Inside Out!!

Inside Out!!Quirky stories, bon mots, jokes and funny things that happened on the way to the Web … In toon with Sept 3, 1986 “Know something – it’s raining up there”
This continues our series of old cartoons that were first published long, long ago in EW. Is technology making you impatient? Yes, is the answer of Jane Rothstein, a Silicon Valley psychotherapist who teaches stress management at the Health Improvement Programme at the Stanford Centre for Research in Disease Prevention in Palo Alto. “My concern is that people are becoming more and more impatient because everything is so fast,” says Rothstein. The problem is that technology now means you never need knock off: you can work in a plane, on the beach, on a mountain; your boss can get in touch with you in your car, in your garden, in your bed; voice and data messages are stored for you for pick up via answerphone, mobile phone, desktop, laptop, pager or organiser. You have no excuse to be unconnected. This is causing Silicon Valley-ites ‘technostress’. The only way to cope with this avalanche of info overload is for the poor techies to ask themselves: “Do I want to know this now?” And, if they don’t, to steel themselves to spurn their mobiles, disdain to access their E-mails, and cold-shoulder their answerphones. However, then the techies get stressed because they worry about falling behind the rest of the world.  Letters More than a designer
David Manners’ analysis of the British silicon business, such as it is, was perspicacious as always (Springtime for the UK chip industry, April 22) but I must point out that our own company, GarField Microelectronics, is already one of the pure design houses that has made the heady transition to fabless-ness.
Our building blocks for digital TV and HDTV systems are doing rather nicely and a significant part of our silicon revenue now derives from in-house developed multi-customer products.
Rod Oldfield, managing director, GarField Microelectronics   The time machine… 1978: Report raises doubts over System X 1978: Report raises doubts over System X The poor export potential of the System X digital telephone exchange has been highlighted in a confidential report on the UK’s telecommunications business in the next ten years. The report, commissioned by the National Enterprise Board (NEB), is believed to conclude that the export potential of System X is not promising. One source said the report was “vaguely pessimistic” about the future. The report has disappeared under a veil of secrecy since it was shown to ministers two weeks ago. The NEB has already acknowledged that the future of the telecommunications industry in the UK rests squarely on the success of System X which is being developed by GEC, Plessey and Standard Telephone and Cables, in partnership with the Post Office. NEB has refused to acknowledge that it even commissioned the report into the future of the telecommunications industry. However, a source at the Post Office said they were aware of its existence.
Electronics Weekly, May 3 1978 The computer mouse was invented by Douglas Engelbart in the early 1960s but Engelbart said that people laughed when they first saw it and none believed it would prove successful. With tens of millions of people using the Internet and clicking on hypertext links (another Engelbart invention), the mouse is used more than the keyboard. And the original mouse is still around. “It’s sitting on a shelf in my house,” says Engelbart who is saving it for his children. Government proposals for an extra bank holiday on Friday 31st December 1999 are unsurprisingly welcome to most of us, everyone that is except Don Cruickshank head of the government’s Millennium hit squad, Action 2000.Cruickshank is reported to be lukewarm over the holiday proposal because it may create additional pressure on computer systems during the date change period.I would have thought giving people the opportunity to stay at home in bed at hour zero zero will be highly desirable. Whoops! With an audience of more than 6,000 key decision makers gathered at the Comdex trade show, Microsoft CEO Bill Gates crashed a PC running the forthcoming Windows 98. The PC crashed just as an assistant connected a scanner. “I guess that’s why we aren’t shipping it yet,” remarked Gates. Steve Bush’s invention of the week Sir William Grove was experimenting with the electrolysis of water into hydrogen and oxygen when, in 1839, he guessed that combining the gasses somehow should make electricity. He succeeded in doing this, using a platinum catalyst, the same year and is therefore the inventor of the fuel cell. This is not the only thing that Grove should be remembered for as he is said to have invented the sputtering process in 1852. Fuel cell research continued, but it was not until 1932 that Essex-born Francis Bacon, a descendant of the famous scientist, developed the first successful fuel cell. By the late 1950’s, Bacon had produced a 5kW fuel cell. Through the UK National Research and Development Council, Pratt and Whitney in the US obtained rights to work on Bacon’s cell and it is through this route that fuel cells entered the Apollo programme.


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