b a c k  t o  b i r d d r o p p i n g s

My take on the Internet

I have been using some form of electronic communication over telephone lines for many years now. I began this adventure in working and learning in the early 80's, and the technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace, so the story is without end. Over the years I have worked and played in this electronic world for business profit, education, and entertainment.

The Internet is a network of computers linked over those same lines, and one can get at least dial-up access to that network from most any place on this planet, it's just a matter of how much it costs. Access costs should be eventually limited pretty much by AT&T's offer of essentially unlimited access to their connections for less than $20.00 per month. Most of my life I have chosen to live away from "toll-free" areas, so I have been subjected to premium access charges by lifestyle choice. What the Internet really becomes is access to the world's hard drive.

I have accumulated a current set of hardware and software tools to use in those "on-line" endeavors, and opinions to go along with each of them. What works for me may not, in fact probably won't be, the tool of choice for any body else, but here are my selections. These products allow me to productively access, categorize, and fully utilize the unlimited information available in this "Cyber World".

Hardware

I use as my primary workstation computer a machine based on an Intel Pentium 4 microchip running at 1.7 gigahertz using the Microsoft Windows XP Professional operating system. That computer is networked to two Windows 2000 Servers, a Windows 2000 workstation, a Windows 98SE system as well as an Apple  Macintosh running system 8.6, and I am connected to the Internet (through my ISP, Midcoast Internet Solutions) with a direct microwave wireless link (802.11b) that transfers data at 10Mbps. I have 100 gigabits of hard disk local storage (on six separate drives), 512 megabytes of RAM memory, and create and view video output generally at 1024 x 768 resolution using 32 bit true color. I listen to full digital quality sound,  print to a Hewlett-Packard laser printer, and can scan images as well as control any lights and appliances in my home. I input data by keyboard, mouse, modem, floppy disk, Iomega zip disks, DVD and CD-ROM's. This whole system is also tied to my regular audio and digital (DSS) satellite TV system. This is what is what I call pretty much a full multimedia computer network. I also like to call it a my Wintel-Apple system. I've been using parts of this same system since 1989.

Software

  • Windows XP Professional operating system
  • Windows 2000 Server operating system enhanced with several other utility packages.
  • Microsoft Office 2000 (Word & Excel) for word-processing and spreadsheets.
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2000 for database development.
  • Microsoft Access 2000 for client side database development.
  • Quicken 2000 Home & Business for my finances and accounting. 
  • Intuit TurboTax for income tax preparation.
  • Microsoft Outlook  2000 as a Personal Information Manager and communications package. 
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 or Netscape 6.2 to browse the World Wide Web.
  • Microsoft Frontage 2002 and Visual InterDev Version 6 to design and manage Websites.
  • Real Audio Player, JukeBox, and Producer programs to create streaming audio and video over the Internet.
  • Apple OS 8.6