Monday Apr 18, 2011

Round Number Nostalgia

I almost missed a couple of nice round numbers for birthdays this month: the big Three-O and the big Four-O!

Osborne-1The first birthday is for the Osborne-1: 30 years old this month. I remember this vividly, as my older brother must have been one of the first to acquire one. I had pushed him in the direction of databases in the very early 80s and he became something of an expert in dBase. He bought this supremely clunky "portable" to allow him to program in the field. The 5-inch monochrome monitor was barely adequate even back then, but those were the days when we were hearty and resilient, trudging to work in snow in our bare feet (in San Diego, no less!), using audio cassette players to back up our files...

For those who will remember, Osborne went bust pretty quickly. dBase is still around on the Microsoft platform. My brother still does databases in the restaurant business...

FTPEven more significant is the birthday of ftp: 40 years old this month! The Register has a writeup you won't want to miss. As The Register puts it, 'The venerable network protocol was first proposed by Abhay Bhushan of MIT in April 1971 as a means to transfer large files between disparate systems that made up ARPANet, the celebrated forerunner to the modern interweb.'

I still use ftp, perhaps not as often as I used to. It's like that classic tool I inherited from my grandfather, waiting in my toolbox for the right jobs.

- Kemer

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Rick Ramsey
Kemer Thomson
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