Re-watched a fabulous documentary over the weekend called Triumph of the Nerds. It’s the story of the genesis of the PC industry, written and presented by Robert X Cringely (who I’ve handily linked to on the left) based on his book Accidental Empires. It’s a fascinating tale of luck (Bill Gates), genius (Steve Jobs), brilliant business acumen (Bill Gates) and a little bit of craziness (Steve Jobs). One of the best things about it is the first-person accounts he’s got industry titans such as Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak and Paul Allen. My favourite anecdote came from Bill Gates, about his deal to sell an operating system to IBM: they sold MS-DOS to IBM for a fixed fee of $80k, no matter how many units IBM sold. They did this on the belief that because IBM were bound to set the standard for the industry, it would lead to a whole bunch of ‘clone’ companies building machines to the IBM standard who would also need operating systems. Quite brilliant I’d say. Incredibly disciplined too, to have such faith in his vision that there’d be a computer in every home and that computer would be an IBM clone (in case you don’t know about these things, pretty much every home computer that isn’t a MAC is an IBM clone). Honestly, it’s brilliant and a lot more interesting that I’m making it seem. You can get it from one of the biggest torrent sites.
Golly. My friend’s 6 year old daughter is coming to stay with me next weekend. The responsibility! My first idea for activities wasn’t well received. How about the zoo? ‘That’s really shit.’ Hmmm. Ok, how about a movie. ‘Ok, but not Pirates of the Caribbean coz I want to see that with her’. Right, some progress there. Actually I can’t think of anything else to do with a 6 year old, so I fear it’ll be Saturday night at the pub again.
In a bit of a dilemma about vacation. I was supposed to be going to Colombia with M, but predictably that isn’t looking that feasible now. I’ve got friends I could visit there, so could still go to Colombia, but am very nervous about going on my own after what happened the last time. Would love to go to Brazil too, and the Argentinian Peso is pretty good value now, so maybe Buenos Aires is a good option. Poor old me eh? Not like my mate Rich who is stuck in Australia, unable to properly watch a game of football coz it starts at 4am. Poor sod.
Microscopic photography is just ace.
Crazy, just crazy I tell ya. Shaky Kaiser says it must have been a mum joke.