Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: BenBella Books (October 15, 2013)
Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 9.1 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #548,123 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #185 in Books > Computers & Technology > History & Culture > History #317 in Books > Business & Money > Industries > Computers & Technology #575 in Books > Engineering & Transportation > Engineering > Reference > History
Co-founder, CEO, and author Rod Canion does an excellent job laying out the chronology of Compaq, starting with the founding of the company and the key decisions: to build a portable PC, to focus (maniacally) on IBM PC compatibility, to focus on high-performance (and luxury pricing), to ship an 80286 machine that was more compatible with the original (8088) IBM PC than IBM's 80286 machine, to ship an 80386 PC before IBM did, to band together with other PC "clone" makers to announce the EISA bus in response to the IBM MicroChannel bus, and the decision to simultaneously launch both an 80486 desktop PC and the dual-processor SystemPro server that had more power at much lower cost than competing "minicomputer" offerings from IBM and HP. These were gutsy -- and winning -- decisions.I worked at Microsoft as a software engineer and engineering leader from 1985 to 1999. And for my first 11 years I worked on operating systems: OS/2 (nee MT-DOS), MS-DOS, and Windows. So this book was a trip down memory lane for me. I never met Mr. Canion, but I was always impressed by the people and products of Compaq. Under Canion's leadership, Compaq designed and built the fastest, most reliable (and most expensive) PCs. I still remember fondly getting my first 80386 machine -- a Compaq 386/20e.The writing style is crisp, functional, and (mostly) devoid of self-aggrandizing praise. I quite enjoyed the book.But I only gave it four stars because the story is incomplete. It seems improbable that in his nine years at the helm of Compaq, there weren't at least a few major mistakes. Yet Compaq goes from success to success.
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