Posts Tagged ‘browsers’

Global, Local, Personal, computers, the internet and me!

June 3, 2011

Some of you might have seen this video on the growth, not just of the internet, but of the personal connections it fosters, and the undeniable massive changes that this is bringing…

It made me think of my personal journey in the digital world and I thought I’d try a timeline to see how my digital connections have grown…(this isn’t a comprehensive list, rather a compilation of milestones!)

A First Course in Data Processing 1977

A First Course in Data Processing 1977

  • 1974-78 a printer terminal connected our high school to the education department computer, I thought it was called MINIWAFT but it turns out that was the programming lanugage….
  • 1979 studied Systems Analysis 151 as part of my Library Studies degree at WAIT (now Curtin University), using A first course in data processing.   I remember having to submit batches of punched cards to the computing department and wait about a week before picking up the printout.  Hopefully it would be thickish as a thin printout usually meant the programme had failed at the first line!
Thermal paper terminal with acoustic coupler 1980s

Thermal paper terminal with acoustic coupler 1980s

  • Early 80s Worked in a corporate library, we used to search on Dialog using dial up, using a portable terminal with thermal papers and acoustic couplers! The library catalog was automated but accessed from dumb terminals connected to mini or micro computers.

    Computing at work 1985

    Computing at work 1985

  • By the time I changed jobs in 1990 we’d moved on to networked PCs (386 machines anyone?) In January 1993 my new employer sent me to the Information Online and Ondisc conference in Sydney where I remember being very impressed by the latest thing – GUIs (graphical user interfaces) which freed us from navigating by menu and saw the advent of the mouse!
  • The 90s progressed and the internet really fired up – I find I have certificates for training in: Introduction to AARNET utilities (1 November 1993) – AARNET was the first real ISP in Australia, anyone else remember using gopher to search?; Introduction to the internet (June 1995); and Navigating the internet (July 1995).  Those were the days of Mosaic and Netscape browsers and of Webcrawler (with it’s spider logo), Lycos and then the Altavista search engines.  We began to use the web to search Dialog and STN databases.
  • By 97 I’d moved on to part-time work and further study and it was time for a computer at home!  If I remember rightly it cost me a couple of thousand dollars and I signed up with a local ISP NetTrek, which was swallowed up by iinet in late 1999.
  • In 2000 I took a unit in digital art as part of a Fine Art Degree at Curtin and I had my first experiences of setting up webpages and html coding, alas I think that that work is long lost… I’m not sure when I first set up my own website in the iinet members zone but it was running by 2002 and was overhauled  once or twice taking its current form in about 2006…  My use of the web was strong, but, with the exception of my webpage, was as a consumer,  both for myself and as an intermediary for library clients, not a participant.  The biggest change was joining the crowd and becoming a user of Google!
  • In the last decade the personal and professional use of the web and the development of web 2.0 have grown exponentially.  Again, attending Information Online 2007 helped me focus on the changes that social media would bring to my worlds.  I think I’ll mark my milestones in social media adopted and used or abandoned!
  • 2001, now Friends Reunited – not really used, but check occasionally for school reunion purposes
  • 2005 Flickr– this is the granddaddy of my social media spaces, I signed up when I bought my first digital camera.  I use it to back up, organise and share all my photos and I now have nearly 12,000 items in my photostream, most are public, but I have not yet embraced creative commons and retain copyright on them, something I’ll be rethinking.
  • 2007 MySpace – I briefly blogged on MySpace, but abandoned that blog when I started using WordPress, I still have a MySpace account but very rarely use it – occasionally I check on musos, which seems to be MySpace’s strength, I’ve just logged back in and its all changed!
  • 2007 Second Life – had a go after attending the Information Online conference in 2007 but really couldn’t get into it.  It’s one step too far removed from real life, I use my virtual world as an adjunct to rather than an alternative to my real life… So, yes I have an account but I can’t remember when I last visited!
  • 2007 YouTube – slower adoption here, as I use Flickr for unedited video but I now back up my edited videos to YouTube, though as they are mostly family, most of them are private.  This year I’ve been experimenting with using Xtranormal and YouTube, and since I bought the iPhone and the cable that plays videos from it from YouTube through my TV , I’ve been favouriting and making playlists!
  • 2007 facebook – what can I say, I resisted, then dipped my toe in the water and now I’m an addict!  I’ve connected with people I’ve lost contact with, I keep up with friends and causes, I love it… I keep my privacy settings high, am more personal in what I say, but also run the “postcard test” on my posts (i.e. would I write it on a postcard?), I’m also an admin for work’s account.
  • 2008 LibraryThing – I’m adding books as I buy or read them, this year I’ve linked my reviews to automatically post on facebook
  • 2009 WordPress – intermittent blogging, and this is where I started to think in terms of linking between my website and Web 2.0 identities.  Now I automatically publish my posts to facebook and Twitter.  My most popular post is on using the iPhone as a barcode reader in the library.  I also blog for my library…
  • 2009 I bought my beloved iPhone! Now I could start accessing all my social media on the go!  I’ve become an adept and an addict! Got a wireless router for home use…
  • 2010 Delicious – my own social bookmarking account, getting more use now I have added a widget to my browser bar!
  • 2011 Twitter – this is more for sharing information and links, I have low privacy settings on Twitter so try to keep the personal to a minimum
  • 2011 LinkedIn – OK, I’ve just joined this one, so I’m not quite sure how I’ll be using it!
  • 2011 I’ve been an keen onlooker at LibraryHack but am painfully aware I need more practice and skills! I’m dipping my toes in with cross platform applications and cloud computing, using Dropbox and Evernote to sync my devices.  I love the EBSCOHost smart phone app!  I’ve got 4 eBook readers on my iPhone, and I’m eyeing an iPad! (We’re using them at work).
Where to from here?
The journey continues, the personal and professional are melding in ways they never used to, change is the only certainty, and the future is going to be a wild ride!  One thing I know, I’m a librarian because I like knowing things and knowing how to find them and the skills of finding, organising, and facilitating access to information are going to be in demand in the future, but what that future will look like I don’t know!

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