Daily Archives: August 12, 2007

Warner Music: why do you fund this crap?

I just saw a very disturbing report on 60 Minutes (an important TV news show in USA) about the music business that pushes a “no snitching” campaign. It impugned Warner Music. That’s the company that Ethan Kaplan works for (as head of technology). Now, admittedly, he’s a geek there, not directly involved in choosing the music strategies of Warner, but let’s start there.

Ethan: why do you guys fund this kind of crap?

You talk about “blowhard hacks” at Gnomedex.

What you are doing and funding (and supporting through your technology) is FAR worse for the human race than any arguing we’re doing at Gnomedex.

What do you say about this Ethan?

How can you write hypocritical posts like this one about Gnomedex and go to work for the company you work for who are spreading the kind of vile described by 60 Minutes?

Walking tour of Pacific Grove — where CPM was invented

[podtech content=http://media1.podtech.net/media/2007/08/PID_012167/Podtech_TomRolander_Part3.flv&postURL=http://www.podtech.net/home/3826/part-iii-of-conversations-with-tom-rolander &totalTime=818000&breadcrumb=9488dcfff4ee405f8f866071b4db2ed9]

If you visit Pacific Grove you’ll see no visible reminders of the once-great Digital Research, makers of CPM. There are no plaques. No historical markers. It’s just the fading memory of people who were part of the computer industry in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

It’s why I try to interview as many “grey beards” as possible, so we can get these stories down before they disappear forever.

Here we take a walking tour with Tom Rolander (one of the key executives at Digital Research). You see the house where IBM visited and tech industry history was changed forever.

By the way, in the first part of my interview with Tom Rolander he mentioned a libel lawsuit with Tim Paterson, the guy who sold DOS to Bill Gates. Well, Tim gives his part of the story on his blog. This is a remarkable age where we can get perspectives on a significant historical event from the people involved.

I wonder how we can preserve all of these perspectives so that people 100 or, even, 1,000 years from now can understand what happened and why the world has Microsoft and not Digital Research? After all, we still talk about CocaCola’s beginnings and its impact on the world. Did you know that CocaCola’s bottling rights were sold for $1?

One thing is I hope others join me in getting important historical stories on video. If you have someone in your life who played a key role in tech industry history I’d love to see them talk about it. The folks who built the personal computer industry are now 50 to 60 years old. We’ve already lost many who came before, like Hewlett and Packard. It would be a shame to lose these stories forever since we now have the ability to get them down and share them with the world.

Note to HP: Open Your Garage for next weekend’s BarCamp

HP Garage, birthplace of Silicon Valley

Next week is a huge event in Silicon Valley. August 18-19. BarCampBlock. They are dedicating an entire block in Palo Alto to celebrate the birthday of BarCamps worldwide. The first BarCamp was started at SocialText’s offices in downtown Palo Alto, which started a movement which has seen events all over the world. Thousands of people are expected. TechCrunch’s Mike Arrington wrote about it and is going.

If you’re coming, make sure you sign up so that you can get into the actual event instead of just the outdoor part of the festivities. More info on the official BarCamp wiki.

But yesterday I was talking to a few HP employees and told them about a marketing opportunity that’s just sitting in front of them. It would be a shame for this not to happen.

Jeremiah in front of Hewlett Packard garage

Which leads me to this little garage.

It’s only a short walk away from where BarCamp was born (and where next weekend’s festivities are).

Almost every geek I know has never been to this garage. And, if, like Jeremiah Owyang, above, you have visited the garage, you’ve never been inside. You’re locked out of the garage by a gate.

So, here’s my plea to HP.

Open your garage next weekend. Lead tours. Have executives and employees there to explain its role in the world’s history.

Make a bunch of T-shirts. Have them say “I visited the garage at BarCampBlock 07.” They will be popular with all the geeks. Show off your latest laptops.

But get the key to that gate and open it up.

It would be a gesture that will be appreciated by all BarCampers. I’ll lead walking tours of Palo Alto to the Garage if you do that.

On the way you’ll see where Java was written. You’ll visit the site where the Klystron Tube was invented (the core technology behind radar and other things including what makes the Stanford Linear Accelerator work).

HP: you have an extraordinary chance to congratulate the BarCamp movement.

For the three people on the planet who don’t understand the role of that garage? It is the birthplace of Silicon Valley. It is the iconic image of entrepreneurs everywhere who come up with ideas for companies in their metaphorical garages and dream of taking them to worldwide audiences. It is the probably the most important historical building in Silicon Valley.

HP: Open your garage.

Another Gnomedex past

Look at all those computers!

This is still the iconic image for me of Gnomedex. Most of these people, when asked by Guy Kawasaki, admitted to being on Twitter. Yes, Gnomedex is a chat room disguised as a conference. :-)

Seriously, lots of fun. As usual the hallway conversations were awesome. Met geeks from diverse companies like General Motors, Netflix, and HP. More on HP in a moment.

This week I’m going to be a little light on posting. I’m still in Seattle for the next two days, giving a talk to Kathy Gill’s class on Tuesday night. Looking to interview interesting companies and people on Tuesday.

Oh, and thank you to everyone who threw in something for the Gnomedex Baby Shower. I had absolutely no idea you all were going to do that for me. Thank you to Ponzi and Chris for putting that together. It really was special.