When we were setting up the computers for the President’s Commission on Americans Outdoors in 1985, Ted the Computer Guy from Interior told us the ITT machines were the latest, greatest, and that the 10 megabyte hard-drives were all that anyone would probably ever need.
We used Macs borrowed from staffers’ homes to do serious graphical layouts, and with the cooperation of Commission Vice Chairman Gilbert Grosvenor, then head of the National Geographic Society, much of the serious word-, photo- and chart-crunching was done by NGS employees, as donations. The report was published in its most-accessible form in 1987 by Island Press, who had better typesetting and editing capabilities than the Government Printing Office (GPO). My hard drive began to seriously bog down after four months — pre-Windows, it actually limped over the finish line, complete with a 5,000 member database of media contacts and their publications about the commission and it work. ITT got out of desktop computing shortly after that big government contract. My current computer strains with just more than 30 times the capacity of that old ITT machine — in RAM alone.
From the President’s Commission I moved to the Department of Education’s Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI) — one of my charges was a technology demonstration office that had an IBM desktop loaded with amazing features, like a dictionary, and a GUI interface (we couldn’t use such machines in our offices, of course). Checker Finn was Assistant Secretary of Education for Research — stuck in bed for a few weeks with a back injury, he demonstrated how
tyrannical useful e-mail could be, with several dozen e-mails a day between him and those of us with management responsibilities. We used a 600-baud telephone connection.
Generation gap, hell! This is revolutionary: TDK Develops 200 GB Blu-ray Disc.
TDK announced Thursday that it had reached a new milestone in data storage on Blu-ray discs, revealing a prototype that can hold 200GB. The disc doubles TDK’s previous 100GB prototype and is possible by creating six distinct layers of data, each capable of holding 33.6GB.
The prototype, like all Blu-ray media, is single sided. “The ultra-ambitious technology roadmap for Blu-ray has now been confirmed as realistic, with landmarks such as this proving the long-term value of the format against its rivals,” said TD vice president Bruce Youmans. TDK said such high-capacity discs could be commercially available in several months.
The most revolutionary thing about it: It’s not even small news. Your newspaper won’t mention it. Readers of this blog may not even know what Blu-ray is.
In my classroom, I have a chalk board. The eraser is old and works poorly. I’m supposed to prepare the next generation. Dick Feynman was a prophet.
Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Please get out of the new one
If you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’.
(copyright 1963 and 1991, Bob Dylan)