Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Location, location, location

In computing, as in everything else, we care about physical location:

  • First, do you know where, I mean exactly where, the Web was invented? In case you don't, David Galbraith helps us track down the precise location, complete with a Google-mapped satellite view and a short interview with TBL himself:
    I wrote the proposal, and developed the code in Building 31. I was on the second (in the European sense) floor, if you come out of the elevator (a very slow freight elevator at the time anyway) and turn immediately right you would then walk into one of the two offices I inhabited. The two offices (which of course may have been rearranged since then) were different sizes: the one to the left (a gentle R turn out of the elevator) benefited from extra length as it was by neither staircase nor elevator. The one to the right (or a sharp R turn out of the elevator) was shorter and the one I started in. I shared it for a long time with Claude Bizeau. I think I wrote the memo there.
    I love the photo of the nice young fellow who currently occupies the office...!

  • Secondly, this is all-too-faddish, but you've got to check out this delightful video full of the latest Silicon Valley cliches.
    "Who has a party in Palo Alto?"


    "It's like Pandora ... for cats!"

    Great stuff, and it really is quite accurate and well-written.

  • Lastly, this brought back great memories of my time in New England just after we got married. We lived in Boston (Brighton, to be precise); I worked in Kendall Square in Cambridge; many of my friends switched jobs and worked at "the old Lotus building", which at the time was the new Lotus building, back when Lotus was its own company and was the hot new place to be; I rode my bike to and from the office along Western Avenue and through Central Square; and I went to grad school 5 stops down the Red Line at UMass Boston (while my wife was taking a film studies class at BU).

I miss those days in Boston.

But the point of Feld's essay, and the point, really, of all three essays/films, is that location matters. It really does. I loved my time in Boston, and even though Brad Feld is right that East Cambridge is one of the most remarkable and wonderful spots in the country, the Bay Area is even better, which is why we (reluctantly) switched coasts in 1988.

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