StoriesHere Podcast

StoriesHere Podcast

The Center of the Computer Revolution

March 03, 2020

Some remarkable stories from this conversation with Dan'l Lewin, a leader of the computer revolution. This episode ranges from Steve Jobs to professional wrestling to art, and the story and promise of the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California.

StoriesHere Podcast Conversation with Dan’l Lewin, President and CEO of the Computer History Museum

This is Wayne Parker of StoriesHere, and today’s episode is a remarkable conversation with the President and CEO of the Computer History Museum, in the heart of Silicon Valley. That’s Dan’l Lewin, and Dan’l is spelled d a n ‘ l. We’ll start with my question about the late Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Computer, who was such a legend and an enigma to many people. And Dan’l knew him about as well as anyone, both professionaly and personally. So I asked if Dan’l could sit down on the porch with him for a talk, what would that be like, what questions did he think they might ask each other?
You knew the late Steve Jobs professionally and personally about as well as anyone. If you could sit down with him on the porch for a talk, what would that be about, what questions do you think you might ask each other?

I think Steve would probably be focused very very intently on putting the control back in the person's hands. And right now some of the business models that have emerged have really relegated the individual to the product and I think he would have some sense of responsibility. It's trying to put that promise back in the system. That's what I would think and I would want to talk to him about that.

That’s Dan’l Lewin, computer pioneer and now President and CEO of the Computer History Museum. Hello, this is Wayne Parker of the StoriesHere Podcast. And we’re speaking with him remotely at his office at the museum, in Mountain View, California in the heart of Silicon Valley. And Dan’l, that’s spilled D A N ' L ,was a leader at Apple, co-founder with Steve Jobs of NeXT, and later head of the Microsoft presence in Silicon Valley, along with a number of other roles.
And there are three related trivia questions in this episode. I put Dan’l on the spot and he got all of them right, so you can hear the answers from him a little later.
Hhere are the questions:
What was the name of the first personal computer?
When was it first sold, and
Where was Microsoft founded (hint: it wasn’t in the Seattle area)
Let's get to this wonderful conversation.
Dan’l, thanks for being with us today.

Lewin: Glad to be here.

So your background, for people that don't know, you were at Sony and Apple and you were at NeXT and Microsoft. Could you tell us about how you got to Apple and then how you got to NeXT from there?

Lewin: Sure glad to again Wayne. Thanks for having me. Well as you mentioned I worked initially, it's Sony I was coming out of. College in 1976 in the very early part of 1977 went to work for Sony at a small office in Cupertino, California, which everything South of San Francisco down to Monterey Bay Area and it was the beginning of would consider the microprocessor Revolution which evolved very rapidly into the personal computer the irony of.
Taking that job which came about through serendipity and her college roommate. Was that a week after I started the two Steve's jobs and Wozniak left the garage and rented the office space next to my little 600 square foot office where there were were five people and within about a year of joining that office.
I was running the office and looking after what is the core of Silicon Valley and then again from South San Francisco down to Monterey. Long story short there is most people know Steve Jobs was very keen on design. And in those days in particular Sony was the definitive us Japanese company in terms of con...