Early this year I wrote an article comparing how we store music in digital versus analog form along with a followup article exploring the contrast between them. There is another major consideration that predominates when it comes recording information these days. Quite simply: what are we going to record onto?
How many of you remember (or have even seen) eight-inch floppy disks? How about five-and-a-quarter floppies? Show of hands if you’ve ever actually used a three-and-half inch floppy? Some of you might not even know what a “floppy disk” is!
Not very permanent, were they. Now consider the Rosetta Stone.
Last week Vinton “Vint” Cerf was the guest on The Colbert Report. The elegant Mr. Cerf is one of the two acknowledged fathers of the internet (the other is Bob Kahn). Among other things, those two invented the TCP/IP protocol that allows all internet communication.
Briefly, the need to connect different computers together goes back to the 1960s. Researchers in the 1970s sought to create a network for government (especially military) and academic computing (the ARPANET). The 1980s saw the birth of the internet — the first “dot-com” name was registered in 1985. And only six years later, in 1991, the “interweb” began!
It got me thinking back to those early text-based days before “the web”…
Recently I told you about how, in high school, a casual decision to take an elective added a new direction to my compass. That new direction turned towards a world I had never imagined, and the path along that direction brought me to many joyful and wonderful experiences. For a long time I followed that path towards an imagined future somewhere down the road.
But in college, once again, a casual decision to try something new added yet another direction to my compass. And that path, too, led to joy and wonder. And that path did take me down a road towards my future. Towards my present.
At some point a few years after discovering this new path, I began to refer to the high school discovery as “my first rebirth.” That made the college one my second “rebirth.” And the term is apt, because I was, indeed, reborn into a new world of experience and knowledge. But these days, to be “reborn” has another meaning I don’t intend.