Category: Time Patrol (page 3 of 7)

15 March 44 B.C. What if Caesar lived?

The more I researched Caesar’s assassination, the more intriguing it became. I loved how in the HBO series ROME, a contributing factor was Vorenus rushing away to confront his wife, leaving Caesar defenseless. But, in reality, there are some theories that Caesar had a very good idea what he walking into that day.

It must have been rather hard to keep such a conspiracy secret in a city such as Rome. Caesar was suffering from a malady, many think it was epilepsy, although some have proposed he suffered mini-strokes. Regardless, he was an ill man. He did some strange things in the months leading up to his death. At one point, Marc Antony tried to crown him and Caesar refused. But its doubtful Antony would have come up with this on his own.

Perhaps Caesar committed suicide by assassination?

But a more intriguing What If is this: What If Marc Antony had been able to get to Caesar and warn him? Together they decided to turn the tables on the assassins?

Ides of March (Time Patrol)

Caesar was only 56 when he died. What if he’d lived another 20 years, ruling Rome? How would history be different?

29 October 1969. The First Internet Message Is Sent.

And Cool Gus wonders what if it wasn’t?

On 29 October, 1969, a student at UCLA, Charley Kline, tried to transmit a message to a computer at Stanford over ARPANET, the precursor to the modern Internet. He managed to get the letters I and o sent before it crashed, thus foreshadowing all our future experiences on the Internet.

They rebooted, and about an hour later (pretty much still takes that long), he managed to send the entire massive message:

1st internet messagelogin

And thus the Internet was born.

What’s key about this was that computers and systems were at a crossroads in 1969. Many were advocating focusing on bigger machines in central positions that people would have to go to in order to access. The concept of linking machines wasn’t in favor with companies such as IBM.

LCM_-_Xerox_Sigma_9_(right)_and_related_equipment_-_01The 32-BIT Sigma 7 computer, with a 128 Max kwords memory, was used to send this message. Suffice it to say your current “smartphone” far outpowers this device. But everything has to start somewhere.

Off to the right is a Sigma 9. Yeah. Put that on your desk. And have the guy standing over your shoulder, because you need him too.

I remember taking ‘computing’ at West Point. Back in the days when men were men, and we ate rocks for breakfast, chased goats for fun, and learned how to program using symbols on paper and some other stuff (I specced and dumped all that– fellow Long Gray Line people will get the term) and then we brought that to guys like the one in the picture, in white lab coats, who did punch cards and then would tell us to come back for the results in an eon or so. I’m still waiting on a program. I think most of the programs were designed to find new rocks. Or goats.

29 October 1969. The day the Internet was born.

And what if someone tried to keep it from happening, is examined in Black Tuesday.


Free QuickRead: Was Beowulf a real person? Grendel a real monster?

A free QuickRead of Roland’s mission to Heorot, the great hall, in 452 A.D. where he meets the legendary Beowulf, and, unfortunately Grendel. And finds out the epic poem is based on something much more terrible than can be imagined. It’s available here in all formats. Enjoy!

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