The E-Sylum:  Volume 10, Number 3, January 21, 2007, Article 6


Roger Sibioni writes: "We are all fans of The E-Sylum in the colonial
crowd. Almost every serious Colonial Collector is a bibliophile to
some degree or you simply can't collect.

"I have been in the technology business almost my whole life dating
back to blue box phones and as I was reading your column the other
day about pioneering blogging, I must say that you are right. The
E-Sylum is one of the first non-pure technical sharing postings I
can recall - congratulations. By the way, the predecessor to the
Colonial Coins Yahoo Groups was the CompuServe Coins Message Board
which also hosted one of the first regular live chat rooms circa
mid 1980s. I guess Numismatists have an interesting blend of desire
to share, a technical aptitude, and patience to work through new
technology that makes them early adopters."

[My first experience with marrying technology and numismatics came
in the early 1980s when I worked as a consultant on the COINS system.
Partly backed by Michigan dealer Joe Lepcyzk, it was a very early
numismatic chat and buying/selling venue.  It was dial-up computer
application in the days before the World Wide Web.  Fine idea, but
it was too far ahead of its time.  Only a handful of geeks like
myself had access to remote terminals and modems, and what could
have been an early "eBay" system fizzled.

But the software had a second life.  CEO Larry Brilliant packed up
for the west coast where he hooked up with Steward Brand (of "The
Whole Earth Catalog" fame) and started The Well, the first successful
computer chat system.  Larry went on to run a number of other
technology ventures, and now he's with Google as their director of
corporate philanthropy.  So numismatics had more of a role in
technology development than some might presume.

My own career in technology led me to Lycos, one of the first Internet
search engines, where I was a product manager for new search features.
One feature we rolled out was a index of frequently-updated news web
sites, created several times a day to help keep our search results
current.  When the Columbine school massacre occurred, Lycos was the
only search engine to have information on the event.  But company
management, in their infinite wisdom, decided that search technology
was maturing and becoming a commodity - so they decided to stop
development and outsource search to a third party.  Duh!  One of the
canned projects we had underway was a cluster of inexpensive PCs to
replace the million-dollar DEC machines used at the time.  Later Google
came along with a similar architecture (and a far better business model),
and the rest is history.

Coincidentally, on Friday night I had a very pleasant dinner conversation
with Vint Cerf and his wife.  Vint is widely regarded as the 'father of
the Internet' - he led the team which developed the early cold-war
defense communications network which became the Internet we know today.
It was great fun swapping war stories.  Oh yeah - he works for Google
now, too.

This trip down memory lane does swerve back to numismatics.  Just
recently we discussed the Presidential Medal of Freedom in The E-Sylum,
noting those honored in this year's recent White House ceremony.  Who
was among the previous awardees?  Vint Cerf (in 2005).

It is a well-deserved honor.  I was delighted to have a chance to meet
him.  How often does one meet a man whose work changed history?  The
Internet has brought about incredible changes in communication,
efficiency, and wealth.  It's given me a career and has given all of
us the opportunity to share our knowledge about our hobby in ways
undreamed of in the past.  Thanks, Vint.  -Editor]

To read Google's bio of Larry Brilliant, see:
Brilliant Bio

To read Google's bio of Vint Cerf, see:
bio of Vint Cerf

  Wayne Homren, Editor

Google Web
The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization 
promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at

To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor 
at this address:

To subscribe go to:
Copyright © 2005 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.



Copyright © 1998 - 2005 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.

NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster