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He started programming in 1959; for extra money in college and gave up his part-time library job to make 30 cents more an hour. That seemingly inconsequential decision eventually led to a Ph.D. in Computer Science and a distinguished career that includes being the principal creator of Hewlett-Packard's two most important computer architectures: PA-RISC (Precision Architecture--Reduced Instruction Set Computing) in the 1980s and PA-WW (Wide-Word) in the 1990s. During his 13 years at IBM, he led efforts to define new ways to build instructions in machine language. That work included innovations that were used in IBM's System/370 mainframes and System/38 minicomputers – IBM's most advanced mini – introduced in 1978. In 1965, he proposed an architecture for a small computer that IBM built but never shipped because it didn't see a market for something called a "personal computer". At HP, he also has faced doubt and resistance from some quarters to PA-RISC and PA-WW. "It's almost always true that big breakthroughs will face strong opposition," he says. "It was that way for the HP 9100 calculator and for the inkjet printer. Now I just take it as a given that it might take a couple of years for something really new to catch on. You just have to move ahead." Although renowned for his individual contributions to improve computer architecture, he says he most enjoys building a team. "There's nothing like pulling together a bunch of bright individuals and molding them into a coherent team," he notes. "That's why I had so much fun building PA-RISC." He recently left HP Labs to move into the new Chief Technology Office, working for Chief Technology Officer Rich DeMillo. Today, he is the CTO of Secure64 Software Corporation. He is a retired HP Fellow (Chief Scientist and Distinguished Contributor), and served as a Commissioner of Colorado Governor's Science and Technology Commission. He received an MS (Physics) and an MS (Information Science) from the University of Chicago, and a PhD (Computer Science) from Cornell University. He is the holder of 14 patents.
Noted For:Principal creator of HP's two most important computer architectures: PA-RISC (Precision Architecture - Reduced Instruction Set Computing) in the 1980s and PA-WW (Wide-Word) in the 1990s
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