Sunday, February 26, 2006

Item From the Past: Whatever Happened to the Infobahn?

Hard to believe now that I ever worked at a desk that had no e-mail or Internet connection, but it was true just nine years ago, though before that, in 1995, I worked at a place at which I had such connections, and regularly used e-mail to communicate with head office in the UK. At the job I held from early 1998 to early 1999, the office had only one terminal with an Internet connection because the owner of the company was worried that the employees might waste too much time with it – we had to make an appointment, more or less, to use it. Not long after I left, however, everyone there was connected.

February 28, 1997

Out of an office of 15, there are two weather buffs working here. Mere coincidence? In any case, today they passed along a bit of weather lore, concerning fast-moving wintertime cold fronts that arc southeastward past high-pressure zones more or less centering on Hudson Bay. Sometimes these are called Alberta Clippers. Those passing a bit to the east of that are Saskachewan Screamers.

Nothing but more winter here, anyway. No big snows now for a couple of weeks, but I’m sure there will be at least one more before “spring” starts. This is the worst season in Chicago, in my view. March should have some warm days, and April should be chock full of ’em. But no.

Today I actually used the Internet for work, of all things. I don’t have a connection myself, here at my desk, but the editor of Midwest Real Estate News (which goes by the ungainly abbreviation, MWREN) does, and occasionally when he can spare his desk, I’ll look up or for something. Today I pulled some articles from recent issues of the Kansas City Star about a trial there of five people recently convicted of setting a fire that led to an explosion that killed six firemen (a trial of some interest to fire chiefs, as you can imagine).

The company is threatening to upgrade us to PowerMacs, with e-mail and Internet connection “this spring.” We shall see, but I would enjoy access to e-mail, certainly.



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