Tag Archives: IBM

21st C = von Neumann * Armstrong^2

10 Sep

I wrote this a some time ago. IBM is no longer on the ropes, as it was at that time. But it hasn’t regained its past glory either. That is gone, perhaps forever (prediction: the Watson technology will bottom out in a decade). Meanwhile, Microsoft is running into trouble, having been outstripped by Google and, of all companies, Apple. Still, there’s a basic truth stored away in these words and that truth doesn’t change just becase the high tech world keeps whirlin’ around.


Why is America the software center of the Universe?
Because it is also the Rap-Rock-Funk-Soul-Jazz-Blues
center of the Universe. What does that have to do
with the If-Then-Else imperatives of byte busting?
Technology is not just technique. It is style and
attitude. You can’t write great software if your
soul was nurtured on the mechanical clockwork and
internal combustion rhythms of the Machine Age. You
must free yourself from the linear flow of
mechanical time and learn to improvise order from
the creative chaos lurking in the multiple
intersecting flows of the digital domain.
Roll over Beethoven, it’s Jimi Hendrix time.


Cases in point: Steve Wozniak took time out
from Apple to produce rock and roll concerts.
Microsoft was co-founded by a guitar-playing
Jimi Hendrix fan, Paul Allen. Borland International
is the brainchild of barbarian jazz saxophonist
Philippe Kahn. Xerox and Apple guru Alan GUI
Kay worked his way through graduate school as
a jazz musician. Lotus founder Mitch Kapor
has taken to riding the informatic frontier
with Grateful Dead lyricist John Perry Barlow. Continue reading

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