Notes to an Old Dog about the Internet

Subj: Notes to an Old Dog about the Internet:
Date: 11/08/95
To: Jomaxsolo

Notes to an Old Dog about the Internet:

AMERICA ONLINE IS A COMMERCIAL COPY OF IT

The Internet is a menagerie of electronic architecture built by anarchy. Anyone and everyone builds upon it. There's a lot of free labor in it and there's a lot of free service and information on it. It's free out of rebellion. It's got a lot of hippie mind set. "Hell with you Bill 'Micro$oft' Gate$, here's a software program I developed that will feed and clothe children and spank them if they cross the street without looking for cars. I'm giving it away free. Take that!" After a few free takes, one (meaning me and you) begins to feel the need to balance things out by contributing a little something of himself to the Network. So on it grows.

Like people, all the computers in the world have the desire for intercourse with any or all of their fellow machines. Directly out of this desire has come the ability to connect through wire and electrons, and microwaves. The "Babes" or "Queenbees"of this network are called servers and hosts. They hold the "honey", i.e., information, data, pictures, video, audio, interactive intelligence, etc. The worker bees like us (individuals with computer machines) can travel this network to reach the "babes" and partake of the honey. Any of us can become babes too if we'd like to attract other worker bees. We just configure as servers, keep the porch light on, and deliver the prize bytes when a caller comes a knockin'. There are nekked ladies out there who will let you download pictures of their butts for a fee. That's where America Online comes in. They saw this and said "Hey if people will pay money for electronic pictures of butts, maybe they'll pay money for electronic pictures of Yitzak Rabin gettin' shot in the head."

AOL then puts on the ad campaign, sends out free disks, offers up the first 10 packets of the addictive stuff for free, and reels in illiterates like me an you to get "hooked" up. What AOL is is a miniature but more gilded version of the Circus Circus Internet. They set up their huge tent in front of a door to the REAL SHOW and hope to catch and divert the customers on their way in. But IF a virgin ever makes it thru AOL onto the Internet he finds everything and a million times more than AOL will ever be. If he's frugal he soon finds another software application (Browser) and another (Cheaper) entrance to the Internet. So soon it's bye bye AOL. But, AOL is not stupid, AOL buys GNN (Global Network Navigator), a browser, e-mail, news group reader application. It charges $14.95 a month for 20 hrs. of phone time on the Net. Not bad but still there's better deals to be had for Internet access. Shop around.

THE NEWSGROUPS (USENET)

There are over 20,000 of these. There is one called [rec.fart]. Nobody reads it or posts (contributes e-copy to it). I must confess I once contributed something to it but it was off - subject which is a no-no in netiquette but since nobody reads it who cares? There is one called [alt.sailing asa]. This is the one to search for my boat in. Or find a skipper who needs a mate for a sail to the Cook Islands. There is one called [rec.aviation.simulators] this is the one to find out where to get the best rudder pedals at the cheapest price and how to get the DC-9 aircraft into your MS Flight 5.1 program for free.

These NEWS GROUPS are brain trusts. Thousands of people around the world with similar interests and expertise gather and read and write here. Information posted in these is usually accurate, because if it is not one of the readers who knows better will post back with an insulting correction (flame) of the misinformation.

These NEWS GROUPS are a powerful, global tool to anyone who can use correct information and knowledge or who needs to query hundreds of people with a common interest.

THE MAILING LISTS (LISTSERVER)

These are like the NEWS GROUPS except instead of being posted on a news server (Babe or Queenbee), all of the posts are sent to each and every subscriber in the form of e-mail in their e-mail account. One has to be a pretty lonely soul to want to have 100 to 1,000 e-mail letters a day arriving in his e-mail box.

THE WORLD WIDE WEB (WWW)

This is the Big Top, Main Attraction, the 40 ft Motor home in the Cruising Lane of the Information Superhighway. The Web, so-called because it's destinations and connections are networked like a spiderweb, is an ever expanding collection of electronic destinations containing continually updated bits of information, data, pictures, video, audio, interactive intelligence, etc. Each one of the electronic pages has an electronic address that, when typed or pasted into your web browser application will direct your computer to the server of that page and its information. The pages include hypertext links (highlighted text or icons or pictures) that when clicked on with your mouse will take you to another web page.

YOUR FIRST SURFING LESSON

1. Connect to America Online

2. Click on the Internet Icon along the Top or write Internet in the GoTo window.

3. Click on the WWW (World Wide Web) Icon

4. In the Browser's address box, enter exactly as follows:

http://gnn.com/gnn/meta/travel/features/borders/index.html

Then wait and wait and wait while it loads.

This is the Web Address of Carla King's "American Borders". You can read, download or print out any or all of the chapters she has contributed so far. I see there's a new one today called "You Can Go Home Again." Put your mouse there and click it Dude.

Happy Surfing Dude, don't get hooked.

The Dustman.

 Go to the Next Letter

 Go to The Previous Letter

  Go to The Letters Index

  Go to The Home Page