Berkman
 Center for Internet and Society
The Debate Over Internet Governance:
A Snapshot in the Year 2000
 

 

Introduction


Interviews

    Karl Auerbach
    Fred Baker

    John Perry Barlow
    Dave Crocker
    Jay Fenello
    Carl Kaplan
 
    Michael Krieger
    Jamie Love
    Eric Menge
    Charles Nesson

    Mike Roberts
    Joe Sims

    

Topics
  Consensus
   The Future
   Governance
   ICANN
   The Internet
   Participants' Internet
      Background
   Participants' Biographies


Links


Message Board



Contact Us

 

 


 


   CHARLES NESSON

From Professor Nesson's Website:

Favorites:
Book: A Civil Action, by Jonathan Harr
Movie: My Cousin Vinny
Album: Void Dweller, by Eon

As an undergraduate I took a course on the Univac One, 1958. The final assignment was to program the machine to sort a list or words alphabetically . This was before silicon chips and computer language. The Univac was built with stacks of vacuum tubes that occupied a large room and looked just like the stacks in a library, except the shelves were filled with vacuum tubes instead of books. We controlled the machine from a separate control room that looked like the deck of the Starship Enterprise. We wrote our instructions to the machine in strings of one's and zero's. For our exam, we had twenty minutes at the controls to debug our program and run it on a test list. Our grade depended, first, on whether our program worked, and then, second, on our program's elegance, measured by the time our program took to sort the list.

My next real engagement with computers came in 1981, when, on my first sabbatical, I moved my family to the seashore of Long Island, accompanied by one of the first edition IBM PC's. In my spare time there I wrote a computer program in BASIC that played an excellent game of five-card draw jacks-or-better poker, the rights to which I sold for a pile of money to a company which, I am sad to say, was subsequently indicted for manufacturing illegal gambling equipment. The BASIC language, circa 1981, included the word "SORT" among its verbs. Coming upon it was like meeting an old friend, now part of a whole useful language built of ones and zeros. If I could make a word from digits, and a generation later use such words to program a computer that could bluff me out, then, perhaps in a future generation, I would be able to use the power of the new language to liven up my classes.

Links

 


Search:
BCIS POUND HALL 511 1563 MASSACHUSETTS AVE CAMBRIDGE, MA 02138 T (617) 495-7547 F (617) 495-7641