[SIGCIS-Members] Question From The American Computer & Robotics Museum in Montana

Brian Berg brianberg at gmail.com
Wed Apr 11 16:51:17 PDT 2018


Sophie Wilson <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sophie_Wilson> certainly
should be included.  An associate found her in *Digital Design and Computer
Architecture, ARM edition
<https://textbooks.elsevier.com/web/product_details.aspx?isbn=9780128000564>*,
by Harris and Harris.


With Steve Furber, she was co-designer of the ARM series processors from
ARM 1 through ARM7 (starting in 1983), and her earlier work experience at
Acorn starting in 1981 <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sophie_Wilson#Career>
makes excellent reading as well.  She currently works at Broadcom.
_________________________
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<http://www.CaliforniaConsultants.org> Board Director
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<http://www.SiliconValleyHistory.com/> Chair


On Mon, Apr 9, 2018 at 1:22 PM, Chuck House <housec1839 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Interesting question, George.  I am hopeful that you get lots of useful
> input
>
> I am concerned that you could be 'too narrow' in the sense of saying "only
> PC hardware"    That would count the IBM PC designers, the Apple II and Mac
> designers, the KayPro and its ilk, the Osborne, and maybe even the Eagle,
> right?
>
> But it would not include the key chip for Apple, the Mostek 6502, or the
> tools including ion implantation at Applied Materials that helped the 6502
> layout team, right?   And it would  doubtless exclude workstations, mini's,
> and desktops, not to mention handheld calculators, printers, disc drives,
> etc.  Is this what you hoped to elicit by adding "chips"?
>
> Almost all the chips were done at chip companies, except for HP, DEC, and
> IBM.  Specifically, they weren't really done at the PC companies.  And a PC
> included lots of firmware/software that was integral to the machine very
> often rather than on floppys or externally packaged.    Never mind that the
> Mac was said to be 'saved' by Desktop Publsihing, and the whole field by
> the killer Spreadsheet.
>
> My key candidate would be Lynn Conway, for whom I penned the attached IEEE
> article a few years back.   She did yeoman work at XeroxPARC re VLSI
> circuit design, unheralded for a long time.   But I would also include
> Adele Goldberg, for her 'software' work on Smalltalk, and her encouragement
> of Alan Kay for the DynaBook.   She probably wouldn't make your cut if it
> has to be hardware, but if it is to be PC-centric, her work led to the
> GUI's that the Mac employed famously.  She in fact strongly opposed letting
> Jobs into PARC.
>
> I would absolutely include Pat Castro of HP, who was the first female
> engineer at Fairchild Semi (who experienced plenty of anti-MeToo acts), and
> later ran HP's IC fab shop, processing Conway's VLSI work for Stanford and
> PARC.   She has two key HP Journal articles in June 1981.  Beatriz Infante
> and Diane Bracken were noted as key contributors to this effort also.
> Beatriz later was SVP at Oracle, and CEO at Aspect Communications.   Jim
> Gibbons at Stanford, and Lynn herself, are clear that without Pat's
> contribution, virtually none of the VLSI work that she and Carver Mead
> described would have been brought to fruition for several more years.
>
> But these seemingly are not what you asked.
>
> So my approach, admittedly adjacent to your request,  was to see how and
> where women show up in the HP designer 'archives' -- prior to and including
> PC development.   And the answer is sadly LOW.    The handheld calculator
> lines and the desktop computer lines had virtually no women designers
> cited; the minicomputer lines had some, mostly doing firmware or software.
>   Peripherals?  None.  I list below what I found in a cursory search this
> morning.  See http://www.hpl.hp.com/hpjournal/pdfs/IssuePDFs/hpjindex.html
>
> There were three women designers on the HP 21-MX series (HPJ October
> 1974), none explicitly hardware designers, but all with hardware 'chops':
> Janelle Bedke for dynamic mapping functions (later she led product design,
> hardware and software, for the HP 2621 Intelligent Terminal; and then
> co-founder, COO and CEO for Software Publishing); Darlene Harrell (21-MX
> test jigs); and Rose Carson, packaging.   Bedke describes the HP2621 as the
> HP competitor to the TRS-80 and the Osborne in 1979 in her recent Computer
> History Museum oral interview.
>
> The first by-lined and profiled HP woman engineer was Lynn Tillman, who
> did the microprogramming (then a hardware function in PROMs) for the HP-70
> and HP-22 handheld calculators.   See Nov 75 HPJ
>
> The next issue, December 1975 has three articles citing women designers.
> The first article concerns hybrid chip development, done in part by Ruth
> Buss, Rose Stamps, and Gina Anderson.   This work is adjacent to computer
> design per se, but the next two, one by Linda Averett and the other
> co-authored by Adele Gadol, are for HP's first real-time executive
> operating system work, RTE-II, then closely coupled to hardware design even
> though it was technically software.   This was mostly for real-time control
> systems, think satellite space controllers, rather than CPUs for business.
> And a long way from PCs.
>
> Kathy Hahn was first bylined and profiled in HPJ March 1977. for her CS
> work on HPE and RTE-III, the HP 1000 Real-time Executive operating system.
> She was in process of completing her EE Masters, and went on to design much
> hardware for HP computing.   Her key role next was the RTE-IV real-time
> operating system for the HP1000 family--this was THE hardware/software
> interface operating system for the world for the next decade.  See October
> 1978 HPJ, which also cites Linda Averett and Sheila Kapoor.  The key
> article in this issue though was by Julia Cates, who was the project leader
> and key designer of the F-series floating point chip.  Chuck Geber in a
> succeeding article cites Julia's key talents as well.
>
> Another 'adjacent' was Carolyn Finch, for her role in designing miniature
> probes for IC testing--April 77 HPJ (this was 'mechanical eng'g' for an
> electrical parametric situation) when HP was 'big' in PC chips, shipping
> 75,000 16-bit micros before Intel sampled its first one.
>
> A number of women were listed for the ill-fated SOS-based HP300, mostly
> for RPG software and software functionality contributions.  See HPJ June
> 1979, which includes Wendy Pelkus' article re RPG, Report Program
> Generator, for biz apps; and May Kovelick's article re the HP300 BASIC
> compiler.
>
> Izagma I. Alonso- Velez was the HP 64000 PASCAL compiler designer--again
> software, but dedicated to developing firmware tasks.  See Oct 1980 HPJ
>
> Nancy Federman wrote several significant manufacturing tracking system
> components, viz. April 1981.   This is in the era when Sandy Kurtzig
> founded ASK Computer doing similar things (Sandy's husband worked at HP).
>  Maybe more significantly, Loretta Winston authored an article in the same
> issue about "Customizing Software for computers" that was both prescient
> and exemplary for being the first black female to be published at HP (and
> maybe in the industry).
>
> For HP chip design, a big part was the Electron Beam Lithography program,
> which along with Bell Labs was the leading chip definition system of the
> era.  Nancy Kendzierski was one of the two software designers for the
> project columnator; several other women contributed to the software for the
> multiple exposure runs.   See May 1981 HPJ.  This issue is the month before
> the big June 1981 issue re HP Chip designs.
>
> Karen Meinert was the key main memory designer for HP's biggest mini, the
> HP3000 64. Full-on hardware!    Story in HPJ, March 1982
>
> Kathy Qwinn, at HP Fort Collins, is the first woman cited from HP's
> desktop computer divisions.  She led the BASIC compiler development, for
> what at the time was by far the leading desktop computer system in the
> world in unit placements and revenue; story in May 1982 HPJ.   See the
> history of these lines in http://www.hp9825.com
>
> Susan Okada led the plasma etching system for the dry lithography work at
> HP Labs that resulted in many microchip developments.   HPJ Aug 1982
>
> In the Sept 1983 HPJ issue, four women are included in HP's first low-cost
> color terminals, the HP 2700 family.   Sharon  Mead was the project
> manager, along with Catherin Potter and two others;  Diane Rodriquez and
> Barbara Stanley wrote the PaintBrush app.
>
> And in December 1983, Janet Accentura co-teamed to lead the Ultrasound
> Imaging system, with Radhu Basu assisting (later to become a key Indian
> developer in the Valley).
>
> Leslie Neft (the A-700( and Marlu Allen (the A-900) were two key hardware
> designers for HP's low-cost 'mini's--the HP 1000 Series A--described by
> program manager Nancy Schoendorf and others in Feb 1984 HPJ.   Sara
> Dickinson, not profiled, was a key hardware designer as well.     Elizabeth
> Clark co-wrote the RTE operating system.
>
> The August 1984 HPJ issue described HP's ill-fated Touchscreen 150 PC,
> with Carol Mills as product manager (later to be a key industry exec);
> Susan Carrie and Trish Brown on hardware; Becky Smith on firmware; and the
> aforementioned Sharon Mead with Sherry Murphy and Barbara Packard as
> project managers.
>
> Laura Cory, Nancy Schoendorf, Gail Hamilton, Janelle Bedke, Carol Mills --
> a few designers from HP who went on to significant contributions
> elsewhere.
>
> Cory worked in DSD as a designer, then marketing director, then division
> manager.
> Later, she became a key exec elsewhere http://bigpicture.net/article/
> cory-named-president-sun-chemicals-digital-unit
>
> Schoendorf also worked at DSD, then CSY, as an HP-UX operating systems
> designer, then moved to Software Publishing with Bedke, then to SUN, and
> then to the VC world.   http://mdv.com/nancy-schoendorf/
>
> Hamilton-- Gail Hamilton managed the development of the 64310 Analyzer and
> earlier contributed to the development of the 8085 and 6502 personality
> modules for the 1611A.  These were key tools for the PC designers of the
> day, since the 8085 and 6502 were the mainstay chips for PCs.   She later
> was VP for Compaq, Symantec, and on the Arrow Board.
> See HPJ June 1984, and https://www.bloomberg.com/
> research/stocks/people/person.asp?personId=506168&privcapId=313734
>
> *************
>
> So, TO YOUR QUESTION
>
> Should any of these be featured in your exhibit as I interpret what you
> seek?
>
> I'd broaden the list slightly, to include Bedke (SPC was the third largest
> PC SW firm by 1984, with the top-selling IBM PC SW besides spreadsheets),
> Conway, Castro, and Goldberg
>
> The rest are names in arcana, hardly significant enough for your
> question.   I wish there were many more.
>
> Best regards,
> Chuck House
> InnovaScapes Institute
> CHM Trustee
> ACM History Committee Chair
>
>
>
> On 4/9/18, 7:44 AM, "Members on behalf of George Keremedjiev" <
> members-bounces at lists.sigcis.org on behalf of director at compustory.com>
> wrote:
>
>     Hello to all. My first posting.
>
>     Our museum is opening on June 1st a major exhibit on women in
> computing.
>
>     Question:
>     Does anyone know of any personal computer hardware women engineers in
> the 1975-1985 era (+/-) who we should consider including in the exhibit?
> For example, women members of the Homebrew Club and/or employees at, for
> example - Apple, HP, Atari, Commodore, Tandy, Intel, TI, IBM, Xerox, etc. -
> who were hardware engineers and involved in the design of computer hardware
> components including microchips.
>
>     The key term is hardware.
>
>     Thank you in advance for your consideration and possible help with the
> above!
>
>     Best,
>     George
>
>     George Keremedjiev
>     Director
>     American Computer & Robotics Museum
>     Bozeman, MT
>     www.compustory.com
>
>
>     Sent from my iPhone
>
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