Tag Archives: net@night

Daddy, where did the Internet come from?

I’m a big fan of podcasts. As a podcaster myself, you might expect me to say that. I know many people are not fans, and that’s OK – it’s a matter of taste, I think. For me, it’s convenient to be able to get information while I’m driving, or travelling via some other means or doing something else which makes reading difficult. I like some of the insight that comes out through deeper discussion of a topic, or even from the interaction of several people in a conversation, which you typically don’t get from a written post which is likely to be from one point of view. Audio can take more concentration than reading text, of course, and is difficult to scan, so I can understand objections – like I said, it’s a matter of taste. For me, podcasts need to be interesting, and ideally they need to be short (45 mins max) and easy to consume[1].

One particular podcast series which I came across recently (via epredator) is an excellent series of short pieces from the Open University – it’s called The Internet at 40 (iTunes link). It looks at the origins of the Internet and then covers a series of interviews with some of the pioneers like Vint Cerf and Tim Berners-Lee as well as less well-known people like Donald Davies and Ray Tomlinson. It’s mostly delivered in nice bite-sized 5-15 minute chunks, with only the first piece lasting longer than 20 minutes, and even then, that’s a compelling listen.

Ever wanted to know how this thing called the Internet evolved? I found it fascinating to listen to Donald Davies talking about the genesis of TCP/IP – I’d always understood it at a general level, but hearing these guys discuss the original thinking behind some of the fundamental concepts was really cool. As both an historian and a techie, it was great to listen and see my two worlds collide. Recommended.

[1] the one exception I make to the 45-minute rule are the shows from TWiTMacBreak Weekly and net@night are regular subscriptions, and the latter in particular is great for making new online discoveries. If you have the stamina for something a little longer, the TWiT network has some great shows.


Lotus Notes for GTD!

I was listening the the net@night podcast the other day and heard a great episode where David Allen (of Getting Things Done fame) mentioned that he uses Lotus Notes for managing his task lists.

I’m a long-time Notes user – even before I worked for IBM, my previous company used Notes, so I think I’ve been through from around version 4.5 to 8 now (and I really should get around to installing 8.5!). I’m not going to be a fanboy about it, but I have to say that it’s getting better all the time… and the fact that we have folks like Mary Beth Raven actually discussing the application design choices on her blog, and interacting with users as she does so, has clearly improved things.

Nevertheless, I was both surprised and pleased to hear that David uses Notes as part of his GTD process. I’m curious as to how he does so! By the way, he’s on Twitter, too.

Did I grow up digital, or did I evolve digital?

The advice in today’s blog entry is that there are three things you should do.

Watch this short video:

If you liked that, listen to this podcast.

And if you liked that, go buy the book.

Seriously. Don Tapscott really gets this stuff, and I love these interviews.