OpenFiction [Blog]

How it all began (the personal edition)

Posted in intellectual property, MIT OpenCourseWare, OpenCourseWare, Personal by scarsonmsm on June 25, 2011

At the recent OCWC conference in Boston, I had the pleasure of introducing the keynote, Tim O’Reilly of O’Reilly Media. During the introduction (in addition to inflating my educational resume) I mentioned that I wouldn’t have ended up at MIT OpenCourseWare if not for an O’Reilly book.

I shared how in the year 2000, I decided either this whole Internet thing was going to pass me by or I was going to have to do something about it, so I picked up an O’Reilly HTML book, and like millions of others at the time, taught myself to code web pages. This led to my creating a distance learning course, which led to much frustration over my school’s intellectual property policy, which led to an appreciation of MIT’s approach, and ultimately to a job at OCW.

After the conference, I had a thank you gift to mail to Tim, and just before sending it I discovered the old dog-eared and coffee stained HTML book on the back of a shelf in my office. I included it with return postage, and Tim was kind enough to sign it and return it:

HTML book with Tim O'Reilly's signature on the cover

How it all began

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