World Wide Wade Goes West—Episode II: Rochester, NY

6/29/10Follow @wroush

A confession: Graham and I recorded the first episode in this week’s video travelogue series, the interview with Mark Nelson at C.B. Fisk in Gloucester, MA, a couple of weeks ago as a dry run for our trip. Today’s episode is the first one shot en route.

We left Boston early Sunday morning, June 27, and drove to Rochester, NY, where we stopped to interview David Cook, a semi-retired former IT consultant and telephone system programmer who blogs at shlockandawe.blogspot.com. I’ll let David introduce himself in the video. Suffice it to say that he’s an incredibly sharp, articulate guy with strong opinions about trends in technology.

One of those trends is the rise of cloud computing, which has both pluses and minuses, in Cook’s view. He’s seen many generations of computing and networking technology come and go, and interestingly, he interprets cloud computing as a return to some of the worst aspects of old-fashioned time sharing.

I also got some great insights from Cook about the state of the economy and the technology community in Rochester. One quick note—Cook refers at one point to Kodak’s downsizing, saying that the company once had 67,000 employees and that it now has 9,000. He asked me to double check those figures, and I have. It’s correct that Kodak had 67,000 employees worldwide at one point in the early 2000s; the current number of employees globally is now in the neighborhood of 20,000.

We’re very grateful to David for time-sharing with us. And we hope you’ll check out the first two videos in our series—the pilot episode and the Gloucester episode. If you’re reading this via an Xconomy newsletter or RSS feed, you can head directly over to YouTube to watch the video, or subscribe to the whole series at our YouTube channel at YouTube.com/xconomywest.

World Wide Wade Goes West is sponsored by Pixability.

Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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