A – Z
I’m proud to be a part of a wonderful organization called the Writers of Kern. They are having a “Blog Challenge” and I’m participating. I’m writing my normal two blogs per week but challenging myself to be prompted by the alphabet. Hope you can read all twenty six from A-Z. For more good reading check out the Writers of Kern’s Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/groups/95572300558/
W is for WORLD WIDE WEB
Many folks reading this can’t remember a time when there wasn’t a “web.” I can. And life was certainly not better. My job sucked without the internet.
The World Wide Web was invented by an English scientist, Tim Berners-Lee, in 1989. He wrote the first “web-browser” in 1990. No, it wasn’t Al Gore. However if it wasn’t for Al Gore we might not have had the internet for many years. Gore did nickname the internet as the “Information Superhighway” and he spent over two years trying to get the
“Gore Bill “ through a very ignorant congress (what’s changed?) Al Gore was familiar with the computer operations of the DOD and he thought it could revolutionize the country. The bill was known as the “1991 High Performance and Communications Act.” This legislation funded the Center for Super Computer Applications and the rest is history.
The first thing we were able to do on the internet was e-mail. WOW! How was your life different before email? My life changed overnight.
I was working in the music industry in Southern California in the early ‘80s and like most sales people I was filling out order forms for music dealers. Orders for equipment meant paperwork. Paperwork meant snail mail. Snail mail meant finding a Post Office in a strange town to mail the paperwork in big envelopes.
There was one shortcut, but a risky one. Finding a payphone and calling in sales orders.
NO…there were no cell phones either in the early ‘80s. It was also something the boss didn’t want us to do. He liked the black and white pages processed. No mistakes to blame on the phone interaction. But, if it was an important rush order I looked for a payphone.
Phone booths on sidewalks were scattered around Los Angeles on the main streets, the busy streets. They were also always found alongside filling stations or 7-11 stores. They were never around when I needed one. A few years later, my order forms were pre-printed in my computer and I would email them in every night from my hotel room.
But that wasn’t the easy solution in the ‘80s.
I came out of a music store on Hollywood Boulevard one afternoon and needed a rush order shipped. I spotted a payphone a block away. It was a hot day so by the time I carried my two heavy briefcases to the phone booth I was drenched. Squeezing one brief case on the floor and balancing the other on the small shelf inside the booth, I grabbed my order pad and dialed the 800 number for St. Louis Music Company.
It was a large and important order and I needed to talk to the boss about it. The boss was the President and sole owner of the company. He was a serious guy, a no-nonsense kind of guy and a definite no sense-of-humor guy.
Just as he got on the phone two black prostitutes knocked on the window wanting me to hurry up with my call. Their outfits gave them away.
I didn’t know one never uses a phone booth on Hollywood Boulevard.
Newly arrived from Indiana I was ignorant.
I smiled at them and held up the proverbial one finger, meaning just a minute. They weren’t mad, just very ornery. They decided to play “make a sandwich” with me, my briefcases and two whores. In the booth they came. At this point I couldn’t hear my very serious boss talking. There was girl-giggling, booty shaking, and a hot sweaty half-scared sales guy wondering why I left Indiana. It sounded faintly like my boss was asking me why I called him out of an important meeting. I believe I told him something about a “bad connection.”
Email made my life less complicated.