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Book case collapse unveils ancient document

May 8, 2012

An unexpected book-case collapse at the headquarters of Business Network SW led to the discovery of an ancient text.

Dating from ’98 and title “overcoming technophobia – an introduction to the internet” a paper presented at IHRSA’s* 17th Annual Convention by Spencer Garrett.

The convention was titled ‘A Visionary Landscape’ and other presentations included ‘Safe Effective Strength Training for all Populations’, ‘Developing an Annual Marketing Plan’, ‘Effectively Train and Mange Your Employees with the F.A.C.T.S**’

The convention took place in Phoenix, Arizona and as a Leisure Manager in Marriott I was fortunate enough to go along with a dozen colleagues!

Back to the internet!

Where the internet came from – in 1969 a Pentagon group called the Advanced research Project Agency were in charge of de-centralising the US military computing so that if a part of it was destroyed the rest would function.  they used a network protocol called TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) – the network was called the ARPAnet.

In the 80’s the National Science Foundation opened 5 supercomputing centres throughout the USA so that researchers could access high-powered computers for research databases and calculations.  The 5 centres were connected with the same TCP/IP based network – known as the NSFnet

Then universities started linking using the NSFnet so that students could use the supercomputing centres.  They found that this Internet was useful for more that just research – it could be use  to send electronic mail saving money on postage and phone calls

Recently (article written in 1998!) in the early 90’s the Internet Society opened the internet to commerce.  Since the release of Netscape Navigator in 1994 the Internet has had a geographical look.  Since these 2 developments it has been growing at a rate of 1 million new users per month!

The glossary of terms in 1998 is much the same as today – bookmark, browser, FAQ, Firewall, ISP

Some of the terms used then

  • Flame – a nasty piece of email or a comment in a newsgroup posting something that offended someone
  • Home page – a location used on the World Wide Web (see below) that an organisation uses as a reception desk!
  • MIME – Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions – allowing users to exchange multi media email – spreadsheets, programmes, databases
  • Search Engines – popular ones include Lycos and Ata Vista and of course Microsoft Internet Explorer
  • Webmaster – the person in charge of a particular page

World Wide Web – is not the Internet.  They are distinctly different.  The WWW is a collection of graphical documents made available on computers around the world called servers.  A server is a computer that makes information available and delivers it upon request  – like a waiter delivers food in a restaurant.  The WWW is not a collection of wires and networks that make up the Internet – it is a collection of documents that are viewed on-line using a browser.

More on email – the most popular email program in 1998 was Eudora!

To get started on the Internet

  • You need a computer with a colour monitor!
  • A modem, a telephone line, an ISP and programs for browsing and email!
  • For modems buy the fastest that you can – if you cannot afford a 28.8 or 33.6 kbps modem wait!
  • Be cautious about buying a 56 kbps modem – they work at high speeds only under special circumstances
  • The telephone line – you may need a second line as a telephone call coming in could cause havoc with your modem connection

How much does it cost – remember 1998 prices – $20 – $25 per month

Ratio of lines to subscribers – 13:1 is a good ratio

For your ISP – forge a good relationship with a local ISP – quite likely that you can find one that will trade with you – Internet for membership.  Can you imagine trying to barter with our current ISP’s?

Internet Essentials in 1998

‘Once you are online there are a wealth of programs for you – many free, some are shareware 9where the authors hope you’ll pay for them if you like them!)

  • FTP
  • Telnet Clients – for logging on to a remote computer to tweak your file
  • HTML editors
  • WYSIWYG Editors
  • Plug Ins

After reading this it not only made me realise how far we have come in only 14 years but that we are also discussing whether Face book is part of the WWW(or is it part of the Internet) or is it it’s own Internet?  

Article in Intelligent Life by Robert Lane Greene is professional services correspondent of  The Economist,based in New York, and editor of its Johnson blog. He is the author of “You Are What You Speak”

*What is IHRSA?

IHRSA, the ‘International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association’ is the trade association serving the health and fitness club industry. IHRSA’s mission is to grow, protect and promote the health and fitness industry, and to provide its members with benefits that will help them be more successful.

IHRSA members represent health and fitness facilities, gyms, spas, sports clubs, and suppliers worldwide. IHRSA and its members are dedicated to making the world healthier through regular exercise and fitness promotion.

IHRSA members are for-profit businesses operating in the health, racquet and sportsclub industry. Our members have set the pace for the industry’s expansion and evolution.

  • Club Members: Over 11,000 in 69 countries
  • Associate Members: Over 600 Industry Suppliers


Focus, Accountability, Commitment, Tracking

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