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In 1985, during a 6 month student placement, I helped program and configure a national UK project where job seekers using touch screen computers in unemployment centres, could access a national database of job opportunites in real time. The department was run by psychologists. I installed the first working model, interviewd users and did statistical analysis. In 1995 I built my first computer with Internet connection. 1996 I put up my first web site.
1997 - 2005
With a group of friends became an Internet Service Provider, called Irish Secure Internet Services ~ IrishSecure.com, in our local town in Ireland. We had two name servers and two web servers. We were also domain registrars. We had a high speed leased line into the Dublin internet backbone. We offered high speed broadband Wi-Fi within a 15 mile radius of our office. We set up a cybercafe . We ran ECDL certificated computer literacy classes in our cybercafe which was our main regular income.
All this, in those days, was very very expensive. We recieved some hefty donations, but the dot com crash, lack of local interest, other teaching companies undercutting us, refusal of government grants, lead to the company being wound up in 2005; debt free and without any loss to our existing customers. I became ill and in 2007 was diagnosed with manic depression [bi-polar].
2010 / 2011
I received a lump sum from my work in the probation service (UK). I bought a decent computer and got a 24/7 broadband connection. I reregistered IrishSecure.com [By the way, these links go to the Internet Archive's WayBack machine. It has indexed web sites from 1994 to a few months ago, 300 billion so far. Pretty Good a, nothing is ever really lost in cyberspace.]. Through my Internet activity I was able to put myself up for a recommendation to Microsoft as a BizSpark start up.
This is an awesome resource. All Microsorft software is free. ALL with licences and most with multiple downloads. You can also nominate 8 other people as part of your team. There are free training events and seminars and tech support.I joind tech support as well. All this at no cost. I was chosen to attend the tech support conference for the launch o Winwows 7.
I found it impossible to get staff locally despite the offer of joining BizSpark. I tried continually online and had some success but none were truly committed. I trained and obtained my Expert Microsoft Certification in Powerpoint & Excel. I attempted a partnership with a local cybercafe, no commitment and later closed. I started my own domain registration and web hosting company with a rented high spec high speed server based in Texas.. No local interest in domains. I set up WeddingsOnTheInternet.com where a folder could be bought e.g. WeddingsOnTheInternet.com/PaulandBetty where I would put their photos and videos, a guestbook, plus during the day people could sms me their pictures and they would be on the web in 20 minutes. There was a yearly rental fee. I approached the local county enteprise board, a government body, for funding. My application was fully backed with research and 5 year financial projections. After 2 months they turned me down saying "the internet is not wthin our purview".
During this period I joined a cybercommunity called Second Life, a 3D world where you have an avatar. [article here] I had a big row with them as they said they were not going to support Windows 7. I left and joined Blue Mars a more advanced world. [blog here] . Then I got cancer and lost everything.
2012 to Date
I received the all clear in April 2012. I slowly regained my health. I rejoined Second Life. In November I reregistered IrishSecure.com. In December I returned it too being a domain registrar and hosting company with a not for profit attitude. I am an active member of TED.com [Technology, Entertainment, Design] and a friend in second life [thank you Lee Aulder] told me of RSAnimate on YouTube. After watching many of these I realised that 21stCentury Networking had come of age. So I created 21stCenturyNetworks.com still a little in embryo being 2 weeks old and I registered it as a business name.
Sites I operate
- 2ndlife.biz and a mirror site secondlifehosting.com are designed to assist and encourage second life users to register a domain and have a web presence
- nhys.biz Now Host Your Site is for non second life users.
- Cybersquatters.biz contains an article on cybersquatting. I intend to use it as a platform for discussion. NoStreetCred.net is where I will list those on the Internet that have no credibility.
- DudeStarship.com Dude Starship is my avatar in second life. For the price of one cup of coffee a week I thought "he" ought to have "his" own domain.
- MySecondLife.biz, SecondLifeBlues.com and AintNothingButTheBlues.com are all about second life and especially about the blues community. Sideroads.biz is where I am planning a movie. The outline and first two scenes are done.
- BLOGS: sl.IrishSecure.com is the main. I have several others using different styles and about 6 on wordpress at NowChangeYourLife.WordPress.com
I'm Back and loving it!
Why this project of getting everyone a web address?
- The Internet is here to stay
- The Internet is changing the way we operate some say even the way we think
- We have unparalled access to knowledge
- We are all part of a network and have the means of communicating that.
- All of us are spending a great deal of time on the Internet. In my view, as in any placeI live, I want an address
- A mailing address may be sufficient but if I live in a complex environment I want to be found by my friends and colleagues easily
- When I give someone my address e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com I don't want them to say "Hang on I'll get a pen"
- When people visit I don't want them to see a does not exist sign, I want them to say "hmm, nice place....wow where did you find.....THAT
- It costs $15 or €10 a year to own a domain.
- Where you host your domain is up to you. With me you get cPanel [help is here, with tutorials] you also get Me. I charge $27 or €20 a quarter. If you need alot of my time I will expect a donation. You get unlimited everything, an acceptable monthly bandwidth and 500 megabytes to do it in.
- BEWARE FREE DOMAIN HOSTING. Your domain should be registered to you. Some hosts set severe limits like 3 email addresses for example. Choose wisely, do research.
- Any RSAnimate movie
- Any TED talk