Gordon joined Microsoft’s Bay Area Research Center Research in 1995, working on Telepresence “being there, while being here, at possibly some later time”. This work included multimedia in the home. In 1999 he began work on what became the MyLifeBits project to capture all of life’s bits digitally.
MyLifeBits is a personal transaction processing database for everything. Gordon has captured a lifetime's worth of articles, books, CDs, letters, memos, papers, photos, presentations, music, home movies, and videotaped lectures. He also has in his collection recordings of phone calls, IM transcripts, years of email, web browsing, and daily activities captured by the SenseCam. One of the challenges of MyLifeBits has been to build rich applications to encourage people to take their personal memorabilia out of the shoebox and store them digitally for all kinds of future usage including immortality. Gordon is writing a book with Jim Gemmell, the MyLifeBits leader, about their experiences on the MyLifeBits project and their projections of where this technology might lead.
Gordon's previous roles have been vice president of research and development at Digital Equipment Corporation (1960-1983); professor of computer science and electrical engineering at Carnegie-Mellon University (1966-72); founding assistant director of the National Science Foundation's Computing and Information Sciences and Engineering (CISE) Directorate (1986-1988); panel chair of the National Research and Education Network (NREN) for creating the Internet (1987-1988); advisor/investor to 100+ High Tech start-up companies; and a founding trustee of the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. He is a member of the ACM, American Academy of Arts & Sciences, IEEE, NAE, NAS, and 1991 National Medal of Technology medalist.
Gordon has co-authored a book with Jim Gemmell called Total Recall. The book is coming out this September and is a culmination of their thoughts and experiences during the MyLifeBits project.
For a full professional history, please see Gordon's webpage.
- Gordon Bell, Supercomputers: The Amazing Race, no. MSR-TR-2015-2, 1 January 2015.
- Gordon Bell, Moore’s Law evolved the PC industry; Bell's Law disrupted it with players, phones, and tablets: New Platforms, tools, and sevices, no. MSR-TR-2014-2, 4 January 2014.
- Gordon Bell and Silicon Valley Laboratory, Out of a Closet: The Early Years of Years of The Computer [X] Museums, no. MSR-TR-2011-44, April 2011.
- Alexander S. Szalay, Gordon Bell, Jan Vandenberg, Alainna Wonders, Randal Burns, Dan Fay, Jim Heasley, Tony Hey, Maria Nieto-SantiSteban, Ani Thakar, Catharine van Ingen, and Richard Wilton, GrayWulf: Scalable Clustered Architecture for Data Intensive Computing, no. MSR-TR-2008-187, 15 September 2008.
- Gordon Bell, Bell's Law for the birth and death of computer classes: A theory of the computer's evolution, no. MSR-TR-2007-146, November 2007.
- Gordon Bell and Jim Gemmell, A Digital Life, in Scientific American, March 2007.
- Desney Tan, Mary Czerwinski, Gordon Bell, Emma Berry, Jim Gemmell, Steve Hodges, Narinder Kapur, Brian Meyers, Nuria Oliver, George Robertson, and Ken Wood, Save Everything: Supporting Human Memory with a Personal Digital Lifetime Store, in Personal Information Management: Challenges and Opportunities (eds. William Jones and Jaime Teevan), University of Washington Press, 2007.
- Jim Gemmell, Gordon Bell, and Roger Lueder, MyLifeBits: a personal database for everything, in Communications of the ACM (CACM), vol. 49, no. 1, pp. 88-95, Association for Computing Machinery, Inc., January 2006.
- Gordon Bell, Jim Gray, and Alex Szalay, Petascale Computational Systems: Balanced Cyber-Infrastructure in a Data-Centric World, in IEEE Computer, vol. 39, no. 1, pp. 110-112, January 2006.
- Jim Gemmell, Lyndsay Williams, Ken Wood, Gordon Bell, and Roger Lueder, Passive Capture and Ensuing Issues for a Personal Lifetime Store, in First ACM Workshop on Continuous Archival and Retrieval of Personal Experiences (CARPE '04), New York, NY, October 2004.
- Gordon Bell, A Time and Place for Standards, in ACM Queue, pp. 67-74, September 2004.
- Jim Gemmell, Roger Lueder, and Gordon Bell, The MyLifeBits Lifetime Store, in ACM SIGMM 2003 Workshop on Experiential Telepresence (ETP 2003), Berkeley, CA, November 2003.
- Jim Gemmell, Roger Lueder, and Gordon Bell, Living With a Lifetime Store, in ATR Workshop on Ubiquitous Experience Media, Keihanna Science City, Kyoto, Japan, September 2003.
- Jim Gemmell, Roger Lueder, Joshua Blumenstock, Evan Solomon, and Gordon Bell, Telephone, Television and Radio in the Home of the Future, in Internet and Multimedia Systems and Applications (IMSA) 2003, Honolulu, Hawaii, August 2003.
- Jim Gemmell, Gordon Bell, Roger Lueder, Steven M. Drucker, and Curtis Wong, MyLifeBits: fulfilling the Memex vision, in ACM Multimedia, Association for Computing Machinery, Inc., December 2002.
- Gordon Bell and Jim Gemmell, A call for the home media network, in Commun. ACM, vol. 45, no. 7, pp. 71-75, Association for Computing Machinery, Inc., July 2002.
- Gordon Bell, The Lack of PC-based Video-Telephony: How I Lost a Technology Bet, no. MSR-TR-2002-49, May 2002.
- Gordon Bell and Jim Gray, High Performance Computing: Crays, Clusters, and Centers. What Next? , no. MSR-TR-2001-76, August 2001.
- Gordon Bell and Jim Gray, Digital Immortality, no. MSR-TR-2000-101, October 2000.
- Gordon Bell, A Cyber All Project: A Personal Store for Everything, no. MSR-TR-2000-75, July 2000.
- Gordon Bell, CyberAll: A Personal Store of Everything, March 2000.
- Gordon Bell, The Colonization of Cyberspace, November 1999.
- Gordon Bell and Jim Gray, The Revolution Yet To Happen, March 1999.
- Gordon Bell, The Next 50 Years: More change Than Anyone Can Imagine, February 1999.
- Gordon Bell, The System-On-A-Chip, MicroSystems Computer Industry, February 1999.