The year is 1839. The British Empire seizes Hong Kong as a base, preparing to wage war against Qing China. The world’s first commercial electric telegraph line comes into operation alongside the Great Western Railway line from Paddington station to West Drayton. And in Manchester, George Bradshaw, cartographer, printer and publisher, prepares a revolutionary publication on the recently established railways: the first ever timetable for public transportation, a cloth-bound book entitled Bradshaw’s Railway Time Tables and Assistant to Railway Travelling (the title being changed in 1840 to Bradshaw’s Railway Companion).
Bradshaw’s timetable changed the perception of technology: people suddenly realized that while a single train is extremely useful, the railways showed their full usefulness as a network of trains, interconnected as a radical new way of communication, potentially for everyone. With the first timetable, the steam age had its definitive listing of data protocol definitions and RFCs. Full steam ahead! Volldampf voraus!
168 years later, we publish our own timetable for 24C3, the 24th Chaos Communication Congress in 2007, December 27th to 30th in Berlin, Germany, Europe. May it be your useful assistant and companion to data travelling. May it whet your appetite for what we believe will be the best Congress ever.