If it’s Ethernet versus Godzilla, then Godzilla is DOCSIS

Two weeks ago I was at the Computer History Museum to help observe the 40th anniversary of Ethernet. It was literally 40 years to the day since Bob Metcalfe drew his first sketches of what became the world’s dominant OSI Level 2 network technology. It was a fun and festive day that ended, believe it or not, with dancing. But some of the celebration didn’t make sense to me. Or, rather, it seemed to me that important parts of the discussion were missing.

When, for example, did 802.11 WiFi become a part of 802.3 Ethernet? That claim was made over and over during the day and helped power the argument that Ethernet is today a $100 billion business. Yeah, right.

Parts of that argument are true. […]

Computer History Day — Part 2

I forget sometimes that my kids are as young as they are. And I’m also in the habit of packing as many interviews into a day as I can. Both of which explain why Computer History Day was both a success and a failure.

We made it on time to breakfast with Steve Wozniak, who very wisely arrived with magic tricks to entertain the kids. All of the carefully rehearsed questions for Woz were instantly forgotten, but we did come away having mastered a couple really good card tricks.

I did learn one new thing (at least new to me) from Woz. Steve Jobs told me in Steve Jobs — The Lost Interview that Woz had been thrown out […]

By |March 24th, 2012|2012|22 Comments

Computer History Day — Part 1

This week my kids are off school for Spring Break. Daytona and Cabo are out of the question for three caballeros ages 10, 7, and 5, but day trips around the Bay Area to learn about this or that are easy. Tuesday it’s San Francisco to learn all about the cable car system for Channing’s report on that topic. And Wednesday will be Computer History Day for the Cringelys.

It’s a no brainer for us to visit the Computer History Museum in Mountain View. That fabulous facility happens to be run by John Hollar, the guy who hired me in 1997 to write for pbs.org. My kids have never been there. But to make […]

By |March 18th, 2012|2012|113 Comments

The Mouse that Roared

the-mouse-that-roared1I have a mouse in my RV.  Or as many correspondents have told me I have MICE in my RV, because the concept of a solitary mouse is beyond their considerable experience.  This month my wife, three young sons and I (and of course the mice) are in California, mainly touring in our 1996 Winnebago.  We tour, we fix, then tour some more. The old Winnie was never built for 107-degree desert temperatures and neither was I.  So since we’re broken-down waiting (again) for the fixit man to come, I think this might be a good time to update my readers on a few old projects.

But first let me say that in an RV that […]