Friday, January 18, 2019

The very first email crashed the web

Remember your introduction to the internet? Who could forget the understandable drama associated as our brains encountered something totally new?
 If, like me, your introduction was back in the late eighties, it seemed vital to hold your breath while attempting to manage just about anything with it.
 If you didn’t, whatever you might have been trying to achieve, well, didn’t seem to – and no error messages back then said why not.

Big, massive, puzzling

 For me, first came a copy of an IBM from Taiwan. It was big, massive, and it was heavy, and most of all puzzling.
In those years, I spent a lot of time in Cape Town thanks to the demand for professional yacht deliveries.
The giant machine captivated me very quickly. Once involved with its magic, leaving it behind while I sailed handsome yachts to distant shores became quite a challenge.
However, it wasn't and they weren’t exactly portable, but as soon as there were, I didn’t sail without a computer.
I should say that desire to bring one along had little – mostly nothing – to do with sailing back in those days, though surprisingly it wasn’t long before programs appeared that let you actually watch your course on the sea on the screen.
In the early days, when sailing programs appeared, they came with warnings that they shouldn’t be relied on. One very popular navigation arrangement told amateur sailors to get familiar with it at home before taking it to sea.

Stuck in port

 Many cruising yachtsmen didn't and I met many stuck in a port because they relied on their portable computer and program to do the navigation for them.
They hadn’t bothered with the warning - well, they said, they wanted to cruise from place to place.
 They weren’t that interested in navigation and even less in computing.
 They bought a computer and programs simply so they wouldn’t have to navigate. Their voyages didn’t take them far ….  
Continues on the blogs for my ocean adventuring book, Sailing to Purgatory, at


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