Saturday, December 21, 2013

Silicon Valley Silicon

Pictured here is a historic bit of Silicon from Silicon Valley.

Now, for the full story ...

TheHackerCIO is done with Cassandra training. Done meeting with clients.  Now it's time for fun!

For example,  spending the afternoon walking around Stanford. There is little better place for a long walk than a University Campus. I've walked them all over the US and Europe: Prestigious and not, picturesque and ugly, techie and Liberal-artsy. I've strolled through Dartmouth, Brown, Harvard, MIT, Princeton, U Penn., UCLA, USC, Cal State Northridge, CalTech, Santa Monica City College, the whole constellation of colleges found in both Oxford and Cambridge, the Sorbonne. I never made a complete list. But that would be fun. Someday.

It wasn't an ideal time to tour the campus: most everything was closed; it's close to Christmas. But I got a good sense of the layout. The Packard building right next to the Hewlett building. That was a nice touch.

Stanford has a symbiotic relationship with Silicon Valley.  It's the intellectual core of the valley. Many startups came from Stanford graduates, such as Google's Sergey Brin and Larry Page, who were grad students when they developed "BackRub," a new approach to web-page search ranking. David Filo of Yahoo did his masters work at Stanford. Stanford has close ties to entrepreneurial business.

The Hwang Engineering Center has a first edition of Donald Knuth's famous The Art of Computer Programming. And this, pictured above was supposed to be the first ethernet board used to make the historic first ARPA-net transmission from UCLA to Stanford Research Institute.  For the managers reading this, that amounts to the first internet transmission! Or maybe it was the first Ethernet board, invented by nearby Xerox PARC place. It depends on which student you talk to. Maybe it doesn't matter.  Who knows if the "accidents of preservation" resulted in the actual first board being kept for posterity! The amazing part is how central to every aspect of technology development Silicon Valley has been: from making computer intercommunication possible (Xerox's ethernet card), to making the first internet communication, to creating the mouse, and window-GUI -- everything seems to flow out of the valley.

And that makes me happy to be in this place, as ...


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