I have been researching and writing about the Internet for many years.
In 1992 I began writing about computers through a regular magazine article in Kobe, Japan-based Kansai Time Out. Reviewing the articles to upload here I was struck by many of the issues which we still tackle in the technology world around the social impacts such as privacy protection and social media, the constant challenges of rapidly changing devices and the globalisation of communication in the 21st century.
The issues remain current because technology, in general, and the Internet, in particular, has an impact our everyday lives where Internet communication is, in many parts of the world, ubiquitous and essential.
For developing countries the issues of access and interconnection still sit firmly in the purview of telecommunications regulatory authorities and commercial providers. WIthout base line infrastructure, access to the Internet will remain difficult and expensive. Ironically, this is also still the case in many developed economies like the UK and Australia which still have not worked how to patch up mobile phone signal, connect high speed broadband and achieve 100% technology usage for those who want it at a reasonable price.
Many of us are deeply embedded technology users waiting for the next latest and greatest gadget. In this article, I discussed the impact of the introduction of the Apple Newton, at that time a far cry from my LCII and worlds away from my 2014 iPad, iPhone and laptop.
An Electronic Nanny
With three daughters who are avid users of technology, this article on children and computers has come back to haunt me. "For the best results, it's not just a process of sitting the child in front of the computer and letting them go, undiscplined...". How true this is now when my nine year old daughter can produce a You-Tube video of Barbie doll fashions, design a powerpoint presentation of Fair Trade schools and produce beautiful formatted work on her personal iPad. Download the article in two parts by clicking firstly on "electronic" and then on "nanny".
"...the ethics of the issue is totally separate from the cost of buying software -- we should all be buying our software, registering it and paying the best price we can..."
How odd that seems more than twenty years on, when buying software is now easily done on the Internet, can be bought using a subscription across multiple devices or on any app store. Still doesn't stop pirate software sites and file sharing though...there's now just more bandwidth than dial up modems allowed!
What a shock I got when I re-read this article and how far we have come in instant communications. "So, next project is to convince the family to buy a modem, a computer and some communications software so we can send electronic messages instanenously..." And in 2014, I have just bought my 78 year old father a new iMac, he is on Facebook and regularly uses email, skype and bird watching apps he's downloaded.
Download the article by clicking on "bulletin" for the first page and "board" for the second.
How naive this article is without any notion at all of the upcoming issues of computer fraud, phishing, scams and DDOS attacks which have become part of everyday computer life.
Two decades past I was wondering whether it was possible to "bring home the bacon with computers in 1990s". The answer is a resounding yes in 2014. My professional life has depended upon this reality to support my family.
What has remained true also is my view that "...Many a good idea has been put asunder by egotism and idealism which, whilst being admirable in some cases, is damaging personally, professionally and financially."
Take a look at some of the success stories in the Internet projects page of the site.