Just left my SI (that’s School of Information, for you non-Wolverines) class, “Understanding Networked Computing,” a.k.a. Technology Appreciation. It’s more interesting than you might think. Someday the authors of “Trivial Pursuit: Geek” will seek me out for question suggestions. A few:
1) Explain the inside joke of HAL 9000, the computer in “2001: A Space Odyssey.”
2) Name the original seven internet domains. (Everyone knows the obvious .com, .net., .org., but the sixth and seventh will probably stump a few of you.)
3) On a peer-to-peer network, what is the slang term for a user who downloads frequently but chooses not to share? What is the usual corrective action?
I could go on. I won’t. But as long as we’re on the subject of technology, last night our screenwriting prof instituted a cell-phone fine rule. Robert McKee, the screenwriting guru played by Brian Cox in “Adaptation,” hates cell-phone interruptions. If one goes off in class, he immediately stops teaching, singles out the offender for abuse and collects a $10 fine. Our own fine is somewhat less — a dollar.
And yet, even after he instituted the fine and gave fair warning with the first offender, another phone went off. In the words of the walkin’ boss, “Some men you just can’t reach.”
And one more tech note: Poyter has a fond look back at Viewtron, a crude precursor to internet news online, promulgated by my own employer, Knight Ridder. Several of my FW colleagues in the ’80s came there directly from Viewtron layoffs, right Adrianne? Andrew? Yes. My previous employer, the Columbus Dispatch, was also online in this era, via Compuserve.
Both efforts were ahead of their time, as the story points out.
Side note: The Bloomberg user interface? Very, uh, retro. Very Viewtron.