Think Tank?

What the hell is a think tank? You hear about their opinions on the news without any indication of who these people are. Is it a club? Is it a job? Who can join? What does it pay?

Do you REALLY think posting the same damn thread four times in a row will get you an answer any faster?! A double post I can understand; servers can play tricks on you sometimes. But four times in a row??

Cave Diem! Carpe Canem!

I take that back… I replied to one thread and my reply got spread over two of 'em. Now I’m confused.

Cave Diem! Carpe Canem!

Sorry. I have no idea how this multiple posting happened. Maybe I’ll just have nine of my fingers removed.

Clearly there is a tech problem here. Two threads point to the same page.


Moderator! Admin! Someone! Help!

A think tank is a kind of research organization. The prototypical think tank was the RAND Corporation formed (I think) around the end of WWII.

The distinction between a think tank and a normal research team is that a think tank doesn’t produce products or prototypes, it produces ideas. Generally they have a team of experts on whatever topic they are working on who brainstorm ideas, usually with the aid of heavy duty computer simulations. Think tank projects tend to center on forecasting and modeling.

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Dennis Matheson —
Hike, Dive, Ski, Climb —

Kinda like the think tank that Xerox put together to assure that they would have a place in the new PC age.

Of course the group came up with some wonderfully revolutionary ideas including the GUI/mouse concept and ethernet. The ideas went right over the heads of Xerox execs, in what I would consider the biggest blunder ever in the computer industry.

Undead dude— What the heck is an ethernet?

Alias Incognito

Ethernet is now the standard method to connect computers together in a LAN. It is a network that does not require a master computer to control communication between computers. All of the computers in the network are connected to the same “wire” (usually called the ethernet “bus”), and the computers are required to follow certain rules to assure that the play nice when they talk to each other.

But they didn’t go over Steve Jobs’ head (thank God!). Did anyone see that show on PBS, “Triumph of the Nerds” or something, about the history of the PC industry? What a great show! What was really striking was the fact that the big wigs, like Jobs and Bill Gates, never really came up with any revolutionary ideas of their own. Their brilliance lay in being able to recognize the potential revolutionary ideas of others, and then stealing them. It also seemed to me like the absolute smartest thing that Bill Gates ever did was to NOT grant an exclusive license to IBM for use of Microsoft’s operating system. He gave up some money up front, but he knew that IBM-compatibles were just around the corner and they had to get into that market. That was great foresight!

“For what a man had rather were true, he more readily believes” - Francis Bacon

I saw that. It’s an excellent history of the rise of PCs.

Did Gates really specifically refuse exclusivity? Perhaps I missed that. I thought that IBM just didn’t have the foresight to think that anyone could make a clone without violating patents. That blunder might contest Xerox’s blunder for the worst. IBM also did not get any sort of exclusivity restriction from Intel. That combination is what made the clone industry explode. Compaq’s reverse engineering strategy for the IBM BIOS was without a doubt one of the cleverest ideas of that era.

I was under the impression that Microsoft was still something of a willing whore to IBM in the early days. After all, they agreed to help work on OS/2 (under exclusivity contracts that time), even while they were working on Windows.

Mark Mal writes:

> What was really striking was the fact
> that the big wigs, like Jobs and Bill
> Gates, never really came up with any
> revolutionary ideas of their own.

In fact, many of the ideas that Steve Jobs
came up with were barriers to the early
success of the Macintosh:

(1) Only support the built-in 9 inch
B&W screen
(2) Only 128K RAM
(3) Small keyboard with no numeric keypad
or function keys
(4) No expansion ports

Jobs extended this trend with NeXT when he
sanctioned a computer with no floppy disk.
Just the ubiquitous [snicker] floptical and
ethernet. It might have worked in the high
power workstation game… if only Apollo
(at the time), Sun, and HP didn’t exist!

I’ve seen a number of programs and
interviews and think he’s a really sharp
guy… he’s just what I call a “tunnel

Joe Bob, I owe you an apology. I didn’t look too closely at what was happening on the bulletin board and shoulda blamed whatever moth crawled into the computers at SDH. Keep your fingers, I’ll just have my tongue removed.

Cave Diem! Carpe Canem!