Preserving the History of Women Who Inspired the Usage and Purpose of the Internet

Women’s Internet History Project is dedicated to preserving the stories and contributions from women who were the pioneers of the early internet days 1980-1999. This project provides the biographies, contributions, experiences and connections shared by women who were involved with internet and digital.

Mission: The premise of this project is to provide a platform to tell our stories, connect with one another, and celebrate the accomplishments of women in every aspect of the Internet evolution.

We’re building a historical record of women in the Internet history over a 20 year span.

The project is co-founded by Tery Spataro and Aliza Sherman.

June 14, 2010 Posted Under: About   Read More

Stacy Horn

Stacy Horn

Why did you first get online?

1982. I was working in telecommunications and I came across what were then

called electronic bulletin boards systems, aka BBS’s. I explored them for a

while, but they were filled with teenage boys, and while they were occasionally

charming in a “Big Bang Theory” way, they weren’t places I wanted to keep

coming back to.

 

Then in 1986 I entered the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at

NYU. We were given an assignment to call an online community in California

called The WELL. For me, that experience was nothing short of mind-blowing.

For people under a certain age, the extent of The WELL’s mind-blowingness is

going to seem incomprehensible, because this kind of access it utterly routine

now. But in the 1980s very few people were online, it was mostly guys, having

mostly technical discussions, (or the kind of youthful discussions I’d found earlier)

and there was simply no place like The WELL. On The WELL I had daily access

to a diverse group of smart, funny people, people I’d never meet, or even know

existed otherwise. Mind. Boom.

 

When did you first get involved with digital/tech and why?

I was in my twenties and I wanted to be a writer, but I needed a job and a way to

pay the rent, like now. There was an ad in the paper that went something along

the lines of, “Someone who is as comfortable with machines as they are with

people.” I had zero experience with machines besides a car, or a tv. Wait, is a tv

even considered a machine? Anyway, I couldn’t resist that ad.

The position paid more than any other I’d applied for, and they offered to each

me about computers and telecommunications. I took the job. I’d never touched

a computer before. Turns out: I am good with machines. Turns out, I love them.

 

How would you describe your work and professional interests in the

1990′s (or 80′s etc).

Well, I still wanted to be a writer, and after the newness of my experience

wore off I started to get depressed. That’s why I went to grad school. I felt

trapped and I was looking for a way out. ITP offered this wonderful new media

playground, where you were pretty much ordered to explore, risk and play. I

spent a lot of time trying to make interactive fiction work, but this was 1986 -

1989 and the tools were very limited. I tried to use something called Knowledge

Pro and then Hypercard came out, but neither could do what I wanted them to

I was in my last year and while I’d had the time of my life, I still needed a way

to pay the rent, like now. I was on The WELL one day and someone said, “I

heard you were going to start a WELL-like service in New York.” I’d never

contemplated any such thing, but the minute I read that I was kicking myself for

not thinking of it first. “Yes,” I immediately typed back in, “I am.”

I spent my last semester writing a business plan, then in the summer I

incorporated, and by the fall the new online service I’d started, Echo, was up in

running. I opened it to the public in early 1990.

 

What do think the future will hold internet/digital/tech?

For better or worse (mostly better) the internet and all the applications that go

with it have broken down a lot of boundaries. One of those boundaries is the

boundary of power. The United States will become less and less important, but

not in a bad way, I don’t think. It’s just that the rest of the world has risen and will

continue to rise in importance, and in power and influence.

No one gives up power without a battle, or accepts change without resistance.

For instance, the divide between liberal and conservative in this country is at its

most acrimonious right now, just as America is slowly becoming more fair and

more just (black president, increased civil rights for gays, etc.) So there are

going to be problems all over the world, as we all start to blend into each other a

tiny bit, and then more and more, some rising a little, some falling (or perceiving

that they are falling).

 

We’re going to lose some things in the process. For example, NYC has lost a lot

of its uniqueness over the last two decades. That is going to continue happen

on a world-wide scale. But loss is inevitable. And the gain, which I can only

compare to my initial WELL experience, except on a global scale and more

slowly, is absolutely worth it.

September 19, 2013 Posted Under: Featured   Read More

Design of Relational Database

Design of Relational Database
This is a relational database with a web site interface. The platform will display bios and contributions and historical timeline. It will also overlap current events, women’s history and internet history from 1980-1999 onto the biographies.
November 13, 2012 Posted Under: About   Read More

Gabrielle Shannon

Gabrielle Shannon

Why did you first get online?

Some time in early 1994. Didn’t do much for me in the early days, but Kyle (my husband) seemed excited about it.

When did you first get involved with digital and why?

In the early summer of 1994, Kyle and I took a 2 week vacation to the mountains of Pennsylvania and he brought all of his computer equipment. We had been kicking around an idea to do an art & culture magazine since there was NOTHING online other than research papers and library catalogs. We didn’t know a lot technically, but I focused on the content and he did the design and coding to get the first version of Urban Desires (www.desires.com) up in a basic form. As I remember, we put together a basic format and table of contents and started from there.
Over the next couple of weeks, I gathered art and content from a stable of some very talented friends who were writers artists and designers in NY and Kyle put it into our template and by the early fall of 1994, Urban Desires launched to the world. We knew we had something unique ( with 50,000hits per day by the second day ) but had no idea what the Internet really provided, which is a potential global audience to anything you offer up. This was brought home to us one month later when the Parisian newspaper Liberatiôn had a full page feature on the site we just launched. It was wild to see such an immediate response from the other side of the world.
How would you describe your work and professional interests in the 1990’s (or 80’s etc).

I was all about being the Editor-in-Chief of Urban Desires. I loved it. I spent my time conceiving pieces, finding interesting artists and writers and working with my husband’s company (AGENCY.COM) which did the design and development work. It was all about the creative and I really found my voice during that period from 1994-2000. While the Internet was an amazing channel (and remains so) I believed then as I do now that it’s less about the technology than what you choose to do with it. It was a very intense time and as Urban Desires started winding down, I got pregnant with twins (born in July 1999) and had a new project I had to focus on. ;-)
What do you think the future will hold for internet/digital?
Hard to say, but it’s looking a lot like we talked about in those early days… that the Internet—as something distinct from other media—would fade in its novelty and become part of the overall communications landscape. It looks like mobile devices and tablets are shifting things a bit, but the trend of everything and everyone being interconnected is expanding.  I don’t think it will be long before we can barely remember what it was like before the Internet. In a lot of ways, I think the future is already here.
May 2, 2011 Posted Under: Featured   Read More

Dina Kaplan

Dina Kaplan

Why did you first get online?

I first got online in college.  This was 1991 and 1992, and every few weeks I’d head to a computer room in a public building to check this weird but cool new thing called email.  I’d send out a few messages and then return weeks later to see if the person I was connecting with had responded.  My friends at Dartmouth were the best at answering emails, I remember, because the school had made it a priority for students to be connected.  That seemed geeky, fascinating and possibly excessive.

I also have a strong memory of emailing people during my first job after college, at the White House.  More than a year into the job we learned that all of our emails would become public after a certain number of years so that presidential archivists could learn more about the administration.  This was scary to us.  These were the early days of email, and online access, and it seemed like a bold new frontier.  We shamelessly emailed about social plans and the like, and it never occurred to any of us that someone might, at some point, sift through these emails while recording history.

When did you first get involved with digital and why?

I first got involved with digital in a meaningful way when we started blip.tv in 2005.  Until then, digital had seemed like a burden, especially as an overworked TV reporter asked to now file online reports in addition to each day’s television stories.

I got involved because I had always been interested in entrepreneurship, particularly because my father, a Harvard Business School professor, had stressed the importance of entrepreneurs to the American economy throughout my childhood.  I had also become friends with Mike Hudack and was a bit in awe of him.  I told myself when we met that if I knew one person who could be the next Bill Gates, it was Mike.  And that if he ever started an internet company that made sense to me, I would stop whatever I was doing and join.

In 2005 he said he was thinking about starting a company that would enable people to share videos on the Web.  This sounded a bit crazy, but interesting, especially with my background in television.  At the time, I was a TV reporter.  He asked me to test out the new blip.tv video hosting software when I headed to the Cannes film festival the following week.  I ended up filing some of the first stories on blip.tv, which were reports from the 2005 Cannes Film Festival, shot by people I had stopped on the street and asked to hold a video camera for me.

Distant friends and acquaintance ended up somehow seeing these stories, and I began to understand the power of what this could all mean.  At the time the Internet was a text delivery mechanism.  Photos and audio were beginning to be shared, but mostly by early adopters.  It made sense that video could be next, and I wanted to be along for the journey to see if this might happen.  I joined blip.tv as a co-founder the week I returned from Cannes.

How would you describe your work and professional interests in the 1990′s (or 80′s etc).

In the 1990s I worked in the White House, for MTV News, and then as a TV reporter, mostly for local NBC affiliates.  Exploring the Internet on your own seemed a bit scary and unmanageable in the early 1990s, and I remember being grateful to AOL for making the Web easier to navigate.  In the mid 90s some of my friends started working at Double Click, and one of them seemed prescient.  He told me kids in college were starting to listen to music downloaded from the Internet, and this seemed really cool and futuristic.  I remember pitching to my bosses at MTV News, maybe two dozen times, a story on MP3s.  Each time I was shot down, with my bosses insisting people wanted the liner notes for songs and the album or CD packaging.  Finally, months later, Time Magazine did a story on MP3s and I was sent to Dartmouth to cover the story.  I was furious, however, that I wasn’t the first reporter to cover download-able music.  I knew there was something there.
Later in the ’90s, and early in the 21st century, digital was a distraction.  Posting my television pieces, as a TV reporter, to the Web just seemed like extra work.  The reporters at my station all wanted our news director and general manager to hire a second tier “digital” staff to handle the Web aspects of the network and our news coverage.  We felt a bit above that.  If only we knew then what we know now!
What do think the future will hold internet/digital?

In terms of what the future will hold, I think we’re early in how disruptive digital will be to traditional businesses, whether it’s retail, media, health care or others.  In terms of media, we’ll see a bit of a merging between traditional and new media.  With your Google TV, roku or Sony Bravia TV you can flip between network shows and blip.tv originally produced Web series that are every bit as entertaining.

And you can already watch both in your living room, on your big screen TV.  This will become more mainstream over the next 5 years.  Also, more advertising dollars will continue flowing into Web shows, and as that money gets funneled to the show producers, their content will get better, and the episodes will become longer.  Web shows will begin to look increasingly like TV shows.  Talented people will soon begin to think carefully about whether they want to pitch a show to a network TV boss; or simply do it on their own and distribute the show across digital networks.

November 5, 2010 Posted Under: Featured   Read More

Margaret Bates

Margaret Bates
Why did you first get online?
I used an intranet at Citibank as a VP in the Humanware department, from 1989 to 1991; at Downtown Digital, in the early 90′s, I used AOL.
When did you first get involved with digital and why?
My first involvement with digital was producing computer-assisted video discs in the 80′s.  One project was for RCA labs so workers could train & meet  OSHA requirements on chemical safety. In one lesson, the video showed a worker using chemicals & the digital overlay asked the trainee to touch any clothing that didn’t meet OSHA requirements.
How would you describe your work and professional interests in the 1990′s (or 80′s etc).
In the early 80′s after graduate school, my first project was the interactive IBM Heritage videodisc. It was analog, but I became fascinated with interactive technology. I worked as a researcher and then scriptwriter and went on to write scripts and project manage for Videodisc Publishing.  It was an exciting time working in organizations such as IICS and later NYNMA. Then I learned a lot at the bank about interface design, working on projects to help both internal & external clients develop ways to invest discretionary income. The most exciting project in the early 90′s was RCTV/Downtown Digital, AT&T’s pioneering interactive television project. I was director of production for a trial  and then I focused the the web as director of new business development. Following that I had a brief stint at THINK New Ideas, and learned about marketing after so much R&D work.
I’ve always been interested in teaching, and during that time taught about videodisc development and then interactive television at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program. I went on to teach full time at City College, including classes on web development.
What do think the future will hold internet/digital?
I think everything points to even more use of mobile screens since there are so many apps that let you do everything from finding your way to a restaurant to ordering groceries to make meals at home. Right now I can see on the Internet if there are any washing machines available in the basement – if only I could actually do the wash virtually & remotely! Social networking will take over email completely for all demographics, not just teens.
September 1, 2010 Posted Under: Featured   Read More

kHyal

kHyal

Why did you first get online?

1985 on a Hayes Smartmodem. Soon after, I joined an Amiga Users Group at Yale University and became a frequent contributor to their BBS. My passion for computing drove me to create digital animation and video art, MIDI music recordings and live performances, and to publish a series of communications as well as mouse-drawn illustrations and cartoons. I published my first zine in New Haven, called “Squid Florentine at Large” on the Amiga. Computing was the first thing I did each morning, and the last thing each night, often into the wee hours of the next day.

When did you first get involved with digital and why?

Although I had spent my youth pouring over my father’s design annuals and books on graphic design, and writing and illustrating my own stories, I still felt like I was a fine artist at heart. When I realized that supporting myself this way was not a route I wanted to take, I veered toward graphic design as a career but found myself extremely frustrated with old school techniques. Computers gave me the toolbox I craved while Internet access provided the opportunity to expand my communication. I started my career on an Amiga computer in the early 80s, and then moved on to Macs, and PCs when I had to.

How would you describe your work and professional interests in the 1990′s (or 80′s etc).

After attending college in Boston, spending time in New York, then living in Los Angeles and San Francisco, I settled in New Haven, CT in the mid-80s. I met Mark Levinson, the pioneer of “high end audio” in a gallery where I worked part-time. He offered me a job at his start-up company, Cello. I was immediately hooked on the technology and tradeshows like CES, where we showcased Cello products.

Later, I got my first job in advertising by pitching the principals of a small New Haven agency. They hired me, I recommended and installed desktop computers and scanners and trained their staff — in exchange for knowledge on working in the agency world. I’ve been using computers to make a living in design and advertising ever since.

Over the years I ran a service bureau and worked at two different type houses just making the switch to personal computers over old school equipment. In 1991, I was Creative Director at Microtech International where I produced international ad campaigns, designed trade show booths and promotions, collateral and packaging. At Microtech, I was surrounded by a large team of highly technical folks whom I adored. One of them turned me on to Mondo 2000 magazine, a Cyberpunk publication and precursor to WIRED magazine, that I began to illustrate for. I was invited by Davy Jones of The Monkees to create illustrations for the book Mutant Monkees and the MultiMedia Manipulation Machine. I also met, and worked with Paul Haslinger, formerly of Tangerine Dream, on a CD promotion and MacWorld party for Microtech. I found my passion was in anything highly creative and digital.

In 1994, Microtech founder and CEO, Cliff Wildes, asked me to join him in a software publishing partnership. We launched six consumer titles into the marketplace in a year, and our software Personal Backup shipped with every Iomega Zip drive for the Mac during the first year of their launch.

I began to spend a lot of time at events in New York’s Silicon Alley. I was a guest and sometimes host on several shows at Pseudo, I produced “The kHyal Show” at the New York Film Academy, and I began to get hired as a digital photo journalist to cover events for the Canadian Consulate’s New Media Division, the MIT Enterprise Forum of New York City of which I was a member of the Marketing Committee, WWWAC events, Internet World and more. I also published my own editorial content on kHyal.com, taking hours to create custom html layouts for each page, which now of course with blogging software takes only minutes.

In 1996, I cofounded blowtorch studios, an interactive agency and software development firm with Jackie Lightfield. Jackie was another partner at our software publishing company and prior to that, my colleague at Microtech.

Later, I worked in the touch screen kiosk development industry as Creative Director for Allied Systems, a large Sun Microsystems VAR, then Netkey, formerly Lexitech, which was founded at Yale University’s Science Park technology incubator. In the late 90s I was Creative Director at circle.com, an all-digital agency now doing business as Euro RSCG Discovery.

After 9/11 and the dotcom crash, I worked in educational publishing, not exactly a cutting-edge technology field. However, my passion was in setting up workflows within digital publishing systems with our clients, including McGraw-Hill and Harcourt using k$ and Woodwing.

In 2007 — I founded fiZz agency, a digital marketing communications firm. I also cofounded PUSH workshops with my husband Karl Heine, who is a designer and has owned and operated a creative recruitment firm, creativeplaement.com, for 22 years. We produce events and workshops for creative professionals, speak at art and design schools and are working on a book called Getting Noticed, a career guide for creative professionals, which highlights effective social marketing tactics.

Parallel to my career in digital design, marketing, PR and advertising — I have experimented with technology to make and show art and music. I had a band in the mid-80s called The Ultra Violet Rakes that was all MIDI, and accompanied with digital video. I was in a technology/art show at the first wired building in New York, 55 Broad Street, then at Ricco/Maresca Gallery in SoHo in an exhibition called CODE also featuring artist Char Davies from Softimage and an array of artists from R/GA.

What do think the future will hold internet/digital?

I think the technological advances will expand by leaps and bounds in tandem with improvements that allow more inclusion of the natural world in look and feel. You can see the backlash of too much computer-generated content in the youth culture now, including the return to vinyl records and organic Etsy-style and MakerBot DIY design trends. I believe that humans will be humans, a species that is driven to have the things we want. And, we want better, faster technologies that improve our lives superficially, intellectually, financially and physically.

September 1, 2010 Posted Under: Featured   Read More

Women’s Internet History Project Launches with NYC Event

Women’s Internet History Project Launches with NYC Event

Women’s Internet History Project launched its first event on August 12, 2010. The conference room was packed with women from all aspects of involvement with providing a purpose and usage of the internet and digital. The support from the attendees was overwhelming. Advisory board members Gloria Feldt and Mary Boone provided sound advice on the organization. Several luminaries came to the meeting to ready to provide direction on the project.

The project is designed to provide a platform for women who provided a purpose and usage of the internet. Different from Wikipedia in that the records align to create a visual representation of history. Records align with current events, prominent women and the development of internet. The project will help document histories of the women in this industry, provide insight for researchers and educators, and lead itself to next generations of women who want to get into this exciting and ever changing industry. Including documentation of these histories the project design will change the way history is presented.

Many great discussions opened up including areas of copyright, legal entity, ownership of the records, and whether or not to participate. Some of the women involved worked hard but received little or no recognition for their work. It is interesting to note the meeting became a little heated with a discussion over whether or not men should help with the project.

After the discussion portion of the meeting there was plenty of time for networking. It was great to see so many rekindling relationships!

The meeting place for the event was beautiful and provided by advisory board member, Renee Edelman at Edelman’s offices and help from Charlie Campbell and Daisy Hutchinson. Thank you for your help!

August 16, 2010 Posted Under: Featured, Tery Spataro   Read More

Lori Schwab

Lori Schwab

Why did you first get online?

The why is the same as the when. For a job I had at the time, we needed to be inline or ahead of the communications curve, which is why and when I got my first external Hayes modem — remember those? This was followed with my first email account with CompUServe. It was very exciting for me as the first person in the office to have it — which drove the then IT guy crazy because he didn’t have enough knowledge to control it. Eventually I landed at NYNMA, where, obviously. the need to be online was implied.

When did you first get involved with digital and why?

My CompUServe account was in 1993. It was late 1994, when I received two job offers. The first was with a traditional design organization and the other was with NYNMA. When faced with the choice of traditional vs. uncharted territory, there was no doubt in my mind that this “Internet” thing was where I wanted to be.

How would you describe your work and professional interests in the 1990′s (or 80′s etc).

I started in public relations at Ruder Finn’s Arts and Communications Counselors, specializing in visual and performing arts public relations and marketing. We provided corporations, cultural institutions, government agencies and foundations with strategic communications counseling. From there I moved to a consulting firm, working with cultural institutions, community organizations, and companies to develop visitor experiences. One of our clients was the International Design Conference in Aspen, which then hired me as the Program Director. There I was introduced to the best and most innovative ideas through art, design, communications and technology. Finally, I was hired by NYNMA as the Executive Director, charged with running and growing this important new organization.

What do think the future will hold internet/digital?

Ah, the big question, and as they say, if I knew I’d be rich. Clearly the impact of both Social Media and Mobile technologies are the current trends that will lead future developments in the short term. Further, I suspect that the days of completely free quality original content are numbered.

Beyond that, frankly, I have no clue and I’m always suspicious of those that emphatically declare they know what’s coming.

This I know for sure, whatever happens is dependent on supporting and encouraging the creative and innovative work and minds of people who, as of today, we don’t even know exist.

August 6, 2010 Posted Under: Featured   Read More

Aliza Sherman

Aliza Sherman

Why did you first get online?

I first used an external modem to connect with a BBS in 1987 on my
Amstrad 1640 desktop computer. I had purchased the computer and a dot
matrix printer to type out my many stories that I had hand written
into spiral notebooks since I was in grade school. I had dreams of
publishing a book and felt that typing out manuscripts would be a good
first step.

At the time, I was living in Manhattan with my sister and two other
women who were very concerned about my computer usage which kept me
busy every evening and into the wee hours of the night. I, on the
other hand, was fascinated with words on the glowing screen and the
information I could access and post.

My favorite story about learning about the Internet is about being
logged into a BBS one night and some words flashed on the screen “Do
you want to talk?” I jumped out of my seat, ran to the window and
closed the blinds, thinking that someone was watching me or that my
computer was talking to me. Hey, I’d seen War Games. Eventually I
discovered that there were other people logged into the same BBS that
I was at the same time and that we could talk to one another through a
chat function. BTW, the person asking to chat with me that first time
was a 17 year old boy from Brooklyn.
When did you first get involved with digital and why?

My Internet hobby was growing, and I looked for every possible way to
bring my love of being online and onilne communications to my jobs. At
the time I purchased my first computer, I was in the music business
and over the years tried to get some of the bands I worked with such
as Metallica and Def Leppard online but my bosses resisted. Then when
I was running a nonprofit organization on domestic violence awareness,
I created the first online resources on domestic violence prevention
including a forum on a national BBS Women’s Wire, on America Online
and eventually on the Web.

Once I learned about the Web and took a $10 class on basic HTML, I was
hooked because of the incredible power for building and creating that
HTML afforded me – and anyone – and for the global reach. I began
getting emails from around the world thanking me for publishing
domestic violence research and safety information on the Web – a site
called SafetyNet that no longer exists.

Before the advent of the Web, around 1992, I began consulting clients
about email marketing and online focus groups using listservs as the
interactive platform. By 1995, I was building websites for clients
including launching the first online information about breast cancer
for Avon’s Breast Cancer Awareness Crusade. They were my first major
client for my Internet consultancy CGIM (Cybergrrl Internet Media
later renamed Cybergrrl, Inc.) although we initially launched them on
America Online, not the Web. I build their first website for $1200 and
consulted Avon Products, Inc.’s marketing and legal department about
the ins and outs of building a presence and community online.
How would you describe your work and professional interests in the
1990′s (or 80′s etc).

I was immersed in all things Internet but loved the Web. While we
built and communicated on a variety on commercial online services
(anyone remember eWorld?!?), the Web held so much fascination for me.
I built the first three websites for women, predating Women.com and
iVillage by over a year. The major difference between what we did with
Cybergrrl and our “competitors” is that we paved the way on a
shoestring, and they came into the space fully funded, using us as an
example of the viability – and opportunity – in reaching women online.

While working on the Web, I also began writing books for women
including “Cybergrrl: A Woman’s World Wide Web” and “Cybergrrl@Work.”
Speaking engagements followed, and I was lucky enough to be flown
around the world to speak at corporations, conferences, and to
governments about the issues surround women and the Internet and
nonprofits and the Internet. I lived and breathed the digital world
and loved being able to bring complex and confusing technical
information to women and girls so they could learn and benefit from
technology.
What do think the future will hold internet/digital?

Every day, there is something new, some new way to create, connect,
communicate. I’m amazed at how far we’ve come but also how far we
haven’t. I’m still irked that so many technology companies are led by
men, hire mostly men and are funded by men, particularly in
programming. And that the presence of women in any power positions or
the upper echelons of tech is still comparable or often in worse shape
than it was in the 90s. One step forward, two steps back, and the same
barriers- and sexism – we faced back then exist today. We have all
learned how to navigate around the barriers to find our successes, but
the fact they still exist is pathetic. But onward and upward.

July 5, 2010 Posted Under: Aliza Sherman, Featured   Read More

Brenda Scott

Brenda Scott

Why did you first get online?

In 1982, I was in the Navy and stationed in London England right out of a 3 week computer school. It was there, that I found that we could actually type back and forth to Pensicola, FL to get our advancement test scores before anywhere else in the fleet. We would be the ones transferring all of the Atlantic Fleet test scores out to them once they had all been compiled and transmitted to us. Once I returned to the states in 1984, I discovered that there were internet connections called “BBS” that was very intriguing to me. I joined a local BBS out of Bristol, CT. Of course they could only have 5 people on line at the same time and later expanded to 10 people. I used to go to a chat room and play moderator on Trivia night. Occasionally, all of us would meet and go bowling and there I was able to put faces to the mysterious people typing to me. The couple that started the BBS decided to drop it as it became too expensive to expand.

When did you first get involved with digital and why?
I first got heavily involved with digital while I was in the Navy. Of course the old days consisted of punched cards transmitted to pay and personnel records. Later, I learned about data bases, email and just how powerful te digital age was becoming. I was constantly striving to learn new things about computers. All of this started when I was in High School and my father took apart a Commodore 64 to show me what made it work. He played a game tape (similar to an audio tape) and I heard the squelch that he explained to me was what told the circuits what to do. I was hooked. I wanted to know more! I continued on with my Navy computer career, learning all I could possibly learn and then transferred to the Army in 2001 where I was able to work in repair and network setup.

How would you describe your work and professional interests in the 1990′s (or 80′s etc).

I’m a business owner specializing in music for the elderly. Of course all of my music is now digital. I’m still amazed at how far the digital age has gone and look forward to the next 20+ years of technology that is out there waiting to be put out to the public. The 80′s would be described as more of a discovery stage for me in the digital world. The 90′s would be catagorized as the “fine tuning”. All of my computers and laptops are networked to one central location in my house. Every civilian job that I’ve worked in has been computer based. “If my personality isn’t enough for you, my computer skills certainly are!”

What do think the future will hold internet/digital?
The possibilities are endless!! It was a sad day when the government decided that new technology was hitting the streets too quickly which caused that new technology to slow. I want to see “today” how far we are with new digital technology. I fear that most of the general public will see their privacy diminished unless they learn how to defend themselves against digital preditors. I can say that I’m as excited today as I was in the 80′s during my discovery era to see what’s next.

June 25, 2010 Posted Under: Featured   Read More