When compiling a list of companies that founded the concept of personal computers and desktop publishing, another company you would need to include along with Microsoft, Digital, Apple, IBM and others, would be C.P.U. Systems, Ltd. Established in 1973, C.P.U. Systems, Ltd., was one of the first companies in the Pacific Northwest to demonstrate the concept of desktop computers through it's retail outlets.
Mike Foster, President and CEO of C.P.U., was an early visionary in the field of computing technology, recognizing the value of the mini-micro computer as a tool for small to medium-sized businesses. Initially working with Digital Equipment's DEC-310, a mini computer based on DEC's pdp8, C.P.U. began installing personnal computers in small businesses throughout the Pacific Northwest and continued until the company was sold in the late '70s.
Mike began his career in computers in 1964 working as a tab/computer operator and later a programmer/analyst working with IBM Autocoder, Assembler, Fortran, COBOL, RPG and several other languages. As a systems analyst in tech support, Mike was heavily involved in the infamous sysgens of the late 60s and early 70s.
In 1981, Mike accepted a management position with British Columbia Telephones and in 1984 joined its training department. Here he found the career he had been searching for, that of a lecturer, instructor, and public speaker. "I realize now," Mike says, "that I was a frustrated actor and had finally found my stage."
In June 1986, he completed the University of British Columbia's adult learning program for instructors, specializing in computer science, and received his post-secondary instructor's diploma from the Ministry of Education. In 1990, recognizing a business opportunity when he was appointed the Training Manager of Information Technology. His group offered classes to external companies to offset the cost of training to internal students and built the group from a zero revenue contributor to one with revenues exceeding $500,000 per year.
In January 1995 Mike was awarded British Columbia Telephones (Telus) President's Personal Leadership award in recognition and appreciation of an outstanding corporate contribution.
In March 1995, Mike again started to pursue a vision and formed Discovery Learning International, Inc. a Training Consultant Company, DLI's mandate is to encourage, where possible, a student-led discovery learning environment, where the instructor can be guide, mentor or facilitator and assist in the discovery learning process. DLI can provide educational assistance and support personnel to a variety of corporations, large or small, helping them provide to their corporate members, a discovery learning environment.