Inside Out!!

Inside Out!!Quirky stories, bon mots, jokes and funny things that happened on the way to the Web … In toon with May 14, 1986 “- 403 – 404 -”
This continues our series of old cartoons that were first published long, long ago in EW. Technophobes? Us? What rot. We’re lapping up technology at a faster and faster rate. Apparently it took 42 years to get ten million users of telephones and pagers; 23 years to get ten million users of TVs; seven years to get ten million users of PCs and ten months to get ten million users of the Netscape browser.  Netscape Communications founder and senior v-p Marc Andreessen, is usually seen in typical programmer uniforms of T-shirts and jeans. But lately, Andreessen has developed a taste for expensive Italian suits, frequenting Bill Gates’ tailor. He says that before, he would try to avoid wearing a suit but now looks for every excuse to wear one. However, he does dress down for meetings with programmers, where the culture deems that wearing a tie is definitely unacceptable dress code.
There are three kinds of people in the world philosophised a high-tech guru recently: “Those who make things happen; those who watch things happen; those who wonder what happened.” The latest Year 2000 timebomb scare story involves the electronic locking systems on many of Scotland’s prison doors. Will they mysteriously swing open in the early hours of the next Millennium? Of course not if the prison service spends a few bob getting its software updated. However, we are supposed to be reassured that this is less of an issue in England’s high-tech-free jails where many prisoners are still held under trusty lock and key.   Letters Millennium worries are out of date
I find it astonishing that Andy Carpenter (Make a date, Letters, April 8) is still worrying about the end of the second Millennium. Of course he is right technically, but his claims have long been rejected. What appeals to people socially is the change from 19 to 20 and I fear that the details of his argument will be entirely lost on them. The current concern about the Millennium bug has also made the earlier date more cogent. If Andy thinks that he’s got problems, try telling elderly churchgoers that Jesus was almost certainly born in 3 or 4BC. His third Millennium is about a year old!
Anne King, Aylesbury The time machine… 1963: BBC’s stereo only on Wednesdays Hi-fi enthusiasts are digesting the news that from May 1 the BBC’s experimental stereo transmissions using the Zenith-GE pilot tone system will be restricted to Wednesdays only. There will be no Saturday or Sunday programmes and some manufacturers fear that this may indicate that any plans for regular stereo broadcasting in the UK have been put into cold storage.
A BBC spokesman told Electronics Weekly that there were no plans for further tests other than on a Wednesday. The decision for starting a stereo service rests with the Government rather than the BBC itself.
However, no European country seems to be in any sort of hurry to introduce full stereo radio broadcasts. Although the European Broadcasting Union has reported favourably on the pilot tone system, the CCIR standards body did not adopt it last year, largely due to the lack of interest in stereo services shown by most European governments.
Electronics Weekly, April 24, 1963 Business Week’s annual executive pay survey shows that of the top ten paid chief executives in the US, two are from the electronics industry. No surprises that Andy Grove, CEO of Intel, the world’s biggest chip maker, features at number seven, with an annual pay cheque of $52.2m in 1997. However, more surprising is that Grove is topped by Joe Costello, former CEO of Cadence Design Systems. Costello’s 1997 salary of $66.8m puts him one place higher than Grove in the table, which is headed by Sanford Weill of Travelers Group whose total pay was $230.7m.Costello left Cadence last October to join investment group Knowledge Universe. One can only surmise that the investment group knows how to put an attractive job offer together. 10 Downing Street relaunches its Web site this month with an ambitious on-line Q&A session with Tony Blair. The Internet is just the latest in a line of high profile IT initiatives undertaken by the Prime Minister, which already include microelectronic research, digital satellite TV, a national broadband network and the Year 2000 date change problem. Is this really the same Tony Blair who apparently dislikes using a mobile phone and still prefers to send handwritten notelets rather than E-mails to his ministers? Web site: http://www.number-10.gov.uk The same theme extended to his cars. With AMD’s operation principally split between Austin, Texas and Sunnyvale, California, Sanders kept a Rolls Royce in each location – one white, one black. Asked why, he responded: “So I know where I am!” Steve Bush’s invention of the week In the mid-1960s pre-recorded music meant vinyl. Frustrated by wear and tear on his record collection, audiophile and researcher James Russell decided to devise a music storage technique that would never wear out. By 1965 he had invented and patented a laser-read optical recording system using 1?m dots on a photo-sensitive platter. Thus he is the father of CDs. No US firm would put up the long-term cash needed to commercialise it and it was 1985 before Philips and Sony got involved. From the early days, Russell envisioned data storage applications and predicted that the entire Encyclopedia Britannica could be fitted on 65cm 2 of optical surface, something that came true at the beginning of this year. Russell now works for Ioptics, which just released OROM, the solid state optical store with a removable 128Mbyte data card.


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