As befits Hollands Glorie, the Universal Link remained bland and casual. Sure, he lives well, up there at Maarssen’s Vecht in Utrecht, but his place isn’t of paranoid Southfork Ranch proportions.
Cees Links (Amsterdam, 1957) opens the back door, calms Benji down, and turns on the coffee machine. Doesn’t he hate using tech gadgets? There’s still a landline phone on the side panel, one of those without a crimped wire in the receiver. Wireless. Thus, in 1988, the story of the most famous and most influential Dutch man by Elsevier began.
This widespread ignorance ended recently, because the call for a television competition of the three He couldn’t leave it. “Because that was my grandmother’s favorite show, with Albert Moll and Martin Beagle on the panel. Around the age of ten I watched her so much, we didn’t have a TV in the house. Not that we were poor, but with seven children there were other priorities.” Says the 66-year-old left.
My grandmother used to say, “You have to make the most of your talents.”
My grandmother was poorly educated. She washes her large family’s clothes by hand on Mondays, the fate of her generation. She was wise. She always said, “You must make the most of your talents,” just as my father later did for us and me with my five children. It is the reformed value system of my youth. Work ethic is indebted to society. Earn money and pay taxes.”
Of course his grandmother was on his mind when he was in of the three Studio sat. “It always looks so elegant with Wendy’s. I especially loved seeing the back of the ’embroidery’, with that jumble of interwoven threads and knots and crumbles. Every front has a back.”
And while we’re on the subject: Cees Links was born in Amsterdam, moved to Leeuwarden in his youth and graduated in 1982 at Enschede in Electrical Engineering. He got a job in Nieuwegein, at the American company NCR, which dealt in ATMs and cash register systems.
How nice it would be if you didn’t have to mess with those cables
“One more evening in 1988, I ate a McDonald’s hamburger or something with my mates, when we sighed how nice it would be if we didn’t have to mess with those cables.” Eureka moment under a quick bite, revolution in 3 seconds. “I couldn’t make the story more beautiful.”
Wireless is already there. With monsters of telephone receivers, you can move a little further away from the mother machine indoors. “With those big antennas.”
Cess Lynx saved us from the ropes, but he’s not from the chest-beating Poquito. “The invention is only the beginning. The real miracle lies in the technology. Those three hundred chips in the millions of smartphones sold have to work, or you’re going to have a bad buy. Like the Blokker cashier who used to install and test a light bulb before it settled with you.” .
“Every part has to work, the head alone does nothing. The head is nothing without feet, and the feet are nothing without hands. Then it is also about marketing and sales.”
“We realized two things: for WiFi to work successfully, the standard had to be universal and we had to be on the same frequency everywhere.”
Product development took a few years, but not as long as it was sold through the office doors of IBM, Samsung, HP, Dell, Philips…
For ten long years, all he heard was no, no, no more
As an actor, Cees Links set out with a laptop in the back pocket of his jacket. “My first wife sewed a pocket in it, all to prove that from now on you could send e-mail and use the internet everywhere. How convenient it was…”
For ten long years, all he heard was no, no, no more. This did not disappoint him. “Frustration is an attack on your health. My dad used to say ‘tomorrow is another day’ before turning off the light when he put me to bed.
“If Monday was a disappointment, I would wake up on Tuesday with a fresh mind. By nature I’m tenacious and resilient, a good combination. I can hit my head but I keep persevering. If it’s not left, let’s be right.”
Then in 1999 came the phone call from Steve Jobs. “He went back to Apple, where he had been away for a while. The market was ready for a wireless laptop, and Jobs knew that very well.” Legend has it that Michael Dell complained via email at the launch of the iBook that “Apple has always been ahead…” “even though I showed it to him.”
Thanks to WiFi, the Internet has traveled in a jet-set across the globe, as easily online in Lutjebroek as it is in the Brazilian rainforest. The person was walking next to the sneakers due to the lack of …
“Pride? No. Although my wife and I always smile at each other when we get on board a train compartment with the WiFi logo on it.” On its screen the symbol appears in black and white. “Yin and Yang.”
The story goes that “wieffie” also came up with the name Wi-Fi
Something in between, love from the workplace. At the time, his second wife, Angela Champence, also an engineer, was his colleague. The story goes that “wieffie” also came up with the name Wi-Fi.
Small correction: “This is also a little less romantic. It was formerly called the Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Association. It didn’t make sense. Angela went to an advertising agency in New York, and Wireless Fidelity came out on top. It sounds good and rhymes with the popular HiFi.”
Waifai, wiefie, you can pronounce it however you like. But in the left house, it’s Wifi. Angela is of Canadian descent, and English is the official language in the house, and this can be heard on R. With a slight embarrassment in self-mocking: “People sometimes ask me how long I’ve been living in the Netherlands.”
WiFi has made its way through the capillaries of society. It’s in the smartphone and in the security camera, you can use it to turn on the heating before you get home, or to keep an eye on your old dad who lives alone.
Ask Link how the Internet enriches his existence, and Wikipedia mentions. “My parents paid 50 guilders a month to receive a volume of Elsevier’s Encyclopedia quarterly. Then we check it from A to Z. It’s great that all the knowledge is now available to everyone. I lost a lot of time doing market research, checking flyers at trade fairs. Now I have Report at the touch of a button. This is wealth.”
But young people write more texts in a year than I wrote in my entire youth
Yes, but we also hear historian Martin van Rossem complain that today’s youth no longer have ready-made knowledge. “Ready-made knowledge is also important, but there are also complaints that young people can no longer write. But they write more texts in a year than I wrote in my entire childhood. They are more communicative, then there is no handwriting.
Progress is all the time, and being regrettable is nothing new. “When handwriting was invented in 1800 BC, it was seen as impoverishing. The oral tradition of the Iliad and Homer would be lost by heart. My mother complained that I read picture books, but there wasn’t much at that time. By the way, did you know that The technology in our smartphones is better than the one in Apollo 8 that was the first to go to the moon?”
Concerns about privacy and security are objective. “The risks are always there.” And a few eccentrics believe that radiation affects their physical health. “Maybe it’s realistic perception, which doesn’t mean it isn’t true.”
A well-known drawback of the Internet is that all data is stored indefinitely. Like the piece in University Magazine in which the Left describes itself as a bit backward, stupid, vulgar. “I’ll stay that way…but I’m not a strict technician. Developing a product is a creative process. I also love sales, marketing, management, accounting, and can write documents. I’ve always wanted to be a general manager.”
That became the case in 2004 with his own company GreenPeak Technologies, which was acquired by Quorvo, a large US company specializing in radio frequency systems, in 2016.
This diffusion of talent, the mantra of his existence, has worked well. “I always tell our five children, ages 41 to 16. Also the youngest we adopted after the 2010 Haiti earthquake. She’s very good with kids.” The three-year-old grandfather laughs with some guilt: “I myself am not childish.”
If he cares about startups, great freedom looms on the horizon, too. Stifling boredom does not await the pensioner. “I am an athlete, I play the piano and I sing in an opera choir. I am very passionate about, for example, I have a barn in Amsterdam and this is in demand because there are not many of them. And I enjoy gardening.”
Religion is not what it used to be. We no longer simply attribute the inexplicable to a miracle
Yes, he goes to church every week. Religion is not what it used to be. We no longer simply attribute the inexplicable to a miracle. But I believe.” He laughs: “I also believe in technology.”
Yes, and Wi-Fi, which draws an invisible line from person to person, is elusive. Brett Decker, who is the only one of of the three Plaque inscribed across the interfaces, I automatically faltered: “But if you invented Wi-Fi, you’re some kind of god.” And Sys Linux should laugh at that.
“Professional web ninja. Certified gamer. Avid zombie geek. Hipster-friendly baconaholic.”
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