Where Are They Now?: 1998 Industry Hall Of Fame Inductees

CRN Hall of Fame Inductees, 1998: Then and Now

As CRN celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, we are looking back at some of our coverage throughout the years and revisiting some of our favorite projects and special reports. One such project was the creation of the CRN Industry Hall Of Fame, founded in 1997 to honor the technical innovation and business acumen of the men and women responsible for jumpstarting the Information Age. Here we take a look back at the second class of inductees, why they were chosen and what they’re up to now.

Paul Allen

Achievements: With his Harvard classmate Bill Gates, Allen co-founded Microsoft and was an integral part of the company's research and product development team until 1983. Allen was behind some of Microsoft's most well-known products, including MS-DOS, Word, Windows and the Microsoft Mouse. Allen left Microsoft in 1983, after a battle with Hodgkin's disease, but chose to stay on the board as the company's second largest shareholder.

Today: Allen officially resigned from Microsoft in 2000. He remains on the board of Vulcan, the company he founded in 1986, as a way to oversee his multiple philanthropic and business ventures. In 2011, his published memoirs, "Idea Man," which chronicles Microsoft's early years, made it onto the New York Times Best Seller list. Since 1998, Allen has also founded three museums and also recently put his guitar skills to good use in the formation of a new band, Natural Born Swimmers -- whose song "Divine," co-written by Allen, made it onto the soundtrack of the movie ’Magic Mike.’

Tim Berners-Lee

Achievements: Berners-Lee's greatest achievement was also one of history's most revolutionary, the development of the World Wide Web. In 1980, Berners-Lee joined CERN, the European Particle Physics Laboratory, where he wrote the program Enquire in his spare time. Enquire was the origin of what would become known as the Internet, and was a unified platform that ran on one computer. After the advent of the Net, Berners-Lee continued to contribute to the web's development and subsequently created the beginnings of the universal resource locators, HTTP and HTML.

Today: Berners-Lee worked at CERN until 1994 when he joined MIT's computer science lab, where he is still the senior research scientist. Berners-Lee formed the World Wide Web Consortium in 1994 and continues to serve as its director. Berners-Lee continues to contribute to the development of the Web as he shies away from the lime-light -- with the exception being knighted in 2004 by Queen Elizabeth II.

Dan Bricklin

Achievements: Before Microsoft Excel, there was VisiCalc -- the world's first electronic spreadsheet -- and Dan Bricklin was the man behind it. While not widely known as the Father of the spreadsheet, due to the enormous success of Mitch Kapor's Lotus 1-2-3, Bricklin opened up the PC business software market by co-creating a product that helped businesspeople see the necessity of owning a personal computer. Co-founder and chairman of Software Arts, Bricklin introduced his Visible Calculator in October 1979 and changed the way people thought of computers. In 1995, Bricklin founded Trellix, producing products for website creation and publishing, among other things.

Today: Trellix was bought by Interland in 2003, where Bricklin served as CTO until he returned to Software Gardens in 2004. According to his website, he is also a "founding trustee of the Massachusetts Software Council (now the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council) and has served on the boards of the Software Publishers Association and the Boston Computer Society."

Vint Cerf

Achievements: As senior vice president of Internet technology and architecture at MCI WorldCom, Cerf made his mark on the tech industry by co-creating TCP/IP -- the computer language of the Internet. Cerf is also credited as the one who managed to break through the policy barriers that kept the Internet a government-based network and opened it up to commercial use, after he created one of the first commercial email products. Cerf went on to collaborate with NASA on technology to get the Internet into outer space as a way to deploy and man space vehicles from earth.

Today: Founder and President of the Internet Society in 1992, an international non-profit dedicated to the open development and evolution of the Internet, Cerf remained president until 2002. Since the mid-90's, Cerf has been a board member or upper-level executive to six Internet architecture companies as well as being a distinguished visiting scientist at the Jet Propulsion Lab, a government defense and space agency. He now is the Chief Internet Evangelist at Google, a position he's held since 2005.

Compaq Portable

Achievements: The first in Compaq's portable machines series, the Compaq Portable made waves by being the first IBM-compatible portable computing device -- and subsequently ended IBM's monopoly on the PC industry. The Compaq Portable was released in 1983 and, at $3,590 and 28 lbs., was one of the first all-in-one computers, competing against big names at the time like the Osborne I and Kaypro II. Co-designed by Rod Canion, Compaq co-founder and Hall of Fame Inductee for 1997, the Compaq Portable became the first industry standard machine to run someone else's software, and the decision to include the newly popular Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet software helped to launch the initial product sales. The Compaq Portable was also the first computer to display both text and graphics on screen at the same time.

Today: HP acquired Compaq in 2002, making the joint entity the largest PC manufacturer in the world. HP continues to sell systems that carry the Compaq brand.

Ross Cooley

Achievements: As the former vice president and general manager of Compaq's North American division, Cooley is remembered for his role in channel relations and his reputation for getting things done. At Compaq from 1984 to 1996, Cooley went on to continue his work with VARs at pcOrder.com where he was named Chairman and CEO.

Today: As the CEO of the pcOrder startup, an off-shoot of Trilogy Software Inc., Cooley opted to take his pay in the form of 850,000 shares at $5 a share. When the company went public in February 1999 the stocks sold at $21, and just two months later they were trading at $75 a share -- making Cooley's stake in the company worth over $63 million.

Larry Ellison

Achievements: CEO of Oracle since 1977, Larry Ellison is best known as the man who began the relational database industry. While databases were not new to the tech industry, up to this point they were dependent on a team of programmers and mass amounts of time to be able to derive meaningful analytics from the complex algebraic formulas. Ellison won over clients by demonstrating on-the-spot queries that previously would have taken weeks to pull together.

Today: Ellison still helms Oracle as the company's CEO and is the sixth wealthiest person in the world with a net worth of $36.5 billion, according to Forbes. Ellison currently owns a stake in four diverse companies that range from software and biotechnology research to pharmaceuticals. Last month Ellison purchased Lanai, a Hawaiian island, for $500 million.

Bronson Ingram

Achievements: Founder and CEO of Ingram Industries, Bronson Ingram got into the software business in 1985 when his company acquired Software Distribution Services. In 1989, Ingram Industries purchased the remaining shares of Micro D., a computer distribution company -- which eventually became Ingram Micro. After a six month battle with cancer, Bronson Ingram died in June 1995. By that time, his computing empire had reached $9 billion in revenue, and by 1998, Ingram Micro was the largest computer distributor in the world.

Today: Since his death, Ingram Industries has been run by his wife and their two sons. Santa Ana, Calif.-based Ingram Micro continues to be a leader in the world of computing and the delivery of technology, including cloud computing and infrastructure-as-a-service. While Ingram's wife remembers him as a modest man who would have rather kept Ingram Micro a private company, deals for its public offering in 1996 were underway before his death and, despite a slowing market, the company continues to fare well in comparison to its competitors.

The Intel 386SX

Achievements: Released in October 1985, the 32-bit Intel 386SX chip not only altered the future of Intel but also changed the PC industry as a whole. Despite initially low expectations, the 386SX established the architecture that today's software industry is based upon. Within a couple of years, all PCs in the market were based on it and many were requiring 32-bit computing. A critical aspect of the chip's success was its inclusion in Compaq's 386 personal computers.

Today: As of 1998, many of the chip's original design members still worked at Intel, though some had moved out of design. One of the chip's original product summary sheets now resides in the chip section of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. While the 386SX was no longer used as the CPU in personal computers, it continued to be installed in embedded systems and a couple of mobile phones -- namely the Blackberry 950 and Nokia 9000 Communicator -- but was discontinued in September 2007.

Lotus 1-2-3

Achievements: The spreadsheet software Lotus 1-2-3 sold $3 million in orders before it was officially released in 1983. It quickly became the No. 1 application and helped launch the era of the PC. Lotus gave IBM's new personal computer a touch of business necessity, making computers seem practical on an everyday scale. Because Lotus was written in assembly language as opposed to Pascal, Lotus 1-2-3 was considerably faster than any of its spreadsheet competitors. In addition to its speed, it was the integration of graphing and charts that put Lotus 1-2-3 ahead of its rivals.

Today: Lotus 1-2-3 reigned as king of the spreadsheets in the mid-1980s. However, due to technical issues that arose while trying to re-write the program, newer versions of the application either fell through, were delayed, or weren't much different. In the meantime, Microsoft Excel rose in popularity through-out the 1990s and eventually knocked Lotus from the lead. Lotus 1-2-3 made it onto the Windows platform eventually and continues to be sold as a part of the Lotus SmartSuite.

Microsoft Windows

Achievements: In a world where MS-DOS, a character-based system, was the main platform for almost every desktop computer, Microsoft re-wrote the book by developing one of the first OSes to feature a graphical user interface -- Windows 1.0. Xerox and Apple both came out with their own versions of a GUI in 1984, but Microsoft's release of Windows in November 1985 forever changed the landscape of PC desktop OSes. While Windows 1.0 didn't make a huge profit out of the gate, it came to be the most popular platform of all time and boasted 75 million sales by 1998.

Today: Microsoft has continued to grow and evolve its Windows platform through numerous versions, the latest of which include Windows Vista, XP, and 7. Microsoft's most recent version, Windows 7, sold 350 million copies in its first 18 months. In 2010, Microsoft launched its first mobile version of Windows on its Windows Phone 7, which continues to be revamped. The newest version of the software, Windows 8, is set to release in October.

Charles Wang

Achievements: As Chairman and CEO of Computer Associates, Wang turned his company into the second-largest software-only company in America. Even more than his company's software development, Wang was known for the more than 20 acquisitions that took place under his leadership as well as his contribution to the channel. While transitioning the company, Wang made resellers a priority and established channel programs that caused some of the biggest tech names -- Microsoft and Sun Microsystems -- to take notice and enter into a strategic alliance with Computer Associates.

Today: Wang led Computer Associates -- later renamed CA and then CA Technologies -- until his retirement in 2002. The latter part of his tenure at CA was plagued by accounting scandals and class-action lawsuits. Wang remained unscathed even as his protege and successor, Sanjay Kumar, pled guilty to securities fraud charges and went to prison. Wang is the owner of the New York Islanders and is also involved in philanthropy, helping to fund the Chinatown Health Center's expansion.

Steve Wozniak

Achievements: Wozniak, or ’Woz’ as he's sometimes known, was Apple's co-founder and vice president of research and development from 1976 to 1985. He was the man behind the development of Apple II's hardware, software and programming language, which eventually led to the Macintosh. It was the first time that both a computer's software and hardware were developed by the same team, and in this case just one person. Wozniak's list of engineering achievements is long, beginning at age 11, but he is most well-known for his role in starting one of the most innovative companies in tech history.

Today: Since 1990, Wozniak, who has always taken an active role in education, has devoted his time to teaching Los Gatos elementary and junior-high school students about math and computers. In 2005, he co-founded Acquicor Technologies, Inc. along with two other former Apple employees as a way to acquire tech companies. Wozniak is currently the company's CTO.

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