Posted by: COSI | July 21, 2008

Back to the Future

I’ve been encouraging COSI as an institution to look hard at exploring and using more of the web as a community building and communication tool. We’re doing more e-news mailings and we’ve been exploring more of how we can use Web 2.0 to help connect and support our community around celebrating, investigating and connecting with science as it relates to our world.

I should have known that my encouragement and nudging would come back on me ā€“ hence our crack team members in the COSI Marketing department got me going on my own blog that you are reading.

I do believe that a number of our younger team members (and those in the public) would feel that a 56 year old administrator is getting thrown into an unknown realm against his will šŸ™‚

In reality, Iā€™m returning to a technology world that I had a great love for, building on my initial electrical engineering studies and early educational computing leadership in developing the first school program to require the use of computers by all students. (We won an award from Apple for that and I became a contract consultant to Apple and others on integrating these new fangled computers into meaningful use in classrooms).

So even though I have to get reacquainted with the new version of this world, I can say that I used the internet when it first became publicly accessible with the Mosaic browser ( Marc Andreessen’s precursor to Netscape). I also was participating in national online conversations when we were still using external 300 baud modems–try that for downloading speed! (You wouldn’t believe how excited we were when 1200 baud came out.)

And not least, I was also a beta tester way back for a new service called America Online for which I became a forum leader (on using AppleWorks in education) for a number of years, getting me free AOL access for many more years until corporate caught up with the fact that AppleWorks had not been used in schools for a decade when they checked up on my free account!

So I’m back in the technology saddle trying to get reacquainted to the modern version of what we “pioneers” were laying the foundation for back in the ’80s and 90’s. So there!

P.S. As a founding forum leader w/AOL, I was offered shares at $10/share when it went public–3 young kids, single income, no cash, didn’t buy—-still working.

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Responses

  1. well, i must have been 10 or so, but I played quite a bit with quantum link on my c64 with a 300 baud vicmodem. that was rather mind blowingly max headroom like at the time to think of the possibilities. now a days, there are so many people doing all kinds of things online, i heard the other day that someone has recreated the server part of q link such that you can use your old commodore (if you still have one) or an emulator to use the old interface software and connect with that interface again, over the net.

    i think like what was said on the recent cmc video/forum, people are just looking to connect, and there’s just way more of them now. but i don’t know that things are really any different than back then, as we seem to just be reinventing qlink over and over again in little ways for the time being šŸ˜‰ i still sort of miss netscape 1.1n that was the big eye opener for me at least.

    anyway, great great post, didn’t know you were such a hoopy frood! keep up the great work at cosi!!!!!!!

  2. Ah, I remember the good old Commodore 64!

    (Wonder if anyone remembers the number came from the particular CPU driving it).

    What’s fun at COSI in our Gadgets area is that our guests get to take computers apart to actually see what is inside driving the computers–it’s probably been awhile since anyone had a Commodore 64 to take apart!


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