Tuesday, October 17, 2006

What is was like

Read "The Arthur C. Clarke chapter from The Silicon Jungle" by David Rothman.

Rothman tells the story of setting up a computer connection from his home in Alexandria, Virginia to Arthur C. Clark in Sri Lanka in 1983-4. Yes, it took a long time to do so, not to mention thousands of dollars of equipment at both ends.

I managed a project that organized a meeting on personal computers in Colombo in November 2004, and Gary Garriott gave a presentation at the meeting that involved a link from Alexandria to the meeting room in real time. I can attest to the verisimilitude of Rothman's account. (Arthur Clarke did not show up, although he had said he would do so, but we visited the Clarke Center and met the techies mentioned in Rothman's account.)

As I get frustrated by the current technology, it sometimes helps to think back at how far we have come in so short a time.

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