Entries in Computing, Internet, and Software

Baer, Ralph
Ralph Baer was an engineer and inventor particularly known for creating the first videogame console. Baer and his family came to the United States as German Jewish refugees in 1938 when Baer was sixteen years old and settled in the Bronx in New York City. Although he spent the majority of his career working within military defense contracting, he remained a passionate inventor of electronic games and toys. To support this passion, Baer established his consulting firm, R. H. Baer Consultants, in 1975, through which he partnered with well-known companies. Over the course of his life, his inventions and over one-hundred and fifty U.S. and international patents have contributed to the advancement of military defense, television technology, video gaming, electronic toys, and other electronic consumer products. Continue Reading »
Bechtolsheim, Andreas von
It is said that Andy Bechtolsheim (born Born: September 30, 1955, in Hängeberg am Ammersee, Germany) has been to corporate computing what Apple founder Steve Jobs was to the world of consumer electronics. Sun Microsystems, the IT company that emerged from the workstation Bechtolsheim had designed as a graduate student at Stanford University, was only one of many start-ups he co-founded over the last four decades. Continue Reading »
Esslinger, Hartmut
Hartmut Heinrich Esslinger is one of the world’s leading industrial designers and the former head of frog design. In 1969, he founded esslinger design, which was based in Altensteig until 2010. The firm was renamed frogdesign in 1982 upon Esslinger’s move to California to work for Steve Jobs and Apple Computer as the lead designer for Apple’s “Snow White” design language. Over a career spanning more than forty years, Esslinger worked with firms in diverse fields of industry and technology. His innovative approach to design refined Louis Sullivan’s classic motto of “form follows function” into frog’s slogan of “form follows emotion,” pioneering a global design philosophy, especially to electronics, that sought a comprehensive approach to both the aesthetics and functionality of industrial design. Continue Reading »
Frank, Werner
Werner L. Frank was a pioneering figure and longtime contributor to the United States and international computer industry. After being exposed to the young field of digital computing in the U.S. Army and studying it in college, Frank went on to co-found Informatics, one of the path-breaking early producers of software products in the 1960s. Continue Reading »
Guericke, Konstantin
Konstantin Guericke is a web 2.0 pioneer and co-founder of LinkedIn, the world’s largest online business network. Guericke first came to the United States as a high school exchange student and then returned to pursue further studies at Stanford University. Benefiting from a unique environment for innovation, entrepreneurship, and collaboration, he found pathways to Silicon Valley’s high tech start-up scene. Continue Reading »
Hollerith, Herman
Herman Hollerith was the inventor of the first patented mechanized punched-card system, the technological foundation for the computing industry. He established a company to pursue the innovation based on census processing in the United States and several foreign countries, including Russia, Norway, and France. He licensed the technology to other firms in Austria-Hungary, Great Britain, and Germany. Hollerith revolutionized the technology used for general statistics and accounts processing by private businesses as well. He eventually sold his company to a conglomerate in 1911 which eventually renamed itself the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) in 1924. Hollerith’s inventions and innovations provided the business foundation for IBM’s prosperity throughout its early years. Continue Reading »
Thiel, Peter
Peter Thiel is a technology entrepreneur, hedge fund manager, venture capitalist, libertarian, and philanthropist. He began his career by co-founding PayPal together with Elon Musk and Max Levchin in 1998 and served as the company’s chairman and CEO until the company sold to eBay in 2002. Since then, he has embarked on a number of projects including the establishment of Clarium Capital Management, a global macroeconomic hedge fund; investment in Facebook; the launch of The Founders Fund, a Silicon Valley venture capital fund; the co-formation of Mithril Capital Management, a global venture capital firm; and the launching of the Thiel Foundation, a nonprofit organization that carries out philanthropic activities. Continue Reading »