Anthony J. Pennings, PhD

WRITINGS ON DIGITAL STRATEGIES, ICT ECONOMICS, AND GLOBAL COMMUNICATIONS

A First Pre-VisiCalc Attempt at Electronic Spreadsheets

Computerized spreadsheets were conceived in the early 1960s when Richard Mattessich at the University of California at Berkeley conceptualized the electronic simulation of business accounting techniques in his Simulation of the Firm through a Budget Computer Program (1964). Mattessich envisaged the use of “accounting matrices” to provide a rectangular array of bookkeeping figures that would […]

CISCO SYSTEMS: FROM CAMPUS TO THE WORLD’S MOST VALUABLE COMPANY, PART THREE: PUSHING TCP/IP

Len Bosack and Sandy Lerner combined several technologies being developed at Stanford University and the Silicon Valley area to form the networking behemoth, Cisco Systems. Although success was by no means foreseen in the early years. The pair obtained access to Bill Yeager’s source code for the multiple-protocol “Blue Box” router in 1985. Yeager’s software […]

“Run to Goshen Regardless of Opposing Train”

This is an excerpt from my forthcoming book on Telegraphy, Tabulation, and Time-Space Power in Early America. When I was growing up, on a summer night, with the bedroom windows open, I could often hear the far off whistle of a train warning of its approach to a nearby road crossing. The trains were leaving […]

Cisco Systems: From Campus to the World’s Most Valuable Company, Part One: Stanford

Cisco Systems emerged from employees and students at Stanford University in the early 1980s to become the major supplier of the Internet’s enigmatic plumbing. In the process, it’s stock value increased dramatically and it became the largest company in the world by market capitalization. Cisco originally produced homemade multi-platform routers to connect campus computers through […]

Digital Spreadsheets – Part 5 – Ease and Epistemology

To pick up the story, I started this analysis of the spreadsheet looking at the emergence of Lotus 1-2-3 within the context of the 1980s. This included the importance of the personal computer and the Reagan Revolution – characterized the by the commercialization of Cold War technologies, and the globalization and increasing financialization of individual […]

The FCC Helps Business Go “Online”

The use of computers was starting to become an important tool for businesses by the mid-1960s and with the introduction of timesharing, a communications component was adding value and enhancing productivity. Factories began using data processing to control chemical flows and machine tools and warehouses used them to monitor inventories. Bank branch offices started to […]

SAGE, SABRE and the Airline Industry

Military funding lead to the invention of the modem and other data communications technologies for a North American defense system. This grid of radar and other sensors connected to central computers with over a million miles of telephone line. Its headquarters would later be located deep within the Colorado Cheyenne Mountains and be the model […]

Lotus Spreadsheets – Part 4 – Symbols and Lists as Administrative Technologies

Spreadsheets like Lotus 1-2-3 were designed to facilitate organizational coordination and activity by setting up relationships between symbolic and material resources. Using a grid structure, spreadsheets achieve their efficacy by combining the following components: symbolic representation; lists; tables; cells and; formulas. In this post I will examine how the first two components, symbolic representations and […]

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  • About Me

    Professor and Associate Chair at State University of New York (SUNY) Korea. Recently taught at Hannam University in Daejeon, South Korea. Moved to Austin, Texas in August 2012 to join the Digital Media Management program at St. Edwards University. Spent the previous decade on the faculty at New York University teaching and researching information systems, media economics, and strategic communications.

    You can reach me at:

    anthony.pennings@gmail.com
    anthony.pennings@sunykorea.ac.kr

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