Access Catalog Color home Caroling Lookout Trips Access - maps Site map pad

Caroling, looking back

For the 10-year anniversary of Wholeo Online, December, 2006, I'm looking back at life situations I had before retiring and aspiring anew on the web. Often news items will conjure up memories of old dreams that might now be coming true. Which leads me to remember dreams that might not ever come true. I treasure the contacts I had with these dreamers that still inspire my work.

Interactive TV and VRML were dreams on purple computers when working at Silicon Graphics, Inc. (SGI) from 1993-1996. ITV was a monumental dream, still not accepted by customers. You would hold a special remote to control a special set-top box to twirl the software carousel on your TV to make choices. It was far better than video-on-demand (VOD), sending signals in an innovative way to an advanced server and software that would let you customize your media choices with the movies of Time-Warner and much more. Things like games and chat rooms. Each part of the new system required user documentation. I created manuals for the people at the TV studios who would set up the playlists, settings, and advertising. It involved C++ (object-oriented programming (OOP)) and ITML, an Interactive TV flavor of HTML. It was internet on the TV. Other partners were AT&T, NTT of Japan, BellSouth, so you know there was great interest. The founder, Jim Clark left SGI to form Netscape, and took some of the best software engineers. ITV didn't sell. Web TV is a limited form of the concept. Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML) let's you interact visually in a 3D environment and has a presence on the web. See some memories. Status: unknown.

Microsoft NOT was the goal of the Borland International C++ IDE (Integrated Development Environment) team, struggling to compete. In documenting the awesome object-oriented approach to programming a computer, I was tasked with a graphical icon-oriented way of expressing it. That failed and I was laid off. I'll never know how much the fault was mine, Borlands, or the idea was ahead of the times. Lately there are icons on Borland stock reports. Status: unknown.

Combination DOS and UNIX plus Virtual Reality came to me at Altos Computer. Now Apple has combined the Macintosh operating system with UNIX, so the dream is partially realized. In 1990, employees took me to AutoCad, where we donned helmet and glove and entered a virtual reality. Over the years, I've heard reports of some success for this dream, but haven't followed it carefully. Status: unknown.

ISDN or something beyond TCP/IP to deliver high speed signals for the internet was the goal at Wollongong in 1989. Since we are still using TCP/IP today, I guess the dream has been deferred.

Fiber to the curb. In 1986, led by Bob Saldich, a team set out to work with the telephone company to bring high-speed broadband and local service to homes via fiber optic cable. Already AT&T had built the long-distance fiber backbone. But the baby bells delivered signals "to the curb" using the existing network of copper wire. Installing a fiber to each home was not practical. Then someone (Jim Triplett, I believed, until hearing otherwise in 2011, see below "Fiber Optic Tap") at Raychem had an idea that a single fiber could be bent (not cut) to tap off a signal and simultaneously bent in several places to send and receive signals in a local loop. Raynet was established to research and develop a product. My job was to learn and work on a Macintosh SE that was networked to about 50 other computers. I might get information from any one of them in any program from Excel, to Ms Word, to Mac Paint. I must put them together into user documentation. I bought my first Mac there on the employee discount program. The Mac II lasted about 8 years. I left before the project was finished, so I don't know how it turned out. I'm not sure how much of the Raynet dream DSL delivers, but I guess it is less capable. Status: unknown.

Automatic test equipment and anti-ballistic defense. At Watkins-Johnson in 1983, I tuned yig filters that guided antiballistic missiles. To keep track of my units, I bought a TRS-80 portable computer from Radio Shack and wrote BASIC programs. That led to leaving and still don't know how effective they are. On my new job in another department, I learned a simple language to program automatic test equipment, A.T.E. It was easy to program and even easier to use to perform a test. I left before learning how common this solution became. Status: unknown.

World peace. When I despaired of all I had learned and been taught, I related to the Love Generation of the 1960s for my cultural impetus. Dropping out, I was able to study things like astronomy and mysticism. I tried to find my own truth by looking within. Status, inner: I still haven't fully seen within although the adventure gets better all the time, innerly at peace. Status, outer: The world is far from peaceful, peace is in peril.

Being in Color. Being surrounded with significantly patterned color in the light of stained glass was the dream that formed while working in stained glass art studios and doing commissions starting in 1961. I did make Wholeo dome but could never find a sponsor and finally donated it to The Farm. Status: the dream was realized, but does it still exist? Status: Unknown. Repairs have compromised the color information and structure. Last I checked in 2012, further repairs were needed.

Integrating abstract expressionism with ideas. Trying to conceptualize my aspirations as an artist at the University of Minnesota starting in 1954 is futile. They won't be packaged. Being a great artist who was female was part of it. Status: unknown.

Melting pot. As far as I knew as a child, I was born into the melting pot of people and their cultures that flowed into the USA. My father never spoke the Swedish he had learned at home on the farm in the late 1800s. My mother didn't cook pickled fish or herring that she knew was popular with her ancestors in Denmark. I knew my family was different from others in many ways, from eating bakery bread that we sliced, milk that we skimmed for cream, to beliefs about the universe. But for language and general customs we conformed to the local area. The culture I remember was heavy on English heritage, with cashmere sweaters and tartans from Scotland. Early on, I coveted StoryBook dolls, wherever they came from. We didn't exclude anyone that I knew of. But the pot seems less and less melted, the more I learn of the world. Status: pot still hot yet much of the contents is still unmelted. Status: devalued.

Fiber Optic Tap

In 2011, Jim Milburn sent background information to my experience at Raynet. The May, 1988 patent for the "Optical fiber tap for monitoring laser input power" lists five inventors starting with Bruce D. Campbell. It does not include Jim Triplett.

See also timeline (work-in-progress).


{Back to top of page}

Send comments by clicking the ... link below:

{Wholeo Online} ~ {Caroling}
© 2006 - 2008, 2011 - 2015 Caroling. All rights reserved. Page created: 2006-12-21. Last modified: 2015-07-26