25.09.2014 - 26.09.2014 28 °C
"Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.
But the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward.
While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius."
This blog entry is dedicated mostly to my fellow researchers, engineers and technology enthusiasts back home. To those brilliant people which I have had the pleasure working with during the past 10+ years, or just being friends with.
While exploring the streets, bars, restaurants and tech titans' campuses in San Francisco, Mountain View, Palo Alto and Cupertino, I've experienced the Silicon Valley in action: hordes of ambitious engineers chatting about technologies, concepts, inventions...working long hours, focusing on whatever goals they might have in front of them; and it was the same kind of enthusiasm, the same driving force I've seen back home many times. While looking around the heart of the Silicon Valley, in essence, I saw my colleagues from back home. And then it occured to me: they all really belong here. For it was here that most of the great things in technology was either invented, reinvented or (still being) perfected. And for this kind of people, having part in such a thing is one of the greatest rewards they can ever receive.
At least that's how I see it.
It was with a certain sadness that I was leaving that area, especially after visiting the Computer History museum in Mountain View, CA: the exhibits on display there took me on a journey through my own childhood. Not only by seeing the first computer I was using as a kid in mid 80's (Schneider CPC 464), or by seeing the computer I was taking my first summer programming course on in late 80's (Apple IIc), but also seeing those strange calculators my father was using that I used to play with when I was really a small kid (the sliding rule - in croatian called 'siber', and the HP 35 - the first scientific calculator, if I'm not mistaken). Not to mention the opportunity to see the Cray supercomputer (and it was the one used in Los Alamos, as a bonus), the photos of which I used to cut out of computer magazines when I was a kid and glue them to the furniture in my room.
There were many other things in that museum that instantly transported me back in time, but I don't want to turn this blog post into a treatise on my childhood (and I'm running out of time to write it).
However, as someone who has been introduced to personal computing at an early age, was pushed in that direction and now still being shaped by that industry, I will write about one of the places I didn't want to miss. And that was the place which bears a special significance as to the start of the personal computer revolution: a modest suburban garage at 2066 Crist Dr. in Los Altos, CA, where Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak worked on the first Apple computers in mid 1970's, whose success practically ignited the personal computer revolution. This garage was also the childhood home of Steve Jobs.
Now, much has been said about Jobs, and much has been written about the man, so I'm not going to go down that path. Maybe just two quotes while I'm at it (for the haters, of course
Robert Metcalfe, inventor of the Ethernet, once famously said: "Steve Jobs is on my eternal heroes list, there's nothing he can ever do to get off it."
Isn't that sweet?
And Mark Stephens aka Robert Cringley, (technology journalist) was very descriptive (and right on mark if you ask me): "With this guy we're not talking about someone driven by the profit motive in a desire for an opulent retirement at the age of forty, no, we're talking holy war, we're talking rivers of blood and fields of dead martyrs to the cause of greater computing. We're talking about a guy who sees the personal computer as his tool for changing the world."
And for making this vision a reality, here's a little known fact - Jobs and Wozniak were awarded with the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the highest honor the United States can confer to a citizen for achievements related to technological progress, which reads: "For their development and introduction of the personal computer which has sparked the birth of a new industry extending the power of the computer to individual users."
So there you have it - hopefully people learn something by reading my babblings.
Next stops are not at all technology oriented, so not to worry. The road leads me to Las Vegas and nearby areas: Grand Canyon and Death Valley - writing about that tomorrow!
Stay hungry. Stay foolish.
IBM Deep Blue, the computer which managed to beat world chess champion Garry Kasparov in 1997 (with some controversy though - Kasparov accused the IBM team of cheating by human intervention during the match).