David W. Borden
Sun, 14 Feb 1999 17:43:46 +0000
I think this is a great idea (a book review every issue). I will
help as I read many books each month, some of which will interest other
At 10:26 2/14/99 -0600, Randy Mays wrote:
I am reading, and want to recommend, an
excellent book titled The Victorian Internet by Tom Standage.=A0 As
the cover notes, this is "the remarkable story of the telegraph and
the nineteenth century's on-line pioneers."=A0 Tom Standage is the
science writer for "The Economist" (attention Hal:=A0 this is a
What has stuck me so far about this book is the number of parallels
between what happened in the first days of the telegraph (which was not
electric, by the way) and what is happening today, both in the commercial
world and in ham radio.=A0 One example:=A0 the French came up with some very
innovative optical telegraphs (line of sight, different patterns to form
characters,etc.).=A0 Because they were so good at this, and because they
had built such a large infrastructure, when the electric telegraph came
along, they were slow to catch up.
The book also talks about the technical problems of the first attempt at
a trans-Atlantic cable, and how the same kind of engineering mistakes we
see today (including the infamous "not invented here" syndrome)
were made then.
The Victorian Internet is available at Barnes & Noble.=A0 I
ordered my copy through their Web site.=A0 The only thing I do at
bookstores these days is buy magazines and have an occasional scone.=A0
It's much easier to have the mail carrier deliver a book to your house
than to go through the ordeal of buying it and carrying it out to your
car, which may be as much as 50 yards from the front of the store.
Attention, Paul:=A0 would you consider including a more thorough book
review in the next AMRAD newsletter?=A0 I was going to write something on
Litz wire, but each time I started working on the article I dozed off.