SYS-CON Media
 Register Now!
Save $100
Register before March 14th to SAVE! ... and also receive a FREE copy of the Best-Selling AJAX Book, a $119 Value!
Untitled Document
2008 East
Platinum Sponsor
Untitled Document
2008 East Gold Sponsors
Untitled Document
2008 East Exhibitors
Untitled Document
2008 East Media Sponsors
Untitled Document
2008 Association Sponsor
Untitled Document
2008 SYS-CON Events

Can't Miss RSS Feed
Subscribe to the AJAXWorld.com RSS Feed & Get All The Conference News As It Happens!

2008: Decision Year for RIAs - March 18-20, 2008 New York City


25 Years of PC Week
The scene is a deserted office park in Los Angeles after hours

The scene is a deserted office park in Los Angeles after hours. I am driving around, trying to find the spot that my IT manager friend left an envelope for me. Inside the envelope is a disc with a secret IBM software program that is about to give me one heck of a scoop for PC Week, c. 1987.

It has been a week of memories. Last week was the 40th anniversary of the real beginning of the Internet, and this week is the 25 years that PC Week (regrettably now called eWeek) began publishing its weekly commentary on our industry.

While I didn’t start writing for the publication until 1987, I remember those times very well: back in the early 1980s I was working for a private software developer and we were porting our programs from the Apple to the new fangled IBM PC, and trying to make them work. Given that we were charging several thousand dollars to electric utilities for these products, it was my job to do the quality control and make sure that the code was written properly.

I eventually went on to work in various end-user computing departments for government and private industry before getting the job at PC Week as a writer and analyst. I went on to work there for more than three years when the PC industry was rapidly expanding and corporations were buying truckloads of PCs. Back then we didn’t have networks other than the ones that connected our PCs to our IBM mainframes, and I began to specialize in networking and installed the first one in our company before I became a tech journalist.

Wayne Rash called me last month to catch up and get some input on a story that he has written for the publication about those early days. It made me go back and actually find some of the articles that I wrote and recall some fond memories.

For those of you that were born after this year and don’t remember a world without computers, it is worth taking a moment to remind you that we had 80386 computers that had barely more than a megabyte of RAM and ran at 10 MHz clock speeds. Most of the machines back then had character-mode displays (except for Macs, which were rare on corporate desktops) and Windows and Linux hadn’t yet been invented. IBM and Microsoft were working together on OS/2 and Novell’s Netware was the most popular networking operating system because it could run on 80286s and use all of the entire memory of the machine. Hard disks were rarely larger than 20 MB, and floppies had just increased to store 1 MB of data. Mostly academic researchers were using the Internet and few corporations had email, let alone email connections to the outside.

In a story that I wrote in May 1990, I talk about what corporate IT folks need to think about when upgrading to the latest OS – which at the time was Windows 3 or OS/2 1.2. Some of those issues are still with us as we wrestle with Windows 7 and Snow Leopard.

Here are a few memories from that era. You can see scans of various magazine covers and articles that I mentioned from that era here.

My first story for PC Week (Jan 1987) was about a little-known company in the PC-to-mainframe market called Attachmate and how they planned on unseating the then-champion Digital Communications Associates, makers of the popular Irma boards. Attachmate went on years later to purchase DCA, and is still around in the terminal emulation space, also having bought network analysis company NetIQ.

What really got the IBM PC started in corporate computing circles was a spreadsheet called 1-2-3 from upstart Lotus Development Corporation. For some people, it was the only application that they ran on their desktops. Lotus 1-2-3 wasn’t the first spreadsheet and indeed, here is a brief post on the original spreadsheet called Visicalc.

Years before IBM ironically purchased Lotus, they started a skunk works project to use spreadsheets as a front-end to their mainframe databases, something that was very sophisticated at the time. The sole programmer behind the project was Oleg Vishnepolsky who spent about 18 months writing the software simply called S2. The code was used for internal purposes. I spoke to Vishnepolsky last week and rather than be mad at me for blowing his cover he was reminded that when my article ran his status as a lowly programmer was immediately elevated and he got to talk to the big brass about his project. “I got to rub shoulders with people at the top layers of management, and remember this is when IBM had about ten or 12 managers between me and the CEO.” Still, the S2 project was one of the best ones of his career and the code was used by tens of thousands of IBMers.

At the time this was being developed – say 1987 or so – there were a variety of people who were trying to clone 1-2-3 using the exact same command syntax, most notably Adam Osborne. There were legal challenges going back and forth about intellectual property and Osborne, being the roué that he was, only brought more attention to the whole thing.

Somehow, I got a hold of a copy of S2 from one of IBM’s customers, the setting for my cloak and dagger black ops mission at the top of this essay. I wrote the story about S2 and saw Osborne coincidentally a few weeks later at an industry event. Much as I wanted to give him a copy, I didn’t. But you can see the screen caps of S2 that I found in my archives.

Back then, IBM was very secretive about their new products and had all sorts of established protocols for dealing with the press. One place where they gave out advance information about their plans was at their user group meetings. Since I had come from IT, I knew how easy it was to attend these meetings under somewhat false pretenses. I called up the IT manager for Ziff Davis and found out that we indeed had an IBM mainframe squirreled away in New Jersey. I asked the manager if he could give me their customer number, which is pretty much all you needed to register for the IBM user conference. When I reassured him that it wasn’t going to come out of his budget (some things never change), I signed up and brought home several scoops from the meeting, much to the dismay of my fellow PC Week news hounds. But they were quick learners and when it came time for the next meeting, several of us attended as “Ziff Davis IT managers.” When we came back from the third meeting with even more scoops, Infoworld – which at the time was our main competitor — starting putting together the pieces and called up the president of the user group and got us banned from further meetings. But it was fun while it lasted.

Speaking of fun scoops, one of our younger and more eager reporters was Gina Smith. Gina was out to dinner with her boyfriend (who later married her) at a Cambridge, Mass. Restaurant. Sitting at the next table were two Germans speaking quickly. Little did they know that Smith was fluent in German and as she listened it turned out they were from Lotus’ German office telling each other what the future product plans were for the company. Lotus never knew how we got that story, and Smith went on to write a few books and run a couple of companies in Silicon Valley.

One of my early columns (July 1987) was about how hard it was to use a laptop in a hotel room. Back then modems were the main remote access devices, and they were running at 2400 bps, which was slow enough that you could read the text as it was being transmitted. Most hotels had hard-wired their phones so you couldn’t attach a modem easily, without having to unscrew the wall plates and take out the two wires that you needed to attach the modem to the phone system. How far have we come now with universal wireless everywhere.

Another of my favorite columns (March 1988) was written as if I was Judith Martin, answering questions of network etiquette. I considered it a successful parody when I got a cease and desist letter from Miss Manner’s law firm!

In October 1988, I was promoted to run a major portion of the PC Week. That same week, I was visiting one of my friends, Cheryl Currid, who ran the IT organization of Coke Foods (Minute Maid et al.) in Dallas. One of Cheryl’s staffers had baked a cake in my honor, iced with a simulated cover of PC Week’s front page with various “stories” in icing. Currid went on to write many columns for me at various publications, and is still consulting in the industry.

Yes, those were interesting and fun times. I hope you enjoyed some of these memories too.

Read the original blog entry...

About David Strom
David Strom is an international authority on network and Internet technologies. He has written extensively on the topic for 20 years for a wide variety of print publications and websites, such as The New York Times, TechTarget.com, PC Week/eWeek, Internet.com, Network World, Infoworld, Computerworld, Small Business Computing, Communications Week, Windows Sources, c|net and news.com, Web Review, Tom's Hardware, EETimes, and many others.

Latest AJAXWorld RIA Stories
Have you seen this error message before “java.sql.Exception: ORA-00060: deadlock detected while waiting for resource”? This is caused when parallel updates require locks on either rows or tables in your database. I recently ran into this exception on an instance of an IBM eComme...
When the agile movement re-cast the roles of the SDLC they did so with small projects as the baseline of their experience. A typical minimal SDLC method includes subject matter experts (those who execute the current workflow activities), a Project Manager, a Business Analyst, a S...
Telerik Controls are great for building modern, rich clients, and web applications often seen at the enterprise level. I just worked with a company that uses these controls in their soon-to-be-released customer-facing SharePoint portal. They ran a small load test that showed that...
I would say that only one out of a million exceptions thrown in an application actually makes it to a log file – unless you run your application in verbose logging mode – Do you agree? No? Here is why I think that is: because most exceptions are handled by your code or by the fra...
Are you serving .SWF files from your web server and getting complaints from your end users that your flash app is “just slow?” Or has your Ops team wondered why you see such high web request response times for some of the web service calls executed by your Flash Client? I was ju...
Untitled Document

Call 201 802-3020 or Click Here to Save $100!

Register Today and
Save $100

Your registrations includes: Golden Pass Delegates will receive full conference access on March 18-20, 2008 including: Lunch and Coffee Breaks, Collectible Bag and Archives of all sessions on DVD. Includes access to all Conference Sessions including the Technical Sessions, Exhibits, Keynotes, Vendor Technology Presentations, and Power Panels.


Sponsorship Opportunities

AJAXWorld offers the undisputed best platform to position your company as a leading vendor in the fast-emerging marketplace for AJAX and Enterprise Web 2.0.


Please call
(201)802-3020


Who Should Attend?

 CTOs & VPs of Engineering
 Directors of Technology
 Sr. User Interface Architects
 Front-End Engineers
 VCs & Industry Analysts
 Directors of Business Development
 Software Engineers
 Senior Architects
 Application Programmers & Software Developers
 Project Managers
 Web Programmers & Designers
 Companies & Organizations that need to stay in
  front of the latest Web technology

AJAXWorld Security Bootcamp

On March 18, 2008, AJAXWorld University's "AJAX Security Bootcamp" will be an intensive, one-day hands-on training program that will teach Web developers and designers how to build high-quality AJAX applications from beginning to end. Held the day before the AJAXWorld Conference & Expo begins, the Bootcamp is intended to be the premier AJAX Security instructional program presently available anywhere.
View the full one-day schedule

2008 East Conference Speakers Include

BOLOKER
IBM

WEI
Nexaweb

FERRAIOLO OpenAjax
CROCKFORD Yahoo!

SCHALK
Google

GUPTA
Sun

MIRAGLIA
Yahoo!

STAGNER Microsoft

PELED
Gizmox

PELLER
IBM

POLLACK
Ruby Users

REGAN
Sonoa

AJAXWorld 2008 East - Tracks

Track 01: Enterprise AJAX
Track 02: Rich-Web Tools & Case Studies
Track 03: Web 2.0 & Social Applications
Track 04: Enterprise Web 2.0 Mashups
Track 05: iPhone Developer Summit
Track 06: Diamond Sponsor Track



Brought To You By:

AJAXWorld Magazine is the pre-eminent independent vendor-neutral resource for the fastest growing new segment of the software business: entirely Web-based applications and experiences.

Download the Latest Issue!

AJAXWorld Webcasts



SYS-CON EVENTS


Video Coverage of the AJAXWorld 2007 Keynotes

SYS-CON TV Keynotes: Why Web 2.0 for the Enterprise Is Far More Than Just a Facelift - by Ted Farrell
SYS-CON TV Keynotes: Fueling the Next Generation Web: A Peek Behind the Green Curtain - by Bob Brewin
SYS-CON TV Keynotes: AJAX in the Balance - by Joe Stagner

AJAXWorld Sessions on SYS-CON.TV

· Bill Scott - Yahoo! UI Library
· David Heinemeier Hansson - AJAX on Rails
· Jesse James Garrett - Elements of User Experience
· Dion Hinchcliffe - Real World AJAX
· Eric Miraglia - Open Source AJAX Development
· Paul Rademacher - Mashing Up Your Web Application
· Adam Sah - Google Gadgets
· Doug Crockford - An Introduction to JavaScript
· David Linthicum - Enterprise Web 2.0
· Patrick Grady - The Imagination & Experience Web

AJAXWorld...All The AJAX Rock Stars in One Spot!


Past Events Archive

SOAWorld Conference & Expo 2007 West
www.soaworld2007.com
Virtualization Conference & Expo 2007 West
virt2007west.sys-con.com
AJAXWorld 2007 Conference & Expo West
ajaxoct07.sys-con.com
SOAWorld Conference & Expo 2007 East
soa2007east.sys-con.com
Virtualization Conference & Expo 2007 East
virt2007east.sys-con.com
AJAXWorld 2007 Conference & Expo East
ajaxmarch07.sys-con.com
Real-World AJAX Seminar
www.ajaxseminar.com
Ruby on Rails Seminar
www.rubyonrailsseminar.com
Real-World Flex Seminar
www.flexseminar.com
Other SYS-CON Events
events.sys-con.com

Join Over 10,000 Early AJAX Adopters
Who Have Attended AJAXWorld
• A&R Edelman
• Academic Enterprise
• Accoona Corp [2 delegates]
• Acxiom
• Adams Capital Management
• Adaptive Edge
• Adaptive Path
• Adobe Systems Incorporated [21 delegates]
• Adobe Systems Romania
• Ajax13
• All Risks, Ltd.
• alliance
• Alliance For Community Care
• AlphaDetail Inc
• Altera Corporation
• Amazon.com [6 delegates]
• Appeon Corporation [2 delegates]
• Apple Computer [5 delegates]
• Apress [3 delegates]
• Arkivio
• ASA
• Astute Solutions
• Avaya Inc [2 delegates]
• Avenda Systems
• Avenue A | Razorfish [3 delegates]
• Axcella, LLC [2 delegates]
• Aximsoft
• Azimyth
• Backbase USA Inc. [4 delegates]
• BAE Systems [2 delegates]
• Bank of America [2 delegates]
• Barkley Evergreen & Partners Interactive
• Bayview Financial [2 delegates]
• BEA Systems [3 delegates]
• Billeo
• BMC Software, Inc. [2 delegates]
• Borland Software Corporation
• Bradford Technologies, Inc [2 delegates]
• Brilliance
• Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. [2 delegates]
• Brookside Capital LLC
• Brulant
• Bungee Labs, Inc [6 delegates]
• Bureau of Labor Statistics
• BUZ Interactive
• Cadena Software
• Calix Networks
• Callidus Software [2 delegates]
• Cambia Security
• Carnegie Mellon West
• Cautella, Inc.
• CBSA
• Celequest [3 delegates]
• Change Vision, Inc.
• Charles E. Kenney, CPA
• Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. [8 delegates]

   read more...


ADVERTISE   |   MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTIONS   |   FREE BREAKING-NEWSLETTERS!   |   SYS-CON.TV   |   BLOG-N-PLAY!   |   WEBCAST   |   EDUCATION   |   RESEARCH

.NET Developer's Journal - .NETDJ   |   ColdFusion Developer's Journal - CFDJ   |   Eclipse Developer's Journal - EDJ   |   Enterprise Open Source Magazine - EOS
Open Web Developer's Journal - OPEN WEB   |   iPhone Developer's Journal - iPHONE   |   Virtualization - Virtualization   |   Java Developer's Journal - JDJ   |   Linux.SYS-CON.com
PowerBuilder Developer's Journal - PBDJ   |   SEO / SEM Journal - SJ   |   SOAWorld Magazine - SOAWM   |   IT Solutions Guide - ITSG   |   Symbian Developer's Journal - SDJ
WebLogic Developer's Journal - WLDJ   |   WebSphere Journal - WJ   |   Wireless Business & Technology - WBT   |   XML-Journal - XMLJ   |   Internet Video - iTV
Flex Developer's Journal - Flex   |   AJAXWorld Magazine - AWM   |   Silverlight Developer's Journal - SLDJ   |   PHP.SYS-CON.com   |   Web 2.0 Journal - WEB2

SYS-CON MEDIA:   ABOUT US   |   CONTACT US   |   COMPANY NEWS   |   CAREERS   |   SITE MAP
SYS-CON EVENTS  |  AJAXWorld Conference & Expo  |  iPhone Developer Summit  |  OpenWeb Developer Summit  |  SOA World Conference & Expo  |  Virtualization Conference & Expo
INTERNATIONAL SITES:   India  |  U.K.  |  Canada  |  Germany  |  France  |  Australia  |  Italy  |  Spain  |  Netherlands  |  Brazil  |  Belgium
 Terms of Use & Our Privacy Statement     About Newsfeeds / Video Feeds
Copyright ©1994-2008 SYS-CON Publications, Inc. All Rights Reserved. All marks are trademarks of SYS-CON Media.
Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of SYS-CON Publications, Inc. is prohibited.