Writings and Musings

Bob Frankston (bio)

Welcome to my writings.

If you want the recent essays check out the sidebar on the left or, better, go to Further Readings for a curated list of essays.

Other essays are listed in chronological order and then by category. The main essays are in larger letters and minor documents (such as messages posted on discussion sites) are indented and in smaller letters. The documents themselves are located on this site (www.Frankston.com) and as well as external sites.

Note that I'm currently writing shorter transient posts on Facebook as "Bob Frankston". I'm gathering links here.

You can send me Email. Note this unique address is only valid for the next few days.

The best way to link to a document is as http://rmf.vc/keyword.

By default only the most recent posts are shown, to see:
Recent By Date Posts from the last few months
Columns Columns written in 1998-1999 -- blogging before blogs. Look here for my more recent columns.
All All posts -- hundreds

Writings and Updates by Date

Some of the recent entries are also listed on the sidebar. Secondary items such as postings on other mailing lists are indented. Note that the year shown is the year the essay was updated. An essay written in 1979 might be listed under 2009 if it was updated recently.

What I want for CES 06-Dec-2019 (Updated: 16-Jan-2020 CES is a time to see new products and services. Alas, my expectations might be too high.
Connecting 03-Nov-2019 (Updated: 04-Dec-2019 PDFIn 1986 I wrote a story for the Boston Computer Society predicting a connected future by 1997. Alas, it's 2019 and that future is still pending.
Bits vs. Things 03-Sep-2019 (Updated: 04-Dec-2019 PDFI’m writing this for CE Magazine rather than Computer Magazine because I don’t see programming and software as something apart from the larger world but as the language, we use to articulate our understanding. Software has transformed consumer electronics from simply choosing what is available to having the ability to create and share one’s solutions.
From “Broadband” to “Infrastructure” 01-Sep-2018 (Updated: 04-Dec-2019 PDFIt's time to think about the Internet as infrastructure rather than broadband. (This is based on the version at the Broadband Breakfast site). There is also a companion FAQ. You can also read this at CircleId
Seizing the wrist and re-understanding the Internet 13-Apr-2012 (Updated: 21-Nov-2019 PDFWrist-based programmable devices (AKA watches) and other devices give us a reason to rethink the design point of the Internet.
The Internet and My 53 Years Online 15-Jul-2019 PDFWith the upcoming celebration of the 50 years of the Inter-net, I’m trying to figure out how the traditional story misses the powerful idea that has made the Internet what it is – the ability to focus on solutions without having to think about the network or providers.
Found Objects 26-Jan-2019 (Updated: 21-Jun-2019 PDFIn the tradition of the Internet I don't build new networks nor new special environments for each application but rather repurse existing devices and services. The key is an architcture which limits complexity.
As a Service? 31-Mar-2019 (Updated: 11-Jun-2019 PDFThe trend towards hosted services and the return of the intelligent network create risks of dependency even if well-intentioned.
Ambient Connectivity: An Introduction 27-Sep-2009 (Updated: 05-May-2019 PDF 📹 (video) “Ambient Connectivity” is the ability to assume connectivity anywhere and anytime. It's the result of having an infrastructure that facilitates our ability to communicate
Do Do This at Home 18-Mar-2019 PDFMy February talk to the Boston Linux and Unix (BLU) group about my home control system - a work in progress.
CFR: Our Copper Fiber and Radios 29-Jan-2007 (Updated: 07-Mar-2019 PDFOur Copper, Fiber and Radios are a simple fixed asset. Why are we paying a service fee to privileged services providers when we can do it better ourselves. Our home networks run at a gigabit bit without a service charge yet we can on thousandth the capacity when we go outside our homes and pay a high fee for the "privilege". I was reminded of this as I saw Verizon installers running RG-6 cable for FiOS TV when I already had a perfectly good gigabit network and then they told me I had to use their router …
5G: Telecom Versus The Internet 01-Jul-2017 (Updated: 20-Feb-2019 PDFMy July 2017 IEEE CE Magazine Column: Overview of the contrast between 5G and the Internet.
Seeing the Light - Properties of 400-800 Terahertz Radios 14-Feb-2019 (Updated: 19-Feb-2019 PDFWe're used to turning light bulbs on and off. The advent of LEDs and software has given us an opportunity to rethink the givens of light and lighting in our daily lives. We can now paint surfaces with lights and manage ambience.
From Hi-Fi to CLI 01-Jan-2019 (Updated: 13-Dec-2018 Today users typically use computers through graphics user interfaces -- GUIs. Only programmers use the command line. But that is changing as more people discover the power of the command line just as they learned how to wire their own home entertainment systems in the days of Hi Fi.
It is no longer a relic of the past but rather a path to the future.
Bob Frankston
Copyright 1997-2023