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Technology: Microsoft’s March of Folly (*)

3 June 2012

It is hard to overestimate the importance of Windows in making Microsoft the dominant player it is today. Bill Gates famously lost his temper in a historic outburst when his underlings at Microsoft were losing perspective of how critical the desktop, with Windows and Office, was for the organisation's foothold in the market and, critically, its stream of revenues: "Hasn't anybody here ever heard of Windows? Windows is what this company is about!"

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Technology: Back to Basic(s)

28 April 2012

The other day I mentioned to someone that even though I am only a middle aged man, I wrote my first computer program more than three decades ago. But don't worry, this blog entry is not going to be about nostalgia for a lost past. Quite the contrary, our computing technology today is much better, more powerful and has matured to a stage where it has become a most useful tool in going about our lives.

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Technology: Complexity

29 April 2011

Today's planned launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour was cancelled earlier because of a problem with a fuel line thermostat for one of the auxiliary power units that drive one of the hydraulic systems. This delays the one but final Space Shuttle mission for a few days. The very last Shuttle flight will be when Atlantis completes the Shuttle programme with a mission in June or July. I remember seeing the first launch of a Space Shuttle into space, back in '81, as well as the excitement I felt at the time. I do feel rather sad that the Shuttle programme comes to an end. The Shuttle has played a key role in our continued attempts to explore, in Carl Sagan's words, the shores of the cosmic ocean.

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Society: Mediocracy

28 December 2010

A group of anonymous people

There are many criticisms I have of my former secondary school, but in spite of that I do remember some exceptional teachers whose influence I still feel today, more than two and a half decades later. They were erudite, certainly, and often charismatic. But above all, their lasting legacy can be summed up by two words: excellence and individualism.

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