A Series of Tubes

Sir Tim’s Ted talk was pretty silly but his interweb thingie is pretty cool and the true story deserves to be told. Now, for the first time, Verity Stob has that story.

Here, for the first time on the series of tubes that made Sir Tim famous, is the memo that he wrote to make it possible.

You will remember ages ago I knocked out a little app called Enquire on the Vax? It works quite well for organising stuff, so naturally the [nationality redacted] refuse to use it.

My idea is:

  • Glue a few NeXT friendly graphics on the front of Enquire,
  • Sprinkle a few software marketing terms (‘hyper-‘ this and ‘turbo-‘ that) to confuse the forces of darkness such as the Director and his bunch of admin zombies,
  • Recode some of it in Objective C so that nobody can argue about which platform it runs on,
  • Bung in the Ops manuals,
  • Bung in the Unix man text – oops, I mean ‘hyper-text’,
  • Push out the whole lot as a ‘Turbo Universal Reference Document System’ (TURDS for short – this part might need some more work) for the whole of the CERN network.

Neat, eh? No way is ISOLDE going to be able to touch our NeXT when she is running THAT beauty.

(By the way, have you seen Objective C? It’s a scream. It’s like the C language, into which somebody has melted half a pint of Smalltalk. You can bet your bottom dollar that THAT is not going to be around in 20 year’s time. By then, of course, we will all be coding in Occam.)

Read the whole memo at The Register.

Amazingly, our local NBC news stations did a broadcast 8 years earlier than Sir Tim’s fateful memo predicting the whole thing – but also predicted that the “tele-paper won’t be much competition for the printed kind”.

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Ragged Clown

Based in San Jose, California

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