With all the discussion we have about learning technologies, social networking and mobile devices it’s worth spending a few minutes to reflect on, and be humbled by, the work of a man who at the height of his pioneering career in the mainframe computer industry had a vision to improve learning that we not only enjoy today but take for granted.
William C Norris was the founder and Chairman of Control Data Corporation. He passed away 21 August 2006 at a nursing home in Bloomington, Minn. USA. He had Parkinson’s disease and was 95 years of age.
Control Data Corporation was formed in 1957. After the corporation built the first commercial super-computer (CDC 6600) in 1964 which was 10 times faster than anything on the market, Norris built Control Data into the fourth-largest data processing business in the world. It was worth $5 billion in 1984. One of the important and legendary computer engineers who worked with Norris was Seymour Cray, the “father” of supercomputing.