The answer: these and many more innovations all have roots in IBM Boca Raton.
Citrix is hosting “50 Years of Innovation — How IBM Boca Raton Influenced the Tech World” with the South Florida Technology Alliance this Thursday, 11/30, at our headquarters in Ft. Lauderdale, along with with some of the original engineers that made it all happen.
Fifty years ago, IBM established the site in Boca Raton that was to become a source of numerous breakthroughs and world-changing technologies. Xerox Parc in Silicon Valley and Bell Labs get most of recognition when it comes to tech contributions, but it’s hard to beat the PC and the Smartphone. In fact, the full list of IBM Boca’s achievements is impressive.
The original IBM PC was developed and manufactured in Boca Raton. Dr Dave Bradley, one of the initial 12 engineers that developed the PC, was the one who invented the infamous Control-Alt-Delete (CTRL + ALT + DEL) command that’s still used 35 years later by over a billion PC users.
The world’s first Smartphone, the Simon, was developed by IBM Boca Raton and brought to market with Bell South. The Simon won CES best of show in 1992 by combining a Cell Phone with a Touch Screen PDA plus running mobile apps, email and even faxes. Gary Wisgo the engineering manager of the team will describe how it came together in record time.
Citrix Systems was founded by Ed Iacobucci the OS/2 Architect after turning down Bill Gates’ job offer to be CTO of Microsoft. Ed and eight founding engineers from IBM went on to contribute to the Client Virtualization market and turn Citrix into a 12 billion dollar company. One of them, Scott Kinnear, became the Vice President of Engineering at Citrix and will describe the roller coaster history of Citrix in the early days.
Dubbed the “Hummingbird,” the worlds fastest robot could move X, Y, and Z positions 50 times per second — so fast you needed a strobe light to see it. The Hummingbird was developed with IBM Research and built by IBM Boca Raton. This and a full product line of IBM robots was also developed in Boca Raton.
The Atomic Force Microscope was developed and commercialized by IBM Boca Raton following the Nobel Prize techology invented at IBM Zurich labs. An outgrowth of the tech continues at Rave Technologies in Delray Beach, which makes multi-million-dollar tools for semiconductor chip companies like Intel and Samsung.
Via Voice was an early voice recognition techndogy developed in IBM Boca. Some of the same Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology continues today in Watson the IBM Artificial Intelligence platform.
OS/2, the operating system once deemed to be the successor to DOS, was developed at IBM Boca Raton.
The first x86 Server Blade was developed by an IBM Boca spin-off called OmniCluster Technology, which was founded by myself, Chet Heath, and Ken Honeycutt, plus 7 founding engineers from IBM. Blades now make up more than 20 percent of the x86 server market.
IBM Boca produced numerous Plant Floor software systems that today would be considered IoT solutions. In fact, Telit IoT in Boca Raton also has roots from IBM Boca.
I could go on and on here; the list of accomplishments born at IBM Boca is seemingly endless. In fact, I bet many attendees at the SFTA event this week will hear or share stories of technologies that came from the same tech legacy site.