A Column by and for Youth

For those of you new to the Chebucto Community Net and the Internet (WWW) as a whole, it may be surprising how many things you can find in cyberspace. Of course, with the mass media drilling into our heads everyday the vast concept and power of the World-Wide-Web, it's hard to be surprised by anything these days.

Many people look at Chebucto Community Net's homepage for the first time and ask: "So, when do I get to use the Internet?" This is a common mis-conception, especially among new users. CCN itself is the "Internet!" Or, more correctly, is part of the "World-Wide-Web." The "Internet" was actually established in 1968 as a way of using networked computers to transfer important information during the Cold War. The "World-Wide-Web", still mistaken for the "Internet", was established for personal use in 1992.

But "The Internet" (networked computers) is still alive and well! From "hypertext links" within Web documents you can visit a "site" on another "server" (a networked computer on the "Internet") within a matter of seconds - this is still an aspect of the Internet present today on the WWW.

Of course, there's a lot more to take in and a lot of new technical jargon if you're just getting started. If you're new to the CCN, why not browse through the online Help Desk they've set up?

When asked to write this "youth" column, my first daunting task was to find a suitable topic for discussion. I reached out to members of the CCN-Youth electronic mailing-list, but was disappointed after only getting two responses. For a long time I thought I'd never think of anything good! I mean, today's youth have so many varying interests that it seems almost impossible to select a subject agreeable to everyone.

"Write what you feel," I was told - That's just it, I don't really "feel" anything, at least not on a topic I can devote a whole article to.

Most of my time is spent working on my homepage, although my friends Deep Grewal and John Hamilton have been working diligently on their homepages as well. It just goes to show that not all of today's youth are rotting in front of the television or wasting their money at the arcade!

One of the beauties of the CCN is that through it you can write globally accessible HTML Web documents, such as the homepages above, as well as that of my "cyber-friend" Thom Dawson.

I have met numerous individuals on the internet, through the CCN. People from all around the world! I've heard from visitors to my homepage from as far away as Austria, Hawaii, Japan and Hungary! Also, with full internet access through the Chebucto Community Net, you can access sites where, for instance, you can become "linked" with an electronic penpal, or chat with someone on the Webchat service or any number of IRC's (Internet Relay Chat) But not only that, you can even order complete magazine subscriptions, pizzas and even entire software packages - directly off(on)line!

There's so many things you can do on the CCN, but you'll notice I still haven't said much in this article ;-)

You'll, of course, notice the "smiley" I wrote in the previous paragraph. This is my "trademark" smiley! On the internet I recently came across The Unofficial Smiley Dictionary! "Smilies" are used as a way of displaying the mood or expression of the person "talking."

However, after the "chat" forums, penpal lists, IRCs and "smileys" comes a more negative aspect of the CCN, or more appropriately, the Internet (WWW). With full access, there's no way of preventing access to lewd and/or potentially illegal material (do the terms "KKK" and "Satan" come to mind? How about "bondage?") I hope to discuss these topics further in future columns. For now, though, I'd like to thank you for reading this, my first of possibly a long string of future articles on the CCN and the Internet - for "youth!"


Chebucto Connections YOUTH CORNER
is edited by Matthew MacDonald
who is happy to receiveQuestions, Comments or Suggestions.
If your browser does not support mail, write to Matthew later at ac507@ccn·cs·dal·ca.

Next Month: September 1995