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Mac meet PC I feel Old

05/31/07 | by JAdP | Categories: Computers and Internet

I'm sure that everyone knows that Steve Jobs and Bill Gates met on stage for the first time in 24 years at the D: All Things Digital 5 conference. Watching the videos of the conversation, I was very much struck by how much the industry has matured, and how much history there is to the computer industry now. A much more personal reminder than visiting the Computer History Museum.

I started using a key punch around 1975, and had a conversation recently, at the OSBC2007, with a fellow attendee about the magic market tricks one would use on all four edges of a stack of punchcards for "data recovery" after the inevitable spill while walking to the computer center. The first Apple product I used was an Apple ][ in the research lab of Þe Auld Elkton Rocket Factory, in 1978; at the same time I was using IBM mainframes and PDP11s. The first DOS machine that I had was my second personal computer - the OS that came with my Kaypro2000 in 1986; at the time I was using BSD Unix machines to access ARPANET and Vax/VMS machines watching software developers turning my Bayesian algorithms into Fortran programs. My first Windows was an upgrade package to that Kaypro2000. Oracle put a Windows machine on my desk next to a NEC X terminal in 1994, and at CapTech, in 1995 I had a MacIntosh, a WindowsNT machine and a Sun SPARCstation, with access to a wide variety of *nix servers. All of my personal and work laptop and desktop machines since then until recently have been WindowsNT variants including Win2000 and WinXP. In 2006, I bought an Apple MacBookPro, and - though not often - I can run Windows on it using Parallels. Though today, much of what I do is through a web browser [FireFox usually] accessing a [generally] Linux server.

Watching Steve Jobs and Bill Gates interact was like hearing the stories of empire from the founding fathers; an insider's view of how history unfolded. It was touching, and far more inspiring than the media controversy that's often linked to thse two men. Take the time and watch the videos. It will be a trip through memory lane for some, and eye opening for others.

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I'm Joseph A. di Paolantonio and this blog has two main foci: my interest in food, and my interest in the future. This provides a look into my personal life, and is separate from my consulting work…though there will be overlap. I am an independent researcher, working as a strategic consultant and I'm an executive with over 20 years of commercial experience with a technical interest in the intersection of Internet of Things, with advanced data management and analysis methods. I view data science as a team activity, and I feel that the IoT must be viewed as a system. I am leveraging my past activities to understand the adoption and impact of the IoT; first, as a system engineer in aerospace, where I developed Bayesian risk assessment methods for systems within the Space Transportation System (including the Space Shuttle), Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer, Gravity Probe B, and many more, and second, as a enterprise data warehousing, business intelligence and analytics professional. Between my aerospace and IT careers, I indulged my hobby of cooking by starting a food company, Montara Magic, centered around my chocolate sauces. My education combined chemistry, mathematics and philosophy. I performed research into molten salt fuel cells in graduate school, and in photovoltaic materials for a short time in industry. The lure of bringing the human race into space was strong, and when I was offered the chance to combine my chemistry and mathematics skills to develop new risk assessment and system engineering methods for space launch and propulsion systems – I couldn't resist. I perform independent research and strategic consulting to bring value from the Internet of Things, Sensor Analytics Ecosystems and data science teams.I am a caregiver, a lover of science fiction and speculative fantasy, and my passion to learn has led me to a pilot's license, an assistant instructor in SCUBA, nordic and alpine skiing, sea kayaking, and reading everything I can, in as many topics as I can.

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