• COMMENT 2019-09-02 BY OHI team

    OHI interview with Severo Ornstein: The internet pioneer

    OHI interview with Severo Ornstein
    The internet pioneer

    OHI project interviewed Severo Ornstein on 2nd September 2019 in Silicon Valley.


    It was the second time that we interviewed Severo Ornstein, who lives in a house designed and built by himself on a hill in Silicon Valley. I still remember that the first interview with him was in the morning and the clouds and mist were haunting on the mountain, we arranged a round-trip Uber so that the inconvenience of mountain traffic could be alleviated. This time, thanks to the help of a friend who volunteered to drive for us, I am able to meet him again on this beautiful hill.


    Last time, we had an enjoyable three-hour interview with Severo Ornstein talking about his holistic view of Internet development. This time, we would like to focus on the human relation and culture of BBN, the pioneering company in Internet history.


    It was a sunny afternoon, the air on the mountain was cool and refreshing. As the interview went on, Severo Ornstein was gradually warming up and started telling a lot of exciting and interesting stories. Just as Ben Baker, who also worked at BBN at that time (we interviewed him in July at Boston), said that the interpersonal relationship among BBN teams was very harmonious, like a family, everybody treated each other as a friend, whether under working relationship or private affairs.


    GUO Moruo and Severo Ornstein

    In 1972, Severo Ornstein, as the head of the American computer delegation at that time, visited China and was greeted by Mr. GUO Moruo. And later on, the Chinese delegation went to Boston for a return visit. Severo Ornstein showed us first-hand photos and told that the Chinese computer level at the time was indeed several years behind the United States. The man with a big black beard in the above photo is him, however, his beard turns white which witnesses 47-years history passing by.


    The scenery on the mountain was beautiful with faint white clouds cruising the blue sky, we had a very good afternoon time chatting with Severo Ornstein and his spouse. We are very grateful for their strong support for our project and hope to see them again.


    Please follow us for more stories about Severo Ornstein.

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