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Monday, 25 September 2017

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Clicking on the NYT link above took me over, under, around or through the paywall. I am not a subscriber.

Must be an no-charge benefit for readers of TOP. Thanks.

A note to subscribers to the NYTimes: the newly released NYTimes app may not work on older iPads. At some point in the near future the older app -- which continues to work and makes a better graphic presentation anyway -- will become nonresponsive. Here's hoping there's an update to the update in the works, one which will consider the needs of a few million users of older Applestuff.

I remember that before I had a NYT subscription I could read five articles a month for free. You only have to register. For The Guardian you don't have to subscribe (yet). I also love de Volkskrant. You will find excellent photo series at the bottom of their homepage. Worth visiting and at the same time you can practice your Dutch.

https://www.volkskrant.nl

A wonderful story but also an amazing account of how fast and how complete a 'sea change' the Digital steamroller has been.
I always think it is a privilege to live in times of great change.

Eastman Kodak was an undeniably great corporation for most of it's existence, they were of course too slow to attempt to change but the truth is, that Film , Paper and processing were unbelievably profitable, and the potential profits from digital were minuscule in comparison. We all are quick to criticize but I wonder how many executives could have responded in a way that would have saved the company? They invented something that essentially replaced every one of their money making businesses at once.
They were unable or unwilling to downsize fast enough, and the skills that they possessed became unnecessary.
A very difficult problem.
Even with the benefit of hindsight there is no obvious path to survival for them short of drastically shrinking the company while it was still profitable.
One for the Business schools to debate.

Note the cassette tape there has a "digital" logo on it -- a weird format for them that early. 1975 would have been in the PDP-11 era, pre-Vax, but cassette tapes I don't remember as data storage except on toy personal computers.

(Digital Equipment Corporation was for a while the second-largest computer company on the planet, and I worked for them in that period. They can now be seen as a classic example of a major innovator that still got rolled over by rapid technological change -- rather like Kodak actually.)

Further research shows that DEC did have a digital cassette storage device in that period; it just wasn't used anywhere I worked then. It makes sense that the computer behind the imaging was from DEC, since that's what was affordable for that kind of laboratory use, and had public bus specifications for interfacing, and so forth. They had a strong hold in lab computers, which was the first place single-user computers became at all common.

(One model was the TU-60; but that's a dual-drive unit, so this wasn't that. This might have been some of the guts of that stolen for other use, or there were probably other models.)

I'm a nerd. So I listen to Brian McCullough's internet history podcast. He has an interview with Steve Sasson about what it's like to create not just a new camera, but a whole new kind of photography:

http://www.internethistorypodcast.com/2016/07/inventor-of-the-first-digital-camera-steven-sasson/

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