I am an independent Unix systems and software development consultant with almost a decade of involvment in the internet. Throughout this involvement I have perceived that internetworking offered the potential to bring useful computing to the general public. With the appearance of gopher and the WWW it became obvious that network based tools had evolved to the point where they could provide pratical information to all of us; all that was lacking was useful content. When I found BCN I realized that developing that content need not wait for Al Gore or Disney; but could be home grown from a miriad of local community resources.In an effort to make a contribution to this very significant project I volunteer a modest amount of time to the Boulder Community Network project. While BCN is strongly supported by The University of Colorado and many local governments I offer myself as proof that it is truely a community network; the ideas and input of independent volunteers like myself are welcomed and strongly endorsed by management committee at BCN.
I participate in BCN as a member of the Board of Trustees, coordinate the BCN Technical Committee, edit the BCN Weather Center and Environment Center (comments and participants solicited) and help out hacking up Unix based CGI scripts for other center developers and our guiding light, the BCN coordinator.
Personally I think BCN is a very exiting idea. This talk about video on demand and home shopping is all very well but the truly revolutionary opportunity presented by the internet is decentralized information providers; ie virtually anyone can be an information source. (for instance, I maintain the WWW server enfo.com from my home in central Boulder County). It has been long observed that American Freedom of the Press is reserved for those who own the presses. The high performance and low cost of current computing power and the easy connectivity of the internet insure that the number and variety of information sources we can choose from will extend beyond mainstream media and commercial on line services. Projects like BCN offers us alternative information sources from the non-commercial community source we can directly influence. Without projects like BCN (and perhaps in spite of them) the WWW will end up as just another form of mediocre entertainment dominated by constant huncksterism and self serving bullshit.
My advice; get involved ! I have found the BCN management extremely open to community input and new ideas. If you are looking for a volunteer opportunity I heartily recommend this network. And I know there are lots of opportunities even if computers are not your bag. If you have an ideal and want some technical assistance I would be happy to help.
Due to the unacceptable growth of spam resulting from publication of email addresses I can only be reached as follows through a CGI based mail form or by snailmail to the following address.
Jim Waterman MS CE P. O. Box 63036 Boulder, CO 80306
You can access my development machine for more information on my interest and activities