Mike Slinn

Connoisseur of Technology

Nabu cast a long shadow

2004-12-18 / All Blog posts

Twenty years ago an Ottawa-based startup was formed by the merger of nine Canadian companies. Nabu sold a cable set-top box with a computer that booted off the cable for under $1000. I was one of the early employees.

Nabu was first in many ways, but it never became the commercial success that the founders had hoped. Many years have since passed, and I forgot about the experience. In the last couple of years I have been contacted by various people regarding Nabu's products and services, mostly former customers.

"Nabu was the first computer that I had when I was a kid. I remember playing games like Mummy's Tomb, Kiddy Park etc. Talk about being ahead of it's time! ... I think maybe people that were influenced by NABU when they were young are probably at the point in their life where they can stop and take a look around... Anyway, I thought I would drop you a message and say that this Ottawa boy (who now lives in Seattle, WA) still remembers the old Nabu days. I'm now a professional video game developer, which I'm sure was influenced by playing the Nabu so long ago. Of course today's machines have a little more power! What you guys did was a pretty amazing accomplishment IMHO."

"As someone who was fortunate enough to have access to the NABU network in my after school program at Regina Public School in Ottawa... I really enjoyed it as a kid." Recently I was contacted by a legal firm that has retained me to assist them in a patent litigation case. They are going to cite some of Nabu's products as prior art. I'm having fun going back and reconnecting with people that I knew from that bygone era, who I lost track of. So far no-one that I knew has died of old age, which pleases me.


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