[LINK] Jobs not all bad

Fernando Cassia fcassia at gmail.com
Thu Oct 13 16:46:12 AEDT 2011

Truth be told, Apple wasn´t the only ones who aimed at "controlling"
the Internet or creating a "safe island" on it.

In the early early days, "on-line services" ruled. And the very few
that offered a connection to the internet came with restrictions

That´s because before NSFNet was opened to commercial traffic, re-sale
access for profit or "commercial traffic" was in theory forbidden, as
NSFNet was an "academic" network for "noncommercial" use, and still
funded by the government. Or so read a huge banner that interfaced
between the Delphi on-line service (which used a MicroVAX as host) and
the Internet (back then no web, just telnet, ftp, and gopher).

Then there was CompuServe, which I also accessed over x.25 packet
switched networks (charged per each 64 bytes ´segment´ AND connection
time at once!!).

Those were the two "on-line services" I used, there were more in the
USA, like BiX (from Byte magazine) and GeNie (from General Electric),
among others I remember now.

So, since the ancestors of the internet (the on-line services) were
"walled gardens" by design, it shouldn´t surprise anyone that they
tried to re-create that level of "control" in the name of, gee, ease
of use.

But even after the WWW was created and Netscape 2.02 was all the rage,
companies like Microsoft "missed" (or more apropiately, dismissed) the
public WWW and wanted their own walled garden. There was of course
AOL, and Microsoft, which shipped WIn95 without Internet support (I
think there´s an internal MSFT e-mail from Bill Gates on the issue
which surfaced as part of the DOJ-MSFT trial).

Later (I think Win95 r2) with MSIE bundled but with prominent icons
promoting its own walled garden, MSN (the on-line service, back before
it was turned into an internet portal).

I remember the caustic Joe Barr (RIP**) writing a damning column about
Microsoft´s intent to subvert the open web with ActiveX and other
content-authoring technologies designed to work within MSN, and to
replace HTML.



I still keep the printed issue of the first or 2nd issue of his tech
newsletter that he kindly sent by air mail half a world across.

He was one of the first to warn anyone who would listen about the
dangers of Microsoft´s attempts to "embrace and extend" the open,
standards-based Internet.

I wasn´t aware back then of his personal/financial situation... He
surely was among the ones who inspired me to write..

But I digress..

On Wed, Oct 12, 2011 at 22:45, Richard Chirgwin
<rchirgwin at ozemail.com.au> wrote:
> 1c: Apple's wish for the walled garden is far, far older than the iPad
> or iPhone. I have, or had, a T-shirt from the first half of the 1990s
> promoting an Apple-branded Internet service - I forget the name. The
> idea was, back then, that the Internet was big, dangerous and
> uncontrolled, so here's a "safe" place for children. Anyone surprised at
> later developments forgot their history.

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