Providenza & Boekelheide, Inc., sprang into existence in January, 1994, from the ashes of SuperMac Technology's Northwest Design Center, but the team at P&B has been working together for a more than a decade.
P&B's three principals have been involved in the computer industry since punched cards. Indeed, the company copier has a label describing paper placement as "face up, 12-edge in". Mr. Boekelheide was part of Tektronix from the mid 1970s and Mr. Providenza from the early 1980s. Tek at that time was a hotbed of creative research and development in graphics, creating a number of important and groundbreaking graphic display products.
A number of small companies spun off from Tektronix to try to exploit the abilities of the PC. All three principals began collaborating on PC graphics at one such spin-off, Graphic Software Systems, a pioneering company in the field of device-independent graphics libraries, located in Beaverton, Oregon. GSS was a key contributor to and early developer in the ANSI GKS graphics standard, and the creator of the DGIS specification. GSS used DGIS to develop one of the earliest graphics adapters for Windows and OS/2 based on an intelligent co-processor, the TI 34010.
When GSS dropped out of graphics to concentrate on its X Window products, Mr. Boekelheide, Mr. Providenza and Mr. Roberts, along with graphics industry luminary Thomas Clarkson, formed a consulting company called Insight In Action, located in Wilsonville, Oregon. IIA produced a well-respected weekly newsletter, Multimedia Industry Week, highlighting interviews, press releases and projections about key companies, technologies and newsmakers in the PC graphics and video industry. IIA also did consulting for graphics vendors, including a major effort for SuperMac Technology to bring their award-winning Macintosh graphics accelerators into the Windows marketplace.
This effort was so successful that SuperMac bought IIA and turned it into its Northwest Design Center, chartered with continuing to make SuperMac a major player in Windows. The team did remarkably well, developing and introducing over a short period of time the Thunder/24 and Spectrum/24 true-color graphics accelerators for ISA, EISA, VL and PCI; the VideoSpigot video capture card, a card still in widespread use today; and the Cinepak video codec for Video For Windows. All of these products received wide acclaim and many awards. Drivers for Cinepak and the VideoSpigot are still available on our web site.
When Apple turned on its third-party partners in 1993 and margins in the Macintosh market began to tumble, SuperMac decided to concentrate its resources on the Mac business, and closed the Northwest Design Center. Mssrs. Boekelheide, Providenza and Roberts decided to keep their team together, and incorporated as Providenza & Boekelheide, Inc.