Thursday, February 5, 2009

Herman Hollerith

Herman Hollerith, the inventor of the Hollerith Tabulating Machine, was another interesting person that I studied. Here are some websites that give an overview of his life and inventions.
  • Columbia University includes Hollerith's story as part of their own history of computing here.
  • The online version of the Britannica Encyclopedia also has a brief article on Hollerith.
  • The University of St. Andrews also has a detailed summary of the computing history.

The Rock of Silicon Valley

As part of my Computer Architecture and Organization class, we have to research important Milestones in Computing History.

Although I don't have time to go into all of the details of my presentation, here are the links I used to learn a little bit about Arthur Rock, the man behind Rock's Law.

  • The Harvard Business School Online Bulletin has an interesting article about Arthur Rock, that also includes a picture.
  • Visual Wikipedia has a good definition of Rock's Law here. Although unfortunately the video does not work.
  • cnet news also has an interesting, if not a little outdated, article about the semiconductor industry, which involves the application of Rock's Law.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Last Day in Silicon Valley

The last day of our adventures in Silicon Valley was an interesting day as well. We went to PARC and learned about research then headed off to facebook and later to meet with Robert Scoble. It was interesting to compare research for knowledge and research for profit and innovation. It was hard to know that we were leaving in the morning to return to the cold weather and leave the experience. However, it was nice to know that home was waiting on the other side.

Through this experience I learned a lot about what it is to be an entrepreuner and live in the fast paced technological world that is Silicon Valley. It brought many interesting questions about what I am going to do with my life and how this experience has changed my perspective on life. I am really glad I had the experience and met with a lot of wonderful people from Luther and the valley and it will be interesting to see what happens in the future.

Growing Up

On Wednesday we had lunch with Ani Vallabhaneni and one of his friends. They are both working on small start-ups (one only has three people). It was interesting to talk to people beginning companies and getting their companies to grow. Plus, Ani used to work with a Luther Grad, another bonus. We met for lunch at a Turkish restaurant and it was really good. Plus, an $8 lunch with a sandwich (or any entree for that matter) and a soup or salad is great for a college students budget. It was really delicious and I even tried a Turkish drink made with yougart. It was good, but pretty salty.

Then we headed to Forrester Research and met with Jeremiah Owyang. We even made it on his blog post! He talked to us about personal branding and how we should display ourselves on the internet. No longer is the internet a place to hide from, but a place to make your voice heard. He talked about personal and professsional blogging and how what you say online will come out, so it better be a representation of yourself that you want people to see. Overall, it was very useful to us as we begin to enter the blogosphere.

Inauguration Day

We actually watched the inauguration of Obama with Ann Winblad, the venture capitalist. After the inauguration we talked with Ann, who funded our professors start-up company. She talked about what it is like to be a venture capitalist and what they look for when interviewing start-ups. Most people in silicon valley have the same opinion --> a recession is the best time to start a company. Although I'm not planning on starting a company in the near future, I learned alot about how to start a company if I am ever in that position.

After our visit with Hummer Winblad, it was time to visit an actual startup...Revision 3. It was interesting to see the set and get a tour of the studio. Plus, we got to meet the founder! Then we met Dave Mathews, the creator of Boxee.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Since Monday was Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we had no appointments in the morning. It was nice to spend the day shopping and relaxing around the hotel. Then we met with Steve Larson from Krugle. He gave us some great insights on interviewing for companies and knowing when a job is right for you and when it is not. Overall it was a very interesting poolside chat.

A weekend in the valley

After spending the week learning all about the culture of Silicon Valley, it was time to experience some of the culture for ourselves, tourist culture to be exact. We went to Alcatraz (on Al Capone's birthday actually) and got to learn about prison life. Since it was Al Capone's birthday, we got to go on special tours related to his time at Alcatraz. It was really interesting and we got some great pictures of San Francisco and the island. Also, we decided what better way to experience the Golden Gate Bridge then with a bike ride across it. So, we rented some bikes and continued to bike the bridge. The two hour ride was well worth it. The views were beautiful and it was great to spend some time outside in the sun and nice weather. (I was shoveling snow a few days ago now that I'm back home.)