The following text is copyright 1992 by Network World, permission is hearby given for reproduction, as long as attribution is given and this notice is included.
By: Scott Bradner
The prospect of writing a regular column in a publication with such a large circulation is more than a bit daunting. What could make this one person's opinions, descriptions or pronouncements worthwhile reading for others? It sure is a big screen on which to make a fool of oneself. Well, I'm sure you will let me know if indeed the results prove worthwhile.
In this initial column I will attempt to introduce myself and give you an idea as to the sort of topics that I will address in the future.
First, a bit about my background. I've been working around Harvard University for almost 28 years. Perhaps that's a bit over-stable in these days of high-tech corporate mutation and job migration, but its been fun. The first 25 years I spent in the Psychology Department, mostly as manager of the Department's computer center and as a Senior Preceptor offering courses in computer programming and electronic design. My experiences ran the gamut from helping teach pigeons to peck the right key the correct percentage of the time, to assisting countless students in understanding the mysteries of programming and text editing. I then moved over to the Network Services division of the Office for Information Technology. Here I work on projects ranging from finding the right conduit into in to yet another of Harvard's myriad of buildings to operating the campus news server.
Other current duties include serving as the chair of the Technical Committee and as a member of the Steering Committee of the New England Academic and Research Network (NEARnet). I also serve as Harvard's BITNET technical liaison and as the manager of the Harvard Network Device Test Laboratory. This test lab is used to run the annual series of Harvard router and bridge performance tests.
This column will include comments on a variety of topics stretching from network technology, processes and procedures, to airline food. (Can't someone get those guys for substance abuse?) Each column will have a headline indicating the general topic. The topics will include among others: "Aiming At The Foot", about silly or counter-productive business or political decisions; "Aiming At The Target", about the other type of decisions (often too rare); "From The Net", summaries of discussions from one or more of the Internet mailing lists; "Along The Road", about progress along the path to ubiquitous data networking (Don't you look forward to that prospect?); and "Roadblocks", warning of problems on the way.
With the complexity of today's data networking technology and of the issues surrounding the connectivity provided by the application of this technology, it is almost impossible for one individual to adequately understand all of the facets of any specific topic. Many of the upcoming columns will conclude with a contributors listing acknowledging those who have assisted in whatever understanding of the topic manages to come through in the final text.
My email address will be at the bottom of each column. If you have comments or suggestions please send me a note. ( The address is easy to remember, as Stan Barber, the other "sob" on the Internet, has put it: "two of us admit it", the rest...)