All the way back in 1982, IBM was so dominant in the personal computer industry that no one could seriously challenge the company. At least not until Compaq came along and essentially beat IBM at its own game. This fall, director Jason Cohen will chronicle the rise of Compaq in his new documentary Silicon Cowboys. And today, we’re premiering an exclusive trailer for the film.
Silicon Cowboys is primarily the story of Compaq’s founders—Rod Canion, Jim Harris, and Bill Murto—as told via a number of interviews and classic news footage. The new trailer plays up the introduction of Compaq’s first portable computer, which looks comically oversized when compared to the latest tablets and laptops. Prior to that point, IBM had already released the IBM PC. But Compaq’s portable computer was simply superior and it actually ran IBM software better than even the company’s own devices could. That set the stage for IBM’s fall and Compaq’s meteoric ascension as a brand. The trailer even includes a glimpse of Monty Python veteran and comedy legend John Cleese as one of Compaq’s first TV spokesmen.
The trailer doesn’t quite get to Compaq’s decline, which Silicon Cowboys will also explore. HP eventually purchased Compaq in 2002 and phased out the brand in 2013. But this documentary appears to be a unique window into a largely forgotten period that helped shape our modern era of technology.
Silicon Cowboys is heading to theaters and On Demand on Friday, September 16.
What did you think about the new trailer for this film? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!