[SIGCIS-Members] New public TV History of Computing documentary (on MN)--a CBI Collaboration available for streaming

James Cortada jcortada at umn.edu
Tue Oct 15 16:36:14 PDT 2019

Bravo!!!  This must have taken a lot of work.  Jim

On Tue, Oct 15, 2019 at 3:31 PM Jeffrey Yost <yostx003 at umn.edu> wrote:

> Dear Colleagues,
> Wanted to make people aware of an hour-long history of computing
> documentary on Minnesota IT history.  It was a collaborative project of the
> Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA-an industry association with 300
> member companies), Twin Cities Public Television (TPT), the Charles Babbage
> Institute (CBI), the Minnesota Historical Society, the Dakota Country
> Historical Society, and The VIP Club (ERA/Univac retirees group).
> The documentary is titled: Solid State: Minnesota's High-Tech History.  I
> participated in a pre-screening event last week and had the opportunity to
> serve on the panel following the screening at TPT with the film-maker Kevin
> Dragseth, MC MHTA CEO Jeff Tollefson, and a few IT pioneers, and we had
> several hundred guests in the audience (Oct. 8th). It aired on public
> television on TPT on Oct.13th, and it will likely be shown on some public
> television affiliates throughout the nation, especially in high tech
> regions (such as in San Francisco/San Jose/Palo Alto/S. Valley, Boston,
> Seattle, Los Angeles, Austin, etc.) in the near future. The easier way to
> see it if interested (or to use in a class), it is now, and will remain,
> available to stream in full--see URL below.
> Despite not having Control Data (for a time 2nd to only IBM) since its
> early 1990's liquidity crisis, receivership, and breakup, there is still
> much IT here in the Twin Cities, but some it more behind the scenes. The
> HQs of Target and Best Buy and their advanced logistics systems, 3M as a
> leading force in the Internet of Things (IoT) in manufacturing (Accenture
> estimates IoT in manufacturing, factory sensors/transmission to the
> Cloud/associated analytics, will save $15 Trillion globally in efficiencies
> by 2030), and Optum (an absolute giant health information services
> platform/provider used in 150 countries) that represents half the income of
> its parent the nation's 6th largest public company Minnetonka, MN's United
> Health, as well as the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, Medtronic, and other
> constituents of our Medical Alley to name just a few.
> Documentary is available at:
> https://www.tpt.org/solid-state/
> Former CBI Director, HSTM and ECE Prof. Emeritus, and current SHOT
> President Tom Misa is the on-air historian throughout (author of Digital
> State on MN's IT history and an inspiration for the documentary).  In
> addition to extensive footage and insights from Tom, about 20 video
> interviews with IT pioneers were used (including with early ERA engineers,
> as well as with leading women and African Americans advancing IT here and
> beyond).    CBI Archivist Amanda Wick was the lead archivist advisor, I was
> the lead historian advisor, and UMN History of Science Tech and Med (HSTM)
> ABD student Liz Semler was the chief researcher/project manager and did
> absolutely incredible work on the effort (on both the documentary and the
> website www.mncomputinghistory.com).  HSTM Postdoc and former CBI GSRA
> Dr. Jonathan Clemens (a senior consultant) also provided very important
> work and input throughout. Most of the footage and many of the photographs
> are from the Charles Babbage Institute Archives.
> Best, Jeff
> Jeffrey R. Yost, Ph.D.
> Director, Charles Babbage Institute
> Research Professor, Program in the History of Science, Technology, and
> Medicine
> 222  21st Avenue South
> University of Minnesota
> Minneapolis, MN 55455
> 612 624 5050 Phone
> 612 625 8054 Fax
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James W. Cortada
Senior Research Fellow
Charles Babbage Institute
University of Minnesota
jcortada at umn.edu
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