Filmmaker Jason Cohen’s Silicon Cowboys traces the rise and fall of Compaq, the personal computer (PC) company. Compaq was the company that challenged IBM and changed the PC landscape in the 1980s.
Compaq was founded by Rod Canion, Jim Harris and Bill Murto in Houston, TX. The founders were partially inspired by Silicon Valley’s culture. At one point Compaq was the fastest growing company in the tech industry. The company was eventually acquired by Hewlett-Packard (HP). In 2013 HP discontinued Compaq’s name.
We caught up with Cohen at the Computer History Museum, where Silicon Cowboys was partially filmed. We wanted to find about what drew him to make Silicon Cowboys? How was the idea born? How did Compaq change the PC landscape? And, how was Compaq’s culture different? Was he inspired by AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire, a TV series that is loosely based on Compaq.
LISTEN: JASON COHEN ON SILICON COWBOYS
Cohen is a Berkeley-based filmmaker. His short film Facing Fear was nominated for an Oscar in 2014.
Silicon Cowboys releases in the San Francisco Bay area on Friday, September 16, 2016
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