Category Archives: History

Forty Years Ago Today …

… the modern bulletin board was created when the world’s first computerized bulletin board system (CBBS) was created. Developed by Ward Christensen to allow him to exchange information with other computer hobbyists over a MODEM, through a simple MODEM file transfer protocol, later renamed XMODEM.

And while only one user could be connected to the BBS at a time, since the connection was over an old fashioned phone line, it was like nothing that existed before. A user could dial up, share a file, disconnect. Another use could dial up and get it. So could 10 more users. Then some could dial back up and share their updates. When CBBS came online, the internet wasn’t even a twinkle in the minds’ eye of Berners-Lee. ARPANET id not even adopt TCP/IP, which would become the protocol the internet was build on, for another five years.

Today is a historic day in internet history, and one that should not be forgotten.

Thirty Two Years Ago Today …

… Halley’s Comet Teaches Us a Thing or Two About Comets!

It was the last time Halley’s comet appeared in the inner solar system (where it won’t appear again for another forty-three years (in 2061). And it taught us a thing about comets. As per Wikipedia:

“During its 1986 apparition, Halley’s Comet became the first comet to be observed in detail by spacecraft, providing the first observational data on the structure of a comet nucleus and the mechanism of coma and tail formation.[15][16] These observations supported a number of longstanding hypotheses about comet construction, particularly Fred Whipple’s “dirty snowball” model, which correctly predicted that Halley would be composed of a mixture of volatile ices – such as water, carbon dioxide, and ammonia – and dust. The missions also provided data that substantially reformed and reconfigured these ideas; for instance, it is now understood that the surface of Halley is largely composed of dusty, non-volatile materials, and that only a small portion of it is icy.”

Why is this important? It’s not the only comet, and its not the only periodic comet. But considering this is likely the comet that showed us comets could break up, and throw off of asteroids, which many scientists believe was a primary cause of the extinction event that wiped out the dinosaurs, the insight it has provided us is scientifically vital. If an asteroid throw off of a comet was a major contributing factor in the dinosaur extinction, it’s something we don’t want to happen to us (provided we don’t climate change the planet to point its unliveable — after all, it’s already 2 minutes to midnight).

And why is this important to supply management? We rely on predictive algorithms every day, predictive algorithms which have their roots in interpolation algorithms developed by the early mathematical greats to, guess what, predict the periodic orbit of comets!

Today is a Historic Day for New York!

Three Hundred and Sixty Five Years ago today, the city of New Amsterdam (later renamed the city of New York), is incorporated.

One Hundred and Forty Two Years ago today, the National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs was formed in New York, and America’s favourite past-time was cemented. (It replaced the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players that was formed in 1871 and ceased in 1875, which succeeded the National Association of Base Ball Players, which was founded in New York in 1857 and was the first organization governing American baseball.)

One Hundred and Five Years ago today saw the opening of Grand Central Terminal.

Wall Street New York is pretty much the centre of American Finance, and there are no supply chains without money to fund the people who run them.

One Hundred and Thirty Five Years Ago Today …

The first standardized incandescent electric lighting system employing overhead wires, built by Thomas Edison, begins service in Roselle, New Jersey, just a year after Edison switched on the first steam-generating power station at the Holborn Viaduct in London, England.

In other words, while the vast majority of people alive today who were born in a first world country grew up with electric street lighting, it’s not that new. And when you consider the amount of time we’ve been on this planet from a scientific evidence point of view, it’s amazing how far technology has progressed since the delivery of the first stable feeds a little over 135 years ago …

Ninety Years Ago Today …

The Ford Motor Company taught us how long a product line built to last should last when it unveiled its Ford Model A as its new automobile NINETEEN (19) years into production of the Ford Model T. Can you believe it! What else lasts nineteen years (besides versions of Unix and Linux, but even then support is sometimes only guaranteed for a decade) in today’s economy?

When you look at fast moving industries like fashion, sometimes you are looking at product lifespans of 19 days! And most companies roll out a brand new mobile phone model every twelve to eighteen months and an upgraded model every six to nine months. You cannot get a laptop or computer warranty for more than three years. And you’re supposed to trade up to a new car as soon as the current model is paid off.

But products can, and should, be built to last. Will we ever remember what the Ford Motor Company taught us?