Thursday, July 14, 2005

Working from my garden

Holiday has started in The Netherlands, so the number of telephone calls drops. Besides it is fine weather. Today it will be over 25 degrees Celsius and I can work in the garden as my WiFi relays with our computer network. It is really relaxed.

I will be working in the next two months on finishing a book on the history of new media. It is a project which is now in its fifth year. In 2000 I was contributor to the Dutch newsletter Telecombrief. In that year it was 20 years ago that the first public online service was launched in The Netherlands. In 20 columns I described the history of online in The Netherlands. This inspired me to write a book on the history on online in The Netherlands; even more so as many kids online think that online came around with Internet.

I aimed to have the book published on August 7, 2005, as it would be the commemoration of 25 years online in The Netherlands. Not that anyone or any company is busy with this historical fact. Not even the incumbent telecom operator KPN, which launched the Viditel service in 1980, has prepared any festivities.

Due to all kind of assignments I did not finish the book yet. So there will be no book on August 7, 2005 to commemorate the launch. But I am still set on finishing the book. It is ready for more than 60 per cent.

The book intends to give an overview of 25 years online in The Netherlands. I roughly divided the book in four parts: Stone Age, Videotex vs ASCII, Frozen Online and Convergence. The book will be illustrated and I have some real nice pictures, like the one of the first webcomputer, a Next machine used at CERN in Geneva, and one of the first webpages produced by Arie van Praag, who was working at CERN.

First webserver at CERN (left) and one of the first webscreens
(left: compliments of CERN; right: compliments of Arie van Praag)

So I will be working on the book for the next one and half month. And I will have my own celebration with you as I intend to write a compact online history of The Netherlands in English for you around August 7, 2005 and let you have a peep of the illustrations.

Of course I will continue my blog daily.

BTW If you need some serious holiday reading, start reading

The book E-Content - Technologies and Perspectives for the European Market edited by P.A. Bruck; A. Buchholz; Z. Karssen; A. Zerfass addresses the question how content industries change within a digital environment and what role information and communication technologies play in transforming the competitive landscape. Order through Springer Online.

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