Vail Systems Technology is essentially the work of Warren Vail.
A Data Systems Technician in the US Navy during the Vietnam War, Warren first came into several technologies from the electronics side, that were more or less a byproduct of the Vietnam Conflict;
- Hi Cap Comm (high capacity communications) - was the predecessor to our current cell phone networks.
- ARPA NET - which preceeded and ultimately became the internet itself.
- Satellite Navigation - which everyone is familiar with as GPS or Global Positioning System
In 1967 ships and land based and airborne tracking stations set up a special broadcast using long wave transmission (follows the curve of the earth) sharing tracking targets in real time between the USS Kitty Hawk (off the coast of Vietnam), and the USS Chicago (in San Diego), then via the ARPA NET with the White House in real time during a military operation called "Operation Linebacker". I can only imagine the technology stretches that have occurred since then.
In 1976, Warren attended a meeting of the "Home Brew Computer Club", which was held in the Auditorium of the Stanford Linear Accelerator. As the meeting was getting started, the moderator asked a person to stand so that everyone could see him and announced that he would be at a table in the lobby during our break showing off his new single board computer. This prompted another group to raise their hands and announce that they too would be in the lobby at a table, showing off their new S100 graphics card, which had the capacity to show 512 by 512 pixels of graphics on a color TV set. In the lobby during the break, Warren joined Steve Wozniak to look at the design of his new single board computer, reviewing design choices and performance. During these discussion both Steve and Warren noticed the crowd around the color graphics display, and Warren commented that it was too bad Steve's single board computer didn't have color graphics capability, then the discussion moved to how that might be accomplished. It was probably less than 4 months before Apple Computer announced the release of the Apple II computer (with color graphics).