Archive for September, 1996

The Info Age Arrives

September 10, 1996

First, we explored on ships through the ocean space. Then, we traveled continental space with automobiles and steam engines.

Next, we discovered air space with airplanes; then outerspace with new rocket technology.

Now, in the “Information Age,” we are trying frantically to probe the inner workings of a new kind of space.

Congratulate yourself – you have found cyberspace.

Although still in its infant stages and ready to explode any day now, this new information age – especially in the Internet field – is here and here to stay.

Prove it, you ask? Well here ya go!

Two words: e-mail.

Ok, so it ain”t two word. The root words are still there

“E” stands for electronic. Right there, you should see that we are starting to really feel futuristic and “beam me up, Scotty”-ish.

Anybody who’s anybody has an e-mail account now. I remember the good old days when having an e-mail account was like a gift from the man upstairs.

Now, instructors asking their students if they have an e-mail account – for communication purposes – is like asking about Manoa parking violations.

This past semester, my instructor asked my class if we all had e-mail accounts. Low and behold, we all did.

Before, you felt special raising your hand. Having one, two, even three accounts is not surprising anymore.

I, in fact. Have four accounts, all of which serve different purposes: school, work, business and pleasure. And I assure you, I’m not the only one

Another sign of the times is the commonness of Uniform Resource Locators (web page addresses).

It is so prosaic nowadays to own, maintain and run your own web page it’s silly

When HTML (HyperText Markup Language) first started gaining notoriety, I was there.

I thought it’d be cool to o shameless promotions of myself and my interests to people around the world – people who probably don’t give a damn about me. Wouldn’t you? =)

Now, every which way you look, you’ll hear somebody announce their HTTP (HyperText Transport Protocol) site.

It’s gotten to the point where every name you put in between the “www” and the “com” of a URL pushes you to a site (as far as using a recent version of Netscape Navigator is concerned).

Typing in random names such as: or or even will take you to different places, all interested in different themes.

The introduction of new software, easing the creation of web pages to pointing and clicking, has made it possible for anyone to create their own home page and do their own shameless advertising.

The influx of web pages is not entirely getting out of hand – a professor said he estimated the number of home pages at about 50,000,000 and rising.

In the past, when I tried doing some research on the internet, using sites such as Yahoo, or Webcrawler, many times I came up empty.

Now, with more search engines than fingers typing this column, and with an increase in the amount of web pages with duplicate topics, doing a search on a word like “qwertyuiop” will probably find you something.

And a search on the word “web” or “internet” or “cyber” or “john” will probably make your computer blow up (*grin*).

Another sign of us moving closer and closer to living like “The Jetsons” is our schooling.

Here at the university, we are starting to see a growth in the number of “now” around us.

There are assigned text books that have actually not been used by our grandparents (can you believe it?).

Books like “City Of Bits,” “Silicon Snake Oil,” and “Being Digital,” and even required readings from “WIRED magazine, have become commonplace for us as students.

Soon, there will be courses that are dedicated entirely to this theme and eventually, you will probably be able to major in such subjects (makes you wish you were younger, huh?).

Yes, the future is upon us. We have entered the net generation.