They were pioneers, proving that you don't have to be there to make an impact. From the atmosphere above to the depths of a basement in Aurora, Ill., these innovators got it done, many without a secure VPN. How, you ask? With creativity, ingenuity and, in some cases, a bit of Hollywood magic.
10. Dr. Seth Brundle: What's more creepy than Jeff Goldblum? Jeff Goldblum turning into a fly in his remote laboratory in a rundown section of town in this well-done remake of The Fly.
9. Crew of Apollo 11: Can't get more remote than the moon.
8. IvanAnywhere: Canadian programmer Ivan Bowman has a robot created for him so it can roam the halls of the office while he works from home. Replete with video monitor, sensors, Web cam and speaker. Not bad, eh?
7. Lt. John Dunbar: An Army of One: Kevin Costner ends up by himself in an abandoned military outpost on the frontier during the Civil War. He dances with wolves, makes "tatanka" a household name and shows the true grit of a dedicated remote worker.
6. Capt. Nemo: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: The enigmatic genius from this Saturday Night Live skit. I believe a book was based on it.
5. Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar: Armed with little more than a crew of slacker buddies and some AV equipment, Wayne's World takes the greater Aurora, Ill., area by comedic storm, all from Wayne's basement. No way! Way.
4. Surgeons in the Lindbergh Operation: The patient was in France. The surgeons in New York City. Sounds like a problem if you're the patient. It wasn't. They conducted one of the earliest telesurgeries in 2001, successfully operating on the patient's gall bladder from across the Atlantic Ocean over a dedicated fiber optic link. The operation was named in honor of aviator Charles Lindbergh's flight across the Atlantic.
3. S.R. Hadden: The creepy billionaire eccentric who orbits the Earth in the 1997 film "Contact." Hopefully one day more creepy billionaires will follow suit.
2. The Extreme Telecommuter: Put telecommuting to the test. A recent trend has remote workers stuffing their backpacks with spare battery packs, electrical plug converters, smart phones, gadgets and a laptop and heading off to remote locations in Europe, South America or anywhere dubbed "extreme." Birkenstocks mandatory.
1. Ernest Hemingway: A pioneer in the field of working from sidewalk cafes and dive bars throughout the world, Papa perfected the art of buckling down and working among the chatter and buzz of a bustling cityscape. All without having to plunk down six bucks for a grande mocha latte.
Posted by Pat Burke on May 16, 2008 2:58 PM