Writings and Musings

Bob Frankston (bio)

Welcome to my writings.

If you want the recent essays check out the sidebar on the left or, better, go to Further Readings is a more directed overview of primary essays.

Other essays are listed in chronological order and then by category. The main essays are in larger letters and minor documents (such as messages posted on discussion sites) are indented and in smaller letters. The documents themselves are located on this site (www.Frankston.com) and as well as external sites.

You can send me Email. Note this unique address is only valid for the next few days.

The best way to link to a document is as http://rmf.vc/keyword.

By default only the most recent posts are shown, to see:
Recent By Date Posts from the last few months
Columns Columns written in 1998-1999 -- blogging before blogs. Look here for my more recent columns.
All All posts -- hundreds

Writings and Updates by Date

Some of the recent entries are also listed on the sidebar. Secondary items such as postings on other mailing lists are indented. Note that the year shown is the year the essay was updated. An essay written in 1979 might be listed under 2009 if it was updated recently.

Trump’s Financial Naïveté 27-Sep-2016 PDFTrump has a very simplistic view of money. [From Facebook]
Further Reading 18-Feb-2015 (Updated: 23-Sep-2016 PDFAny one essay can only skim the surface. For further reading ...
Mobile Edge Computing 23-Sep-2016 PDFWhen we frame local computing as being at the edge of a network we lose the big ideas of connectivity by framing the Internet in terms of tele-communications.
Infrastructure for a Connected World 19-Sep-2016 PDFConnected devices need a free-to-use infrastructure that allows for innovation beyond the needs of a provider or other intermediary. Also available on CircleID here
ANTIC Interview 226 - Bob Frankston, co-developer of Visicalc 05-Sep-2016 Interview with Kevin Savetz about the history of Atari and more ... You can go to YouTube for the video.
The Frankston Challenge 10-Nov-2015 (Updated: 26-Aug-2016 Dan Bricklin does a great job explaining the need for Ambient Connectivity.
The Stories of Software 12-Aug-2016 PDFThe concept of software has evolved from the early days of programming when each minute step of had to be described in detail. Yet the challenges remain because, ultimately, software is about sharing our understandings with devices that will act as our agents. I learn a lot writing these columns. This one made me think about what software is and why automatic programming succeeded beyond anyone’s expectations yet has seems to have succeeded at all.
What is a "Neutral Network" 24-Jul-2016 📹 (video) Panel at HOPE 2016 where I talk about infrastructure as an alternative framing to network neutrality.
The Internet as Our New Infrastructure 04-Jul-2016 (Updated: 24-Jul-2016 PDF 📹 (video) The Internet is our new infrastructure. It is a basic facility just as roads and sidewalks available as a basic elements of infrastructure. I use the term "infrastructure" rather than "utility" to distinguish it from metered utilities like gas and electricity that are provided only at a price. This is the talk I gave at FGV in Rio on April 29th 2016.
Re US, NSF to put $400M into Advanced Wireless Research Initiative for 5G networks 19-Jul-2016 The NSF is funding a new wireless effort that fails to address the need for ambient connectivity as infrastructure. It's just same-old albeit a little bit faster. Like a 600HP car in rush hour solving traffic problems in a city.
Re How the internet was invented 15-Jul-2016 The popular view is that the Internet is just another network. It's not -- it's represents a very different approach to how we communicate. One that is resilient rather than dependent on carriers.
Re This dark side of the Internet is costing young people their jobsand social lives 21-May-2016 "Internet addiction" is simply addiction that happens to manifest itself in a particular way. Saying that it is new or special trivializes real problems.
Once Again, Thieves Enter Swift Financial Network and Steal 13-May-2016 Another reminder that security is about trust relationships and people. There isn't a magic fix.
Broadband Data Caps Pressure 'Cord Cutters' 22-Apr-2016 FCC should be addressing data caps rather than just focusing on the legacy set top box.
80/20 Consumer Electronics 19-Apr-2016 PDFI learn by doing and creating my own solutions. This gives me a chance to experience the future and see beyond the present. Join me in exploring the possibilities.
End-to-End Arguments in System Design 20-Mar-2016 A seminal paper about the design point of the Internet by Saltzer, Reed and Clark
VisiCalc History and more 12-Mar-2016 Dan Bricklin's VisiCalc repository
VCF East 10 - History of VisiCalc - Bob Frankston 23-Jan-2016 📹 (video) I had fun talking to the Vintage Computer Festival in New Jersey last spring - VCF 10
Before Excel there was VisiCalc: An interview with its creators 23-Jan-2016 📹 (video) Interview by Business Insider with Dan Bricklin and myself talking about the history of VisiCalc.
Deconstructing Television: Delivery, Content, and Policy 24-Apr-2015 (Updated: 14-Jan-2016 PDFThe business “Television” as we know it is very much tied to the accidental properties of 1930’s vintage technology. We need to rethink very part of the technology and the industry.
A Hackers Vacation 01-Jan-2016 PDFWhat I learned on my summer vacation.
Netflix vs. Caps vs. Neutrality vs. The Internet 19-Dec-2015 Issues like capacity limits and network neutrality are framed in terms of telecommunications. We need a different narrative if we are to understand the Internet. (See further comments here)
Zero-Rating vs. The Internet 04-Nov-2015 PDFThe idea of setting the rate for a given class of content is a concept that comes from the traditional world of telecommunications. It doesn't map into the raw packets of the Internet that are carried apart from their context.
Bob Frankston
Copyright 1997-2016