Harlan Anderson (born 1929) is an American engineer and entrepreneur, best known as the co-founder of Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) which at one time was the second largest computer company in the world. Other notable entities he has been associated with include Lincoln Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was a member of the technical staff. He has also served as director of technology for Time, Inc. where he spearheaded their evaluation of the future of the printed word during the explosion of television, long before the Internet existed. He participated in early stage financing for over 20 small technology companies. Anderson was a trustee of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) for 16 years. He is a member of the Board of Advisors of the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois. He is a trustee of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Harlan Anderson is the author of the autobiography entitled Learn, Earn & Return: My Life as a Computer Pioneer.
Anderson attended the University of Illinois in the early 1950s, where he became interested in computers. He took programming courses for the ILLIAC I computer, which was under construction at this time. The courses were taught by the computer pioneer David Wheeler of the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory. He received a B.S. degree in engineering physics and a Masters in physics in 1951 and 1952 respectively.
- The Demise of Digital Equipment Corporation: What made the difference at DEC? at the Wayback Machine (archived November 21, 2002).
- The Mouse That Roared: PDP-1 Celebration Event panel, 15 May 2006.
- "Remembering DEC: Memoir from Co-Founder Harlan Anderson Due Out in November" Boston Globe, October 22, 2009
- "DEC co-founder writes memoirs, traces company's rise and fall" Network World, October 22, 2009
- "A Personal Take on the Rise and Fall of Digital" Boston Globe, October 26, 2009
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