Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Who Quadrophenia - Live at Verizon Center

Julie and I went with long time friends Jeff and Laurie Stone to see The Who at the Verizon Center.  It was a GREAT time!

That is me with Simon Townsend before the concert.  Simon is Pete Townsend's brother.  Simon happen to be walking by The Who gift shop area when Jeff said, "hey, that's Simon Townsend over there".   I walked right up and said, "Simon, Dave Edstrom, great to see you again."  Simon said, "great to see you Dave".  I got this photo and his autograph.  Very cool!

Above is Simon Townsend's signature on my ticket for the Quadrophenia concert.

Zak Starkey (Ringo Starr's son)

Roger and Pete 

Below is Roger and Pete talking about their Teenage Cancer Trust work.  At the 42 minute mark they discuss their history.

3D Printer In Action - Paul Warndorf, VP of Manufacturing Technology

This is a video I took of Paul Warndorf, VP of Manufacturing Technology, discussing 3D printing and in particular discussing what the 3D printer in AMT's world headquarters in McLean, VA.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

138 Points In ONE Game By Jack Taylor of Grinnel

This is incredible that a Jack Taylor of Grinnel broke an almost 50 year old NCAA basketball record for scoring by getting 138 points in one game!  Are you freaking kidding me?  As this article at the San Jose Mercury News stated:

"Taylor made 27 of 71 3-point attempts, was 52 of 108 overall from the field and added seven free throws on 10 attempts while playing 36 minutes in Grinnell's 179-104 victory over Faith Baptist Bible on Tuesday night in Grinnell, Iowa."
Can you imagine the players from Faith Baptist Bible when they were asked how they did, "we scored 104 points."   The response would be, "oh, so you won?"  Then the response would be, "no, we lost by 75 points."

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Network Is The Computer

Nov 16, 2012

-Dave Edstrom

Note: This was written for the November 14th, 2012 IMTS Insider

The phrase, “The Network Is The Computer”, was Sun Microsystems company tag line. Today, that phrase is obvious to anyone who has ever sat in front of a web browser; however, in 1984 that was the most prophetic statement anyone could have made to predict the future of computing. I worked at Sun from early 1987 through 2010 and this slogan proved to be the blueprint not only for Sun’s vision of computing, but the vision of computing for companies around the globe. It’s important to understand how and why this slogan came to be a landmark for an entire industry.

The history of this phrase goes back to a 1984 train ride in China that John Gage, Sun employee #21, creator of JavaOne, NetDay and Chief Researcher and Director of the Science Office and Bill Joy, Sun co-founder, Chief Scientist and known as the “Edison of the Internet”. How do I know this? I was fortunate enough to have a number of dinners with John and Bill. I remember asking Bill at a Sushi restaurant in Aspen, CO when I was there with two other Technical Directors and a Distinguished Engineer, how the phrase came about. Bill told the story that he and John were traveling on the train in China and they were going through John’s slides. John made the observation that importance of the network was growing at an exponential rate and he wanted to reflect that in the title of his upcoming talk. Initially, John said that “the network is the disk drive”, to which Bill, replied that the phrase did not capture his talk. John then came up with, “the network is the computer”, and that was used for the talk and became Sun’s famous tag line.

A few years later I was having dinner with John and a CTO from a local technology company in DC when I decided to ask John about the history of Sun’s tag line. John repeated what Bill said almost word for word.

It is very important to put that time period in perspective for those who were not in the industry back then. In 1984 computer networking was just starting to take shape with various non-compatible networks that completely lack of the characteristics that we take for granted today. In the 1980s and the early 1990s there were different topologies from ring, star, bus and net to the plethora of networks and protocols from AppleTalk, Banyan VINES, FDDI, SMB, MS-NET, Ethernet, Token Ring, DECnet, SNA, ARCnet, 802.3, SDLC, XNS, X.25, TCP/IP, ISDN, and ATM to name just a few. Networking computers together was complicated and expensive. A popular network was called SneakerNet. For those of you not old enough, SneakerNet was when you grabbed a floppy, wrote the file(s) needed to be transferred on it, and then carried it (SneakerNet) to the person’s PC that needed the file. The role of network engineer came out of this time period. There was no plug-n-play as we have today. There was no cloud computing. There were no smart phones. There were no iPads or tablets. AOL was considered a powerhouse in the early 1990s because they had literally banks of modems that you would dial into and hear the high pitch hand shake between your computer’s modem and AOL’s on the other end. 1984 was a very long time ago in the computer industry and for John Gage to have made that incredible insightful comment is absolutely amazing.

Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), came out with a t-shirt that said, “The Network is the Network, The Computer is the Computer, Sorry For Any Confusion.” At Sun, we got a kick out of that t-shirt, but DEC really did miss the point.

Today, the phrase is ingrained in everything that we do online. When you use an app on your iPhone or Android, do you know or even care where the data is stored? Not unless you are a geek you don’t. You simply want access to your data in a fast and reliable fashion.

On January 10th, 2006, I happened to be out at Sun's Headquarters in Menlo Park, CA when I heard about the Sun Founders Panel to be held the evening the next day at The Computer History Museum. Like any long time Sun employee or geek in general, I wanted to be there live. When I went there in the afternoon of the 11th, I was told there were no more tickets left. I asked the nice folks at The Computer History Museum what could I do in order to get in. They said that there would be a waiting list that they would start at 6:00pm taking names. I asked if I purchased a very nice Computer Museum polo shirt would I be #1 on the list. They smiled said, "I think we can do that." Luckily for me, I was one of the few on the waiting list who did get in that night.

It was a fantastic night that was hosted by John Gage with all four of Sun's founders there - Andy Bechtolsheim, Vinod Khosla, Scott McNealy and Bill Joy. I learned about Vaughn Pratt and the huge contributions that he made to Sun Microsystems. Vaughn designed the famous Sun logo, which features four interleaved copies of the word "sun"; it is an ambigram according to Wikipedia.
At the end of the evening, there was time for question and answer. I thought this was a great time to permanently capture the story of "The Network is the Computer". One of the reasons that I did this is I remember sitting in a meeting at Sun a few years back with some customers I knew very well when a marketing VP was trying to take credit for coming up with the phrase. Not being the shy introvert and not wanting to see customers get wrong information, I spoke up and said, “John Gage came up with the phrase with Bill Joy on a train trip in China in 1984. I know this because I personally asked both of them.” The marketing VP then backed down from his outlandish claim. I then went to the microphone and asked Bill and John to retell the story, which they did.
As you can probably tell by now, I am a bit of history buff when it comes to the computer industry. I believe how we got to a given point matters. I also believe that the computer industry is one of the best examples of where a rising tide really does lift all ships. When John made his famous statement it was not just a title for his talk in China, nor was simply the future tag line of Sun Microsystems, but it was really a call to action for an entire industry. By laying out the destination, John inspired thousands of engineers from around the globe to help build that vision.

In 2006, I was giving a keynote at AMT’s annual meeting in Lake Las Vegas, Nevada. This was the first of two keynotes that was the beginning of MTConnect. Dr. David Patterson of University of California Berkeley gave the second keynote laying out MTConnect. In my presentation borrowed Sun’s slogan and modified for a point I was making regarding the future of manufacturing. My slide title was, “The Network Is The Machine Tool.” I strongly believed that then and time has only reinforced my belief. Cloud computing and cloud storage is dramatically changing manufacturing. Look for a future IMTS Insider article from me titled, “The Network Is The Machine Tool”, where I will show why John Gage was right in 1984 and will be continued to be right today and specifically as it applies to manufacturing.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Great 60 Minutes Episode on Manufacturing

Great 60 Minutes episode tonight (November 11, 2012) titled, Three million open jobs in U.S., but who's qualified?, on the importance of having the right technical skills needed in manufacturing in 2012.  Here is a quote from the article:
"Just in manufacturing, there are as many as 500,000 jobs that aren't being filled because employers say they can't find qualified workers."
I hear this all the time when I am either in the rust belt or talking to those who are looking for qualified employees in manufacturing.

Thanks - Veterans Day 2012

Thanks to my father John Kenneth Edstrom who did two tours of duty in Vietnam as an officer in the Air Force.  My father is also in the very unique category in that he was awarded TWO BRONZE STARS for the two tours of duty for his countless acts of bravery in his two years in Vietnam.  The Bronze Star Medal is a United States Armed Forces military decoration that may be awarded for bravery, acts of merit, or meritorious service.  

Thanks to my cousin Chris Edstrom who has done two tours of duty in Iraq and two in Afghanistan.  Thanks to Dr. Harry Foxwell, Paul Warndorf and Brad Kirley for their service to our country.

History of Veterans Day as stated at

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 an armistice between Germany and the Allied nations came into effect. On November 11, 1919, Armistice Day was commemorated for the first time. In 1919, President Wilson proclaimed the day should be "filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory". There were plans for parades, public meetings and a brief suspension of business activities at 11am.

In 1926, the United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I and declared that the anniversary of the armistice should be commemorated with prayer and thanksgiving. The Congress also requested that the president should "issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples."

An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) was approved on May 13, 1938, which made November 11 in each year a legal holiday, known as Armistice Day. This day was originally intended to honor veterans of World War I. A few years later, World War II required the largest mobilization of service men in the history of the United States and the American forces fought in Korea. In 1954, the veterans service organizations urged Congress to change the word "Armistice" to "Veterans". Congress approved this change and on June 1, 1954, November 11 became a day to honor all American veterans, where ever and whenever they had served.

In 1968 the Uniforms Holiday Bill (Public Law 90-363 (82 Stat. 250)) made an attempt to move Veterans Day to the fourth Monday of October. The bill took effect in 1971. However, this caused a lot of confusion as many states disagreed with this decision and continued to hold Veterans Day activities on November 11. In 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed Public Law 94-97 (89 Stat. 479), which stated that Veterans Day would again be observed on November 11 from 1978 onwards. Veterans Day is still observed on November 11.

Harry Foxwell always sends out a nice email to Sun employees (and I imagine others).  Two years ago, he asked the question: Do you know where your veterans are?

Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery:
National World War II Memorial:
Marine Corps Memorial:
US Navy Memorial:
Air Force Memorial:
Korean War Veterans Memorial:
Vietnam Veterans Memorial:
Vietnam Women's Memorial:
Iraq Veterans Memorial:

Department of Veterans Affairs: