business cards I have known

“business cards”? what are you talking about?

Kids, back in the day, you used to “travel” sometimes and “meet people” “in person” and, amazingly, you might “hand” them one of these things.

I should really find a nice frame for all of these.

cableshare, 1981

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Cableshare! 1981! My first job after graduating. Long enough ago that your card didn’t show an email address, which is strange because one of Cableshare’s products was an enterprise email system. But, dig the Telex number. I don’t think I ever got a Telex. But at Cableshare, I was lucky to work on a touch-screen network information system for shopping malls using Telidon, which I really need to write up at length. That was pretty cool. Absurdly expensive, and the touch screens were REALLY flaky, but hey, I was working on touch screen systems in 1982, and I still am today. Today’s touch screens are better.

grad school at Waterloo, 1983

UW Research

back in my grad student days someone figured out how to order UW Business Cards. I remember this coming in handy exactly once, when trying to rent a townhouse and persuade the landlord that no, I wasn’t a student, I was obviously a RESEARCHER.

I think the UUCP email address certifies me as old-school. also “ihnp4” means “Indian Hills Network Processor 4.”

the Warriors Band, 1984

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I snuck in another order, as leader of the University of Waterloo Warriors Band. Check this out, the band had an email address! watmath!watbun! This email was set up in about 1980, which could mean that the Warriors Band was one of the first bands in the entire world to be emailable. Maybe.

Math Faculty Computing Facility, 1985

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What’s the easiest thing you can do when you’re done being a grad student? Slide into an IT job with the Math faculty. First card with a proper domain name address on it, but you can see UUCP emails are hanging on for dear life. Also my first experience with a manager with a pretty relaxed attitude towards whatever your job title on the card was – thank you, Bill Ince. I’ve always thought of myself as A Software Kind of Guy.

Indiana, 1988

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Grad school friend Greg Rawlins somehow recruited me to come work for Indiana University for a couple of years. UUCP email addresses seem to have disappeared, but that was an amazing experience in an exotic foreign land, where I wound up buying a NeXT cube because I wanted a cheap ($11,000, WITH the academic discount) Unix computer at home. That led to …

NeXT, 1991


This is the position off from which I was laid in 1993.

That email address was a little clunky, and NeXT let you choose an additional alias, and for a brief period of time I was, a tremendously bad idea, but that’s worth of another story. Regret I did not hang on to that email address long enough to get a business card out of it.

More to come.


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