Jeff Rulifson on how Doug Engelbart originated Moore’s Law

Gordon Moore did get the idea from Doug and has credited him publically.

As i remember the story, it was the late 50s or very early 60s. Doug was studying and exploding scaling. Who do things scale? Most things do not scale well. For example, as our height increases linearly, our weight goes up as a cube and the stress on our limbs grows faster. Moreover, the physical properties of our environment work in very different ways. E.g., surface tension changes at very small distances and viscosity even changes. Hummingbirds live in a very different world than humans. They move faster, their blood flows differently, air seems more like syrup, liquids cling in different ways, …

Anyway, Doug was applying his analysis of scaling to the newly invented transistors and semiconductors and gave a talk at a local IEEE meeting at NASA. Moore was in the audience, understood immediately, talked with Doug, and that was the start of Moore’s Law.

This week, Wendy, Mark and Paul

This week I saw Wendy for an advisory session, as posted to where the conclusion was, as expected, to focus on my 9 month report, which is of course what I am doing.

I saw Paul Smart and Mark Anderson on Wednesday where we discussed the work Paul and I are doing and issues related to academia and electronic texts. It was a wonderful thought provoking session:



The Proof Is In The Pudding

They say the proof is in the pudding so I decided to try to make sense of the mass of documents in my folder for the 9 month report by taking it from this:



To this, using Scapple:


I’m sitting in the Groucho’s lobby working for a few minutes before the Big Guys Gather for the Little Guy dinner (me and my male friends having a boy’s baby shower since Emily decided to wait for a gathering until after Kazu is born), so I will be working on the logic and layout for this tomorrow. Already some patterns are beginning to show, but I have to close my laptop soon. Here is what I have the following Tuesday:


What became clear when working on this is that it does not really reflect a logic of a word processing document – the bold headings on the left hand side are the categories/sections I should be using for this document, but here they are just indications. I therefore decided to make the bold level one headings and have the ‘document’ presented as columns, each for a level one heading, 4 headings wide and this made much more sense:

The lines are still just reminder lines for me and there are a few headings/nodes which are not under a level one heading (for example; ‘A Personal Note on the Process’) which would be at the very end of the document in word processor view.

This leads to a couple of insights/ideas

The default layout of liquid view should not be the same as Table of Contents view.

The user should be able to specify automatic layouts for the level one view, such as the grid shown here (by keyboard 1,2,3,4 to indicate the number of columns), in the same way the user should able to choose to ‘Align vertical’ and so on.