Jan Sloot

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Romke Jan Bernhard Sloot (27 August 1945, Groningen 11 July 1999 [1] , Nieuwegein) was a Dutch electronics engineer [2] , who in 1995 claimed to have developed a revolutionary data sharing technique, the Sloot Digital Coding System, which could allegedly store a complete movie in 8 kilobytes of data this is orders of magnitude greater compression than the best currently available technology in the 2010s. He died suddenly on July 11, 1999 of a heart attack, just days before the conclusion of a contract to sell the invention. The full source code was never recovered, and the technique and claim has since never been reproduced or verified.

Nieuwegein Municipality in Utrecht, Netherlands

Nieuwegein[ˌniʋəˈɣɛi̯n](listen) is a municipality and city in the Dutch province of Utrecht. It is bordered on the north by the city of Utrecht, the provincial capital. It is separated from Vianen to the south by the river Lek and borders on IJsselstein in the southwest and Houten in the east.

Netherlands Constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Europe

The Netherlands is a country located mainly in Northwestern Europe. The European portion of the Netherlands consists of twelve separate provinces that border Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, and the North Sea to the northwest, with maritime borders in the North Sea with Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom. Together with three island territories in the Caribbean Sea—Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba— it forms a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The official language is Dutch, but a secondary official language in the province of Friesland is West Frisian.

Electronics physics, engineering, technology and applications that deal with the emission, flow and control of electrons in vacuum and matter

Electronics comprises the physics, engineering, technology and applications that deal with the emission, flow and control of electrons in vacuum and matter. The identification of the electron in 1897, along with the invention of the vacuum tube, which could amplify and rectify small electrical signals, inaugurated the field of electronics and the electron age.

Contents

Early life

Sloot was born the youngest of three children. His father, a school headmaster, left his family quite soon after Sloot's birth. [3] :18 Sloot was enrolled at a Dutch technical school, but dropped out early to work at a radio station. [3] :20 After fulfilling mandatory military service, Sloot settled in Utrecht, Netherlands with his wife. [3] :20 He worked briefly for Philips Electronics in Eindhoven, Netherlands but left this job in 1978 after a year and a half, starting his next job in Groningen at an audio and video store. A few years later he moved to Nieuwegein where he started his own company repairing televisions and stereos.

Groningen City and municipality in Netherlands

Groningen is the main municipality as well as the capital city of the eponymous province in the Netherlands. It is the largest city in the north of the Netherlands and has approximately 230,000 inhabitants. The Groningen-Assen metropolitan area has about half a milion inhabitants. Groningen is an old city and was the regional power of the north of the Netherlands, a semi-independent city-state and member of the German Hanseatic League. Groningen is a university city, with an estimated 31,000 students at the University of Groningen, and an estimated 29,000 at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences.

In 1984, Sloot began focusing on computer technology such as the Philips P2000, Commodore 64, IBM PC XT, and AT. Sloot developed the idea of a countrywide repair service network called RepaBase with a database containing details on all repairs carried out. This concept was the motivation to develop alternative data storage techniques that would require significantly less space than traditional methods.

Philips P2000

The Philips P2000T home computer was Philips' first real entry in the home computer market, after the Philips Videopac G7000 game system which they already sold to compete with the Atari 2600 and similar game systems. There was also a P2000M version with an additional 80-column card for use with a monochrome monitor. This version shipped with a monitor cabinet also housing a dual 5.25" floppy drive.

Commodore 64 8-bit home computer introduced in January 1982

The Commodore 64, also known as the C64 or the CBM 64, is an 8-bit home computer introduced in January 1982 by Commodore International. It has been listed in the Guinness World Records as the highest-selling single computer model of all time, with independent estimates placing the number sold between 10 and 17 million units. Volume production started in early 1982, marketing in August for US$595. Preceded by the Commodore VIC-20 and Commodore PET, the C64 took its name from its 64 kilobytes(65,536 bytes) of RAM. With support for multicolor sprites and a custom chip for waveform generation, the C64 could create superior visuals and audio compared to systems without such custom hardware.

IBM Personal Computer/AT

The IBM Personal Computer AT, more commonly known as the IBM AT and also sometimes called the PC AT or PC/AT, was IBM's second-generation PC, designed around the 6 MHz Intel 80286 microprocessor and released in 1984 as System Unit 5170. The name AT stood for "Advanced Technology," and was chosen because the AT offered various technologies that were then new in personal computers; one such advancement was that the 80286 processor supported protected mode. IBM later released an 8 MHz version of the AT.

Sloot Encoding System

In 1995, Sloot claimed to have developed a data encoding technique that could store an entire feature film in only 8 kilobytes. For comparison, even with the most modern techniques, a very low-quality video file normally requires 10,000 times more storage space, and a higher quality video file could require 175,000 times more data.

Roel Pieper is quoted as saying (translated from Dutch):

"It is not about compression. Everyone is mistaken about that. The principle can be compared with a concept as Adobe-postscript, where sender and receiver know what kind of data recipes can be transferred, without the data itself actually being sent." [4]

In 1996, Sloot received an investment from colleague Jos van Rossum, a cigarette machine operator. The same year, Sloot and van Rossum were granted a 6-year Dutch patent for the Sloot Encoding System, naming Sloot as inventor and Van Rossum as patent owner.

Despite the apparent impossibility of the encoding system, there were investors who saw potential. In early 1999, Dutch investor Marcel Boekhoorn joined the group. In March 1999, the system was demonstrated to Roel Pieper, former CTO and board member of Philips. Pieper resigned from Philips in May 1999 and joined Sloot's company as CEO, which was re-branded as The Fifth Force, Inc. [1] The story—including an account of a believable demonstration of the technology—is told in modest detail in Tom Perkins' 2007 book Valley Boy: The Education of Tom Perkins. [5]

Marcel Boekhoorn is a Dutch entrepreneur, investor, philanthropist and owner of investment company Ramphastos Investments. Boekhoorn has a wide array of business interests both within The Netherlands and internationally. With an estimated net worth of €1.9 billion, Boekhoorn is one of the wealthiest individuals in The Netherlands.

Roland "Roel" Pieper is a Dutch IT-entrepreneur.

Thomas Perkins (businessman) American businessperson

For the Florida politician see Mayors of Tallahassee, Florida

Perkins, the co-founder of the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, had agreed to invest in the technology when Sloot died. Perkins and Pieper would have proceeded after Sloot's death, but a key piece of the technology, a compiler stored on a floppy disk, had disappeared and, despite months of searching, was never recovered.

Kleiner Perkins, formerly Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), is an American venture capital firm headquartered on Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park in Silicon Valley. Specializing in investments in incubation, early stage and growth companies, since its founding in 1972 the firm has backed entrepreneurs in over 850 ventures, including America Online, Amazon.com, Compaq, Electronic Arts, JD.com, Square, Genentech, Google, Netscape, Sun Microsystems, Nest, Synack, Snap, AppDynamics, and Twitter. Kleiner Perkins focuses its global investments in practice areas including technology and life sciences. The Wall Street Journal and other publications have called it one of the "largest and most established" venture capital firms and Dealbook named it "one of Silicon Valley’s top venture capital providers." In addition to its Menlo Park headquarters, the company has offices in San Francisco and Shanghai, China.

Death

On July 11, 1999 Sloot was found dead, in his garden [2] at his home in Nieuwegein of an apparent heart attack. [1] He died one day before an attractive deal was signed with Roel Pieper, former CTO and board member of Philips.

Myocardial infarction interruption of blood supply to a part of the heart

Myocardial infarction (MI), commonly known as a heart attack, occurs when blood flow decreases or stops to a part of the heart, causing damage to the heart muscle. The most common symptom is chest pain or discomfort which may travel into the shoulder, arm, back, neck, or jaw. Often it occurs in the center or left side of the chest and lasts for more than a few minutes. The discomfort may occasionally feel like heartburn. Other symptoms may include shortness of breath, nausea, feeling faint, a cold sweat, or feeling tired. About 30% of people have atypical symptoms. Women more often present without chest pain and instead have neck pain, arm pain, or feel tired. Among those over 75 years old, about 5% have had an MI with little or no history of symptoms. An MI may cause heart failure, an irregular heartbeat, cardiogenic shock, or cardiac arrest.

The family consented to an autopsy, but no autopsy was performed.[ citation needed ] Sloot left behind his wife and three children.

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References

  1. 1 2 3 Klok, Peter (September 20, 2004). "Tv-reparateur nam geheim mee in zijn graf" [TV repairman took secret to his grave] (in Dutch).
  2. 1 2 Bartels, Vladimir (2001). De Broncode Deel (Video Documentary).
  3. 1 2 3 Smit, Eric. Der SuperCode[The SuperCode] (in Dutch). ISBN   978-3431036329.
  4. "The Sloot Digital Coding System is not about compression". September 17, 2006.
  5. Perkins, Thomas J. (2007). Valley boy : the education of Tom Perkins. New York: Gotham Books. ISBN   9781592403134. OCLC   122423908.

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