Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Silicon Forest: Origins

A Chronology
(click through to Flickr photostream)

reminds me of Portland Knowledge Lab in the sense that the aggregate of skills and talents in this building could probably launch a whole new economy, but how does one leverage such intangibles? Barcamps don't happen that frequently.

The coworking movement is still new with people on their own to figure out what self organizing means, although you can bet your bottom banana that manager types have little workshops lined up, and yes, these'll be really useful, some of 'em, when it comes to lifelong "learning a living".

In looking for lost stuff, I found The Silicon Forest: High Tech in the Portland Area 1945 - 1986 by Gordon B. Dodds and Craig E. Wollner (1990, Oregon Historical Society). You can bet I'll be quoting from it on the Wanderers list, helping us better appreciate our unique situation on Hawthorne Boulevard, the birthplace of said forest:
Oregon's original "Silicon Forest" was on Portland's Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard, in Douglas Strain's company that eventually became Electro Scientific Industries and in Jack Murdock and Howard Vollum's appliance store that later became Tektronix. [pg. 10]
Linus Pauling, Doug's teacher at Cal Tech, isn't listed in the index though, even though he fell in love with chemistry in the very house we meet in, as "wanderers by choice" (not anchored in the "settled disciplines" -- more like gypsies I guess).

I don't remember if this book mentions the ESI building on Stark Street, to which the company had to retreat after that disastrous fire on Macadam, other companies chipping in. The Quakers got it later.