Showing posts with the label Economy

Industrial maternalism

I completed today a purchase of one more piece of Silicon Valley history, the EIMAC 100TH   Transmitting Triode Radio Vacuum Tube. For $22 I will receive a working triode, with the birght prosepct of lighting its filaments again perhaps not to transmit but at least to show its colors on the oscilloscope. EIMAC operated in nearby San Bruno this was not an accident, as the San Francisco Bay Area was an early center of ham radio with about 10% of the operators in the United States in the early 30's. Incidentally in a new sense San Bruno is still a ham radio hub today. Except the radio has been replaced by the internet, and the communications device is YouTube, based in San Bruno. There's are some more interesting technical bits. The EITEL company was a spin-off from Heintz & Kaufman with the purpose to produce tubes that worked on lower voltages than those available to the amateur market at the time. In 1932 two radio amateurs, Jack McCullough (W6CHE) and Bill Eitel (W

Why Web 2.0 and how I started to move off the server

I have to admit, being a computer hack for 25+ years I really love to meddle with software on my own. I have my own servers plugged to the Internet and I have ways and ways to make them useful to myself. It started way back in the Andresen days with pics my family could peek at and then it went more and more complex with more and more stuff running on them. But I am fed up now, the tipping point for me was wordpress. Not because it's a bad piece of software, I just grew tired of moderating a whole pile of comments whose content was just a pile of spam. I loved the geeky aspect of being able to grep through log files or setup cron jobs to move files between raid servers. However, at the end of the day. It's not cutting it. I spend too much time worrying over those details where I could be writing about a good book I read and how it changed my perspective (Steve thank you for the comment). I moved to blogger though anything similar will do. No more fuss and more time to do creat

The Oil and the Glory

The Oil and the Glory: The Pursuit of Empire and Fortune on the Caspian Sea by Steve LeVine. Steve LeVine covered Central Asia and the Caucasus for The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times for 11 years — starting two weeks after the Soviet collapse through 2003. From 1988-1991, LeVine was Newsweek's Pakistan-based correspondent for that country and Afghanistan. While the book doesn't have the documented rigor of say Taubman's biography on Khruschev it is quite clear that Steve knows very well the region; central Asia, the Caucasus and Russia. Moreover the book is vivid in both historical detail and the well rounded detail on the cast of players. It's importance is not only in shedding light the light on the region it covers, but even more so into understanding the dynamics at play in some of world's most influential corporations. The book has a great balance of historical context and a detailed account of the power struggles around the oil in the Caspian basin