+quot;If a man empties his purse into his head, no man can take it from him. An investment
"If a man empties his purse into his head, no man can take it from
him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest."
BBB III TTT SSS BBB Y Y TTT EEE SSS
B B I T S B B Y Y T E S ONLINE EDITION
BBB I T SSS AND BBB YYY T EEE SSS VOL 1, NUMBER 10
B B I T S B B Y T E S 9/20/93
BBB III T SSS BBB Y T EEE SSS
National Information Infrastructure Agenda For Action Released
On September 15, The Clinton administration's Information
Infrastructure Task Force (see B&Bv1#5) released a document titled
"The National Information Infrastructure: Agenda for Action." Though
its scope is broad, encompassing a variety of emerging technologies
employed in all aspects of our daily life, the NII Agenda is a brief
document. Unlike the National Performance Review (180 pages), also
released last week, the NII is only 30 pages. This may mean that it's
short on details. However, a variety of sources who (unlike me) have
actually read it say it is carefully thought out, with a good
understanding of the issues involved. There are still many issues to
address and details to work out. Feedback from the community that
stands to gain or lose the most - and let's face it, that's us - is
needed. To this end, the document is being made available from a
variety of online sources (see listing below), and is required reading
for anyone interested in or involved with computers, communications
(regardless of content or media), or the US government. Did I leave
(From the Executive Summary)
All Americans have a stake in the construction of an advanced National
Information Infrastructure (NII), a seamless web of communications
networks, computers, databases, and consumer electronics that will put
vast amounts of information at users' fingertips. Development of the
NII can help unleash an information revolution that will change
forever the way people live, work, and interact with each other.
ALAWON, a publication of the American Library Association's Washington
office, reports that Major strengths in the proposal include:
* Recognition of the potential: "Development of the NII can help
unleash an information revolution that will change forever the way
people live, work, and interact with each other."
* Extension of universal service: "Because information means
empowerment--and employment--the government has a duty to ensure
that all American have access to the resources and job creation
potential of the Information Age."
* Enhanced access to government information: "The Administration will
seek to ensure that Federal agencies, in concert with state and
local governments, use the NII to expand the information available
to the public, ensuring that the immense reservoir of government
information is available to the public easily and equitably."
* Library and school use of NII: Application areas and pilot projects
the Administration supports include government stimulus for
connectivity and applications in health care, education, libraries,
and provision of government information.
* Process: An Advisory Council on the National Information
Infrastructure will include representatives of industry, labor,
academia, public interest groups, and state and local governments.
"The Administration will make a special effort to hear from public
interest groups" in its efforts to develop a new concept of
Then ALAWON went on to raise it's doubts, which I guess will pretty
much be the agenda of everyone with a vested interest in the NII.
Though this is a working document and not an end product, the stakes
are very high indeed, as we begin to grope our way into the
information economy. I personally urge you to get a copy of this
document and see what you think for yourself. More on this next issue.
The easiest way to get the document is by e-mail. Send a message to
You don't have to place anything in the body of the message, and you
will be sent the entire document.
On the Internet, it is available in ASCII format as "niiagenda.asc".
The package also may be present in a self extracting compressed file
Address: ftp.ntia.doc.gov in the pub directory
Address: enh.nist.gov in the directory
use "guest" as the password
Address: isdres.er.usgs.gov in the npr directory.
Telnet to: gopher.nist.gov
login as "gopher". Choose the menu item "DOC
Documents". Choose "niiagenda.asc".
Gopher to: ace.esusda.gov, port 70
Select: 6. Americans Communicating Electronically
3. National Technology Information
1. National Information Infrastructure Agenda
Bulletin Boards, Commercial services:
I would be very surprised if your commercial online service didn't
have this file available. I have seen at AOL, and it's easily
accessible through Delphi's Gopher. This document is being widely
circulated, and should be readily available on local BBS systems. If
not, here are some BBS numbers that have it.
- NTIA Bulletin Board (202) 482-1199
The package is available under the "press releases" menu item.
- FedWorld On-line Information Network (703) 321-8020
From the FedWorld main menu, enter "".
(SOURCES: Net-Happenings, Communications Week, Information Week, and
ALAWON. ALAWON is available free of charge and is available only in
electronic form. To subscribe, send the message
"subscribe ala-wo [your name]" to listserv@uicvm (Bitnet) or
firstname.lastname@example.org (internet). Back issues and other documents are
available from the list server. To find out what's available, send the
message "send ala-wo filelist" to the listserv. The ALA-WO filelist
contains the list of files with the exact filename and filetype. To
get a particular file, issue the command "send filename filetype" to
the listserv. Do not include the quotes in your commands.
NEW PRODUCTS AND SERVICES:
+THE MOTHER OF ALL PHONE BOOKS. ProPhone, the National Telephone
Directory, is a seven CD package containing the "white pages" for the
entire United States - more than 77 million residential and business
listings! The package comes with a powerful search engine, and
quarterly updates are available. ProPhone lists for $249, and updates
are $129. (CONTACT: Pro CD - 800/99-CDROM, or 617/631-9200)
+FREE OFFER. EDUCOM is offering a free six-month trial subscription
to EDUCOM REVIEW, their bimonthly magazine (a $30 value) that focuses
on information technology and higher education. The offer is good in
the U.S. and Canada only. There is a $6.75 shipping/processing charge.
Send e-mail with name, address, credit card number, and card
expiration date to email@example.com. Educom also puts out Edupage, a
brief, twice-weekly summary of recent news items on information
technology. It's a good source of information. To subscribe to
Edupage, send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org containing the
text: SUB EDUPAGE firstname lastname.
+SIM FARM. SimFarm is a new program from the Maxis Company, creators
of SimCity, SimEarth, SimAnt and SimLife. It allows players to
simulate the realistic running of a farm, down to details like organic
versus chemical farming, crop rotation, market prices, encroaching
urbanization, and assorted pesky varmints. Maxis calls their programs
"software toys" as opposed to games, since they encourage learning and
open ended exploration as opposed to simply winning. All their
products are well put together, with extensive documentation that not
only teaches you how to play with their product, but teaches you about
the subject manner at hand, and even points to resources for further
learning. Oh, and by the way, all are fun to play and sometimes
detrimental to your productivity (not that that's always a bad thing).
At malls and software emporiums all across America. Maxis also
prepares custom simulations for utility companies and such for their
internal training needs. Next up for Maxis is SimCity 2000.
Back To School Section: Focus on Learning
Just Say Know
"Learning is not a task or a problem - it is a way to be in the world.
Man learns as he pursues goals and projects that have meaning for
him." - Sydney Jourard
When it comes to acquiring new skills, many people just can't shake
the notion that learning requires outside help. Consultants now say
the best route to moving up the IS ladder is self-directed education.
Stewart Stokes, senior VP at QED Information Sciences Inc. in
Wellesly, Mass., has developed a nine-step plan for self-directed
learning. (It might help if you write down the results of this
process in a notebook for future use.)
1) Identify the goals of your organization.
2) Consider those goals within the context of your industry.
3) Determine your personal career objectives: Ask yourself where you
would like to be in two or three years.
4) Determine the skills you'll need to get there.
5) Now assess your own competency level. This is a time for being
honest with yourself as to your strengths and weaknesses, but don't
sell yourself short either. Perhaps a trusted friend or advisor
could look at your list to see if you are being objective.
6) Step 5 should expose the gaps between your current skills and those
you'll need to meet your career objectives.
7) Set learning objectives to help close that gap.
8) Locate formal and informal learning resources: Magazines are a good
source of current information on your chosen subject - there are
magazines for every subject under the sun. If you want to learn C,
buy a C compiler and a how-to book and spend an hour a night on it.
The library is a great place to start, and a knowledgeable
librarian is an invaluable resource. Take a night course at
college, even if it isn't for credit. Get on one of the online
services - many have discussion groups dedicated to computer-
related topics where you can ask questions and share knowledge.
9) Finally, as your knowledge increases, continue to identify your
newly modified learning needs. Remember that learning is a lifelong
process if you do it right. In addition to advancing your career,
you'll enrich your life, increase your self-confidence and make
you a generally better person. Try NEW and IMPROVED learning today.
"IS professionals must remember first and foremost that they bear
primary responsibility for their own career development," says Stokes.
This is difficult for many people to accept, he adds, "yet it may be
the best advice they'll ever receive." (SOURCE: "Help Yourself To
Knowledge," Information Week 7/19/93, p. 58)
Good Sources of Information
With regards to learning a new and/or hot technology, here are six
simple things you can do to find the best source of training for the
technology you want to learn:
1) Contact the product vendor. It often has the most complete
knowledge of training options for its products.
2) Talk to anyone who knows what you want to learn. Experts are often
generous with their knowledge. Ask how they got their own training
and what's required.
3) Call your local chamber of commerce. Members may give computer
training as part of community service projects or run local
4) Invest in books and magazines. If you know the basics, your
training will be more effective. Don't forget the library!
5) Join user groups. Even if the group isn't exactly focused on the
technology you want to learn, chances are someone there shares your
6) Visit local training vendors. "Shop around for prices and
availability," suggests Michelle McLean, manager of professional
computing services at Casco Northern Bank in Portland, Maine. Do
anything that will give you bands on experience.
Sometimes companies will provide access to education or help you foot
the bill, but don't count on it. Even at relatively enlightened
companies there is often a gap between philosophy and reality. "In the
end, determination is the best teacher," says Terry Tipple, a systems
engineer at Cabletron Systems, Inc. in San Jose, Calif. "Nobody will
look out for your career like you do, so you had better stay on top
of it." (source: Stephanie Wilkinson, "What Employers Won't Teach,"
Computerworld, July 5, 1993)
Management Take Note: No Train, No Gain
...companies that aren't moving to train their staffs in new skills
are playing Russian roulette, according to "Changing IS Organizations:
The Effect of Client-Server Implementation on Job Skills Requirement,"
a recently released study. ... Untrained users will spend three to six
times as many hours to reach the same level of functionality on a
given application as trained users, the study finds. In addition,
formal training and support costs about $1,350 per application while
an untrained user will eat up between $3,000 and $5,000 to reach a
skill level at, or below, a trained worker. Multiply this by the
number of users on a given application and the cost can be millions of
dollars. The study was jointly prepared by the Gartner Group Inc. and
an education task force of the Open Users Recommended Solutions (OURS)
user group. (John P. McPartlin, "No Train, No Gain," Information Week,
7/26/93, p. 14)
Learn While You Work
An article in Computerworld (8/30/93, p. 81) describes integrated
performance support systems (IPSS) as the most cost effective way for
training new employees, and providing them with the support and
information they need on the job. IPSS combine a variety of techniques
to apply knowledge when needed: Computer-based training, interactive
tutorials and possibly multimedia for training; context sensitive and
inquiry based help and reference systems for information; expert
systems for help with problems; bulletin boards for sharing
information; print manuals, instructor-led training, and meetings and
briefings to keep everyone informed of new developments. The basic
idea is not to reinvent the wheel with each new employee - to capture
vital job skills and essential information and pass them on to current
and future employees, making them available when they are needed by
the most appropriate means. A well thought out IPSS program can cut
training costs (in some cases by 65%) and increase productivity, while
not wasting employees time with rote memorization of information that
is likely to change over a given period anyway.
Computers For Classrooms
(THIS IS THE TEXT OF AN AD THAT IS CIRCULATING IN THE TRADE PAPERS)
Here's your chance to train the next generation of knowledge workers
before they show up for work.
Donate your unused computers, software, and peripherals directly to
your local school, or contact Computers for Classrooms at one of the
numbers below, and we'll direct your donations for you.
Either way, your generosity will pay off in megabytes.
Because instead of tossing your equipment out, or selling it for a
cents on the dollar, you'll be providing our classrooms with the most
powerful teaching aid since teachers.
And getting a tax deduction in the bargain.
So donate the best - and most - equipment you can afford. When you
do, you'll be helping a whole new class of people to succeed.
Buddy-Up with Education (800/53-BUDDY)
Gifts In Kind America-(800/862-GIFT)
The East-West Education Development Foundation (617/542-1234)
The National Christina Foundation (800/CHRISTINA)
ACCESS: Online Job Hunting
In most cases your personal learning objectives require finding
employers who will help you acquire and hone that skill. Below is a
listing of online resources for job hunters. Services marked with a
dollar sign may require a fee, in which case the voice number is
listed for further information. All services listed offer listings for
the entire country unless otherwise noted. Has anyone had any
experience with these services, or can point me to other ones?
I. JOB LISTINGS
- Adnet Online (available through the America Online, BIX, Compuserve,
GEnie, Prodigy, PC Link, and Promenade online services) ($)
Over 1000 weekly listings for managerial and technical jobs. Database
is searchable by job category and geographic region.
- Capsule Online Job Listing (512/331/9901)
Lists contract technical positions. Database searchable by state. A
newsletter and resume forwarding service is available for a fee.
- Career Network (Through Prodigy (voice: 800/229-6499). Contact them
for details) ($)
Entry level and middle management positions in all fields. CN allows
you to communicate directly with employers via e-mail. Counseling
services, job fair listings, and online discussions are also
featured, and a printed newsletter is available at additional cost.
- Dial-JAN BBS (800/342-5526)
Dial-Jan Mainly focuses on workers with disabilities; related files
(like the text of the Americans With Disabilities Act) are available,
as are message bases and an email system.
- FJOBS BBS (912/757-3100)
The Federal Job Opportunity Board is the place to look for government
agency recruitment notices. They also have a searchable database and a
message area for jobs wanted, as well as information for veterans and
- JOBNET (215/668-8722)
Jobnet provides a list of job openings along with employer and /or
recruiting firm, location, and sometimes salary information. Jobs are
mostly in the computer industry.
- People's Electronic Exchange (908/685-0948) (voice:908/685-1900) ($)
Job listings in all fields, fully searchable database. You can upload
your resume here also.
- SBA Online - 2400 bps (800/859-4636) - 9600 bps (800/697-4636)
Perhaps your new job will be a business of your own. An invaluable
resource will be the Small Business Administration's BBS, which
contains information on over 26 occupational areas, a huge download
library of text files, and info on the SBA's personal business
counseling, training programs and seminars throughout the US.
II. RESUME SERVICES (leave resume here for prospective employers.
Aimed mostly for college students.)
-Career Placement Registry (voice: 800/331-4955) ($)
Listings in all fields, searchable by employers via the Dialog
- College Recruitment Database (Through Compuserve)
(voice: 800/848-8990) ($)
College undergraduate and graduate resumes in all fields.
- KiNexus (On CD-ROM, also closed online service, where the staff does
the online search for an employer) (voice: 800/828-0422) ($)
Listings in all fields. Free to college students who post their
resumes through their college career placement offices.
III. SPECIALIZED SERVICES (Not all of these are online services.
Contact the vendor for more details)
- Corporate Jobs Outlook (voice: 301/590-2300) ($)
Some libraries and college placement offices provide access to CJO,
which provides ratings of major corporations from the employee's point
of view, so you can make sure they meet *your* criteria for a good
employer. Libraries also contain this kind of information in print,
in the .
- Defense Outplacement Referral System (voice: 703/697-0712)
A resume service for Armed Services personnel in the process of
separating from active duty. Personnel should contact their
Installation Transition office. A job listings BBS, the Transition
BBS, is available to armed services personnel at over 350 military
- Execunet (voice: 203/226-5710) ($)
For senior-level job openings ($75,000 and up). Lists job openings
and forwards resumes. I tried to sign up for this one. We all had a
good laugh about that.
- Executive's Network (voice: 617/227-1155)
A resume service specializing in the financial services industry.
- Military In Transition (voice: 301/590-2300)
A resume service for Armed Services personnel seeking employment
in the civilian workforce.
- Peer II (voice: 202/785-0017) ($)
A job bank and resume service for engineers sponsored by the IEEE
(Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers).
- Special Libraries Referral Database (voice: 202/234-4700) ($)
This database contains the resumes of librarians.
(SOURCES: Online Access, Boardwatch Magazine, Internet postings)
Next to acquiring good friends, the best acquisition is that of good
books. - Colton
Bits and Bytes Bookshelf: Resources For Learning
The Lifetime Reading Plan by Clifton Fadiman [Harper and Row, 1978.
- The books discussed may take you fifty years to finish. They can of
course be read in a much shorter time. The point is that they are
intended to occupy an important part of a whole life, no matter what
your present age may be. Many of them happen to be more entertaining
than the latest best-seller. Still, it is not on the entertainment
level that they are most profitably read. What they offer is of
larger dimensions. ... They can be a major experience, a source of
continuous internal growth. Hence the word Lifetime. These authors
are life companions. Once part of you, they work in and on and with
you until you die. They should not be read in a hurry, any more than
friends are made in a hurry." (Clifton Fadiman)
The Independent Scholar's Handbook by Ronald Gross [Ten Speed Press,
- "The author doesn't describe the ways to get accreditation, academic
legitimacy, or even intellectual power. He tells you how to find out
the things that would change your life if you took the trouble to
learn them, how to tell other people about them, and how to support
yourself meanwhile." (Art Kleiner, Co-Evolution Quarterly)
How To Solve It by Gyorgy Polya [Princeton University Press, 1973.
- "This is the best book I know of for lining up a problem for a
logical solution. The emphasis is on math, but it is simple logic and
can easily be applied to all forms of problem identification and
analysis. Better yet is that the methods shown really work even on
personal decision-making binds."
(J. Baldwin, Essential Whole Earth Catalog)
An Introduction to General Systems Thinking by Gerard M. Weinberg
[John Wiley and Sons, 1975. $75.00]
- An informal, entertaining and enlightening introduction to a complex
topic. Questions for further research and additional readings provided
at the end of each chapter provide jumping off points for further
study. Full of great quotes and illustrative examples.
Encyclopedia of Computer Science (3rd Edition) Edited by Anthony
Ralston and Edwin D. Reilly [Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1993. $125.00]
- 1,664 pages, with detailed articles on all major computing systems,
environments, technologies and software. An invaluable reference book
for the computer professional.
AT THE NEWSSTAND
The Virtual Reality Special Report (Fall 1993) is published by Miller
Freeman, who also publish AI: The Magazine of Artificial Intelligence
in Practice. While a little over-priced at $9.95, it does contain some
interesting material and a useful 11 page resource guide to VR related
companies, products, and publications. Articles include look at the
future of VR games, VR in education, low cost VR for the "Virtual
Hacker," VR and surgery, NASA's plan to send remote-controlled robots
to explore Mars, and biocontrollers for virtual environments. We're
talking neural interfaces here, and devices are already under
### ADMINISTRIVIA ###
THIS ISSUE IS DEDICATED TO COWGIRL LIBRARIANS EVERYWHERE. MAY YOU
NEVER GET THE BLUES...
IN THE FUTURE...Please note the new release schedule. The next issue
is due out 10/1/93. Upcoming focuses may or may not include Internet
basics, the commercialization of the Internet, Democracy Online,
convergence technologies, and the BBS scene. Comments, requests and
contributions are always welcome. A print version of B&B is in the
works. Keep watching the skies!
ACCESS. B&B is available for downloading on America Online in their
telecom files area, and in Compuserve's telecom forum library. Delphi
access is forthright, and forthcoming. Could be here for all I know..
INTERNET ANONYMOUS FTP SITES:
ftp.dana.edu in /periodic directory
INTERNET GOPHER ACCESS.
- gopher.law.cornell.edu in the Discussions and Listserv archives/
- gopher.dana.edu in the Electronic Journals directory
BITS AND BYTES ONLINE, an electronic newsletter for text-based life-
forms, is published three dozen times a year, on the 1st, 10th, and
20th of each month. E-mail Subscriptions are available at no cost from
email@example.com. Put "SUBSCRIBE" in the subject header and your
email address in the body of the message. To unsubscribe, send a
message with "UNSUBSCRIBE" in the subject header and your email
address in the body. Send correspondence to firstname.lastname@example.org.
*This newsletter is printed on 100% recycled electrons*
Jay Machado = (Copyleft 1993 Jay Machado) *unaltered* =
1529 Dogwood Drive = ELECTRONIC distribution of this file for =
Cherry Hill, NJ 08003 = non-profit purposes is encouraged. =
ph (eve) 609/795-0998 = Opinions expressed in B&B are subject to =
========================== change without notice. =
========================== "Shut up," he explained. =
=============== end of Bits and Bytes Online V1, #10.=================
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank