101 Tips for Managing in Good Times and Bad and also Widows and Orphans A Walk Down Wall Street from the Perspective of a High Tech Entrepreneur.