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Re: Internet Issues HILL_J@CUBLDR.Colorado.EDU 18 Jul 1991 17:11 UTC

 For people's information who aren't on PACS-L

 Pam Deemer
 Emory Law Library
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 Selden Deemer
 Emory University Libraries
 (404) 727-0271
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 To:           "Jackie W. Ammerman" <LIBJA@EMUVM1.BITNET>,
               Rod Henshaw <LIBRNH@EMUVM1.BITNET>,
               Steve Foote <LIBSF@EMUVM1.BITNET>,
               Selden Deemer <LIBSSD@EMUVM1.BITNET>

 4 messages, 179 lines

 I agree with Jack Kessler that users need aides to getting information from
 the InterNet but his focus and metaphors are too bookish. You can't index
 the internet, it moves too quick. Books don't change so indexing works.

 In terms of PACS-L the thinking is about opacs and textual material, but that
 is the least interesting information on the internet. The really interesting
 information on the Internet are the people.

 I use the Internet to find the people who have written things I can't
 understand and there are a lot of things which I don't understand. I have
 learned much from the people on the Internet, I have learned little from
 wandering around archives of previous discussions of PACS-L or LIBRES or even
 the WELL.

 About 6 years ago M.E.Maron at Berkeley developed a project called HelpNet
 which was based on the idea that it might be more useful to find people than
 papers.  The system was developed on PCs and never quite made the leap to the
 real world other than a few research papers. There was some discussion about
 porting HelpNet to the InterNet which never went anywhere.

 I don't want an index of the 'things/text" on the Internet, I want a "HelpNet"
 of the InterNet, a white pages of the folks on the internet which includes a
 user supplied biography, which I can search, and maybe a yellow pages of ideas
 and services.

 --Thom Gillespie
 There are a lot of ways to make the internet more user friendly, and
 that is to follow Thomas Wilson's suggestion about making friendly
 users.  For all of it's wiz bang circuitry, the real network is a
 network of users, and the underlying culture is oral.  How do you
 find a good restraunt in a strage town?  How do you find an office
 at a strange university ?  You ask somebody.

 At the University of Vermont, there are a lot of ways for a person
 (once patron, once user) to get information about the internet:

 a.  Short courses -- usally several times a semester.

 b.  Short handouts -- e.g. on ftp, telnet, e-mail, finger

 c.  Longer documents -- generally picked up off the network
     such as the Hitchhikers Guide to the Internet, the New
     User Questions, the Expert User Questions.

 d.  Reference documents -- the Internet Resource Guide,
     The On-line Catalog Catalog, the anonymous ftp list,
     the infamous list of lists,

 e.  Consulting -- all of our staff (students and full time)
     can either answer internet questions or locate an expert
     who can.  (When we're not expert, we show the users how
     we go about finding the information they wanted.)

 Some of this information is in the computer center.  Some is in
 the library.  Some is on-line in the computer.  Some is on-line
 in the network.  Some of the informants are "computer" people.
 Some are librarians.

 What the internet is building is a global information culture.
 To imagine that all of the information sources are going to be
 identical, that all ideas of user friendly are going to be
 harmonious, is to miss the point of the whole interprise.  It
 is because of the diversity of information sources that the
 network is being built in the first place.   A little bit of
 confusion and a dose or two of surprise is good.

 (And in anycase, it's easier to navigate the internet than to
 try to follow the instructions for a 1040 :-)


 Internet is muddy.  I like to think of it this way:

 Internet offers a highspeed high way for data transmissions (everyone
 knows that!).  It is like a complex network of interstate highway, only
 they haven't gotten around to building the signposts yet!  One reason
 it's hard to do so is that the concept is that of decentralization,
 local hubs have extensive control on their systems.  Can you imagine the
 problems if Houston decided to route I-10 to go to Chicago, and I-59 to
 r\connect to Westawrd I-10 ( I agree, the example is bizzare) but the
 point is things change too often, so the static signs won't work. we
 will have to come up with dynamic signs that change as well!  Till then,
 we "PAY" (in time or money) for the basic road maps we have, and go with

 Sanjay R. Chadha


   The recent discussion regarding the internet info swamp got me
   thinking. I am sure this isn't an unique idea but here goes.
   And I am sure that this idea has a lot of holes in it, so really
   its just a thought.

   Lets say that each university has a machine called
     I am sure that libraries have tons of money, hee,hee,hee.
     I am not thinking a big machine here, maybe a 80386 type
     running a Unix type operating system and having an Ethernet
     board in it and being attached to the network.

     The machine would have anonymous ftp capability.
     Each faculty that publishes a journal article submits a copy
     of the manuscript to be stored on the machine, perhaps in a
     standardize directory name based on the discipline involved.
     Provided the author hasn't signed over the rights to the
     journal in question.

     The name of the file in question could have a standardized
     title format similar to the OCLC name,title thing.  For
     example smit_sili for an article by smith dealing with

     This way a patron in library A finds a citation referencing
     this article, fills out an inter-library loan form,and they
     include the source of the article, yeah sure. Then the person
     at inter-library loan ftps to the machine in question and
     grabs the article.  Emails it to the person who requested
     it.  Pinch me, I'm dreaming.

     Other things, since the machine in question is a 80386,
     scanning and ocr recognition is a possibility down the
     road.  Since the names of the machines
     are standardize perhaps intelligent programs could be
     written that would do the ftp'ing itself.

                         Once again, its just a thought.

                         dan mahoney
                         centennial science and engineering library
                         university of new mexico
                         albuquerque new mexico


 About the ease of use of the Internet:

 The Internet is currently a 35 mm camera with a hand-held light meter, in
 which you have to set the film speed by hand and focus by hand.  It has
 a flash attachment, lots of (heavy) interchangeable lenses, and the camera
 itself weighs a lot.  You have to advance the film by hand.

 What we want the Internet to be is a 35 mm camera with an inboard light
 meter and flash, which sets its own film speed, has automatic focus,
 automatic film advance, and power rewind.  We want it not to weigh a lot,
 and to be molded to the hand, and we'd like some of the lenses to be

 Sure it's easier to take a photograph than it is to paint.  And the
 Internet is a LOT easier than writing a letter or going to a conference
 to exchange views.  But just like the old manual 35 mm cameras, it's
 not easy enough.  It's still complicated enough to discourage people
 from using it.  Lots of people will be buying picture postcards until
 it gets easier.

         -- janet swan hill, Assoc Dir Tech Servs, Univ of Colo, Bldr