Ken Olsen has passed away at the age of 84. Olsen was well known in the technology industry. According to the Nashua Telegraph:
“[B]orn in Bridgeport, Conn., Olsen co-founded Digital, also known as DEC. The ‘minicomputer’ maker grew into a computer powerhouse – No. 2 in the nation behind Big Blue, IBM Corp., with $14 billion in sales – and helped lead the ‘Massachusetts Miracle,’ the state’s surging economy in the 1980s.”
He was an incredible man who was known for being a caring philanthropist who enjoyed helping others. Olsen will be remembered as a man who was very creative and innovative. His many achievements helped to create the forms of technology that billions of people use each day.
According to the Associated Press, “DEC, which Olsen launched in 1957, is considered an icon in technology circles today. The company attracted top engineers and helped usher in a technology revolution that changed the way people interact with computers. DEC computers also trained and influenced many key players in the technology industry. Microsoft co-founders Bill Gates and Paul Allen used the PDP-10 to create the first version of the BASIC programming language for a personal computer.”
Without this language, computers would not be able to do anything at all. The language allows documents to be translated into actual letters so that people can send the information to others and be able to understand what it says. It has innovated the world in a sense because now technology is everywhere you go. People can communicate with each other and exchange information at the click of a mouse.
According to the Nashua Telegraph, “Digital was sold to Compaq in 1998 and Compaq merged with HP in 2002.” HP, which stands for Hewlett Packard, is a huge force when it comes to consumer products such as laptops, personal computers, and printers. I have used their computers for a few years to be an online writer. I have to say that they make the entire writing process so much easier. It is great to be able to quickly write a paper or create a spreadsheet and be able to share it with others who are near or far.
As a businessman, Olsen helped the state of Massachusetts experience a huge economic surge. This was due to the fact that DEC brought many jobs to the state of New Hampshire. The location of the offices were near Massachusetts Route 128 meant many Massachusetts residents were commuting to the “Granite State” to work there.
My career depends directly on my laptop computer. I could never function without it. Microsoft would not be where it is today without Olsen’s influence. Many people across the globe use Microsoft programs, such as Word and Excel, in order to get things done. I use Microsoft Word daily and I am grateful that Olsen’s BASIC language helped to make creating the program possible. No one would have the same computer experience if it was not for Olsen’s creative mind and business sense.