Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Had dinner last night with Robert Scoble, Maryam, and Dave Winer at Dave's favorite Thai restaurant. Really fun discussion, albeit a bit geeky. Dave explained that Robert was a "local boy" who grew up in Silicon Valley. Through the dinner, I could tell that Robert was very proud of Silicon Valley. The dynamic between Dave and Robert was great and very educational for me in understanding the spirit of Silicon Valley.

After dinner, Robert took me to see the "birthplace of Silicon Valley." As the plaque says, it was the garage where Hewlett and Packard started their business instead of going to the East Coast to work for a big company. The plaque mentions Dr. Terman, a Stanford University professor who encouraged his students to set up their own companies instead of going to work for big East Coast firms. The plaque was in front of a rather ordinary house and it took us a while to find it. ;-)


Isn't Maryam the greatest!!! I *heart* her so :)

which thai restaurant is dave's favorite?

if you're still in the area, you should try shiok! in menlo park. it's s'porean/malay. the crispy tofu is really good.

My favorite Thai restaurant in the valley is Siam Garden in Menlo Park. If you go tell Lee that Dr Winer sent you.

One nice thing about hanging around smart people: they challenge you to do better. Joi challenged me to get involved in the political process and at minimum know who my representatives are. Thanks Joi for that!

Yeah, Maryam is the bestest! That's why I married her.

This is what the garage looks like during the day:

Some of my favorite childhood memories are working in my own garage with electronic stuff that my dad brought home from his jobs at Ampex or Lockheed.

My mom worked for Apple, building Apple II's at home, too, so I learned how to soldier a motherboard together when I was 11. Later, I worked a summer for Hewlett Packard on one of their production lines. It made me realize that doing that kind of job is very boring and not something I ever wanted to do again.

Oh, Joi didn't tell you that we also visited the site of the Federal Telegraph Company. That's where Le De Forest made his Audion tube perform as an amplifier and sold it to the telephone company as an amplifier of transcontinental wired phone calls. It later became an oscillator for the radiotelephone transmitter. More about all this stuff here. By the way, this is the same site where Maryam worked (Fawcette's headquarters is located there).

Sometime in the early '80s I was casually strolling along a Palo Alto residential street, when I casually looked down and noticed a small metal plaque inset in the sidewalk.

I vividly remember the hair-raising thrill I felt as I read about that De Forest had created his amplifier tube on that site. It felt like standing on the tap root of Silicon Valley.

Yup, hey, I remember another time I attended a meeting in the room at Stanford where the HomeBrew Computer Society met. That's the tap root of the personal computer industry.

There are a lot of tap roots in this area. Remember Ampex? They invented the VCR.

The Pill was developed here.

Oh, and then there's Xerox PARC. Isn't our entire industry due to innovations developed (and squandered) there?

The first radio station was here too.

Of course, there's the dark side as well. Anyone wanna see the chemical stew that mixed up under the Fairchild Semiconductor plant?

I'm just sad that we've lost almost all of our orchards. One of the real joys of growing up here in the mid-70s was stealing apricots from where Apple is now located and making home-made apricot jam. Those days, sadly, are gone forever.

How 'bout the birth of animation?

Leland Stanford gets Edward Muybridge to set up all these cameras with trip wires to prove that all four horses legs leave the ground at some point in the horse's gallop. Thus was born "animation".

BTW There's an exhibit of Muybridge stuff at the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford - right now.

Growing up in Palo Alto, going to El Carmelo, then Wilbur (no wknown as Jane Lathrop Middle School) than off to Gunn (class of 84) I spent many a weekend doing what we now know as Dumpster diving in the up and coming tech companies,, building my own, (had quite a number of S-100 systems, including Morrow, CompuPro,etc) in the garage (parents were always mad they could not use their garage. Ran a small BBS with 4 lines running first on a Morrow system, then a Kaypro 10.

I miss those days (not only because I was young and carefree) but we are missing the great excitement that was present then, there was a lot to be built (yes with soldering irons) learning, expirementing, blowing things up, and of course we had idols, Wozniak, Jobs, Bushnell, Morrow, Kay family, and who could forget Adam Osborne.

I grew up on a great tree lined street, (south court) and I happened to visit the house 2 weeks ago and thought, wow, this place is SOO SMALL -


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