IBM’s Dirty Dozen

Did You Know? A group of 12 engineers designed IBM PC and they were called as “The Dirty Dozen”.

"We didn't have any expectation that we were going to change the world," said Bill Lowe, the executive responsible for proposing that IBM build a personal computer and establish a beachhead in a nascent market then dominated by brands such as Apple Computer, Commodore and Atari. "We could see that the world was changing; Apple was attracting a lot of attention from IBM developers, and we wanted IBM developers to work on IBM products."

But one decision did wind up changing the world--or at least the computer world. IBM opted to build its system using off-the-shelf parts, a radical departure from the way things traditionally got done at Big Blue, recalled Noel Fallwell, one of the original dozen members of the project, which ultimately wound up headquartered in Boca Raton, Fla.

"Traditional development meant that the development engineers used the IBM component catalogs of parts that would go into a computer system," he said. "At that time, we made most of our own silicon chips and devices. We engineers in development had to construct our designs around these parts that were available to us."

Patty McHugh, the only female member among the original 12 engineers, said she similarly gave little thought to the idea of making history. All she wanted was to work on something "cool."

"When we started out, none of us had any idea how big this product would become or how it would impact business and personal lives," she said. "It was the coolest thing we'd ever been asked to do." See the whole article…

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