Sillycon Valley history

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Dave Palmer

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Mar 10, 1993, 5:04:12 PM3/10/93
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sha...@world.std.com (Sharon M Gartenberg) wrote:

>Greetings. I was hoping someone might be able to point me to a good
>source of information on a brief history of Silicon Valley, and
>some current statistics (how many high-tech companies and jobs).

There was a book out just in the last year or two called "Fire in the
Valley" about that very topic. Sorry, don't recall the author, but it
was avalable in all the big bookstore chains.
I used to live up there, in the days when the apricot orchards were
giving way to...er, Apple orchards ;-) It used to be a nice place to
live.
From what I understand, the shine is rubbing off. The cost of housing is
ludicrous, and companies are fleeing to places like Arizona. But you
still can't throw a silicon wafer in Cupertino without hitting an Apple
facility.

--
************************************************************************
"To free a man of error is to give, not to take away.
Knowledge that a thing is false is a truth." --Schopenhauer
*************************************************************************

PeterClaus Gutmann

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Mar 10, 1993, 9:32:19 PM3/10/93
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In <C3p1B...@csulb.edu> dpa...@csulb.edu (Dave Palmer) writes:

>sha...@world.std.com (Sharon M Gartenberg) wrote:

>>Greetings. I was hoping someone might be able to point me to a good
>>source of information on a brief history of Silicon Valley, and
>>some current statistics (how many high-tech companies and jobs).

>There was a book out just in the last year or two called "Fire in the
>Valley" about that very topic. Sorry, don't recall the author, but it
>was avalable in all the big bookstore chains.

"Fire in the Valley", by Paul Freiberger and Michael Swaine, Osborne/McGraw-
Hill 1984. ISBN 0-88134-121-5. Well worth reading.

Peter.

Paul Flaherty

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Mar 11, 1993, 1:25:19 PM3/11/93
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dpa...@csulb.edu (Dave Palmer) writes:
>From what I understand, the shine is rubbing off. The cost of housing is
>ludicrous, and companies are fleeing to places like Arizona. But you
>still can't throw a silicon wafer in Cupertino without hitting an Apple
>facility.

I think it's fair to say that Silicon Valley is dead. Cheap venture capital,
minimal startup cost, access to university researchers, and good inter
business communications fueled an engine which turned ideas into products.
You can now find venture capital elsewhere, with the discount rate being
what it is. The cost of housing and office space has spiraled out of
control, thanks to the environmentalists and Prop 13. The trade secrets
and intellectual property mania have pretty much destroyed open cooperation.
The universities remain, but aren't the driving force they used to be.

The place has a much different, more ossified feel to it than it did seven
years ago.

-=Paul Flaherty, N9FZX | "My boy, we are pilgrims in an unholy land."
->pa...@Stanford.EDU | -- Dr. Henry Jones Sr.

William B Dwinnell

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Mar 11, 1993, 3:17:02 PM3/11/93
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I think it's fair to say that Silicon Valley is seriously overrated.
I remember readin g once that New York had more high-tech jobs
than Silicon Valley and Boston's Route 128 combined (that depends on
what you consider 'high tech', though).

Still, lots of good stuff come out of other places...

John Eaton

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Mar 12, 1993, 3:15:21 PM3/12/93
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William B Dwinnell (wbd...@pitt.edu) wrote:
:
: I think it's fair to say that Silicon Valley is seriously overrated.

: I remember readin g once that New York had more high-tech jobs
: than Silicon Valley and Boston's Route 128 combined (that depends on
: what you consider 'high tech', though).
-------------
:
How many of those were COBOL programmers?

John Eaton
!hp-vcd!johne


Jason Asbahr

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Mar 14, 1993, 3:23:33 AM3/14/93
to

I think it's fair to say that Silicon Valley is dead. Cheap venture capital

minimal startup cost, access to university researchers, and good inter
business communications fueled an engine which turned ideas into products.
You can now find venture capital elsewhere, with the discount rate being
what it is. The cost of housing and office space has spiraled out of
control, thanks to the environmentalists and Prop 13. The trade secrets
and intellectual property mania have pretty much destroyed open cooperation.
The universities remain, but aren't the driving force they used to be.

The place has a much different, more ossified feel to it than it did seven
years ago.

Maybe so, but when I visited the Bay Area in January, I was amazed.
Apple, PARC, NeXT, NASA Ames, Versant, Sun, Weird Stuff junk stores,
Fry's Electronics, and the incredible variety of motivated computer
people all add up to a wonderful place to be...

The social atmosphere is different. You don't have to wander far from
the University Zones in Houston to run smack into smothering Urban
Cowboy-ism and heavy patriotic/religious attitudes....

I haven't been to Boston yet.


--
Jason Asbahr 116 E. Edgebrook #603
asb...@uh.edu Houston, Texas 77034
ne...@tree.egr.uh.edu (NeXTmail) (713) 743-6995 voice
asb...@tree.egr.uh.edu (NeXTmail) UH NeXT Campus Consultant

davidja...@gmail.com

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May 14, 2020, 9:32:51 PM5/14/20
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I guess it didn't die

jtmpreno

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May 14, 2020, 10:35:42 PM5/14/20
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I remember reading that post in 1993! I think it was because of:

>> "Fire in the Valley"

and

>> in the days when the apricot orchards were
>> giving way to...er, Apple orchards ;-) It used to be a nice place to
>> live.

and I was living in San Jose at the time.


You can still get Fire in the Valley. It is already up to its 3rd
edition (2014).
https://www.amazon.com/Fire-Valley-Birth-Personal-Computer/dp/1937785769/ref=dp_ob_title_bk

davidja...@gmail.com

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May 14, 2020, 10:44:46 PM5/14/20
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Nice! We're a rare breed that have been here since then. I just picked up a copy, I'll let you know my prognostications for Silicon Valley doom after I finish

Questor

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May 15, 2020, 4:05:04 PM5/15/20
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On Thu, 14 May 2020 19:35:40 -0700, jtmpreno <no...@znet.com> wrote:
>On 5/14/2020 6:32 PM, davidja...@gmail.com wrote:
>>On Wednesday, March 10, 1993 at 2:04:12 PM UTC-8, Dave Palmer wrote:
>>>sha...@world.std.com (Sharon M Gartenberg) wrote:
>>>
>>>>Greetings. I was hoping someone might be able to point me to a good
>>>>source of information on a brief history of Silicon Valley, and
>>>>some current statistics (how many high-tech companies and jobs).
>>>
>>>There was a book out just in the last year or two called "Fire in the
>>>Valley" about that very topic. Sorry, don't recall the author, but it
>>>was avalable in all the big bookstore chains.
>>>I used to live up there, in the days when the apricot orchards were
>>>giving way to...er, Apple orchards ;-) It used to be a nice place to
>>>live.
>>> From what I understand, the shine is rubbing off. The cost of housing is
>>>ludicrous, and companies are fleeing to places like Arizona. But you
>>>still can't throw a silicon wafer in Cupertino without hitting an Apple
>>>facility.
>>
>> I guess it didn't die

It's amusing to read about the death of Silicon Valley in these posts from 1993,
just as the region was on the cusp of its biggest economic boom.


>I remember reading that post in 1993! I think it was because of:
>>>"Fire in the Valley"
>
>and
>
>>>in the days when the apricot orchards were
>>>giving way to...er, Apple orchards ;-) It used to be a nice place to
>>>live.
>
>and I was living in San Jose at the time.
>
>You can still get Fire in the Valley. It is already up to its 3rd
>edition (2014).
>https://www.amazon.com/Fire-Valley-Birth-Personal-Computer/dp/1937785769/ref=dp_ob_title_bk


Another up-vote for Paul Freiberger and Michael Swaine's "Fire in the Valley."

I've been sporadically compiling a bibliography of computer history. (It very
much needs to be organized and expanded with better notes.) Based on what I
have, here are a few more possibly relevant titles, some of which I have not
personally read:

Crystal Fire: The Invention of the Transistor and the Birth of the Information
Age
-- M. Riordan and L. Hoddeson:

The Silicon Boys: And Their Valley of Dreams
-- David A. Kaplan

The Nudist on the Late Shift and Other True Tales of Silicon Valley
-- Po Bronson

What the Dormouse Said: How the 60's Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer
Industry
-- John Markoff

The Big Score: The Billion Dollar Story of Silicon Valley
-- Michael S. Malone

The Valley of Hearts Delight - A Silicon Valley Notebook 1963-2001
-- Michael S. Malone

Bill & Dave: How Hewlett and Packard Built the World's Greatest Company
-- Michael S. Malone

Fumbling the Future: How Xerox Invented, then Ignored, the First Personal
Computer
-- Douglas K. Smith and Robert C. Alexander:

Hackers
-- Steven Levy


I have many more titles that focus on specific companies such as Microsoft,
Apple, Intel, and Oracle, and later Internet-related firms such as Netscape,
Ebay, Google, and Facebook. There are also more general topics like hackers
and computer culture and the rise of the Internet that relate peripherally to
Silicon Valley.

Scott Lurndal

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May 15, 2020, 4:46:58 PM5/15/20
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This is an interesting read:

Mollenhoff, Clark R. Atanasoff

Peter Flass

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May 15, 2020, 5:11:06 PM5/15/20
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Coincidentally, I just read a news article that conjectured that the new
“work from home” movement is causing many in SV to rethink their residence.
why should I live there and pay sky-high rent/mortgage when I can live
anywhere in the country and still make the money? Conversely, some
employers are saying, why continue paying those big salaries if employees
live somewhere with much lower living costs? It will be interesting to see
how this plays out.

--
Pete

Scott Lurndal

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May 15, 2020, 5:36:54 PM5/15/20
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Peter Flass <peter...@yahoo.com> writes:

>Coincidentally, I just read a news article that conjectured that the new
>“work from home” movement is causing many in SV to rethink their residence.
>why should I live there and pay sky-high rent/mortgage when I can live
>anywhere in the country and still make the money? Conversely, some
>employers are saying, why continue paying those big salaries if employees
>live somewhere with much lower living costs? It will be interesting to see
>how this plays out.


Well, not all residents of the valley have mortgages, and for the
most part, the remaining expenses aren't out of line with the rest
of the country (except gasoline, which is generally more expensive
for several reasons including special seasonal blends to reduce
smog and relativily limited refinerys); fresh fruit and vegetables
are the same or less expensive than other parts of the country
(transportation costs are less).

Fewer people competing for the limited rental stock will naturally
cause those costs for everyone else to decrease as landlords lose
tenants if a significant out-migration[*] should occur.

One also must consider (albeit things may change due to the pandemic)
the entertainment potential (two baseball teams, two^H^H^Hone football
team, a basketball team and a hockey team, hundreds of concert venues
large and small, beaches, mountains, skiing, surfing, the most beautiful
national parks in the country (Yosemite, Sequoia, Lassen), Monterey,
San Francisco, and only San Diego has better weather in the continental
US of A.

[*] People leave california all the time. A very, very small percentage
and for the most part they're quickly replaced by folks moving to
california.

J. Clarke

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May 15, 2020, 6:39:16 PM5/15/20
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Employers who are saying "why pay the big salaries" really need to
take a course in economics.

David Lesher

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May 17, 2020, 1:23:49 PM5/17/20
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use...@only.tnx (Questor) writes:


>I've been sporadically compiling a bibliography of computer history. (It very
>much needs to be organized and expanded with better notes.) Based on what I
>have, here are a few more possibly relevant titles, some of which I have not
>personally read:

[...]

>I have many more titles that focus on specific companies such as Microsoft,
>Apple, Intel, and Oracle, and later Internet-related firms such as Netscape,
>Ebay, Google, and Facebook. There are also more general topics like hackers
>and computer culture and the rise of the Internet that relate peripherally to
>Silicon Valley.

What about the first computer with IC's? How do you quantify the influence
it had on all that followed?

[To be explict, I mean the AGC from Draper, Eldon C. Hall, and MANY others.]


--
A host is a host from coast to coast.................wb8foz@nrk.com
& no one will talk to a host that's close..........................
Unless the host (that isn't close).........................pob 1433
is busy, hung or dead....................................20915-1433

Scott Lurndal

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May 17, 2020, 4:57:14 PM5/17/20
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J. Clarke <jclarke...@gmail.com> writes:
>On Fri, 15 May 2020 14:11:04 -0700, Peter Flass

>>
>>Coincidentally, I just read a news article that conjectured that the new
>>“work from home” movement is causing many in SV to rethink their residence.
>>why should I live there and pay sky-high rent/mortgage when I can live
>>anywhere in the country and still make the money? Conversely, some
>>employers are saying, why continue paying those big salaries if employees
>>live somewhere with much lower living costs? It will be interesting to see
>>how this plays out.
>
>Employers who are saying "why pay the big salaries" really need to
>take a course in economics.

Are you aware that salaries in the bay area are considerably larger (like 30%)
than the salaries for similar positions in Boston? And that's not even
including options, rsu's and annual bonues. Most of that is due the
cost of a place to stay. The area is geographically limited by mountains or
ocean on all sides, which makes real-estate scarce (thus 2+ hour each way
commutes from the central valley).

The point of the article that Pete cited is that bay area employers
may not need to pay that 30% to employees telecommuting from Idaho.

John Levine

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May 17, 2020, 9:11:57 PM5/17/20
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In article <JyhwG.153560$FY5.1...@fx39.iad>,
Scott Lurndal <sl...@pacbell.net> wrote:
>Are you aware that salaries in the bay area are considerably larger (like 30%)
>than the salaries for similar positions in Boston? And that's not even
>including options, rsu's and annual bonues. Most of that is due the
>cost of a place to stay. The area is geographically limited by mountains or
>ocean on all sides, which makes real-estate scarce (thus 2+ hour each way
>commutes from the central valley).

That is somewhat true although the real issue is rampant NIMBY-ism.
The Caltrain from S.F. to San Jose is being electrifed for faster and
more frequent service, and there are proposals to upzone the areas
near the stations for mid-rise apartments. You would not believe
(well, you would if you lived there) the self-serving nonsense of
current residents about why they couldn't possibly do that.

--
Regards,
John Levine, jo...@taugh.com, Primary Perpetrator of "The Internet for Dummies",
Please consider the environment before reading this e-mail. https://jl.ly

Ahem A Rivet's Shot

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May 18, 2020, 4:30:04 AM5/18/20
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On Mon, 18 May 2020 01:11:55 -0000 (UTC)
John Levine <jo...@taugh.com> wrote:

> That is somewhat true although the real issue is rampant NIMBY-ism.
> The Caltrain from S.F. to San Jose is being electrifed for faster and
> more frequent service

Wow, in pollution sensitive California this is just happening ? I
recall watching lines being electrified when I was a child in the 1970s -
there was much grumbling about the bridges that had to be closed for
modifications.

--
Steve O'Hara-Smith | Directable Mirror Arrays
C:\>WIN | A better way to focus the sun
The computer obeys and wins. | licences available see
You lose and Bill collects. | http://www.sohara.org/

Peter Flass

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May 18, 2020, 2:42:57 PM5/18/20
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John Levine <jo...@taugh.com> wrote:
> In article <JyhwG.153560$FY5.1...@fx39.iad>,
> Scott Lurndal <sl...@pacbell.net> wrote:
>> Are you aware that salaries in the bay area are considerably larger (like 30%)
>> than the salaries for similar positions in Boston? And that's not even
>> including options, rsu's and annual bonues. Most of that is due the
>> cost of a place to stay. The area is geographically limited by mountains or
>> ocean on all sides, which makes real-estate scarce (thus 2+ hour each way
>> commutes from the central valley).
>
> That is somewhat true although the real issue is rampant NIMBY-ism.
> The Caltrain from S.F. to San Jose is being electrifed for faster and
> more frequent service, and there are proposals to upzone the areas
> near the stations for mid-rise apartments. You would not believe
> (well, you would if you lived there) the self-serving nonsense of
> current residents about why they couldn't possibly do that.
>

That’s the whole point of modern city planning. Build the transportation
and then cluster the housing and major employers around it. A transit
system that goes nowhere is useless. I have previously related my travails
trying to take a bus from the airport to my workplace, a couple of miles.
It took me over an hour and a bus change. This is due to failing to locate
places on transit routes.

--
Pete

Scott Lurndal

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May 18, 2020, 3:07:44 PM5/18/20
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John Levine <jo...@taugh.com> writes:
>In article <JyhwG.153560$FY5.1...@fx39.iad>,
>Scott Lurndal <sl...@pacbell.net> wrote:
>>Are you aware that salaries in the bay area are considerably larger (like 30%)
>>than the salaries for similar positions in Boston? And that's not even
>>including options, rsu's and annual bonues. Most of that is due the
>>cost of a place to stay. The area is geographically limited by mountains or
>>ocean on all sides, which makes real-estate scarce (thus 2+ hour each way
>>commutes from the central valley).
>
>That is somewhat true although the real issue is rampant NIMBY-ism.
>The Caltrain from S.F. to San Jose is being electrifed for faster and
>more frequent service, and there are proposals to upzone the areas
>near the stations for mid-rise apartments. You would not believe
>(well, you would if you lived there) the self-serving nonsense of
>current residents about why they couldn't possibly do that.

Given the willy-nilly nature of the valley's development, it's
not surprising that it spread out instead of up (and the periodic
earthquakes did tend to reduce high-rise construction until
relatively recently outside of the financial district, while
the proximity to the approach path at SJC has limited downtown
San Jose heights).

However, I chose the bay area over boston or New York _because_ it
was less dense (amongst many other reasons); seeing what they've done recently to the old IBM
campus in San Jose (high-density housing without corresponding
transit or highway improvements), one can understand the reluctance
for neighborhoods to densify.

David Lesher

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May 18, 2020, 10:47:43 PM5/18/20
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Ahem A Rivet's Shot <ste...@eircom.net> writes:

>On Mon, 18 May 2020 01:11:55 -0000 (UTC)
>John Levine <jo...@taugh.com> wrote:

>> That is somewhat true although the real issue is rampant NIMBY-ism.
>> The Caltrain from S.F. to San Jose is being electrifed for faster and
>> more frequent service

> Wow, in pollution sensitive California this is just happening ? I
>recall watching lines being electrified when I was a child in the 1970s -
>there was much grumbling about the bridges that had to be closed for
>modifications.

IMHO it would have been better to replace it with BART, but that
would have entailed removing all the grade crossings.

In addition, past discussions of electrifying the rail line along
the coast south of there has brought forth a massive huh and cry
from the landowners who feel the catenary will destroy their
view.

Jon Elson

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May 18, 2020, 10:59:50 PM5/18/20
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David Lesher wrote:


> What about the first computer with IC's? How do you quantify the influence
> it had on all that followed?
>
> [To be explict, I mean the AGC from Draper, Eldon C. Hall, and MANY
> [others.]
There's also the Honeywell Alert, a 24-bit CPU built for the X-15 project.
They went from scratchings on a chalkboard to a complete processor in a
little over a year, including having custom IC's made by TI.
They started the design in 1964, and delivered the first CPUs in 1966.
This was needed to aid the X-15 pilot in arriving back at Edwards AFB with
the right amount of energy to glide in to a landing.

This CPU was the size of an elongated shoebox and consumed 125 W. Memory
and power supply were separate boxes. I think the Alert was actually
delivered before the AGC, although it was a much simpler project.

I have a very unusual 2-volume set on the history of this system, which
someday I hope to get scanned at the CHM. I also have one of VERY few of
the Alert CPUs. I'm guessing the only other one in existance might be
hanging from the ceiling of the National Air and Space Museum in DC.

Jon

Peter Flass

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May 19, 2020, 10:33:15 AM5/19/20
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SDS 930, 1963

--
Pete

Scott Lurndal

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May 19, 2020, 11:50:31 AM5/19/20
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David Lesher <wb8...@panix.com> writes:
>Ahem A Rivet's Shot <ste...@eircom.net> writes:
>
>>On Mon, 18 May 2020 01:11:55 -0000 (UTC)
>>John Levine <jo...@taugh.com> wrote:
>
>>> That is somewhat true although the real issue is rampant NIMBY-ism.
>>> The Caltrain from S.F. to San Jose is being electrifed for faster and
>>> more frequent service
>
>> Wow, in pollution sensitive California this is just happening ? I
>>recall watching lines being electrified when I was a child in the 1970s -
>>there was much grumbling about the bridges that had to be closed for
>>modifications.
>
>IMHO it would have been better to replace it with BART, but that
>would have entailed removing all the grade crossings.

BART was, and is, far too expensive, and as you point out, requires
dedicated ROW due to the third rail.

Rather than expanding BART down to San Jose, they should have leveraged
the existing three (UP, WP and SP) heavy rail lines connecting the east bay
to san jose by electrifying them with overhead catenary. Instead,
two of the existing heavy rail lines were removed and BART still
doesn't reach san jose. They could be incrementally grade separated,
just as has been done over the last two decades for caltrain crossings.

As for caltrain, the short sighted folks in san carlos and belmont,
when they grade seperated caltrain, neglected to leave enough room
for four tracks, so there is no effective way to run real express
trains on the system. There should be four tracks from SJ to SF
for the system to be most effective.

>
>In addition, past discussions of electrifying the rail line along
>the coast south of there has brought forth a massive huh and cry

massive hue and cry? Don't recall ever hearing that.

JimP

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May 19, 2020, 12:08:57 PM5/19/20
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I was in Maryland for about 6 months in the 1990s. The Metro was
great, if you wanted to go into D.C.

But if you want to go across the spokes of the transport system, you
couldn't. You had to go down the line, and hope there was a crossover
before downtown. But it was typically only between 2 adjacent lines.

I asked my boss why the spokes weren't connected ? He told me there
were lawsuits, NIMBY screaming, etc. so, no spoke connections on
basically a wagon wheel of lines going into D.C.

--
Jim

David Lesher

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May 20, 2020, 12:12:08 AM5/20/20
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JimP <solo...@gmail.com> writes:


>I asked my boss why the spokes weren't connected ? He told me there
>were lawsuits, NIMBY screaming, etc. so, no spoke connections on
>basically a wagon wheel of lines going into D.C.

A) Because the whole rational behind Metro was to NOT have
I-95 running through the District and out again. It got its
federal support because it would carry the federal workforce
in every AM and out at night.

B) Look up the Purple Line. Granted needed 30 years ago,
and now bogged down, but eventually.....

robin....@gmail.com

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May 20, 2020, 1:29:52 AM5/20/20
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On Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 12:47:43 PM UTC+10, David Lesher wrote:
> Ahem A Rivet's Shot <s.....@eircom.net> writes:
>
> >On Mon, 18 May 2020 01:11:55 -0000 (UTC)
> >John Levine <j.....@taugh.com> wrote:
>
> >> That is somewhat true although the real issue is rampant NIMBY-ism.
> >> The Caltrain from S.F. to San Jose is being electrifed for faster and
> >> more frequent service
>
> > Wow, in pollution sensitive California this is just happening ? I
> >recall watching lines being electrified when I was a child in the 1970s -
> >there was much grumbling about the bridges that had to be closed for
> >modifications.
>
> IMHO it would have been better to replace it with BART, but that
> would have entailed removing all the grade crossings.

Not at all.

The Chicago Electroliners operated from third rail in Chicago city,
and from overhead between Chicago and Milwaukee, with street running
in Milwaukee. Most of the run between Chicago and Milwaukee
was on reserved track, with plenty of level crossings.
The Electroliners were running from 1940.

Other cars were similarly equipped to run from third rail in
Chicago and overhead elsewhere, and were operating from before 1940
to well after.

Thomas Koenig

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May 20, 2020, 8:45:33 AM5/20/20
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JimP <solo...@gmail.com> schrieb:

> But if you want to go across the spokes of the transport system, you
> couldn't. You had to go down the line, and hope there was a crossover
> before downtown. But it was typically only between 2 adjacent lines.

Reminds me of the SNCF metric for the distance between points (SNCF is the
French national ralway society).

You have one special point P. If points A and B are on a straight
line together with P, the metric is the Eucledian distance of A
to B. If not, it is the sum of the distances of A to P and B to P.

This is called SNCF metric because, in the French rail system,
P stands for Paris.

David Lesher

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May 20, 2020, 9:07:23 AM5/20/20
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robin....@gmail.com writes:

>> IMHO it would have been better to replace it with BART, but that
>> would have entailed removing all the grade crossings.

>Not at all.

>The Chicago Electroliners operated from third rail in Chicago
>city, and from overhead between Chicago and Milwaukee, with
>street running in Milwaukee. Most of the run between Chicago
>and Milwaukee was on reserved track, with plenty of level
>crossings. The Electroliners were running from 1940.

It's not {just} the third rail issue, it's also the
collision issue. My understanding is the crush-resistance
requirements differ greatly between 100% dedicated RoW and
shared-with-auto/truck RoW.

Ahem A Rivet's Shot

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May 20, 2020, 9:30:04 AM5/20/20
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On Wed, 20 May 2020 12:45:32 -0000 (UTC)
Thomas Koenig <tko...@netcologne.de> wrote:

> You have one special point P. If points A and B are on a straight
> line together with P, the metric is the Eucledian distance of A
> to B. If not, it is the sum of the distances of A to P and B to P.
>
> This is called SNCF metric because, in the French rail system,
> P stands for Paris.

This metric was introduced to me during our lectures on the
subject, except that the special point was L and it was the "British Rail
Metric" - L was of course London.

robin....@gmail.com

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May 20, 2020, 11:11:50 AM5/20/20
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On Wednesday, May 20, 2020 at 11:07:23 PM UTC+10, David Lesher wrote:
> r......@gmail.com writes:
>
> >> IMHO it would have been better to replace it with BART, but that
> >> would have entailed removing all the grade crossings.
>
> >Not at all.
>
> >The Chicago Electroliners operated from third rail in Chicago
> >city, and from overhead between Chicago and Milwaukee, with
> >street running in Milwaukee. Most of the run between Chicago
> >and Milwaukee was on reserved track, with plenty of level
> >crossings. The Electroliners were running from 1940.
>
> It's not {just} the third rail issue, it's also the
> collision issue. My understanding is the crush-resistance
> requirements differ greatly between 100% dedicated RoW and
> shared-with-auto/truck RoW.

Usually in a collision between a 240 ton train and a 20-ton truck,
the truck comes off second best.

Peter Flass

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May 20, 2020, 2:57:36 PM5/20/20
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If you have grade crossings, even with gates and lights, even assuming both
work, you still get collisions. People seem to think that the gate means
“drive around me.”

--
Pete

J. Clarke

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May 20, 2020, 5:20:37 PM5/20/20
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When the gate closes and a half an hour later no train has appeared,
frustration mounts.

Peter Flass

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May 20, 2020, 5:23:47 PM5/20/20
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Asking for trouble, but it’s best to eliminate grade crossings. NY has a
subway, Chicago as an El, and Disneyland has a monorail. now Las Vegas will
have a Hyperloop (sort of).

--
Pete

jtmpreno

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May 20, 2020, 10:12:10 PM5/20/20
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NYC used to have an elevated railway called, appropriately enough, the
El, going back to 1868.
https://ny.curbed.com/2018/6/27/17507424/new-york-city-elevated-train-history-transportation

Eventually they tore them all down, the last one during late December of
the year.

Some people still miss it, so even now, around Christmas time people
will gather on street corners and sing: No-El.

John Levine

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May 20, 2020, 10:29:50 PM5/20/20
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In article <r9vhcd$9j$1...@reader1.panix.com>,
David Lesher <wb8...@panix.com> wrote:
>>> That is somewhat true although the real issue is rampant NIMBY-ism.
>>> The Caltrain from S.F. to San Jose is being electrifed for faster and
>>> more frequent service ...

>IMHO it would have been better to replace it with BART, but that
>would have entailed removing all the grade crossings.

Heck, no. The Caltrain is already faster, and it's standard gauge so
freights can use the same tracks at night. If you've taken both BART
and Caltrain from Millbrae into the city, even with the current
service Caltrain is a lot faster, at least if you want to go somewhere
not too far from 4th+Townsend. The KISS EMUs are much higher capacity
than BART cars since they're double deck, and can go 99mph if the
signalling is upgraded to handle it. Also, they have denser seating
intended to give more people a seat on longer trips.

>In addition, past discussions of electrifying the rail line along
>the coast south of there has brought forth a massive huh and cry
>from the landowners who feel the catenary will destroy their
>view.

Yeah, the NIMBYs go all the way to the Mexican border.

Quadibloc

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May 21, 2020, 3:49:02 AM5/21/20
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On Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 8:33:15 AM UTC-6, Peter Flass wrote:

> SDS 930, 1963

Bzzt. The SDS 930 was made from discrete transistors. You're close, though. The
SDS 92 was *one* of the first computers to be made from integrated circuits.

John Savard

Questor

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May 22, 2020, 3:40:46 AM5/22/20
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On Thu, 21 May 2020 02:29:49 -0000 (UTC), John Levine <jo...@taugh.com> wrote:
>In article <r9vhcd$9j$1...@reader1.panix.com>,
>David Lesher <wb8...@panix.com> wrote:
>>>> That is somewhat true although the real issue is rampant NIMBY-ism.
>>>> The Caltrain from S.F. to San Jose is being electrifed for faster and
>>>> more frequent service ...
>
>>IMHO it would have been better to replace it with BART, but that
>>would have entailed removing all the grade crossings.
>
>Heck, no. The Caltrain is already faster, and it's standard gauge so
>freights can use the same tracks at night. If you've taken both BART
>and Caltrain from Millbrae into the city, even with the current
>service Caltrain is a lot faster, at least if you want to go somewhere
>not too far from 4th+Townsend. The KISS EMUs are much higher capacity
>than BART cars since they're double deck, and can go 99mph if the
>signalling is upgraded to handle it. Also, they have denser seating
>intended to give more people a seat on longer trips.
>
>>In addition, past discussions of electrifying the rail line along
>>the coast south of there has brought forth a massive huh and cry
>>from the landowners who feel the catenary will destroy their
>>view.
>
>Yeah, the NIMBYs go all the way to the Mexican border.

The short-sightedness goes way back.

Marin County could have had BART, but backroom politics got in the way
https://www.sfgate.com/local/article/Marin-County-BART-Golden-Gate-Bridge-study-14364699.php#next

1956 BART plan would be great today
https://sfbayca.com/2011/12/14/1956-bart-plan-would-be-great-today/

If BART had ringed the Bay as initially envisioned it would have been truly
great.

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