Tagged: 3COM Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Michael Krakovskiy 9:31 pm on October 18, 2006 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 3COM, actual successful products, , animation system, , , Bob Metcalfe, Charles Geschke, , , David Boggs, , , , , , , , input devices, Internet time, John Warnock, laser printer, , , PARC, PostScript, , RAND Corporation, , , , Theodor Holm Nelson, Turing Award laureates, , , William Shockley, WYSIWYG text editor, Xerox corporation   

    Where’s My Flying Car Part I : KABOOM! 

    “Celebrating Gertsen, we clearly see three generations,
    three classes acting in the Russian Revolution. First –
    noblemen and landowners, Decembrists and Herzen.
    Horribly distant from the people. But their work was not in wain.
    Decembrists woke Herzen. Herzen began revolutionary agitation.”
    V.I. Lenin

    Computers have existed like for 200,000 years in Internet time, yet the innovation in computer technology seems to be a little slow. Brick and mortar slow. Let me present to you an approximate timeline:

    In 1945 Dr. Vannevar Bush wrote an article As We May Think about a device called the Memex.

    In 1960 Theodor Holm Nelson, inspired by Bush, coined the term “hypertext” and started on Project Xanadu, a vaporware Superinternet.

    In 1968 Dr. Douglas Engelbart delivered the MOAD, demonstrating videoconferencing, email, hypertext, copy and paste, as well as some novel input devices including a mouse.

    Bush, Nelson and Engelbart show a progression from a dream into reality. Bush was a pure dreamer – he never intended to actually try and build the Memex. Nelson at least tried to build Xanadu, although he failed miserably. He could not even get to the demo stage. Engelbart actually built enough stuff to make very impressive demos, although never to build actual successful products except the mouse. These guys suffered from the RAND Corporation syndrome–the common joke went that RAND stood for Reasearch And No Development.

    The problem with these three was that they could not focus on individual problems. Luckily for us, next came Xerox PARC. Xerox corporation had money coming out of its wazoo, decided to invest in a world class R&D center. They used the same approach that Google is using today: spend the extra money on hiring the brightest technologists around and let them run free and wild.

    Bush, Nelson and Engelbart were a lot like a character named Manilov in Gogol’s Dead Souls. Manilov was an owner of a large rundown estate. He spent his days dreaming about improving it. Wouldn’t it be nice to build a bridge over the river and on it build little merchant booths so that the peasants could buy stuff there. Of course, none of his projects ever went anywhere, and if they did, they were quickly abandoned.

    PARC engineers were men of action. Each concentrated on a particular aspect, and they’ve built working models of many things that we enjoy today: personal computer with GUI interfaces, Ethernet, WYSIWYG text editor, laser printer, and even a computer animation system amongst other things. Sadly, Xerox was able to capitalize mostly on the laser printer, which actually probably paid for all of PARC’s expenses. PARC indirectly influenced Apple and Microsoft in the development of GUI OS. Also Charles Simonyi left PARC to develop Word and Excel for Microsoft, thus creating an enormous amount of wealth. Bob Metcalfe and David Boggs also left PARC, took Ethernet and turned it into 3COM. John Warnock and Charles Geschke left PARC, took PostScript and created a little company called Adobe Systems. Well, you get the picture.

    To give you another analogy, the technological revolution of the 60s, 70s and 80s was like a hydrogen bomb. A hydrogen bomb is made of three bombs: a conventional explosive that ignites a fission explosive that in turn ignites a fusion explosion. Semiconductor industry created by William Shockley and the Traitorous Eight was the fuel, Bush and Company–the conventional explosion, PARC–fission, what came after–fusion. KABOOM!

     
  • Michael Krakovskiy 2:23 am on February 15, 2003 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 3COM, Berkshire Hathaway, , Finance, , , Gemstar-TV Guide International, , , Krispy Kreme Donuts, Manitoba, Molecular Biosystems, , , , Warren Buffett   

    My Investment Strategery or Watch Out, Warren Buffet 

    My investments remind me of this Seinfeld’s monologue :

    “I’m not an investor. People always tell me, you should have your money working for you. I’ve decided I’ll do the work. I’m gonna let the money relax. You know what I mean? ‘Cause you send your money out there – working for you – a lot of times, it gets fired. You go back there, “What happened? I had my money. It was here, it was working for me.” “Yeah, I remember your money. Showing up late. Taking time off. We had to let him go.” “

    The first stock that I ever bought was of a now defunct company called Molecular Biosystems that traded under the ticker symbol MB. Their only product was a special contrast agent for CAT scans or something like that. I bought the stock because of the name. It seemed cool. All scientific and such. And just two letters. I think the return on investment was something like -50%. I don’t remember.

    Since then I’ve read a bunch of investment books, and was very impressed with Warren Buffet’s investment strategies. I decided I’d buy only a few stocks of companies that I liked, knew and understood.

    The list came down to 4 companies. Palm [PALM] (actually 3COM when I bought it and later, after I’ve got PALM shares after the split I bought Handspring [HAND]), Gemstar[GMSTE] (I bought TV Guide shares, they were later converted to GMST shares), Krispy Kreme Donuts [KKD] and Berkshire Hathaway [BRKB].

    Out of the four, I invested in 2. Palm and Gemstar. And here’s how I did:

    Interestingly enough, at some point, when I was down about 15% (after being up 70%) I considered selling all the stocks and buying a La Marzocco instead. I didn’t.

     
  • Michael Krakovskiy 12:41 pm on October 27, 2002 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 3COM, , , , , Internet appliance, iOpener, Schrei, , Thin, ,   

    Gender Bending Frame 

    I want a good digital photo frame. Not the stupid Ceiva, which requires you to buy into their crappy service and works through an analog modem (ie, even if I wanted to, I could not use it at work because we have VoIP phone system or something like that).

    From reviews at Amazon:

    “I knew this frame was cool when my teenage daughter was admiring a picture of herself and it suddenly changed to one of her brother. She let out a scream, and uttered a few unauthorized words.”

    Now I know too. I hope she did not wet herself from excitement.

    Well, I’ll probably end up making a frame out of an old iOpener or something. I also want a that 3COM net appliance for my bathroom, but that’s a different story.

     
c
Compose new post
j
Next post/Next comment
k
Previous post/Previous comment
r
Reply
e
Edit
o
Show/Hide comments
t
Go to top
l
Go to login
h
Show/Hide help
shift + esc
Cancel