alphadogg writes "Kenneth Olsen, the computer industry pioneer who co-founded and led minicomputer king Digital Equipment Corp. for 35 years, died at the age of 84 on Sunday in Indianapolis. As DEC's leader, Olsen oversaw the company's epic battles vs. IBM and its mainframes for the hearts and business of IT shops – a fight DEC eventually lost as the era of fast, cheap and networked PCs took hold in the 1980s and 1990s. During its heyday, DEC's PDPs, VAXes and DECnet network technology became staples in many organizations, and today's IT industry remains filled with companies whose founders once worked at DEC or with its gear. Digital was acquired in 1998 by Compaq. Dan Bricklin, co-creator of the VisiCalc spreadsheet and DEC alum, tweeted: 'Ken Olsen is in the elite club of tech founders w/Gates & Jobs, and set the stage for them. What he did we take for granted today.'"