First Interviewed by Black Enterprise in December 1982
The 1982 interview with Ed by Black Enterprise Magazine
Interviews by Co-author Benj Edwards
One of seven black computer tech pioneers as listed in PC magazine
Check out the review of the APF Game Space Destroyers by Arcade USA
Podcast with Ravi Abbott
Founder and host of The Retro Hour
Interview with Ryan Burger
of Floppy Days
Ed Smith is an African American from Brownsville, Brooklyn, NY. Ed attended Westinghouse Technical High School and studied marketing and computer science and Pace University.
After studying microprocessor technology at Fairchild while developing traffic control signals, the computer bug hit Ed at an early age. He would read Popular Electronics, Popular Mechanics and Omni magazines to stay caught up in a whirlwind of technological change. Ed’s second home was Radio Shack.
By 1976, Ed was hired by APF Electronics in New York to work on the next generation video game after the success of Pong. Ed’s role at APF included collaboration on hardware design, building the prototypes as well as Joystick and I/O port design for the MP1000 video game. The MP1000 competed directly with Atari and Coleco during the first generation of cartridge-based games.
By 1978, Ed and the APF design team leveraged the processing power of the MP1000 and the I/O design by Ed to add a computer console unit to the MP1000, creating the Imagination Machine personal computer.
Since his time at APF, Ed has been involved in almost every area of emerging technology with stints at Apple, Novell, Infosys Technologies and Kronos, developing global partner relationships that generated hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. Ed worked with firms at the senior executive level in areas of Mainframe and Mini Computer Integration, Networking, Enterprise Application Development and Integration, Open Source Solutions, ERP, CRM, Workforce Management, Cloud Computing and Big Data.
Ed has worked with some of the top firms in the industry to deliver solutions that are seamlessly integrated. Some of the firms Ed has partnered with to deliver pervasive solutions to global clients include IBM, HP, Digital Equipment, Oracle, Microsoft, Infosys, Wipro, Unisys, SAP, Workday, Informatica, Tibco, Intel, Adobe, Amazon, Google and others.
Ed has been recognized for his early pioneering work in the video game and personal computer industry by numerous publications including Fast Company and Vintage Computing. He is listed as one of seven Black tech pioneers by PC Magazine. His book “Imagine That!” is now available on Amazon eBooks -
Ed is an active speaker at corporations and universities across the country, telling his story of being a dreamer and overcoming almost impossible odds to escape the ghetto stereotypes and eventually be hired as an African American engineer in the early 1970s.