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The day I turned down Tim Berners-Lee

[Tim Berners-Lee] told me about his proposed system called the ‘World Wide Web.’ And I thought, well, that’s got a pretentious name. — Ian Ritchie

Synopsis

Imagine it's late 1990, and you meet a young man who starts telling you about his proposed system called the World Wide Web. Ian Ritchie was there. And he didn't buy it. Here Ritchie tells his story about information, connectivity and learning from mistakes. Talk recorded 11 July 2011 and being republished to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web.

About the Speaker

Ian Ritchie is chair of iomart plc. and several other computer and learning businesses, including Computer Application Services Ltd., the Interactive Design Institute and Caspian Learning Ltd. He is co-chair of the Scottish Science Advisory Council, a board member of the Edinburgh International Science Festival and the chair of Our Dynamic Earth, the Edinburgh Science Centre.

Ritchie founded and managed Office Workstations Limited (OWL) in Edinburgh in 1984 and its subsidiary OWL International Inc. in Seattle from 1985. OWL became the first and largest supplier of Hypertext/Hypermedia authoring tools (a forerunner to the World Wide Web) for personal computers based on its Guide product. OWL's customers used its systems to implement large interactive multimedia documentation systems in industry sectors such as automobile, defence, publishing, finance, and education. OWL was sold to Matsushita Electrical Industrial (Panasonic) of Japan in December 1989. He is the author of New Media Publishing: Opportunities from the digital revolution (1996).

He was awarded a CBE in the 2003 New Years Honours list for services to enterprise and education; he is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering; a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh; and a Fellow and a past-President of the British Computer Society (1998-99). 

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