Digressions & Diatribes

by Kort E Patterson, Editor

Port Of Call is now on the Web!

As part of the standard membership package, Compuserve offers free home pages on the web for individuals and businesses. The major limitation is that the home page and any additional pages must fit in only 1 meg of storage space. Overall Technology must maintain a Compuserve account but is not using the free home page offer.

My only use of the Internet before this was solely to send and receive email. But Compuserve was promising free easy to use web page authoring software to make the process painless, so it I started thinking more seriously about the possibilities. I discussed the potential with Regional Director Brewster Gillett, and we agreed that publishing POC on the web would be a good idea.

With new found motivation as your fearless editor, I plunged into an intensive hands on education in the Internet and the World Wide Web. (Ok, so basically I bought a book and installed the Internet tools from the OS/2 Warp bonus pack.) Of course, once I was too committed to quit, I discovered the Compuserve web authoring tools were too limited, and I had to learn HTML and do it by hand anyway, but that's another story... By avoiding storage intensive graphics, I was able to publish 10 issues (including this one) back to August/September 1994 in over 80 linked web pages.

One of the primary purposes of publishing POC on the web is to attract new members. To this end, I scanned/OCR'd Intertel's brochure and produced a web page out of it. When Intertel's official home page is ready, the current on-line brochure will be replaced or enhanced with a link to Intertel's home page.

Concerns have been raised about publicizing Intertel events or the names and addresses of members to the "outside world". Therefore this information is edited out. In addition, authors of material submitted with copyright restrictions must send additional permissions before their works (mostly poetry) can be included in the on-line version.

We will add more interesting links as suggestions appear, but to start with, POC's home page provides a link to the "on-line reference shelf" maintained by Novi University in Florida. The reference shelf offers a collection of on-line versions of established print reference works like Bartlett's Quotations, several dictionaries, thesaurus, area code and zip-code directories, phone books, etc. Some of the references, like census data, are only generally available to the public on-line.

On our derigueur "interesting links" page, you will find several search engines including Yahoo, Linkstar, Webcrawler, and Metasearch. In our reference section we offer links to the CIA and US Intelligence Community, Cornell Law Library, the Library of Congress Archives, Stephen's Guide to Logical Fallacies, and an index maintained by the University of Massachusetts to robotics web servers around the world. To provide a little balance, we also have links to Comedy Central, United Media comics (Dilbert and others), and some unusual personal pages.

Port Of Call's web address is http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/poc

Tell your friends!

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