purple (a poem by Afrose Fatima Ahmed)

For the delight of guests at the Literary Voices fundraising dinner this past May, the  UW Libraries organizers asked Ms. Ahmed to bring her manual typewriter, small pieces of colored paper, and her creative wits.  She sat at a table with a sign: heart-crafted poems. I walked up to her, and she asked me to give her…

The Web is the Next Platform, 5/27/1995

I started working full-time on what became Internet Explorer 1.0 in early October, 1994, grew the engineering team to 67 individuals by the time we shipped IE 3.0 in August, 1996, and got very little sleep (I worked 80-100 hours/week for 17 of the 22 months I led the IE team). There were (naturally) a…

My Internet Search ideas on 9/13/1994

Gil Press posted a short article on Forbes on 8/13/2017 that included this section: August 15, 1994 Microsoft engineer Ben Slivka sends an email message suggesting to his colleagues that a World Wide Web browser should be bundled with the Windows 95 operating system. Released on August 16, 1995, Internet Explorer reached peak browser market share (95%)…

The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements

On Amazon.com: The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements (1951) Due to an accident, author Eric Hoffer lost his eyesight at age 7, but it returned inexplicably at age 15. Not knowing if he would lose his eyesight again, he read voraciously for the rest of his life. Though he never attended college and…

Mastering the Dynamics of Innovation

On Amazon.com: Mastering the Dynamics of Innovation: How companies can seize opportunities in the face of technological change (1994) I started the Internet Explorer team at Microsoft in October, 1994.  Without benefit of Google or Amazon.com, I found this book, which answered many strategic questions for me about how Microsoft should approach the Internet.  The case studies and…

No Fluffy Words

I’m a big fan of writing well.  I read many books growing up (my mother was a librarian), and I took an Intermediate Composition course as an undergraduate engineering student. One of our textbooks was The Elements of Style, Third Edition, and the focus on concision by authors Strunk & White reinforced my experience writing “tight” code for computers. Over the…

The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves

On Amazon.com: The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves (2010) Author Matt Ridley provides a sweeping summary of human and technology evolution, going back roughly 200,000 years.  He asserts that the development of trade led to specialization which led to agriculture which led to cities.  I find this by far the most plausible theory, but it is at odds with the…