[FoRK] Two bits (for Ken, Sean)

Jeff Bone jbone at place.org
Tue Feb 2 20:53:14 PST 2010

Sean says:

> And never underestimate the bandwidth [1] of a station wagon loaded  
> with tapes [2].

Yeah, that's the standard argument.  Realistically, in all these years  
in the industry, I have yet to see any significant *data transfer*  
accomplished via such means (or a FedEx full of CDs, etc.)  I have  
seen (and actually been party to) shipments on the order of a truck  
full of pre-configured server racks, but the point there isn't really  
data transfer.  Offsite data storage, yeah, but not particularly for  
bandwidth reasons (cost-vs-bandwidth, perhaps, arguably.)

SneakerNet is SneakerNet no matter what form it takes.  If that's all  
you've got, or you can't afford something better, then you make do.   
But for my own time and money, I prefer my bits online and have for  
some time (like, about 25 years or so ;-)  In fact, at Sun, I was  
always amused by the "Network is the Computer" slogan.  IMHO, it  
should've been "the network is the hard drive."  (Particularly given  
that a large part of their success was due to NFS.)

You shouldn't have to move bits around *as if* they were atoms.

Ken says:

> Wow, I just about hacked up a lung from all the dust on that thing.

Some of the best insights --- and fundamental ones that change the  
world you and I and all the rest of us live in --- happened a while  
back.  Isenberg's paper is actually *seminal.*  It more or less  
singlehandedly put the telecom industry on notice.  Making fun of  
important work simply because it happened a while back is, well,  
BTW, I had my chronology reversed.  We'd already killed AT&T's $100M+  
Telescript investment with $400k and a POP client before David wrote  
that;  it was written in 1997.  Telescript was dead by 1996.


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