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  1. Internet History AC 2003

  2. From calculi to computers • In prehistoric times men computed using small stones : calculi • In the Orient 2000 more or less years ago appeared the Abacus (it uses little balls on metal strings encased in a wooden frame) • Then we leap to the Pascaline (1641) : it used only cranked wheels • Then the Jacquard mechanised weaving machine (1800) introduced the concept of cards to drive the machine : • To raise and lower the chain threads to throw the flying jenny through them and create designs • Jacquard must have gotten ideas from Vaucanson • (All the 18th century was concerned with automatons) • Jacquard introduced the cards to drive the machines : the first recorded memory devices AC 2003

  3. From calculi to computers (cont’d) • In the 19th century Babbage and A. Lovelace designed a computer using steam and weights to make calculations • (It never worked) • All the 18th and 19th centuries tried with their means at hand to store and treat information • This is the consequence of the Industrial Revolution • And in fact it also lead to a Social Revolution AC 2003

  4. The consequences of Jacquard invention • (Jacquard is a step in a long chain of inventions, that will go back to the Renaissance, to exploration, to the compass) • It lead to the Technological Revolution of computers • It lead to the Social Revolution of a tremendously new social order • Jacquard machine put many of the Lyon silk workers out of work • This lead to the Canut upheaval : this is one of the first known proletarian revolution (in the first half of the 19th century) • Later on the Commune, later on the October revolution, then Chairman Mao long march AC 2003

  5. The ancestor to Deep Blue • Around the end of the 18th century in all royal european courts circulated a famous automaton playing chess • It beat many famous people • It turned out a very good chess player also a dwarf was lodging into the box. AC 2003

  6. From calculi to computers (cont’d) • After Jacquard there appeared the street organs (the Limonaires) • In the 1910’s Patterson created the National Cash Register (NCR) corp • One of the best salesman of NCR was Thomas Watson • Watson would make his yearly sales budget in the first two weeks of January • He left NCR to create International Business Machines • He sold machines for use in offices AC 2003

  7. From calculi to computers (cont’d) • In the 30’s the US Bureau of Census used tabulating machines to count the results of the census • Hollerith had the idea of using Jacquard cards to pilot the machines • The machines were mechanical • Just around the beginning of WWII engineers had the idea of trying to put electronics to work. • Why ? AC 2003

  8. From calculi to computers (cont’d) • Just around the beginning of WWII engineers had the idea of trying to put electronics to work. • Why ? • Because electrons are much faster than weights or calculi • Maxwell had explained waves at the end of the 19th century. Branly had used them rue Cassette Paris 6e to transmit information without wires (TSF : transmission sans fil). And the first TV sets appeared in the 30’s. • Engineers had started to master electricity and electrons to create all sorts of devices (including the telephone : beginning of the 20th century. A Graham Bell « Watson I want you ») AC 2003

  9. From calculi to computers (cont’d) • Atanassof and Zuse created the first electronic computers, right before WWII • Then Eckert & Mauchly created the ENIAC with an architecture designed by Von Neumann with ideas from Turing • Engineers have tried to use things faster than electrons to make faster computers : photons. • It does not work well yet, but photons are not disturbed by electromagnetic waves • They would be very fast AND resist electromagnetic bombs. AC 2003

  10. Internet is the new revolutionary tool to gather and exchange information • E-mail sends mail within seconds to any corner of the planet • Access to any public information takes seconds : « Alienor death date ? » : 1204. • The quality of the information must be evaluated by the user – just like for books and newspapers • Relieving us from the chore of finding information Internet will spurr our autonomy and thinking and evaluating capacity (our critical mind) : it will change for the better the attitudes of the young generations in face of social and political problems. • « It will make us smarter » « It is a fantastic tool for freedom » That’s the reason why some world regions try to thwart it. AC 2003

  11. The power of Internet • Internet is so powerful it creates new behaviors and new communities • Some people play 20 hours per day on the Net AC 2003

  12. Let’s turn to the history of the Net • Internet is the child of modern computers • Modern computers were invented around WWII – like many other inventions that changed our lives. • They used cards derived from the cards of weaving machines of Jacquard (1800) • The same kind of cards are used on street organs (Limonaires), they are the first memory devices. • Hollerith thought of using them for computing machines (in the 30’s) AC 2003

  13. Electrons and faster things • Electrons replaced little balls (that is calculi) to make computation • Because they are much faster • Engineers tried to use even faster things than electrons to no convincing avail so far : photons AC 2003

  14. Electronic computers • Atanassof, Zuse • Eckert & Mauchly with the help of a famous mathematician : John von Neuman • Von Neuman introduced the present core architecture of the CPU (central processing unit, with a so called sequencial processing principle) • A bit like our car engine : it violates all sorts of mechanical principles and yet it’s the best design • Turing, another scientist, contributed some ideas (He had cracked Enigma during WWII) AC 2003

  15. From the CPU to the Memory • In the early 60’s a computer scientist would tell us that the most mindblowing part of his machine was the CPU • Then some other scientists (visionaries) thought that the memory function was as important • As often it is such an « upside down » approach that lead to fantastic new inventions • That’s why education should encourage creativity (and creativity cannot be planned, it can only be encouraged) AC 2003

  16. The Education dilemma • Education is torn between two logics : • 1) produce people that are educated according to a model • 2) produce creative people • These two goals are in conflict • The art of the educator is to conciliate them • Business schools do encourage creativity, for a technical reason : because the business world which is highly competitive requires creativity AC 2003

  17. How to get a great job ? • To succeed in your first job interview • 1) master the ESCEM syllabus • 2) have a business culture : read newspaper several times a week (one article, chosen more or less at random, let’s understand some of it) • 3) nurture your creativity, be forthcoming, self-assured, and proposition capable, and creative AC 2003

  18. Arpanet • In the late sixties after the first linking experiments, and the conception of the packet switching principles • Arpanet was created • Instantaneousness became familiar to computer users • This lead to e-mail • Also a need for protocols (that is common languages, rules as to how to send and receive messages) arose : Telnet, and FTP AC 2003

  19. Internet from the 70’s to today • The 70’s : main frames, and the invention of microcomputers • The 80’s : TCP/IP and preWeb indices • The 90’s : HTML, and HTTP, Mosaic, and Netscape and Explorer • The 90’s : Altavista • 1999 : Google AC 2003

  20. Names and logos • In marketing names and logos play a very important role : • They are the first information that potential clients get about our product • BEFORE they start to think • Names and logos carry gestalt information (information perceived BEFORE we start to think ; aka « first impression ») AC 2003

  21. Mosaic logo • Mosaic logo represented the Earth with two arrows curling around it • It was a bad logo • Esthetically imbalanced • Conveyed no clear information • Looked vaguely like a sect picture AC 2003

  22. Mosaic name • Typically and engineer name • The Web, in the view of an engineer (Andreessen) looked like a mosaic of information : each HTML page being one tile • Whence : Mosaic • But « naming » is a subtle science : • Mosaic is not a good word, because the gestalt perception of Mosaic is not a powerful software : it is a « broken down » thing • It does not evoke Power, it evokes tiny things unrelated • Then, the new name of Mosaic was NETSCAPE : it is a better name (even though it’s not as good as EXPLORER) • Microsoft has always had a knack at chosing names • OPERA is an OK name : for general purpose, just like Excel AC 2003

  23. Microsoft logo • It used to have a butterfly on its main logo • It got rid of it some years ago : it’s likely that they were disturbed by the gestalt perception conveyed by a butterfly, an animal that lives only one day (thanks to B.P.) • Yet they kept it for MSN AC 2003

  24. Microsoft name • In theory Microsoft is not a perfect name • It is good in as much as it signifies clearly the business of the firm • But it is a puny name • However for extremely well known names (like IBM) the question becomes irrelevant AC 2003

  25. Some examples of esoterism • Look for the white moon and luna blanca • Look for • Within this site look for Demeter : James Anderson something • Daisy • Etc. AC 2003

  26. An ideally good name • Ideally a good name should be an entire story by itself • Therefore it should address the three brains : • Pulsions • Emotions • Reflexions AC 2003

  27. An ideally good name (cont’d) • It should address the three brains : • Pulsions • Emotions • Reflexions • « Access » is a remarkably good name : • It addresses the cortical brain : it tells us we shall be able to get something • It addresses the limbic brain : it is sympathetic ; it says « Yes », « OK », « Come in » • It addresses the reptilian brain : it evokes contact, possibility, power AC 2003

  28. Databases : other names • Oracle : OK, clear, but a bit esoteric • Paradox : ? • 4th Dimension • DB2 • FoxPro AC 2003

  29. Netscape • Why Netscape is not a perfect name, even though it’s much better than Mosaic • Netscape is a pun • Net and escape : it carries the idea of freedom and the energy to flee • But fleeing / escaping is negatively loaded • Puns are rarely good names : they become stale very quickly • Next to my home there is a hair dresser named : Hair France AC 2003

  30. Marketing • Marketing is concerned, in particular, with good names and good packaging • (Other branches are concerned with analysing markets, forecasting markets, influencing markets) • In naming and packaging we have two possibilities : • Be as close as possible to the actual product we signify • Mislead the customer • Aside from moral considerations the first way has more L.T. possibilities • (Pierre Bergé said : « Marketing and creation don’t go well together ») AC 2003

  31. Explorer • It evokes looking for information • It evokes freedom • But it evokes randomness • It is not loaded with Energy • For instance : Access is a better name, PowerPoint… AC 2003

  32. Gestalt perception • Gestalt perception is the VERY FIRST information we get from a word or a picture, before the brain has the time to think • This first perception given by a sign must correspond to the signified • Otherwise it creates confusion, wrong interpretation AC 2003

  33. Altavista • Since december 2002 : new logo and new page design • Still same name. A better name would have been Vista. • Dzang would not have been OK AC 2003

  34. Monopolies • History tells us that monopolies never last • Standard Oil, ATT, etc. • Likewise Microsoft monopoly on Operating Systems will not last : Linux will play an increasing role • Linux is special in the sense that it is non-commercial as well, it is difficult to apprehend • Google will have new competitors that will replace it. At the moment one of the candidate to be a future replacement is Fast • The competition is still open AC 2003

  35. Google : strengths and weaknesses • Strenghs : • Very fast • Rather complete • Cache function • Relevancy (PPI) • Weaknesses : • Too much information • Not very structured AC 2003

  36. Future search engines • They focus on the weaknesses of Google • The general direction of research is : • Some artificial intelligence • Better understand natural language • Better understand the exact search that the web user has in mind • Less information, still more pertinent AC 2003

  37. Technological revolutions • A generation ago, the main technological revolutions were: TV, airplanes, medicine • TV contributed to broadcasting information • But it tends to make people passive, and to encourage zapping (anti-concentration) • Internet is THE revolution of the present times • It also broadcast information • It makes people active • It will have a very positive impact on making people autonomous, responsible AC 2003

  38. Technological revolutions (2) • Earlier revolutions : there were many since the Industrial revolution • Railways • Radio • Cars • Telephone • Etc. • Fridges, Health / Medecine, etc. AC 2003

  39. Technological revolutions (3) • Other present day revolutions : • Mobile phones • Virtuality • Genetic medicine • Genetically Modified Food • Have an opinion on GMF AC 2003