'Most people are fools, most authority is maligant, God does not exist, and everything is wrong'
- the four guiding maxims of Ted Nelson, the genius who, in 1960, published 'As We May Think', which was basically a description of a global document system which was based on the hypertext principle. Tim Bernes-Lee at CERN was one of many people who were inspired by his ideas, and actually went on to develop the first prototype of the WWW.
While most engineers and scientists have to work
within the bounds of laws and other constraints, the only constraints
that typically occurs in computing is the limitation of the current
hardware (and software, of course). Moore's Law has shown that computing
power doubles every 18 months, so the boundaries of what are possible
also jump as computing power increases. This is one of the most amazing
times in the history of mankind, and we're just at the start of the
Internet Generation. This will be mankind's first attempt at producing
a truely global village, which has no borders, no government regulations,
and no commercial pressures. The Internet is the first truely global
Metcalf's Law states that the power of a network
increases as the square as the number of computers which connect to
it. As the number of users which connect to the Internet doubles every
100 days, it's amazing to think of the power of the Internet in just
a few years time.
The question that many people ask is 'Is
the Internet a good think or a bad thing?'. This question is
really a non-starter, as the Internet is not going anywhere, so why
bother asking it. It will soon become a part of life in the same way
as a water supply or an electrical supply. Without it, in the future,
we will not be able to full coduct or business or even our home life.
The basic requirements for life will be food, water, shelter and the
Anyway the Internet is the communciations infrastructure,
and the WWW is only one usage of it. Most people get the two mixed up,
in that the WWW and the Internet is the same thing, and it isn't. There's
still file transfer, e-mail, remote login, remote processing, and so
The Internet is not going anywhere anyway. It's
almost impossible to stop it. It was designed to be robust so that faults
on one part of the network do not effect other parts of the network.The
only way that the Internet could be shutdown is for every computer which
connects to it to be shutdown at the same time, and never connected
What we may be producing is a living breathing
network, which will evolve in ways that we cannot even image with our
current technological ideas.
In 1995, AltaVista estimated that there was only
1 TeraByte (1000GB) of data on the WWW. Nowadays, who knows, but my
WWW site alone contains over 1GB of data. This is still small in relation
to the files for my books takes over 4GB, and it takes several CD-ROMs
to store all the copies of them.
The first number in sequence which is spelt as
a word that contains the letter 'a' is one thousand. Strange, but true.
A good quote that I've learnt in my time as an
If something's broken, don't bitch about it
- just fix it'
Len Bosack and Sandy Lerner at Stanford University
initiated the first router in the early 1980s.
Stanford University failed to see the potential
of the router, and it was left to Len and Sandy to start-up their own
company: cisco Systems.
Around the same time, Stanford University also
did not see the potential of SUN (Stanford University Network), which
became Sun Microsystems.
Cisco was initially named cisco, which used a
lowercase 'c' at the start (just as in San Francisco).
Len designed the orginal Cisco logo, which was
based on the Golden Gate bridge.
75 Venture Capital companies rejected cisco,
and finally Don Valentine provided $2.5 million. It was never actually
required as the money just flowed in. The $2.5 million investment soon
was worth $10 billion when they were floated..
Pikoulas J, Buchanan WJ and Triantafyllopoulos K,
"An Intelligent Intrusion Detection Environment using
Software Agents", Thirteenth International Conference
"Software & Systems Engineering and their Applications,
Paris, December 2000.
Lewis O, Mannion M and Buchanan WJ, "Performance
Issues of Variability Design for Embedded System Product Lines",
22nd International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE),
Limerick, June 2000.
Chair of the IEEE Conference in Electronic Computer
Based Systems, Napier University, April 2000. IEEE Proceedings
ISBN 0-7695-0604-6. Sponsored by IEEE Computer Society.
3-year, EPSRC-funded CASE award in Intelligent
Control of Large-Scale Systems. This involves PI Ltd, and involves
intelligently controlling industrial equipment that can not
be controlled by conventional methods. .
Completed Teaching Company Scheme KTP with Viasystems,
KTP with Seven Layer Communications Limited, South
Queensferry. KTP Programming No. 2966. Development of
high-speed configurable networking test equipment.
KTP with Justfone. Java development for mobile computing
KTP with Canan. June 2001. Development of a mutimedia system for minority languages, such as Scots and Irish Gaelic.
Involved in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
submission for RAE 1996 (which was graded as a 3b).
Series Editor for the successful IT and
Computing series at Macmillan.
Executive committee member, IEEE Computer Committee
on Electronic Computer Based Systems.