Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Off-topic: A Life in Inventions - Tribute to Elliott Carter

A major milestone is hit on December 11: Elliott Carter turns 100 years old - and still composes frantically. Obviously it takes some bending and turning to make this relevant for us at Communications Breakdown. Let's put it this way: being 100 years old and in the forefront of whatever it is you are doing, is quite some lesson to anybody - not least to the incumbent telcos of the world.

Congratulations, Mr. Carter!

There's also a nice Wikipedia way into substantiating the relevance of the past 100 years, both from the perspective of modern classical music and from the world of telecommunications:
  • 1908: Elliot Carter was born. Nathan Stubblefield invented his precursor of the wireless telephone.
  • 1924: Carter first met Charles Ives.
  • 1925: Carter first met Edgard Varese. Invention: TV by Francis Jenkins.
  • 1941: Carter composes The Defense of Corinth. Invention: the computer by Konrad Zuse.
  • 1946: Carter writes his Piano Sonata. Invention: Mobile Telephone Service at AT&T.
  • 1947: Carter writes The Minotaur. Invention: the transistor by William Shockley et al.
  • 1948: Carter's Cello Sonata sees the light. Claude Shannon publishes his Mathematical Theory of Communication.
  • 1952: Invention of optical fiber by Narinder Singh Kapany.
  • 1955: Carter composes his Variations for Orchestra. Invention: video phone by Gregorio Zara.
  • 1958: The world's first communications satellite by Kenneth Masterman-Smith.
  • 1964: Carter's Piano Concerto. Invention: packet switching by Paul Baran et al.
  • 1969: Carter composes his Concerto for Orchestra. Invention: Arpanet at the USDD.
  • 1971: Carter completes his Third String Quartet. Invention: e-mail by Ray Tomlinson.
  • 1973: Invention of ethernet by Bob Metcalfe et al and the PC at Xerox PARC.
  • 1977: Invention of the mobile phone at Bell Labs.
  • 1980: Carter's Night Fantasies. Invention: the CD at Philips and Sony.
  • 1983: Carter's Triple Duo. Invention: the Internet (TCP/IP) by Robert Kahn et al.
  • 1988: Carter's Remembrance for Orchestra. Invention: ADSL at Bellcore (now Telcordia).
  • 1990: Invention of the WWW by Tim Berners-Lee.
  • 1993: Invention of GPS at the USDD.
  • 1995: Carter writes his Fifth String Quartet. Invention of the DVD at Philips et al.
  • 1997: Carter writes his opera What Next? Invention of DOCSIS at CableLabs.
  • 2001: Carter's Cello Concerto. Invention: the iPod at Apple.

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