Cyberspace today

Voice Card  -  Volume 31  -  Paul Card Number 7  -  Sat, Mar 5, 1994 11:20 PM

This is ONE OF 2 responses to VC 30 Holly 5 ("Wow...that's nice")...

Holly asked about America On-Line access, and this got me to thinking about how computer networking has affected my life in recent years. The change has not been major - yet - but I think it's been fundamental, and good, and I think it will be a major change by the end of the decade.

Just consider the numbers: when I started at Digital in 1988, the Internet consisted of 20,000 computers. Today the Internet is a loosely-connected grouping of over two million computers (Digital has a private network of about 75,000 computers, a few of which are on the Internet).

But back to the effect on my life. In a separate note John explained how he and I communicate regularly on AOL and between AOL and the computer on my desktop at work (and, occasionally, to his desktop computer at work). Last year my little sister went back to school at UTEP, and she got an Internet account. Prior to this, we never exchanged letters, and seldom spoke over the phone. Now we average probably a couple notes back and forth a week, and our friendship has increased dramatically.

Also, her husband has a Compuserve account, and the two of us correspond occasionally. Last week, another brother in law got an Internet account and we are now sending e-mails back and forth.

For Christmas I gave two of my nephews Betsy's old Mac and they have since purchased a 9600 baud modem ($100). Today they are only networked to Matthew's school, but I know that's just a temporary state. Soon all the schools in Utah will be connected to the Internet, according to Governor Leavitt's "Technology 2000" initiative. At that point, if not sooner, I will have electronic access to all three of my sisters and their families.

But wait - there's more: now there is a family initiative to buy my parents a modem and a subscription to AOL. Seeing my mother on-line - now that will be impressive.

As a footnote to the above, I'm just now beginning to develop a dream of work in the year 2000. I would love to get a cabin in some remote section of the world - say in Canyon Creek where John used to live, or maybe somewhere more remote. I would need electricity to run the computer, and some sort of phone connection - but this could be digital cellular - and I would be set. Sure, I would have to meet people at their offices occasionally, but this would be monthly, or maybe weekly. Most of my time would be spent in my chosen environment, wearing the clothes I want to wear, working the hours I want to work. Freedom!

This vision is almost within grasp today, and it certainly is not restricted to computer professionals. Does this kind of life appeal to any of the rest of you?