It was the mid-70s. A handsome, young naval officer returned to the Pentagon from the Mediterranean where he'd been involved in handling communications to seek his next assignment. Once there, McNamara gave him orders to work on establishing a joint control center to enforce rerouting of messages between services. Until then, the services were relying on archaic technology like teletype machines, telegraph, and radio.
The officer was Karl Lange, who was later to become the founder and CEO of SPI Software. Lange delights in telling how serendipity changed his life. "One day a guy came in wearing these huge glasses and bringing in a big cabinet, which he said was a computer," Lange grins. "He said, 'You know when you have to convert switching messages, the computer will do it.' I was immediately sold!"