|Proverbs, aphorisms, quotations (English)||by Linux fortune|
|But the greatest Electrical Pioneer of them all was Thomas Edison, who was a|
brilliant inventor despite the fact that he had little formal education and
lived in New Jersey. Edison's first major invention in 1877, was the
phonograph, which could soon be found in thousands of American homes, where
it basically sat until 1923, when the record was invented. But Edison's
greatest achievement came in 1879, when he invented the electric company.
Edison's design was a brilliant adaptation of the simple electrical circuit:
the electric company sends electricity through a wire to a customer, then
immediately gets the electricity back through another wire, then (this is
the brilliant part) sends it right back to the customer again.
This means that an electric company can sell a customer the same batch of
electricity thousands of times a day and never get caught, since very few
customers take the time to examine their electricity closely. In fact the
last year any new electricity was generated in the United States was 1937;
the electric companies have been merely re-selling it ever since, which is
why they have so much free time to apply for rate increases.
-- Dave Barry, "What is Electricity?"
|Brief History Of Linux (#9)|
Edison's most important invention
One of Thomas Edison's most profound inventions was that of patent
litigation. Edison used his many patents on motion pictures to monopolize
the motion picture industry. One could argue that Edison was an early
pioneer for the business tactics employed by Microsoft and the MPAA.
Indeed, Edison's company, the Motion Picture Patent Company (MPPC), formed
in 1908, bears a striking resemblance to the modern-day Motion Picture
Association of America (MPAA). Similar initials, different people, same
evil. The MPCC, with the help of hired thugs, ensured that all motion
picture producers paid tribute to Edison and played by his rules. The
MPAA, with the help of hired lawyers, ensures that all motion picture
producers pay tribute and play by their rules.
Ironically, filmmakers that found themselves facing Edison patent
litigation (or worse) fled to Texas, California, and Mexico. Those same
filmmakers outlasted Edison's monopoly and eventually banded together to
form the MPAA! History has a tendency to repeat itself; so it seems likely
that today's DVD lawsuit victims may well come to power in the future --
and soon become the evil establishment, thus completing another cycle.
|Although we modern persons tend to take our electric lights, radios, mixers,|
etc., for granted, hundreds of years ago people did not have any of these
things, which is just as well because there was no place to plug them in.
Then along came the first Electrical Pioneer, Benjamin Franklin, who flew a
kite in a lighting storm and received a serious electrical shock. This
proved that lighting was powered by the same force as carpets, but it also
damaged Franklin's brain so severely that he started speaking only in
incomprehensible maxims, such as "A penny saved is a penny earned."
Eventually he had to be given a job running the post office.
-- Dave Barry, "What is Electricity?"
|There's a thrill in store for all for we're about to toast|
The corporation that we represent.
We're here to cheer each pioneer and also proudly boast,
Of that man of men our sterling president
The name of T.J. Watson means
A courage none can stem
And we feel honored to be here to toast the IBM.
-- Ever Onward, from the 1940 IBM Songbook
|Ever wondered about the origins of the term "bugs" as applied to computer|
technology? U.S. Navy Capt. Grace Murray Hopper has firsthand explanation.
The 74-year-old captain, who is still on active duty, was a pioneer in
computer technology during World War II. At the C.W. Post Center of Long
Island University, Hopper told a group of Long Island public school adminis-
trators that the first computer "bug" was a real bug--a moth. At Harvard
one August night in 1945, Hopper and her associates were working on the
"granddaddy" of modern computers, the Mark I. "Things were going badly;
there was something wrong in one of the circuits of the long glass-enclosed
computer," she said. "Finally, someone located the trouble spot and, using
ordinary tweezers, removed the problem, a two-inch moth. From then on, when
anything went wrong with a computer, we said it had bugs in it." Hopper
said that when the veracity of her story was questioned recently, "I referred
them to my 1945 log book, now in the collection of the Naval Surface Weapons
Center, and they found the remains of that moth taped to the page in
[actually, the term "bug" had even earlier usage in
regard to problems with radio hardware. Ed.]
|There are three possibilities: Pioneer's solar panel has turned away from|
the sun; there's a large meteor blocking transmission; someone loaded Star
Trek 3.2 into our video processor.
|You will pioneer the first Martian colony.|