My Guest Today

Dan Armstrong, founder and CEO of Beanfield Metroconnect.

  1. Mini Computers were used by businesses up until the 1990s. Back then the debate was raging about whether small & limited computers would beat out timeshares on large mainframe computers. Spoilers, the mainframes lost.

  2. An entertaining sketch of Beanfield’s 30 year history: (2 minutes)

  3. Niagara Falls first provided electricity in 1893, a measly 2.2 megawatts. Today the falls can generate up to 7,475 megawatts, which in 2018 totaled 32 terawatt-hours.

  4. Bell Canada and Rogers were the 2 most-complained about telco companies according to a 2017-2018 report from the CCTS. CCTS is the Commission for Complaints for Telecom-Television Services. Yeah, there’s enough complaints for an entire commission.

  5. Artscape Daniels Launchpad, which Hilary mentioned in our last episode, is a beautiful creative space in Toronto’s east end. A membership costs $125/month.

  6. Music producer Brandon Niles on SoundCloud and Instagram.

  7. Beanfield’s office is absolutely beautiful (10 photos).

  8. Competitive Local Exchange Carrier is the Candian/US term for a new telephone company competing with old, well-established phone companies.

  9. Waterfront Toronto was created (in 2001) to oversee and lead the renewal of Toronto’s waterfront.

  10. Citizens band radio (CB Radio) (or skip to 51:20 and hear Dan explain it).

  11. Not exactly the same as HAM radio. Here’s the difference.
  12. You can buy a CB Radio for under $100.

  13. The Internet is for porn! Here’s an excellent article and podcast about the intersection of pornography and the early Internet.

  14. Usenets (from “users’ network”) is a worldwide distributed discussion system established in the 1980s.

  15. Uuencoding is the old-school base64 encoding. It’s a binary-to-text encoding using 7-bit ASCII characters which were supported on nearly all system at the time.

  16. CB Radio call signs were used to uniquely identify people communicating via CB radio. They were either assigned by an official agency or, more often, made up. Example: “KBPU-9863”. Here’s a bunch more real call signs.

  17. Dan talks about the Trans-Canada CB Radio Club, which I couldn’t find anything about online.

  18. A Bulletin Board System (BBS) allowed people to dial-in to a computer system and read or upload messages and files. Dan hosted a BBS in the 1980s and even had a second phone line so two people could use it simultaneously!

  19. Amazon HQ2 could have brought 1000s of jobs to Toronto which would have been great for job hunters, but potentially devastating for local businesses who suddenly couldn’t afford to retain talent. Beanfield was really worried about this.

  20. Beanfield provided astonishing connectivity to support the Toronto 2015 Pan-Am Games.

  21. Dark Fibre aka Unlit Fibre.

  22. The fiber vs fibre debate. I went down a rabbit hole.

  23. A cable with 432-strands of fibre looks like this.

  24. An 864-strand fibre cable has a bandwidth of 3,456,000 gigabits per second, or about 3.4 petabits per second. The entire Internet in 2017 was estimated to use about 0.377 petabits per second. Beanfield could do it in a single cable without breaking a sweat.
  25. The above is based on a global Internet traffic estimate of 122 exabytes per month, from a Cisco white paper from 2017.

  26. I could not find more about the fibre optic cables that caught fire leading to an Internet outage in New York. If you have details on this, please send it to us and I’ll add it here.

  27. Underground transformer explosion in Toronto (20 second video). I couldn’t find images from the explosion I mentioned in the episode.

  28. A video where Chris Amendola talks about how an installation from Expo ‘86 inspired Dan to start Beanfield.

Closing music: Devon Tracy - Would You