Friday, January 20, 2006

Internet Blogs: A Window to The World

It is truly amazing how much computer technology has changed and advanced. I started working with computers in 1970, after taking a 69-week course in a local business school. Twenty five of us started the course, and three of us graduated. We lost half the class when we started studying about binary numbers, the 1s and 0s that are at the heart of any computer. In my first job as a computer programmer, the machine was an IBM System 360, Model 20 that was extremely big and displaced a lot of heat.

I was working for a small company. That Mod 20 did not have disk drives. The memory in that computer was extremely small, a mere 4K. All the data files of the company were stored in 80-column cards. A big room contained thousands and thousands of cards, maybe even millions. Once a month those cards had to be sorted using an IBM 082 Sorter. The sort took the whole afternoon. All computer programs had to be keypunched and fed to a compiler that did not reside in memory. It would punch out a machine language object deck that was used later on to execute the program.

There were no computer terminals. You looked at a report by using a huge IBM printer. Changing ribbons was an extremely messy affair. We had no GUI, or Graphical User Interface, that we take for granted today. There was no Internet. Modem was an unknown word.

Today I have a PC that has a huge amount of memory. It is an IBM ThinkPad laptop, and it can be carried anywhere. It has a very clear screen with wonderful colors. Back in 1970, everything was black and white.

Today, just about anyone can afford to buy a PC and be connected to the Internet for less than $10 a month.

What truly amazes me is the creature known as an Internet blog. You can have your own personal diary and publish it for the whole world to see. Anyone can publish a book in any of those blogs and communicate with the whole world.

This blog has been in operation for less than two months, and in that short period of time, people from the USA (the great majority) followed by Canada, United Kingdom, Ecuador, France, Australia, Denmark, Cuba, Chile, Iceland, Thailand, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Portugal, Argentina, Sweden, Spain and India have visited Cuba Journal.

AMAZING!

An Internet blog is your own personal window to the WORLD.

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