Archive for the ‘Hawaii’s Web & Internet News’ Category

Leeward Community College – Hands-on training for Hawaii’s working adult

May 6, 1998

If hearing the word ‘Internet’ makes you shudder in fear and lose sleep at night, then maybe it’s about time to do something about it. Why not take a computer training course from Leeward Community College’s Continuing Education Program?

LCC? Yes, through the Office of Continuing Education & Training (OCET), LCC not only offers computer training courses that cover Internet topics such as creating a web page, but they also have courses that teach PC basics/applications, the Windows operating system(s), Computer Repair, Networking and even Computer Aided Design software.

Ramona Taitano, OCET’s Computer Education Program Coordinator & Assistant Professor explains, “Traditionally most people think of education, particularly at a college, as being full of lectures and reading assignments. Continuing Education focuses on hand-on training in all aspects of computer technology for the working adult.”

Presenting these types of classes in a college environment helps the “hand-on” aspect of what Taitano mentioned because of the small class size and abundant computer/facility count. In addition, there is also an ample amount of qualified instructors here.

“All instructors are skilled in their area of expertise with the required credentials and years of work experience. All of the instructors work in their field and almost all are employed in Hawaii’s leading industries or are consultants and therefore know what employers need. Usually most have years of teaching/training experience before even being considered for the LCC Continuing Education Computer Program.”

Courses however, are not limited to the individual adult learner. Taitano routinely offers classes to employees of a company who wishes to be trained for their everyday business applications. And with the highly competitive prices and varied topic coverage, it is a cost-effective alternative that many companies have looked into.

“Currently I think we are priced quite reasonably compared with other institutions. In fact, in some cases, we may have the lowest priced classes. Although almost all training companies in Hawaii offer Intro to Windows 95, Word, Excel, and Beginning Internet, we feel that we offer a comprehensive array of computer technology subjects from basic office software for the end user to Computer Repair, AutoCAD and Microstation PC, and LAN Basics and Telecommunications. The curriculum for all the courses in the Continuing Education Computer Program were developed specifically for continuing education students with their unique needs in mind. The curriculum for each class focuses on the things students will need on the job and to the learning methods of adults so all skills are reinforced through hands-on training.”

There is also ETF funding available to businesses without a training department for their employees that will subsidize the training. Quite a few businesses in the area have already taken advantage of this (Contact MARICAR at Workforce Development Division @ 675-0017 for more information).

Extremely advanced students looking for Microsoft or Novell certification however, will not be able to find it at LCC. The curriculum attempts to cover the majority level of skill, and Taitano says that most people will be able to find something of interest in the OCET program.

For more information on Leeward Community College’s OCET program, visit the web site at http://www.lcc.hawaii.edu/ocet/.

Computer Training Company – Personalized training for a unique experience

May 6, 1998

Lately, it seems as though every career involves some level computer expertise. And with the ever-growing popularity of the Internet, more and more companies are finding themselves scrambling for employees with the skill-set necessary to compete.

Some companies may train internally with employee-to-employee knowledge base transfers, while individuals may do the 500 page cramming method to learn the latest in computer technology. However, the most common and effective means by which to improve one’s computer skills is to get professional help from training companies like the Computer Training Company, Inc. (CTC).

Les McCarter, CTC Principle Owner, explains how they help, “The Internet is big… real big. When people look at the Internet, they see many different things because it is so many different things. That is what makes it both wonderful for experienced users and frustrating to new users. CTC recognized the Internet’s diversity and has developed training styles to accommodate different users. Our Internet classes for business users are quite different than the ones for home users. A business wants their employees to know how to use the Internet for serious reasons. A non-business user wants to know how to tap the wondrous world of the Internet. Since CTC develops their own curriculum, we can accommodate a class for any set of user needs.”

When browsing their web site (http://www.ctchawaii.com/), a special emphasis seemed to be placed on the client-trainer relationship.

McCormick reiterates, “Every customer is important. We treat our one-class customers with as much respect as our corporate customers. However, we actually have two sets of customers with our corporate clients: the employer and the employee. And we service them both. For the employer, we work with them in creating a curriculum that meets their needs. Having worked with eight of the top ten Hawaii businesses, we know what to ask and suggest to our business clients. We help them create a training plan that gets the most out of their training dollars. In the classroom our trainers understand that we are teaching people, not showing off our computer expertise. What counts is not how much our instructor knows at the end of the class, but how much the student knows! Each student in our classroom is the customer and they deserve our respect and the best service that we can provide”.

Unlike some of the other training companies, CTC offers the full range of courses and certification training from the introductory level, all the way up to the upper advanced levels. Whether it be taking a simple word processing course like “Introduction to Word 97”, or learning the intricacies of “IntraNetWare NetWare 4.11 Advanced Administration”, CTC has got the course for you.

On the web site, you can also view class prices and mini profiles of CTC’s staff members. In addition to an abundant list of course offerings, rates and training staff are what separates CTC from the pack.

McCarter articulates these vital issues. “By keeping our class sizes to 10-students or less, we customize the level of training to the students that are attending. CTC’s professional trainers will make each class work for everyone in the room. Every person counts. Obviously, technical knowledge is a given trait needed by our computer trainers, but especially with the Internet, we are teaching a new way of viewing and exploring knowledge and it is CTC’s personal touch that makes Internet training a unique experience.”

Virtual View Hawaii

April 1, 1998

Dan Rather, Peter Jennings, Connie Chung, Tom Brokaw. Great journalists of our time with years of reporting, interviewing, and researching experience. Yet, these journalists started their journalistic studies only at the college level. What could’ve happened if there was an education system in place that nurtured and helped them to learn such skills at a younger grade level?

Paola Williams, eSchool Journalism instructor, is doing just that… online.

Teaching an interactive course called Journalistic Writing – just one of the many courses offered through Hawaii’s eSchool curriculum – Williams aims at educating her students with an online publication called “Virtual View Hawaii” (http://www.k12.hi.us/~pawillia/writing/Welcome.syllabus.html).

“Virtual View Hawaii is modeling the best practices of electronic publication,” says Williams. “It is a ‘place’ where the act of reading is submerged beneath the drive to explore. Our goal has been to provide an experience that is less like reading a magazine and more like strolling through a bookstore.”

Virtual View Hawaii has already started on that path. Strolling through this web site brings you to Issue 1 “Hawaii’s Electronic Reflection in Cyberspace,” (an updated Issue 2 will be available this month). Topics include “Must See Sites,” “Island Hotspots,” “Teens,” “How Do I Get Involved?” “The Future of Education,” “Pictures,” “Poetry, ” “High School Sports,” and “Movies,” all of which were written, edited and published by the students.

One of the greatest challenges that face Williams and her students is communication. In addition to Williams, only 2 of the students reside on the island of Oahu (the rest are dispersed all over the Hawaiian Islands). Therefore, the class must utilize multiple channels of communication in order to stay “in-touch” with the course assignments. Electronic mail is used for one to one personal communication as well as sending/receiving group postings to each other. The web page hosts the Virtual View Hawaii files and has other information pertinent to the course.

However, the class soon discovered that the most successful way to communicate with each other was via a MOO (Mud, Object Oriented), a text-based chat-like environment using a line by line interface to talk. Once or twice a week, a meeting time of around 6:30PM is set for a chat meeting on the MOO. Because these “meetings” are at a mutually agreed upon date, the participation rate is high. Williams feels that because of this, it has not only helped to build better relationships between each other, but it also increased their productivity.

Having such a successful turnout and participation rate satisfies Williams greatly. She’s also proud of her students and how they’ve taken to the technology in a media form.

“Being in on the beginning of a new endeavor is always thrilling. I think the students like the idea that they are on the cutting edge. Online journalism builds on existing media forms while bringing new technologies, tools and possibilities to the process of production and distribution,” states Williams. “Providing students extended opportunities to write, edit, and publish in greater depth while using current and emerging technologies is really exciting to me.”

The whole idea of eSchool is relatively new. Spurred from the U.S. Department of Education Technology Innovation Grant received in June 1996, Hawaii’s electronic school project supported educational reform by “increasing access to learning technologies that enhance educational opportunities for students, community and parents at more convenient times and more accessible places. Thus eSchool was born and the electronic school, any place, any time, for everyone became a reality.”

Virtual View Hawaii is a modern testament of what can be done by the educated students of Hawaii, with a little help from the United States DOE – via grants – and innovative teachers like Paola Williams. Because of the effort of these forces, there will be no shortage of the Dan Rathers and Connie Chungs of the world. This time, however, they will be from Hawaii…

Technology Literacy Challenge Fund – Internet-based, technology training session for Hawaii’s educators

April 1, 1998

President Bill Clinton has long been on a mission to educate America’s youth in technology, proposing his Educational Technology Initiative of all children being technologically literate by the dawn of the 21st Century.

His challenge has been felt all across the nation where computer filled classrooms replace old storage facilities, telecommunications equipment enhances existing communication devices, and Internet access is as available on school grounds as the nearest jungle-gym set.

Locally, the Hawaii State Department of Education is taking full advantage of the Clinton’s Technology Innovation Challenge Grant with education-based trainings like the Technology Literacy Challenge Fund Training Site (http://www.k12.hi.us/~tlcf/), an Internet-based, technology training session for Hawaii’s educators.

Aimed at having 10,000 educators technologically literate by June 1998, the TLCF takes a teachers teaching teachers approach to insure the growth of the technologically literate. Program coordinator Donna Shiroma explains, “We had a very intense, 3 day training session which included everything on the web site. It wasn’t just a matter of teaching those who came to the session about the Internet, but to teach these educators on how to go back to their schools and teach it as well.”

The TLCF web site was used as a tool in achieving this. In addition to covering the basics like using email and browsing the World Wide Web, this web site also offered an important Internet Overview (covering DOE Internet Policy, Acceptable Use Policy, Netiquette and Copyrights), online resources and links, and even a Facilitator’s Directory.

“Not only are they taught how to use their email, but all of the educators must learn the policies of the Internet,” states Shiroma. “Our web site has this.”

The web site even includes an interactive “Internet Driver’s License Test” to gauge one’s skills acquired at the training. Upon completion of the lessons, the educator is required to take this test to complete the training.

But why so much emphasis and energy on Internet technologies? How does it relate to students in real-life applications?

“I’m a librarian and I am always hungry for more information,” expresses Shiroma. “The Internet is such an enormous resource for obtaining such information. From an education standpoint, the Internet is the way to go. It is not only about getting the content from this huge information resource, but being able to use it to benefit ourselves.”

The TLCF Training was meant to reach each and every school in the Hawaii state district and to help facilitate Internet and technology education in Hawaii’s school system. Extensive support is also provided for those who attended the session. These are offered in the form of the web site, email listservs and distribution lists, as well as meetings with the facilitators throughout the year.

Training sites are divided into districts and named ITCs or Instructional Technology Centers. These ITCs are then responsible to go into their “sub-communities” and educate groups like how the TLCF did. With this learning infrastructure in place, the State goal of 10,000 educators technologically literate by June 1st, 1998 will be very attainable.

“We are already about half way there,” says Shiroma.

And with another training session coming up this summer (this time at a more advanced level with an emphasis on science and mathematics), there will be no problem surpassing that goal and beyond.

The future looks bright for our nation. Especially for our technologically literate keikis…

PrimeCo Hawaii – Setting sights on quality digital service

March 1, 1998

Like the Internet Service Provider industry, there has been a tremendous influx of cellular companies here in Hawaii for the past few years. From analog or digital-only carriers to a combination of both, the cellular industry is a stiffly competitive market forcing each company to form their own niche, a means by which to define themselves.

From its launch on November 13th, 1996, PrimeCo Hawaii set its sights at providing the highest quality, digital cellular service in Hawaii.

Jeff Brennan, Vice President and General Manager of PrimeCo Hawaii explains, “Our goals were to launch with a solid footprint (coverage area) and provide the best voice clarity on the island.”

This is probably the ideal, optimistic way that most companies would like to set their initial goals. I challenged Brennan. “How is PrimeCo better than the competitors? How do you prove to the customer that PrimeCo is the one for me?”

“One of the first things we like to do at the showroom is to get the PrimeCo handset into their hands and let them hear the quality for themselves,” said Brennan. Getting the handset into the customer’s hands and letting them test it for themselves was the best way to prove how clear the reception and sound quality of PrimeCo’s digital network really was.

What about the whole digital versus analog debate? There are many sides to this great debate. What really are the main differences that separate the capabilities of a digital handset as opposed to an analog one? He expressed that, first and foremost, the voice quality is much, much better. Then you start getting into email, text messaging, caller ID, enhanced voice mail, increased security (digital encryption) and battery life, and the advantages starts stacking up.

With better voice quality and features than many of the competitors, one has to wonder how PrimeCo is in the customer service department. You can have the best quality product, but if your customer service is poor, you cannot succeed. PrimeCo, however, prides themselves on their excellent customer service and support. Built on a “great people” infrastructure, PrimeCo Hawaii offers 24-hour support to a helpful and friendly support staff. Dialing 611 on the handset before 7 PM will connect one to a local customer service representative, while dialing the same 611 during non-business hours will hook one up to a courteous PrimeCo national representative.

Brennan wouldn’t give exact figures, but has said that they have hit their initially set goal for sales. It was actually a challenge set by Brennan, which, when reached, required him to shave his head. Some of the possible reasons that Brennan mentioned for Honolulu being a successful market for PrimeCo were: that the people of Hawaii like to get out and keep in touch, the Asian influence who is open to wireless technology, PrimeCo’s good coverage, rates and penetration, and overall great words from the loyal customer base.

Now that PrimeCo Hawaii has set its footprint in helping Hawaii keep in touch, what’s in store for the future?

“We are focused on more enhanced versions of text messaging and expanding on our roaming coverage,” says Brennan. Brennan also mentioned a smaller, more compact line of handsets and lowered prices on PrimeCo’s agenda.

I think PrimeCo Hawaii has definitely found their niche.

———————————————

www.primeco.com/locations/hawaii
This URL takes you to the Hawaii section on PrimeCo’s corporate Web site. It gives you a general coverage area map for the two islands that PrimeCo covers: Oahu and Maui. Below, the page lists the various offices and local retailers and how to get in contact with them. If you wanted more on the products or services or company-type information of PrimeCo Personal Communications, then you might want to go back to the main URL (www.primeco.com).

Web Watch – Hawaii’s Internet Service Provider Web Sites

February 1, 1998

There is nothing tougher (aside from grandma’s holiday pound cake) than trying to select an Internet Service Provider here in Hawaii. With over 20 local ISPs on Oahu alone, as well as a constantly changing rate and price package standard across the board, the market could get as confusing as your VCR.

So what do you do? Pay a personal visit to each provider’s “office”? Call them up, one by one with your questions about TCP/IP connectivity? No, of course not! You go to a friend’s house, local Internet cafe, et al, and punch up their representative World Wide Web site for the latest and greatest information on why you should be choosing their service over the other providers.

What you should be looking for depends on your computer use and experience. It could range from a strictly price standpoint (who has the cheapest monthly rates) to a performance one. You may also want to know how the ISP’s technical support is and/or what other services is included in the plan. Most of the web sites provide this information in plain English. No stuffy office, no telephone horror. Just you and your mouse.

Let’s get cracking on some of the more prevalent Internet Service Provider’s home pages and some of the more interesting things you can find there.

http://www.aloha.net/
Perhaps the most successful web site originally branching from an ISP is Planet Hawaii (http://www.planet-hawaii.com/), a concoction of local provider GST Hawaii OnLine. This web site, complete with flower prints, rubber slippers and an Aloha shirt gives you the real feel of being in Hawaii. In addition to the Planet Hawaii site (whose current features includes stories on legendary surfer Eddie Aikau, local superchefs Roy Yamaguchi and Alan Wong and a 16-part Real Audio special on King Kamehameha), the HOL web site has in-depth help pages/files and an online signup form under “Subscriber Services” and company history, employment opportunities and contact information under “Inside Hawaii OnLine.”

http://www.lava.net/
LavaNet’s web site won’t win any design awards, but it is by far, the most complete. Partitioned into 4 main categories: “Services and Rates,” “Technical Support,” “The LavaNet Web” and “About LavaNet,” you are sure to find the answer to any of your burning Internet-related questions. And if you don’t, LavaNet invites you to “Ask Lavadude” (ask-lavadude@lava.net). For those gamers out there, they also have a dedicated Quake Server (volcano.lava.net) and online instructions on how to set things up.

http://www.pixi.net/
Pacific Information eXchange, Inc.’s web site is also a thorough one with online tech support, services and announcements sections, among others. It also provides links to numerous online sources covering many topics, helping to bring the vast Internet quickly and easily to you. You can even sign up online using their secure form.

http://www.hawaii.rr.com/
With a slightly different approach with their web presence than the other providers, Oceanic Internet uses the successful infrastructure of providing a sense of community for the visitors for their new Road Runner cable modem service web presence. This site provides links to local information in categories such as “Sports & Recreation,” “Arts & Entertainment,” “Food & Dining,” and “Finance/Business.” One of the more popular sections on the Road Runner site is the site called “Streaming Media,” which features streaming audio and video files optimized for speedy cable connections. If that’s not enough, a Quake server has also just been implemented and is ready for use.

http://www.maui.net/
Maui Net also seems to take the content approach seriously. If you do not know, or do not look hard enough, you probably can’t even tell that this page is one from an ISP. With heavy emphasis on a “What’s on Maui” section, complete with an information booth, Maui accommodations information, marketplace and Maui Real Estate sections, among others, this web site places it’s focus on the page as a service, not a utility. Maui Net also provides online signup over a secure server.

http://www.interpac.net/
From the Big Island, Inter-Pacific Networks’ web site is beaming with the “Aloha” spirit. Complete with a clock showing local time, this site seems to welcome you with a maile lei and a smile. There is a “Virtual Village,” online guestbook, info & services section as well as user help desk.

There is an abundant number of other web sites to sift through in order to find what you are looking for, but to help you out, http://islestyle.com/isps/ has developed a breakdown of most of the local providers, as well as national providers servicing the Hawaiian Islands.

And remember, not choosing an Internet Service Provider carefully is like a box of chocolates…

Oceanic Internet’s Road Runner Breaks the Web Wait

February 1, 1998

Imagine visiting an Internet web site with a complete set of links, organized by category. How about a web site with the latest in local and national news? What if this very web site brought you the latest and greatest in streaming multimedia right to your desktop.

Now, imagine it all coming from your friendly neighborhood Internet Service Provider. An ISP? Well, not exactly.

The new Road Runner service, brought to you by Time Warner and Oceanic Internet, is not exactly your traditional dial-up ISP. Based on the high-speed, broadband principle, Oceanic Internet utilizes a hybrid fiber-coaxial cable network infrastructure to push the “connectivity” envelope. Speeds and potential are far greater than what can be accomplished over a twisted copper pair.

To take full advantage of the cable network, Darin Sato, Oceanic Internet Web Editor designs the Road Runner web site (http://www.hawaii.rr.com/) with high quality graphics, streaming media (video and audio) and other high-bandwidth content in mind. “Because of our bandwidth, we can offer higher quality multimedia as opposed to dial-up. An example of this is how we can provide CD quality audio files to our subscribers rather than ‘boxy’ 28.8, mono clips.”

I asked Sato how he went about structuring a web site for these “speedy” Road Runner subscribers. “Because Road Runner is part of an island-wide WAN, performance on the network is very fast. You don’t have to deal with the actual Internet when on the network. Therefore, our goal is to create as much content within the Road Runner site as we can.”

By just browsing the web site, you can see how they are moving towards that goal. In addition to providing robust local content (web site links, features, etc.) and national content (Time Warner services like CNN, People, and Sports Illustrated) that can be found nowhere else, the Road Runner site offers personalization features such as account management and software update features. Other “in-house” services of Road Runner include an official TUCOWS affiliate (mirror) site for Hawaii (http://tucows.oceanic.com), streaming news video clips from KITV4 and KHON, streaming audio stations via Music Choice, and even a dedicated Quake game server.

Sato, however, does not want to let up. Although backed by more content then he can shake a cable modem at, he wants to keep pushing this web site until the rich content and user-friendly feel is complete. “Road Runner 2.0 will be optimized for multimedia and will focus on creating a tighter integration between local and national content.”

With well over 1,000 subscribers in its first few months of operation, it seems as though the new Road Runner cable modem service from Oceanic Internet is a hit. Credit this to their high-bandwidth network, helpful technical support staff and especially their World Wide Web site.

Christmas In Hawaii’s Webspace – Hawaiian holiday gifts online

December 1, 1997

With the scary costumes and surplus leftover turkey put away, our attention must focus in on the holiday to come. No time for rest, Christmas shopping and all of its gravy-stained horror awaits us.

Sleigh rides, snow angels and Jack Frost. Sometimes it’s a little hard to imagine what Christmas is like in Hawai`i. Not a snow flake in the sky, nor a fireplace to keep us warm.

Sure living in Hawai`i brings nothing but blue skies and sunny weather (what torture), but there are those days – especially during the Christmas season – when one wants to experience an authentic Christmas, complete with torrential sleet and temperatures in the “minuses.”

What say we take a journey (with Rudolph leading of course) to the web sites on the ‘net that help us endure these trying times.

http://www.mele.com/
How about ordering a Hawaiian Christmas album from the people at Hawaiian Music Island? Although not locally hosted, the album collection at this web site is quite extensive. Following a specially created “Christmas Albums” button takes you to a collection of Hawaiian Christmas albums from such artists as Hapa, Kapena, Willie K, Teresa Bright and The Brothers Cazimero.

http://oldhawaii.com/igd/xmas/
Creating a special “Christmas 1997” section, Island Gifts Direct sells everything from Hawaiian greeting cards, music, books, videos and even food for your holiday needs. Complete with Christmas icons, green and red fonts and online ordering, IGD is prepared for the holiday rush.

http://delrich.home.mindspring.com/hawaii.html
How about one for the keiki’s? This site features a musical drama for children called “Christmas in Hawaii,” a story about a family from Manatoka, Minnesota trying to cope with experiencing the holidays in Hawai`i. Taken from the web site, “Christmas in Hawaii” is described as follows: “… Follow the Johnson family, Stanley, Jane, Missy and Steve to Oahu, Hawaii as they meet brand new friends, discover ancient Hawaiian customs, but most important of all, find the true meaning of Christmas. Experience the retelling of the birth of Christ through the eyes of native Hawaiians. Hear ‘Silent Night’ and ‘The First Noel’ as never before while you witness the stirring ‘torch’ processional prior to the Hawaiian Blessing and Feast.”

Retailing for just $9.95, this gift is sure to please the kids, as well as the pocket.

http://www.webpress.net/ipk/galaxsea/amhawai4.htm
For us older “kids,” we can challenge a Hawaiian boat cruise. GalaxSea Cruises and Tours offer this “Mele Kalikimaka” cruise package for a December 20th departure.

http://www.fanlink.com/contents/leagues/hwb.html
Just because it is Christmas, that doesn’t mean we can’t treat ourselves to a nice gift every so often. Equipped with this link, we can toss that shopping list out the door and reward ourselves with Hawaii Winter League Baseball game tickets and information to our heart’s content.

http://www.algonet.se/~bernadot/christmas/10.html
How would the children of Moanalua Elementary School decorate a palm tree for Christmas? Look at their interpretations here.

The rest:

http://www.maui.net/~popcorn/christmas.html
Order holiday popcorn with Christmas tin can designs.

http://www.tropic-mango.com/
Hawai`i-specific tree ornaments can be ordered here.

http://www.alohatower.com/
The Aloha Tower Marketplace Web Site.

http://www.alamoana.com/
The Ala Moana Web Site.

Hawaii Newsnet – Newsgroups offer much for the local Web Surfer

December 1, 1997

One of the most captivating uses of the Internet is communicating to other “netizens” who share your common interests. Collectively informing, sharing and partaking in stimulating conversations always play a big role in building human development. So why not online?

In electronic mail, your communication is limited to the size of your electronic black book. Whatever Email addresses you have within your possession will be your circle of conversation. No email, no talk.

Web browsing is great. You can search in your favorite engine for your preferred topic and go straight to the interesting web site. But who can you talk to? Aside from the webmaster of that page, the only conversation that will result from this site is you reading the text of the page aloud.

Chats, MUDs, MOOs, etc. The list goes on, but nothing can quite compare to the experience and beneficial dialogue of a good, hearty USENET Newsgroup.

The PC Webopaedia web site (http://www.pcwebopaedia.com/) defines a “newsgroup” as “an on-line discussion group”, going on to say that there are “literally thousands of newsgroups covering every conceivable interest.” In other words, whatever your interests may be, you are sure to find a newsgroup that fits it.

Living in Hawai`i is hot party conversation in itself. You know there has to be a newsgroup or two with Hawai`i themes in mind. Well, surprise, there are more than just one or two out there. In fact, there are more than 20 out there, with some more active in participation than the others are.

What follows is a listing of some of the Hawai`i-related newsgroups one can browse (dependent on your provider) to tickle one’s fancy, as well as a few quotes from the people who “hang out” there.

alt.culture.hawaii
One of the more open discussion about Hawai`i and it’s wonderful culture. Flames and commercial SPAMMING are common here (as with almost any other newsgroup), but substantial content finds it’s way here often as well. Browsing through the messages brought up such varied topics as a request for ukulele sheet music and an announcement for the Island Bash ’97 in Texas. Browsers who are not from Hawai`i especially enjoy this newsgroup as it is a means to keep in touch with the islands. Grant Sakomoto states, “I went to a private high school and then a mainland college, so I find reading articles by others to be interesting and informative. It’s a different aspect than just reading the Star Bulletin or Advertiser.” “Mel” tends to disagree saying that alt.culture.hawaii, ” has earned a reputation as being a hangout for spammers, and online kooks who are well known to Hawaii newsgroup readers and posters.”

soc.culture.hawaii
The only moderated newsgroup of Hawai`i. Why moderated? Well, Nathan Yuen (one of the five moderators of this group), explains, “SCH was created in 12/23/95 (thereabouts) to provide a spam-free and noise-free forum to discuss topics that are relevant to Hawaii.” Being moderated, it filters out the irrelevant posts and keeps the relative topics flowing. “Albert the Panther” explains soc.culture.hawaii as “still the best place for any serious discussion of Hawai`i-related topics.” SCH also has it’s own web site which can be found at http://www.lava.net/~sch/.

alt.music.hawaiian
It’s all in the name. This newsgroup contains posts and hot conversations in regards to Hawaiian music. This group is known to be a favorite hangout for locals in the Hawaiian music industry, like KCCN’s Billy Van Osdol and musician BB Shawn, and even the late Israel Kamakawiwo`ole. “There has been an extended flame war in there in recent months, but despite that static it remains the best place for news of music performances, recordings and reviews of what has taken place. It is read by far more local musicians than one would guess from the list of active participants and has a substantial influence on what happens in the local community of musicians, even to the point of influencing what is being recorded. It is unlikely Israel Kamakawiwo`ole would have included ‘Hi`ilawe’ on his last CD if not for alt.music.hawaiian,” expresses “Albert the Panther” of the group.

hawaii.inet-providers
For the technically inclined, this newsgroup offers the latest news on or about Hawai`i’s Internet Service Providers, as well as the many interesting controversies surrounding them. With that many “techies” in there battling it out, it often gets very “hairy.” John Engelhart explains about the group and why he hangs out there: “I’ve been one of the many people to occupy the position of “Head Network/SysAdmin” person at GST/Hawaii Online. I’ve also done a number of other things in the Hawaii Internet community. That’s why I hang out in that group, lots of other people in the Hawaii Internet community go there and pow-wow. Well, sometimes it’s a flame fest, but that hasn’t changed since the early 80’s.. :)”

alt.recipes.hawaii
This newsgroup is sees relatively less SPAM than the other groups. Many local recipes can be found here as well a good conversation. What kind of people can you expect to find here? “I subscribe to about 15 of the Hawaii newsgroups. I read each about once a week. I find them useful, entertaining and helpful for the tourist, the Internet tourist and the locals. I think the newsgroups provide a great outlet for the local people here to discuss what’s on their minds from cooking, to Hawaiian history, to local sports, to night life,” says newsgroup regular Edward Codelia.

Other Hawai`i-related newsgroups to mention are alt.fan.hawaii-five-o, hawaii.announce, hawaii.expatriates, hawaii.nortle and hawaii.sports. For a complete listing of all of Hawai`i’s newsgroups, go to http://www.e-hawaii.com/tools/newsgroups/.

Searching Hawaii’s Web Space – Homegrown search engines keep it local and accurate

November 1, 1997

Yahoo!. AltaVista. HotBot. We’ve all heard of them. Some of the world’s most powerful search engines with web site URL counts in the millions. Where advanced, indexing and speedy query retrieval is key and localization is not. Where competition lies in who has the biggest, most comprehensive list of returns on search queries and not necessarily on accuracy.

Enter such sites like the Hawaii Catalogue of Web Pages, Hawaiian-Index and the Hawaii Home Page. Search engine web sites homegrown right here in the 50th State. Relatively accurate, extremely localized and best of all, plenty of Aloha (every site contained within each engine has a Hawaii tie).

Who better to create a web site containing Hawaii’s most creative and highly innovative Internet web pages than companies and individuals located here? Instant access to local online happenings, as well as direct contact with the technologically sound kama`aina, makes developing an accurate, Hawaii specific search engine locally a breeze.

Following is an excellent resource of local URLs that you can use to start your Hawaii search on such topics as ukuleles, poi, or the Iao Needle.

The Hawaii Catalogue of Web Pages, formerly known as Hawaii Connections, is created and run entirely by Bob Cunningham (although soon to change hands to CyberCom). With a Yahoo!-like, topically based infrastructure, the Hawaii Catalogue of Web Pages is very easy to navigate. And, with a current total of 10,350 listings, using the available search form will surely lead you to a Hawaii site of your liking. When I asked him if he utilizes “bot” technologies to search the individual sites for new pages within that site, embedded meta tags, recent updates, etc. (like how AltaVista and other search engines do), he said that the Hawaii Catalog of Web Pages “depends upon the recommendation of people who recommend URLs” (via an “Add URL” button). However, he does use these “bots” for automatic web site title retrieval and dead link checking.

http://www.connect.hawaii.com/connect-bin/index or

http://www.cyber-hawaii.com/connect-bin/index

Probably one of the more popular Hawaii-based search sites is Hawaiian-Index, a web site whose slogan is “If It’s About Hawaii – It’s Here.” Utilizing a frame design for his web site, webmaster Dan Curran uses the hierarchical model of such sites like Yahoo! and Excite to present his link database. Curran estimates the number of entries at about 2 to 3 thousand, whose number fluctuates with daily removals (dead links) and additions. “In the early days I searched down links to add to the index. The site has become self fueling now, people submit their URLs and then they are screened for proper content and added to their respective directories.”

http://www.hawaiian-index.com/

From the web site, the Hawaii Home Page describes itself as “a concerted effort to create a single entry point into the state of Hawaii for access to its various World Wide Web sites in the areas of business and commerce, education (Higher Ed and K-12), state and local government, the media, non-profit organizations, and also the visitor industry.” With ties with the University of Hawaii, the Hawaii Home Page had, at last count, 762 links total, 191 of which were educational. An easy to use search form appears right on the front page, making searching for your desired Hawaiian topic a cinch.

http://www.hawaii.net/

Another great source of Hawaii links is a site called Search Hawaii, who claims to be “the best way to find websites in Hawaii.” Heavily commercial in nature, Search Hawaii is a service from the Aloha from Hawaii Marketplace web site. Although relatively fewer search results appear as compared to the Hawaii Catalogue of Web Pages, Search Hawaii offers a “Power Search” option (developed by the OpenText Corporation) to explicitly narrow your query.

http://www.search-hawaii.com/

Six sites from the Mining Company round off the list of places to look online for Hawaii-based web sites. Here, each web site is run by an “expert” of that particular topic and then maintained every week, updating the links, as well as writing a new column. The uniquely Hawaiian topics at the Mining Company are Hawaii for Visitors, Hawaiian Culture, Honolulu/O`ahu, HI, Island of Hawaii, HI, Kauai, HI and Maui, HI.

http://gohawaii.miningco.com/, http://hawaiianculture.miningco.com/, http://honolulu.miningco.com/, http://bigisland.miningco.com/, http://kauai.miningco.com/, http://maui.miningco.com/

The best of the rest includes:

http://www.gte.net/start/cityscape/hawaii/
http://www.808.com/
http://starbulletin.com/search.html
http://local.yahoo.com/

Now, your World Wide Web searches about Hawaii don’t have to be such a tangling process. Break free from the huge, often inaccurate results from them non-Hawaii search engines. Using local search engines for your local searches (on ukuleles, poi, the Iao Needle, and the like) shouldn’t be any problem at all. You just have to know where to look.