Being s self-proclaimed geek, one Christmas, my Mom gave me a handheld computer for Christmas. It was revolutionary, not bigger than the palm of my hand and this device could literally do everything my desktop could with a series of apps.
The only reason I eventually bought an iPhone was strictly for work purposes. I discovered there were apps that I could use that would allow me to never miss another voice-over audition or job.
With the invention of social media and popular apps like Facebook, Twitter, Apple iPhones and a little series on AMC called “Halt and Catch Fire”, one forgets that compatibility was virtually impossible before Compaq computers appeared on the scene
“Silicon Cowboys” is a documentary that breaks down the wild-west mentality of the personal computer industry from Compaq to IBM and beyond, but is basically a story of the rise and fall of Compaq Computers.
IBM had an arrogance and confidence that controlled the marketplace making it the 6th largest industrial company in the United States. IBM was literally selling a computer unit a minute..
Meanwhile, Compaq developed its first portable computer that weighed only 27-28 pounds and was the first computer to be compatible with the IBM PC.. Compaq answered the need of those people who wanted to finish their work over the weekend at home and their portable computer was perfect. However, Compaq only sold 53,000 compared to 750,000 PC’s that were being sold at IBM.
Right on its heels as Steve Jobs and Apple in 1984, who to this day reigns supreme over smart phone and laptop technology.
Silicon Cowboys is fascinating in the respect that it show that “nerds” can go in hard for what they believe in and want to fight for. Like any other business driven industry computer geeks would pull out all the stops with Celebrity endorsements, smaller and better version of their product and like a true fight to the finish the best product would be left standing in tact.
Ultimately, that did not end up being Compaq, who would eventually merge with another technological giant Hewlett-Packard.
If you love technology and am as fascinated as I am about its origins, you will love Silicon Cowboys..
Released on September 16th nationwide in 12 markets and nationally of all digital platforms and directed by Academy Award nominated Jason Cohen Silicon Cowboys serves as refreshing alternative to the familiar narratives of Jobs, Gates and Zuckerberg. It also features interviews with Compaq founders Rod Canion, Jim Harris, Bull Murto, Alec Berg,- Executive Producer of HBO’s “Silicon Valley” and co- creator of AMC’s :Halt and Catch Fire” Chirs Cantwell.