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From 1990-2000

Trade - an international perspective

This Merchants and Bankers Listings website is years old and is now (from 2009) undergoing a marked identity change. Its timeline material on economic history (for 1560-1930) is being moved to a website managed by Ken Cozens and Dan Byrnes, The Merchant Networks Project. This will empty many of this website's pages which have always been in series. In due course, Merchants and Bankers Listings will carry information from the Crusades on the early development of what became “capitalism” in Europe to 1560 or so. As well as a conglomeration of data on modern developments, mostly on modern/technical industry, computing, and for the future, today's climate change problems. The editor's view is that in the context of climate change, the views of Merchants and Bankers (and Economists, politicians), the keepers of matters economic, are due for a considerable shake-up. If this website can encourage the shake-up, and help inform it reliably, well and good. -Ed


The Merchant Networks Project
Merchant Networks Project logo by Lou Farina

The history websites on this domain now have a companion website on a new domain, at Merchant Networks Project produced by Dan Byrnes and Ken Cozens (of London).

This website (it is hoped) will become a major exercise in economic and maritime history, with some attention to Sydney, Australia.

Computing history: 1990, 22 May 1990, Microsoft multimedia production leadership re release of Windows 3.0, the most expensive software introduction budget ever and now, the industry is driven by software, not hardware.


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Computing history: By 1990, Gates has implicitly committed Microsoft to developing multimedia. (Sinclair preface, the minimum needed for multimedia is a 25 MHz 80386X machine, with enough memory to run Windows 3.1. with SVGA monitor for Win3.1.) Preferably using DOS6.2 to run the Smartdrive software providing memory cache for CD-ROM usage.

Computing history: 1990, US FTC examines claims that Microsoft is monopolistic in its industry. 1990, Microsoft releases personal finance product, Quicken. Also, Microsoft Money.

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Computing history: 1990-1991, Microsoft deliberately tries to damage Adobe.

Computing history: 1990s, the term multimedia appears (although long-known in a variety of artistic circles) Multimedia required the "bundling" of the software and of course when the Internet Revolution hit, an Internet browser tended to become bundled with other software. (I am unaware of dates for the rise of Netscape products).

1990: Russia: Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev addresses the party plenum and says the Communist Party must abandon its monopoly on political power.

1991: Yugoslav republics of Slovenia and Croatia declare their independence from the federation as Balkans tensions rise. The last Soviet troops stationed in Czechoslovakia leave the country, 23 years after the Warsaw Pact invasion.

Computing history: 1991, p. 407, Microsoft releases MS-DOS 5.0, Novell beats Microsoft regarding networking capability.

Computing history: 1991 IBM releases its use of OS/2, a disaster followed by first ever IBM deficit. Apple and IBM discuss possibility of joining forces to create a new operating system and also a multimedia computer to compete with Microsoft. There are other ideas for major industry re-alliances to move against Microsoft. Microsoft launches MS-DOS 5.0. Gates is aged 35, already second richest man in USA. By 1991, Gates is buying rights to use contents of major art collections for use in his forthcoming multimedia packages, eg., Encarta.

1991: Creation of the World Wide Web. In 1993, there were 130 websites. In 1999, almost five million.

1991: US politician/president Jimmy Carter establishes the International Network Council for former heads of state.

By 28 August 1991: Fragmentation of the Russian Soviet empire - following the week-before abortive coup de tat. Boris Yeltsin versus Gorbachev.

1991: In 1991, Tim Berners-Lee, a young man working at CERN in Switzerland posts the first computer code of the World Wide Web in a relatively innocuous newsgroup, "alt.hypertext". The ability to combine words, pictures and sounds on Web pages excites many programmers who see a potential for publishing information on the Internet in a way that can be as easy as using a word processor. This post was the first release of HTML to the public.
Around the same time, Marc Andreesen and a group of student programmers at NCSA (The National Centre for Supercomputing Applications located on the campus of The University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign) will eventually develop a graphical browser for the World Wide Web called Mosaic. Which became available in 1993, around which time, traffic on the Internet expands at 341,634 per cent, annual growth rate. The rest is history...
Source for the above was: http://www.pbs.org/internet/timeline/timeline-txt.htm/

1990: 2 July: East and West Germany agree on this date for economic union, as a prelude to full political unification.

1990: Osama bin-Laden, a Saudi citizen who had joined forces with the mujahidin in the struggle, begins putting together a coalition of Arab fighters to set up a Muslim state.

1990: Annexation of Kuwait by Saddam Hussein.

1990: A US Court indicts Khun Sa, leader of the Shan United Army and reputed drug warlord, on heroin trafficking charges. The U.S. Attorney General's office charges Khun Sa with importing 3,500 pounds of heroin into New York City over the course of eighteen months, as well as holding him responsible for the source of the heroin seized in Bangkok.
From website based on book: Opium: A History, by Martin Booth Simon and Schuster, Ltd., 1996. e-mail info@opioids.com

1990: Wealthy Saudi Arabian, Osama bin-Laden forms network called al-Qa'ida (The Base), mujahidin to unite Arabs who have fought against the Soviets to "re-establish the Muslim state".

1990: The first report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) finds that Earth has warmed by 0.5 °C in the past century. IPCC warns that only strong measures to halt rising greenhouse gas emissions will prevent serious global warming. Provides scientific clout for UN negotiations for a climate convention. Negotiations begin after the UN General Assembly in December. (Greenhouse Timeline)

1990s: The term multimedia appears (although long-known in a variety of artistic circles) Multimedia required the "bundling" of the software and of course when the Internet Revolution hit, an Internet browser tended to become bundled with other software. (We do not yet have dates for the rise of Netscape products).

1990: Microsoft's Windows 3.0 released to the market.

1990: Tim Berners-Lee designs the World Wide Web (www) with URLs, HTTP and HTML &c.

1990: US FTC examines claims that Microsoft is monopolistic in its industry.

1990: Microsoft releases personal finance product, Quicken. Also, Microsoft Money. 1990-1991, Microsoft deliberately tries to damage Adobe.

1990: 22 May 1990: Microsoft multimedia production leadership re release of Windows 3.0, the most expensive software introduction budget ever and now, the industry is driven by software, not hardware.

By 1990, Gates has implicitly committed Microsoft to developing multimedia. (Sinclair preface, the minimum needed for multimedia is a 25 MHz 80386X machine, with enough memory to run Windows 3.1. with SVGA monitor for Win3.1.) Preferably using DOS6.2 to run the Smartdrive software providing memory cache for CD-ROM usage.

By 28-8-1991: Fragmentation of the Russian Soviet empire - following the week-before abortive coup de tat. Boris Yeltsin versus Gorbachev.

1991-1993: Japan: Miyazawa Government

1991: The Gulf War: Coalition of US-led forces restores Kuwait and ousts forces of Iraq/Saddam Hussein.

1991: Gulf War. Abu Iyad (the new Number 2 man in PLO after Arafat) is assassinated, probably by Iraq. Negotiations open in Madrid under US and Russian auspices. Israelis, Palestinians, Jordanians, Syrians, and Lebanese participate. The talks have two parts: bilateral talks between Israel and Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and the Palestinians and multilateral talks on five functional issues: water, refugees, environment, economic development, and security.

1991: Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev resigns as head of Communist Party in Russia, and urges the party is disbanded. In 1989, "Fall of the Berlin Wall", signifying the end for World Communism except in China, Vietnam and Cuba.

1991: Creation of the World Wide Web. In 1993, there were 130 websites. In 1999, almost five million.

1991: Commercial operation of the first GSM networks started in European countries. By early , over 60 countries have an operational or a planned GSM network, including Australia.

By 1991: Gates is buying rights to use contents of major art collections for use in his forthcoming multimedia packages, eg., Encarta Encyclopedia.

1991: Microsoft releases MS-DOS 5.0, Novell beats Microsoft regarding networking capability.

1991: In 1991, Tim Berners-Lee, a young man working at CERN in Switzerland posts the first computer code of the World Wide Web in a relatively innocuous newsgroup, "alt.hypertext". The ability to combine words, pictures and sounds on Web pages excites many programmers who see a potential for publishing information on the Internet in a way that can be as easy as using a word processor. This post was the first release of HTML (Hypertext Mark-Up Language) to the public.

Around the same time, Marc Andreesen and a group of student programmers at NCSA (The National Centre for Supercomputing Applications located on the campus of The University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign) will eventually develop a graphical browser for the World Wide Web called Mosaic. Which became available in 1993, around which time, traffic on the Internet expands at 341,634 per cent, annual growth rate. The rest is history ...
Source: http://www.pbs.org/internet/timeline/timeline-txt.htm

1991: IBM releases OS/2, a disaster followed by first-ever IBM deficit. Apple and IBM discuss possibility of joining forces to create a new operating system and also a multimedia computer to compete with Microsoft. There are other ideas for major industry re-alliances to move against Microsoft. Microsoft launches MS-DOS 5.0. Bill Gates by now is aged 35, already second-richest man in USA.

August 1991: Linus Torvalds announces Linux has arrived. (Part of the Linux story, and the word is pronounced Lynne-ux, as with the woman's name, Lynne. not Line-ux.)

Jonar C. Nader, Prentice-Hall's Illustrated Dictionary of Computing. Sydney, Prentice-Hall, 1992.

1992: A copy of the world's first web page (by WWW-hypertext inventor Tim Berners Lee) is at: www.w3.org/History/19921103-hypertext/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html

1992: Afghanistan: Mujahidin led by Ahmed Shah Massoud seize the capital, Kabul. Other factions however fight for control of the country.

1992: UN declines deployment of 10,0000-man UN peacekeeping force in Yugoslavia.

1992: Colombia's drug lords are said to be introducing a high-grade form of heroin into the United States.
From website based on book: Opium: A History, by Martin Booth Simon and Schuster, Ltd., 1996. e-mail info@opioids.com

1992: Yitzhak Rabin becomes prime minister of Israel.

1992: President George Bush announces that the United States will no longer produce plutonium and highly-enriched uranium for weapons.

1992: Climate Change Convention, signed by 154 nations in Rio, agrees to prevent "dangerous" warming from greenhouse gases and sets initial target of reducing emissions from industrialised countries to 1990 levels by the year 2000. (Greenhouse Timeline)

1992: Ahmad Shah Masood and his Jamiat-e-Islami mujahidin faction take control of the Afghanistan capital, Kabul, while motley groups fight over other parts of the country.

1993: Use of the Internet begins to take off, taking internet use out of the university sector, spreading world-wide.

1993: Microsoft releases Windows NT.

1993: Gates/Microsoft move to 32.bit technology/applications. Release of Windows NT. Microsoft releases MS-DOS 6.0. Windows is now the biggest-selling application of all time. IBM by now has lost about $77 billion.

1993: Development of the Intel Pentium processor marks a new era in PC power, while the first Web browser, NCSA Mosaic, is developed and released in 1993.

1993-1995: First release of the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) Protocol for Web browsers. An updated version of SSL is later used to secure transactions over the Internet.

James Wallace and Jim Erickson, Hard Drive: Bill Gates and the Making of the Microsoft Empire. (Updated edition). Chichester, England, John Wiley, 1992-1993. P/back.

June 1993: First commercial release of Linux, called Slackware. (Part of the Linux story)

John Ralston Saul is particularly critical of economists and econometricians in his major work critiquing the present-day world: John Ralston Saul, Voltaire's Bastards: The Dictatorship of Reason in the West. Camberwell, Victoria, Penguin, 1993. (Highly recommended reading - Ed)

1993: Failed Australian pseudo-tycoon Christopher Skase is free after a Spanish appeal court overturns an earlier extradition order to send him back to justice in Australia.

1993: Japan: Coalition government (non-LDP government) All parties except LDP and Japan Communist Party

Computing history: 1993, Gates moves to 32.bit technology/applications. Release of Windows NT. Microsoft releases MS-DOS 6.0. Windows is now the biggest-selling application of all time. IBM by now has lost about $77 billion.

1993, New York, World Trade Centre bombings kill six and injure 1000 people. Bombings said to be linked to Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, who preaches an Islamic-group war against the US, who in 1996 was convicted in US of "seditious conspiracy". It is said that Osama bin Laden is a student of Abdel-Rahman.

1993: September. Israeli leader Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leader Yassar Arafat meet in Washington, D.C. to sign documents that promise to end their conflict.

1993: The Thai army with support from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) launches its operation to destroy thousands of acres of opium poppies from the fields of the Golden Triangle region.
From website based on book: Opium: A History, by Martin Booth Simon and Schuster, Ltd., 1996. e-mail info@opioids.com

1993: Use of the Internet begins to take off.

1994: Afghanistan: The Taliban, a militia of Pashtun Islamic fundamentalist students, first appears. (Later views is that psychologically, they are the children of Russia's invasion of Afghanistan.

1994 June - Japan Socialist Party, LDP, Sakigake coalition government.

1994: Maralinga: 1994: In April 1994 it was announced that Britain would contribute $20 million for a clean-up of the atomic-bomb radiated area, Maralinga, South Australia, on the condition that Australia makes no further claims.

1994: US: Death of former president Richard Nixon.


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1994: The presidents of Rwanda and Burundi are killed in a plane crash in Rwanda. This helps to set off the killing of 500,0000 Rwandans, mostly from the minority Tutsis in following months.

June 1994: Digital Equipment Corp (DEC) funds 64-bit Linux project. (Part of the Linux story)

1994: January: Efforts to eradicate opium at its source remains unsuccessful. The Clinton Administration orders a shift in policy away from the anti- drug campaigns of previous administrations. Instead the focus includes "institution building" with the hope that by "strengthening democratic governments abroad, [it] will foster law-abiding behavior and promote legitimate economic opportunity."
From website based on book: Opium: A History, by Martin Booth Simon and Schuster, Ltd., 1996. e-mail info@opioids.com

1994: The Taliban surfaces in Afghanistan. It is a grouping of Islamic fundamentalist student activists from the Pashtun cultural area.

1995: The Dayton Peace Accords helps end a four-year war in Bosnia between Moslems, Croatians and Serbs.

1995: Egypt; In the bloodiest day so far in Egypt's Islamic insurgency, police shoot dead 14 suspected militants while extremists kill two policemen and two civilians.

1995, 5 September, France conducts and underground nuclear test on Muroroa Atoll (Pacific), causing world-wide condemnation.

By 26 February, 1995: News that Baring Bros are in the red for over 800 million, in derivatives in Tokyo. The Bank of England has spent a weekend trying to organise a rescue, situation being that if no rescue is possible, when trading opens on Monday, disaster will have struck.

1995: Hottest year yet. In March, the Berlin Mandate is agreed by signatories at the first full meeting of the Climate Change Convention in Berlin. Industrialised nations agree on the need to negotiate real cuts in their emissions, to be concluded by the end of 1997. (Greenhouse Timeline)
1995: In November, IPCC casts caution to the winds and agrees that current warming "is unlikely to be entirely natural in origin" and that "the balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate". Report predicts that, under a "business-as-usual" scenario, global warming by the year 2100 will be between 1 °C and 3.5 °C. (Greenhouse Timeline)

1995: Finance markets, Mexico suffers "peso meltdown" and the so-called Tequila Crisis.

1995: The Golden Triangle region of Southeast Asia is now the leader in opium production, yielding 2,500 tons annually. According to US drug experts, there are new drug trafficking routes from Burma through Laos, to southern China, Cambodia and Vietnam.
From website based on book: Opium: A History, by Martin Booth Simon and Schuster, Ltd., 1996. e-mail info@opioids.com

Computing history: 1995, Further use of Pentium chip to enhance speed of IBM clones. Eg., Pentium 133. It becomes possible for users to download software straight from the Internet. This also made the distribution of shareware and freeware easier. World-wide, the Internet is becoming available to low-budget computers users/website developers.

Computing history: 1995, With the most expensive product launch budget in history, $3 billion, Microsoft launches Windows 95, which is a revolution assisting the Internet Revolution. Associated software such as Microsoft Office 95 fulfils the dream of integrated software packages for use in IBM-clone machines.

1995: A 1995 survey by a Middlesex University professor found that of all the words searched for at a particular search engine, eight of the top ten were related to pornography.
Reported in The Australian, 12 February 1999.

1995, With the most expensive product launch budget in history, $3 billion, Microsoft launches Windows 95, which is a revolution assisting the Internet Revolution. Associated software such as Microsoft Office 95 fulfils the dream of integrated software packages for use in IBM-clone machines.

1995, Further use of Pentium chip to enhance speed of IBM clones. Eg., Pentium 133. It becomes possible for users to download software straight from the Internet. This also makes the distribution of shareware and freeware easier. World-wide, the Internet is becoming available to low-budget computers users/website developers.

1995: Microsoft's Windows 95 is released and sells a million copies in four days. The promotional budget used for the marketing exercise is quite staggering.

Simon Collin, The Way Microsoft Windows 95 Works: The Ultimate How-to-Guide for Beginners. Microsoft Press, 1995.

Richard W. Wiggins, The Internet for Everyone: A Guide for Users and Providers. Sydney, McGraw-Hill, 1995.

Computing history: 1996, The Internet Revolution picks up great speed, prompting new magazines, products, a ferment of ideas, notions such as push-pull technology for driving information to consumers. In Australia, the rise of Sausage Software, provider of a web authoring kit; one product among many for the purpose. Hype develops over the ability of smaller transactors to use e-commerce packages.

1996 - 1/17: Japan: Great Hanshin Earthquake - several Aum sect incidents

1996: November: International drug trafficking organizations, including China, Nigeria, Colombia and Mexico are said to be "aggressively marketing heroin in the United States and Europe."
From website based on book: Opium: A History, by Martin Booth Simon and Schuster, Ltd., 1996. e-mail info@opioids.com>

1996: Tokyo Court orders cult guru Shoko Asahana and two top assistants to pay almost US$7.5 million to victims of 1995 sarin (nerve gas) attack on city's subway system.

1996, 19 July: Tamil rebels begin an attack on a 1,200-strong army camp in northern Sri Lanka. Only 30 army soldiers survive, the worst government loss in this civil war.

1996: January: Khun Sa, one of Shan state's most powerful drug warlords, "surrenders" to SLORC. The U.S. is suspicious and fears that this agreement between the ruling junta regime and Khun Sa includes a deal allowing "the opium king" to retain control of his opium trade but in exchange end his 30-year-old revolutionary war against the government.
From website based on book: Opium: A History, by Martin Booth Simon and Schuster, Ltd., 1996. e-mail info@opioids.com

1996: At second meeting of the Climate Change Convention, US agrees for the first time to legally binding emissions targets and sides with the IPCC against influential "sceptical" scientists. After a four-year pause, global emissions of CO2 resume steep climb, and scientists warn that most industrialised countries will not meet Rio agreement to stabilise emissions at 1990 levels by the year 2000. (Greenhouse Timeline)

Computing history: 1997, Microsoft releases Microsoft Office 97.

1996: From early in the year, the popularisation of the Internet world-wide as the use of Net facilities spreads out from universities. By about August, 1997, it could be said that internationally, the number of websites available was doubling every six weeks.

1996, The Internet Revolution picks up great speed, prompting new print magazines, products, a ferment of ideas, notions such as push-pull technology for driving information to consumers. In Australia is the rise of Sausage Software, provider of a web authoring kit (HotDog); one product among many for the purpose. Hype develops over the ability of smaller transactors to use e-commerce packages.

"As the most participatory form of mass speech yet developed, the Internet deserves the highest protection from governmental intrusion." Judge Stewart Dalzell, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania - 12 June 1996.

October 1996: Ovum researchers said by the year 2000 there would probably be 50 telephone service providers as a result of deregulation planned for 1997, instead of just Telstra and Optus.

November 1996: Australian Internet users formed a local chapter of the US-based Internet Society, known as the Internet Society of Australia (ISOC-AU).

11 November 1996: ISP OzEmail and Rupert Murdoch's pay TV giant British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSkyB) teamed up in an online advertising venture called Web Wide Media.

2 December 1996: Users of Melbourne IT's commercial domain name registration service, which had been previously performed for free, called for competition to be introduced as soon as possible.

1996: December: Long before the extraordinary dot.com burnouts of 2000, US Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan warned of "irrational exuberance" in the telecommunications and technology stock markets. He was more than correct.

Steven Alter, Information Systems: A Management Perspective. (Edition Two.) New York, Benjamin Cummings Publishing Co., 1996.

Crystal Waters, Web Concept and Design: A Comprehensive Guide for Creating Effective Websites. Indianapolis, New Riders Publishing, 1996.

Stephen O'Brien, Life After Connection: Internet Australia: Beyond the Basics. Sydney, Prentice Hall, 1996.

Alan Ford, The Really Easy Guide to the Internet for Australia and New Zealand. Rydalmere, Sydney, Hodder and Stoughton, 1996.

On 1 January 1997, CS First Boston and Credit Suisse consolidated businesses into Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB) and the parent company was renamed Credit Suisse Group. Today, CSFP is a leading global investment banking firm and provides a comprehensive range of financial advisory, capital-raising, sales and trading and financial products for users and suppliers of capital around the world. In 1998, CSFB had over 12,000 employees in over 50 offices and over 30 countries. Credit Suisse First Boston is one of the world's largest securities firms in terms of financial resources, with approximately $7.1 billion in revenues in 1997, $7.3 billion in equity capital and $310 billion in assets as of December 31, 1997.

1997: Kyoto Protocol agrees on legally-binding emissions cuts for industrialised nations, averaging 5.4 per cent, to be met by 2010. The meeting also adopts a series of flexibility measures, allowing countries to meet their targets partly by trading emissions permits, establishing carbon sinks such as forests to soak up emissions, and by investing in other countries. Precise rules are left for further negotiations. Meanwhile, the US government says it will not ratify the agreement unless it sees evidence of "meaningful participation" in reducing emissions from developing countries. (Greenhouse Timeline)

1997: The World: Signing of the Kyoto Treaty (abridged in 2001 by US President George W. Bush), hoped to help combat world climate change.

Article by Jeremy Horey, IT departments shouldn't run Web sites. With particular reference to a website hooked to a database for any reason. The Australian, IT Pages, 21 October 1997.

November 1997: OzEmail, then Australia's largest Internet service provider, completed the acquisition of Access One, previously Australia's number three ISP, from Solution 6 Holdings.

November 1997: MSN's Sydney Sidewalk directory site hits the Web, with predictions it would be two to three years before it becomes profitable.

Large sections of the World Wide Web "disappeared" and millions of e-mails bounced back to senders last Thursday because of a mistake by the US company (Network Solutions) which maintains a registry of Internet addresses. Many sites ending in .com or .net ceased to exist as far as root servers were concerned. The original problem was more human than technical in origin. (Reported in The Weekend Australian, 19 July 1997)

1997: Australian Internet commentator (and print author) Dale Spender by August 1997 coins the word "printist" for someone excessively devoted to print media technology and disapproving of The Net.

1997: Microsoft releases Microsoft Office 97.

Laura Lemay, Teach Yourself Web Publishing with HTML 4 in 14 Days. Second Professional Reference Edition. Indianapolis, Indiana, Sams.net, 1997. (From the author of Teach Yourself Web Publishing in a Week, and Teach Yourself Java in a Week)

Marc Phillips, Behind Australia's Most Successful Web Sites. Distributed by Bookman Press, 1997.

Andrew Bonime and Kent C. Phlmann, Writing For New Media: The Essential Guide to Writing for Interactive Media, CD-ROMs, and the Web. New York, Wiley, 1998. (An excellent book. With chapters on Interactivity. Books/eBooks. Intrinsic Interactivity: Some Media are Already Interactive. Linear Writing vs Interactive Writing. How to Think Interactively. How to Plan and Present an Interactive Title Idea. Planning for Interactivity in a Linear Title. Interactive Grammar. Interactive Sentences - Designing the Perfect Data Chunk. Here, chapter 14 recommends using Sidebars, how to integrate footnotes, bibliographies and supporting material. Chapter 15 presents: Understanding How Interactivity Affects User Comprehension and Retention. Part 4 of this book, chapter 16+, is on Interactive Storytelling, including story branching, Plot Complexity and Chaos Theory (all too post-modern for me!). Part Five presents material on: The Technology of Interactive Publishing, eg., CD-ROM vs Online. Layout. Web Journalism (before it was called "blogging", or, web logging). Content Automation. And see p. 181, the three basic zones driving the economic models for online publishing are (a) advertisers (b) offers on subscriptions (c) commerce. While I am more interested in presenting more literary sort of material online, for which there is almost no economic model. In this book the emphasis for online writing is thus: (1) Write less (2) Write concisely (3) Write using sidebars (a term imported from newspaper design tradition) (4) Use pictures and multi-media sparingly (5) Allow for searching of words/phrases/topics. But here, personally, more so for young students, I would recommend that Web writers also provide a clear indication to users of websites of just how complex the consideration of any topic can become. Even if only by way of providing a bibliography (or "weblography", a list of URLs) on more advanced readings/presentations on a topic.

1998: Microsoft releases Windows 98, a "consumer interface".

1998: "Five million Americans suffer from serious addiction to the Internet, according to the latest issue of Psychology Today. Such addicts number one in nine Internet users in America.
Problems arising from the addiction can lead to divorce, child neglect, debt, getting the sack and legal troubles. But no such ailment is listed yet in an official manual, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
This form of addiction was noted as early as 1994 and has been defined as staying on-line for 38 hours a week or more in leisure time. Concern about "pathological Internet use" has provoked the formation of support groups. Symptoms of the problem include: lying to family members or colleagues about the time spent online, restlessness, irritability and anxiety when not engaged in computer activities, neglect of social obligations, a consistent failure to quit using the machine/Net.
Reported in IT pages, The Australian, 17 March 1998.
Note: Articles have also appeared in the UK press since early 1998 on the extent of "Internet addiction" there. Then followed a lull for several years, till by 2005 arose a new round of articles carrying concern about computer and Internet addiction in China. -Ed.

November 1998: Telstra announced plans to charge for Internet traffic heading out of the country, but only for companies that switched away from Telstra to cheaper satellite circuits for incoming Internet traffic.

1998: The World Wide Web isn't much good. A study has found that "42 per cent of websites fail at customer service". Nearly six per cent of links on the Net are broken (a number expected to double, a number needing human work time, not machine-time, to fix). About 42 per cent of Net users are unable to find information from a designated start website they are to become familiar with. Up to 62 per cent of people using shopping sites give up before they complete a transaction. A specific survey of 20 major corporate-type sites found 51 per cent failed to meet simple Web usability guidelines. With one study, 125 leading web sites were asked to respond to user e-mails; about 42 per cent did not have an e-mail-response system or took longer than five days to respond. Many website maintenance teams don't have the financial or other resources for email feedback or support. Few large websites in Australia have large maintenance budgets. "Even some of the best Web-design companies don't know what they're doing when it comes to designing easy-to-navigate, easy-to-use sites."
Reported in IT pages, Jeremy Horey column, The Australian, 24 November 1998.

1998: The Great Slow Download Problem continues: "If you've ever accessed the corporate network from home or surfed the Web on the family PC, one thing is painfully obvious: the people creating the graphics, audio and live video clips are not reading from the same script as those providing the remote network connections. Without fail, the size of what we're downloading far outstrips the wire's ability to transmit it. But it seems that "slow wires" will be the case for the next four-five years. Web retailers' hands will be tied since they can't deliver the shopping experience expected. Consumer demand for speedier Net access is rising as Internet awareness increases. Teleworkers increasingly need nearly 256KBS not 56KBS for downloads. Will ISDN be an effective stopgap? Or hybrid satellite technology?
Reported in IT pages, Gartner Group column by Bob Hayward, The Australian, 24 November 1998.

11 November 1998: A public war of words erupted over a New Zealand telecommunications industry report that claimed the largest and previously public provider, Telecom New Zealand, was making monopoly profits.

21 October 1998, Chinese Internet users were being blocked from accessing the main Web site of the BBC World Service, which carries Chinese-language news.

1998: Carl Lehmann, a vice-president for advanced information management for US firm Meta Group is quoted as saying that:
"Fewer than 5 per cent of companies understand the implications of online commerce". Lehmann's firm had lately surveyed 350 companies and found that about 50 per cent were struggling with pilot projects enabling them to get the feel of the new technology. The other 50 per cent were "clueless" about how or where to start.
Lehmann distinguished three types of activities needing to be considered by technology adopters: (1) Sell-side - or the usual kind of website transaction; (2) Buy-side - for procurement and work flow considerations; (3) Supply-chain - extranets or relations with suppliers.
(Reported in The Australian IT pages, 26 May 1998)

Rick Decker and Stuart Hirshfield, Programming Java: An Introduction To Programming Using Java. New York, PWS Publishing Company, 1998.

November 1998: Microsoft memo conveys: Linux has a chance at the desktop market. (Part of the Linux story)

Late 1998: World financial system teeters on brink of collapse after crash of the Russian rouble (according to some journalists).

21 October 1998: Chinese Internet users were being blocked from accessing the main Web site of the BBC World Service, which carries Chinese-language news.

1998: At trial dealing with US embassy bombings of 1998, a former associate of bin-Laden and the al-Qa'ida network ("The Base") testifies that al-Qa'ida deposited US$3.2 million in a Malaysian bank account.

1998: Russia: President Boris Yeltsin announces a crackdown on Russia's millions of tax cheats as part of a strategy to fill the government's empty coffers.

1998: Afghanistan: The Taliban takes Kabul and declares itself the government. Mullah Mohammad Omar, spiritual leader of the Taliban, imposes strict Islamic law.

1998: Osama bin-Laden's terrorist training camps active. He allegedly masterminds the bombings of US embassies in Africa, followed by the suicide attack on the USS Cole in Yemen in 2000.

1998: Swiss banks agree to pay some US$1.25 billion to Holocaust survivors as compensation for assets lost during World War Two.

1998: Follow-up negotiations in Buenos Aires fail to resolve disputes over Kyoto Protocol "rule book", but agree on a deadline for resolution by the end of 2000. 1998 is the hottest year in the hottest decade of the hottest century of the millennium. (Greenhouse Timeline)

Below is a chronology of some milestones in the history of computerisation and the development of multimedia. There is no consideration of technological development for TV, nor of software for desktop publishing. 1898, Valdemar Poulson invents tape recording of sound, the technology is not quite good until the 1940s. 1890s, for actuarial purposes, the invention of punch cards, and the origins of IBM, destined to become a world leader in the development and manufacture of machines aiding more efficient business activity and compilation/processing of data for accountants' use. 1924, IBM abandons its old name of Computing-Tabulating Recording Co., p. 165. 1940, Concept of a "computer" better refined in the UK. Some of the mathematical work came from British-Polish intelligence efforts to crack the codes used by "the ENIGMA machine" used to transmit coded German military orders. Polish intelligence officers had been aware of the existence of ENIGMA before Poland was invaded by Germany and brought their knowledge to Britain. To 1945, Britain and the US were placed in the awkward position of not being able to act on some knowledge of likely German moves, for fear of risking that the Germans would become aware that the Allies had cracked some ENIGMA codes.

"Cannabis Unsafe", says the World Health Organisation at Geneva. Defending itself against accusations that it has suppressed information from a study on the relative merits of cannabis, alcohol and tobacco, the WHO insisted, cannabis poses health problems.
(Reported 21 February 1998)


It is especially hoped that this set of listings will be of help to family historians.

These pages will be added to and improved in quality as time permits. In time, some essays will appear on these pages

Merchants logo gif - 9347 Bytes


1998-1999: Military spending by Gulf Arab states is more than $150 billion.

16 October 1999: This week the world's human population passed 6 billion. More significant than the turning into the New Millennium? The most recent baby was born, it is said, at Sarajevo.

Predictions for the future?: of August 1999: A new book warns that globalisation will rob us all of our cultural individuality. A single marketplace to deal in? Cultural homogenisation? Environments devoured? Less ecological diversity? Beware the "electronic herd" using the technology that brings you this very website, in fact! Not just globalisation, but Americanised-globalisation. Should the problem be called glocalism? What about act-local/think-global? See Thomas Friedman, The Lexus and the Olive Tree. Published August 1999 by HarperCollins.

July 1999: 2035 slaves freed for $75 each: "A controversial human rights group says it has freed a record 2035 slaves in a seven-day trip to Southern Sudan. It has now redeemed more than 11,000 slaves since 1995. The group is Christian Solidarity International (CSI), based in Switzerland. The slave buyers -and owners - deal with Arab middlemen, though enslavement is not unrelated to Sudanese civil war. Khartoum, however, is said to enslave its own people. It is alleged that there are tens of thousands of slaves from the south in northern Sudan. (Reported 10 July 1999)

Mid-1999: Pakistan: A combined force of soldiers and militants launch a sneak attack into Kashmir, India. "The Pakistan army had become a covert organisation with an unhealthy relationship to radical Islamic groups." (Item, Sydney Morning Herald, 13-14 October 2001, article by Christopher Kremmer)

1999: Computer disasters: Ebay had a system turnoff in June 1999 that cost it US$6 million and a 26 per cent fall in share price. (The Australian newspaper, IT pages, 28 May 2002)

1999: At AOL, computer system failures cost US$3 million for customer service rebates and US$80 million for an upgraded computer system. (The Australian newspaper, IT pages, 28 May 2002)

1999: Peter Bernstein, Against All Odds. Wiley, 1998-1999. (History of mathematics + gambling + finance).

Late 1990s: Facing unemployment of more than 12 per cent in the late 1990s, France responded by introducing the developed world's shortest working week of 35 hours. The French government wanted business to create new jobs and employ more workers. In 1999, the CEO of a large French firm was fined Aust$220,000 for failure to stop staff working overtime. France's unemployment did fall to 9 per cent.

Bad News book title: Ramachandra Guha, Environmentalism: A Global History. New Delhi, OUP, 2000.

Bad News book title: Peter Warburton, Debt and Delusion: Central Bank Follies that Threaten Economic Disaster. Penguin, 2000.

Bad News book title: Ian Ramsay, Collapse Incorporated: Tales, Safeguards and Responsibilities of Corporate Australia. CCH Australia, 2001.

12 June 1999: Slavery: In Africa: Human rights and UN officials report that in Lesotho, Africa, are about 60,000 "herder boys" living and working in indentured servitude. Some are as young as six. Their poverty-stricken parents hire them to cattle owners for food, small cash amounts or to pay debts. When they become adults, they have no education and are unemployable. A spokesperson is Malineo Motsephe, of UNICEF in the capital of Lesotho, Maseru. The World Bank has been examining the system behind this sort of "child labour". Another commentator is Charles Jacobs, co-founder of a one-year-old American Anti-Slavery Group in Boston, which has formed mainly to end the slave trade in Sudan. (Reported 12 June 1999)

Below are items still uncollected

1987 - The typewriter, born 1867, died 1987, a lifespan of 120 years. In 1867, three Americans patented a "genuine typewriter". Ideas were taken up by Remington, which produced their commercial version in 1873, and this introduced the QWERTY keyboard we still use. In 1895 appeared the Underwood No. 1 typewriter which made the typed character visible as the operator typed it. Designs of typewriters remained much the same till the 1960s, with the appearance of the electric typewriter, which was superseded by the portable word processor then the PC.

1991: Capitalism vs Socialism etc: Aarticle by Andrew Clark, Eastern bloc's transition trials. Australian Financial Review, 27 March 1991, p. 12. Three clocks, the fastest is the economic, next fastest is political clock, slowest is the cultural clock. Clark quotes Prof Heinrich Vogel, director of the Federal Institute in Cologne, Germany. "a new system of international relations has evolved, challenging the political structures of all countries" "Financial, technological, health and environmental issues are beyond national control", the nation state is being superseded by networks, eg, financial markets, and real-time communications on a global scale. Vogel says, "For politicians, the compatibility of political systems and international competitiveness in terms of technological and economic performance, not the defence of national sovereignty, has become a matter of overriding concern. Clark also cites the mayor of Moscow speaking of [Tofflerian] contradictions.

1993: 22 March 1993: Intel releases its first Pentium processor. Look for a faster computer all round. The most powerful computer chip of its day, vastly increasing the processing capability of PCs, especially with driving the work of GUIs (read Windows95 when it was released). The Pentium had more than 3 million transistors, a clock speed of 60MHz (its predecessor the 1985-release of Intel 80386 had 275,000 transistors and a clock speedof 16MHz). By 2005, a chip has a billion transistors or more. (fix also, 22 February 2005: More Phish and Chips? By early 2005, as well, Intel has been talking of releasing a “dual core” chip, which will give a PC “two brains”. Even more interesting, but watch out for the necessity of new-wave software, is the IBM-Sony-Toshiba idea of “The Cell”, with cells inside a chip which contain both a program code and data, which can also interact with other Cells across the Net. The Cell will have 1.72 billion transistors, a clock speed of 4GHz, and will process up to ten instructions simultaneously (while Intel's chip processes only two simultaneously). Production of it starts in late 2005. German developers are lately workingon a chip which will have about 100mb of memory, as compared to today's chips which have about 1mb.


The below material was emailed to this website by persons in the US on 20 December 2001 via: http://www.democracyctr.org/onlinenews/vol39.htm/

GLOBALIZATION - WHAT'S ALL THE FUSS ABOUT?

Seattle - Washington, DC - Prague - Davos - Genoa: This string of cities has become synonymous with a series of worldwide protests against economic globalization. For the citizens of the world paying slight attention, these protests come off as a caricature of scruffy young people engaged in street battle against police while well-tailored, well-reasoned world trade officials try to carry out their discussions.
Yet, beyond this caricature lies one of the most crucial public debates of the new century. As the world's economy becomes more and more integrated, what public rules will govern that new economy and who will write them?

THE RULES OF GLOBALIZATION AND WHO MAKES THEM

The logic of economic globalisation's boosters is straightforward. With more international trade and commerce comes new economic opportunity -- new markets for what we produce as workers, cheaper prices for what we buy as consumers, new options for making a healthy return as investors.
Backers of unhindered globalization dismiss their critics as globophobes, the modern equivalent of flat-earthers, people naive to the realities of the new economic world. They are, in the words of a columnist in the International Herald Tribune, ...mobs of demonstrators and groups of devastators out to disrupt international organization of the world economy. They have nothing to propose.

True -- to simply argue against economic globalization is roughly akin to arguing against earthquakes. Human evolution itself seems hell bent on blurring the lines between nations and building both an economy and a culture that is global.
One can not be simply against globalization and at the same time a cheerleader for the international prosecution of Augusto Pinochet, the former Chilean dictator, or a champion of the right of immigrant workers to cross national borders in search of a better salary for their labor.

The issue is not globalization, yes or no, but the rules that will govern it. Those who would quickly dismiss globalisation's critics as having nothing to say either aren't listening or simply find it in their self-interest to feign deafness.
Behind closed doors, a remarkably tiny global elite is methodically spinning out a web of economic rules that will have dramatic effects on the lives of billions for decades to come. The global rules they are designing leave much to be critical about.

DANGERS FOR POOR COUNTRIES AND WEALTHY ONES

The world's poorest nations know too well what it is like to be on the receiving end of these rules from on high. International lending institutions, most notably the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), use the threat of cutting off foreign credit to force poor governments to adhere to a strict free-market theology designed by economists and analysts a hemisphere away.
Last year, for example, here in Bolivia, the World Bank blackmailed the Bolivian government into privatising the public water system of its third largest city -- landing it in the hands of a subsidiary of the powerful Bechtel Corporation. Within weeks of taking over, Bechtel doubled and tripled water rates for some of South America's poorest families. Widespread public protest eventually forced the company's departure, but not until it emptied the utility's bank accounts, left behind an unpaid $90,000 electric bill, and threatened to sue Bolivia for $20 million for the lost opportunity to make a profit.

The world's wealthiest nations will not be spared similar treatment as the current round of free trade negotiations is converted into international law. The granddaddy of all global economic rulemaking underway at the moment are the negotiations to establish a Free Trade Act of the Americas (FTAA), an international economic constitution that would hold sway over every city, state, and country from the tip of Argentina to the northern outposts of Canada.
In the name of eliminating barriers to foreign investment the FTAA would give multinational corporations the right take legal action against U.S. food safety laws, and to convert our water and other natural resources into commodities for sale. The global institutions that will be making these decisions will be far beyond the reach of average citizens.

It is no wonder that the development of global rules like these has been met with impassioned protest. It is also no surprise that the government and corporate officials involved are so anxious to keep their critics out of the deliberations, to dismiss them with ridicule, or as in Italy last month, to send in riot police to roust student protesters from their beds and beat them with clubs.
To be clear -- some of those coming to protest, clearly a minority, seem more inspired to violence than any real discussion of the issues involved. But that should not be used as an excuse to ignore the very real issues being raised by this string of protests.

DEMANDS THAT ARE NEITHER RADICAL NOR NEW

The concerns and the demands being raised by globalisation's critics are neither radical nor new. In the U.S. and elsewhere the last century was marked by one public movement after another demanding public rules to counter the natural excesses of the private marketplace -- to limit child labor, to protect the rights of workers, to protect our environment, and to keep companies from cheating us on prices or selling us unsafe products.
All these reforms and others, when first proposed, were ridiculed as warrantless interference with the functioning of a vibrant economy. Eventually all have become matters of public consensus and accepted law.

Today the economic terrain is shifting underneath our feet. Once our marketplaces were mainly local and local communities could make their own rules. As economies around the world became more national, it has become the responsibility of national governments to take the lead in protecting the public. Today, with the world economy becoming more and more integrated, even national governments have found it harder to implement and maintain environmental, consumer, or labor protections.
Corporations tell us that if we don't make the rules to their liking, they will leave for other shores where they can get operate with less restriction. This new economic world order was described recently by a former U.S. Treasury Department official: Now the challenge is to demonstrate to the world that the loss of sovereignty by governments to capital is a new paradigm that will reward governments with good policies and punish those with bad ones.
By this perspective good policies are those which eliminate environmental, worker, community, and consumer rights and bad policies are those which seek to protect those rights.

In the end, the emerging battle over economic globalization is about something even more familiar and more dear to us -- democracy. There is no question that the rules of the new economic order will affect our lives in deep and important ways. It is also becoming quite clear that those rules are being written not by us or for us but by and for the wealthiest corporations and individuals on earth, too often at our expense.
Do we need international economic rules and rulemaking bodies? Absolutely. However, these rules must be aimed to protect people, not fortunes, and the bodies that make them must be democratic, not closed to all but a wealthy few.

The challenge now is to elevate the debate about globalization beyond simple rhetoric (on both sides), to understand what's at stake and to re-create democratic movements, coalitions, participation and rulemaking which are just as global as the economic forces we need to counterbalance.

_____________________________________________________________
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Dear Mr Byrnes, Thanks for making all this information available.
(23 January 2002) - I have found your data on English merchants and bankers very illuminating, ... early drug money; although I am interested in the early 1800s trade development between England (Liverpool in particular) , Ireland (Dublin) to the Caribbean (Jamaica and the Caribbean Coast of New Granada) I still have not found if the development followed of trade with South. America followed a similar pattern.
I only wish somebody would be out there in cyber-space with a list similar to yours covering the "wholesale merchants" of Dublin and Liverpool that dealt with the newly formed Republics of South America.
My ancestors, the Duncans of Dublin, were involved in shipping and other mercantile enterprises in the late 1700s and early 1800s in Dublin. I am trying to learn more about Irish (English really) mercantilism of that period as it relates to New Granada/Colombia, via Jamaica. It has been difficult to find sources, ... any suggestions?
Thanks in advance for any lead you might provide.

Best regards, Alfonso P. Duncan, apduncan@hotmail.com


Great Cockup County Library
Church Street
Great Cockup
Berks

Not The 1901 Census Online:
Statement from Miss Edith Tintwhistle, Head Librarian, now including a message from the Public Records Office

It has reached my ears that some very unkind things have been said in the bar of the Pig and Piccolo about our unsuccessful attempts to get the village 1901 census returns on the internet by January 2 2002 as promised. Some very keen young people from Qinuseless, a firm in London, came down here with their laptops and spent all weekend guessing how many people would use our service once it is online. Our population is 3,472 and based on some very sophisticated calculations which took up the back of three large envelopes and a cigarette packet, Qinuseless came up with the figure of four: the retired couple in the old station house whose name I can never remember, Mrs. Fairfax Widdowson from the Manse and young Jamie Toadblower who said he might use it if he has a school history project during the holidays.

In fact the calculations were way out, since we forgot about all the other villages which surround us, plus all the descendants of our village folk in the rest of the county, the nation and the world. On the first day of the service we had 600,000 'hits', as I believe they are called and everything here stopped working, including Mr. Scurvy the caretaker who got fed up of answering the telephone.

Qinuseless have estimated how long it will take to get the service up and running again and have said that it will be a week, although they are not clear which week. My colleague Mr. Davis who looks after the large print books on a Friday did an evening class on web page design last term and has kindly agreed to see what he can do so long as I let him bring his bicycle into the library after dark - his pump was stolen last year. We really are doing our best, and the cheap jokes which I heard after church, such as "I wonder if the librarian can get a job with Railtrack?" and, "Did Qinuseless act as consultants for the Millennium Bridge" are not becoming to a senior member of the community. I overheard you vicar and if your books on Victorian Erotica are not back by Thursday next week I shall not waive your fine.

In the meantime genealogists from around the country and the world can still access the records by coming to Great Cockup Library in person and borrowing the personal computer on my desk. Booking is advisable and sessions are limited to 15 minutes per person. Please note that the library is closed Monday to Thursday and opens Fridays from 10.00 am to 12.30. pm. Closed weekends.

Update

What a nightmare all this is proving to be! For the past two Fridays we have had queues from the library door as far as the grocery shop; the full length of Church Street - mostly middle aged couples with great thick files under their arms. The square is blocked with cars and many of them carry in their rear window the message that the owners are retired and spending the inheritance intended for their children. The first time I saw this I was mildly amused.

Mr Hartley in the Post Office has complained that people are leaning against his window. I apologise for the queue being so slow moving but must ask that people bring their own fold-up stools rather than upset Mr Hartley. He tells me that his irritable bowel has been aggravated by the insistence of his Head Office that he installs a computer for his Giro customers, and that he is not helped by queuing people sticking their heads into the Post Office door and asking cheekily if he can get the Public Records Office.

It has been suggested that in the current census fever we should open for longer hours. Mr Scurvy the caretaker says that it is lambing season and he is jiggered (actually he said another far ruder word ) if he is going to open up any more frequently.

On Wednesday morning I was disturbed in my Badedas bath by an urgent knock at the door. It was embarrassing to open the door in my candlewick dressing gown but the knock sounded urgent. Qinuseless had sent some of their top guns and they had called for the library key.

These young people and I spent all day in the library whilst curious members of the family history fraternity pressed their noses against the window and Mr Scurvy made reference to muddy footprints and bloody doors left open - it is curious how he cannot open the library more frequently yet has time to hang around when his presence is not appreciated.

The three young people from Qinuseless are very pleasant but rather unconventional by Great Cockup standards. Yasmin. a pretty young lady with a stud in her nose is responsible for Quality Assurance, which appears to consist of looking at me with an unnerving intensity all day and asking me how I feel about how things are going. Craig wears shirt, tie and enough body fragrance for the three of them, which is just as well since Zak appears to have personal hygiene difficulties. Either that or a farm tom cat has been spraying the bookshelves again. For a time I thought Zak was hearing impaired, since a wire from a box on his belt leads to an earpiece which emits a dull low frequency rhythmic thud. Zak wears tight greasy jeans, a black T shirt with a blasphemous reference to Jesus and a type of waistcoat made from tiger patterned fur fabric. I am told he is a Programmer. All day he sits motionless, speaking to nobody, scrolling through computer screens full of hieroglyphics. Craig is called a Systems Interrogationist, Brackets Forward Planning and Evaluation. He spends a lot of time sorting out his underpants through his trousers, presumably when he thinks nobody is looking. His job appears to be to translate Zaks enigmatic grunts, sighs and glances into words.

Mr Davis has popped in a couple of times and clearly feels that his computing abilities are not being appreciated by our young friends. Yesterday he left muttering something about it not working because in his words, dumbos out there keeping pressing their refresher buttons. Whenever I ask Craig about how long all this is going to take he grins rather patronisingly and replies that I must be patient

So ladies and gentlemen, all I can say with certainty is that the system still is not working, that it will take a week or two and Mr Davis asks if you will please stop pressing your refresher buttons, whatever that may mean.

Update 2

Oh dear this is all getting out of hand. Whereas I would perhaps get one or two Emails a month from an old school friend in South Africa, I have received over 100 Emails in the past 24 hours; from all over our former colonies and England, Scotland and Wales. My dear friend Cecil Hawthorne Hyssop from the Bank has noticed my stress levels rising and has kindly invited me to accompany him on a bicycle outing. I considered this kind offer carefully but decided to decline rather than give him the wrong signals. A gentleman wrote and offered to take me for a pint of bitter in the Pig and Piccolo. Thank you Mr Arter but you give away your class with your suggestion that I would drink beer and your remarks about my ample bosom are ungentlemanly. An Antipodean gentleman jokingly suggested that he might sue because of the pain and suffering of a stitch due to laughing. The Great Cockup Census Online is a serious business Mr Downunder and nobody is laughing here.

The High spot of the past two days has been that one of the many E mails has been from a lost cousin in the Industrial North. She does sound remarkably educated for someone from that part of England and although she originated from a good bloodline on her father's side she is the granddaughter of a fallen parlourmaid. We have yet to meet and whatever her background I am excited at the thought of having a new cousin to correspond with. You can read our correspondence on my letters page.

Mr Davis is being a bit of a nuisance with the Qinuseless Team. Zak, who today is wearing a T shirt with a Miss Marylin Manson on the front, has threatened to hit him- the first time I have heard Zak speak a whole sentence. Yasmin very diplomatically suggested to Mr Davis that his skills would be invaluable in creating a Cockup.com page using local business advertisers to raise money for bringing our 1901 Census online. We already have a coffee morning planned in the Parish Hall next weekend and it is good to see the village keeping up with the current national obsession with sponsorship and public private partnerships. Mr Davis said that he would only agree if his URL could be linked to the Library pages and tempers flared again when Craig was heard to mutter that it would be over his dead body. Yasmin and I calmed things down and it was agreed. I am beginning to like this young lady and may invite her for tea and muffins. Mr Davis has set off with his clip board and we all have high expectations.

Update 3

Yasmin has been to tea this afternoon and we really have been getting on like a house on fire. She said that she was worried about my mental state and I had to agree that I am very stressed by all this. Fortunately I have found a solution.

Yesterday afternoon I had tea at the Manse with Felicity Fairfax-Widdowson who you may remember was one of the four people originally expected to use our census online. Felicity is a very dear friend and without my asking, has offered to work alongside me at the library answering some of your E mails. Being an expert on family history she is well qualified to answer some of the more esoteric questions that are coming in every hour, day and night. She is also skilled in computing and will be introducing herself to you all shortly. She is a thoroughly good sort but I have to admit to some envy at her racy lifestyle and unconventionality.

It is with some relief that the Qinuseless team have finally got their technical update online. Now you will not think that any of the current incompetence is of my making. I have to admit that I was responsible for finding them in the Yellow Pages but they are all that I could afford given my current funding provision and their display advertisement looked very convincing.

Update 4

This message arrived on Monday 4 February. It appears that some naughty people out there have been alerting the PRO to this web site. I am sorry that I have taken so long to pass on this urgent message from the Public Records Office no less. I gather that they too have been having problems with their Census Online.

Subject: Census Helpdesk ref:EMAIL65716
Date: Mon, 04 Feb 2002 16:58:05 +0000
From: support@censushelpdesk.co.uk
To: edith@staithes.demon.co.uk

Thank you for contacting the 1901 Census Helpdesk.

We have received a copy of your 'chain email', and would be suggest that you add a paragraph including up to date information as to the web site. The following information details the position as at 29/01/2002.

Unfortunately, we are unable to give you a specific date, on which you will be able to access the site from you home PC. The site is currently available at specific record offices and libraries around the country. We are opening up the lines to more record offices and libraries, and then we will gradually open up the lines to the general public. This 'soft' re-launch is to prevent a re run of the excessive demand that we experienced that the beginning of January.

Yours sincerely

Dawn, Census Helpdesk

So now you know!

Update 5

Mr Davis is really pleased with himself. This morning he came panting into the library with an uncharacteristically fat floppy disk which he calls a zip disk. Zak recognised it and soon had its contents on the computer. Zak gave a snort of derision at the look of the thing and I have to admit that it does look like the back cover of a very badly printed Parish Magazine run off on one of those ink duplicators we have in the old days. Still at least Horace gets things done and he has raised three hundred pounds for the Census Online Fund. He is so thrilled to have made use of his web page design evening class at last. Only a few local shopkeepers refused to be on the Cockup.com page, as Horace has called it. Abraham Compost in the Greengrocers said he didn't think that many people would be coming from New Zealand to buy his carrots even if they did log on, so it was a waste of money.

Anyway CLICK HERE and see what you think!

Update 6

Now we really are in trouble.

Craig has told me that Zak has told him that we cannot even get onto our own 1901 census records from this office. Apparently this is "for the next week or so", at least until 20 February. Zak says it is because he is "testing the system". Therefore my desk is not accessible to visitors during that time. Neither are the desks at Upper Cockup, Lower Cockup or Cockup St Blair. Yasmin says that they do apologise for this and says will I thank you all for your patience.

Edith Tintwhistle (Miss)
10 February 2002

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi everybody! I'm Felicity Fairfax-Widdowson. Gosh, isn't this fun! I'm going to be helping Edie with this e-mail lark because she is getting so many she needs a bit of a helping hand. I've already answered one, from a Mister Spider - you can see it on my letters page (there's a click thingey at the bottom too).

Web Counter by www.digits.com

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Edith, also known as John and Sandra, would love to be contacted by other family historians with a sense of humour.

CONTACT EDITH

Edith's Correspondence The vicar now has a fan club Felicity's Correspondence Updated 10 February

THE TOADBLOWER SAGA CONTINUES New picture of Charlotte Hamilton-Whitmore, The Australian connection to the Toadblowers.

COCKUP.COM Sponsors of Great Cockup 1901 Census Online

Technical update from Qinuseless UPDATED DAILY BY CHANGING THE DATE ON IT

THE 1901 CENSUS CROSSWORD PUZZLE Wile away some time waiting for the census to come online

Your kind comments Messages from our many readers

Please let you friends know about Great Cockup Library by forwarding Edith's original E mail.

Watch out for regular updates from Great Cockup Library.


These pages will be added to and improved in quality as time permits. In time, some essays may appear on these pages - Ed

- Dan Byrnes (otherwise indicated in these pages as -Editor) Merchants logo gif - 9347 Bytes

Note: You will find even greater detail than is given here, for specific periods in American - English - Australian history, with regard to merchants, traders, bankers and financiers, as part of the website, The Blackheath Connection... Blackheath Connection website logo gif - 8235 Bytes

(Bookmark your page now)


This website is produced by Dan Byrnes Word Factory. Send any snail mail to:
Dan Byrnes, Unit 4, 145 Marsh Street, Armidale NSW 2350 Australia.

This Merchants and Bankers Listings website is still a work-in-progress

Stop Press: For late entries

1992: A copy of the world's first web page (by WWW-hypertext inventor Tim Berners Lee) is at: www.w3.org/History/19921103-hypertext/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html

Margaret Wertheim, The Pearly Gates of Cyberspace. Transworld, 1999. (Cyberspace as a replacement for the Christian "space" of heaven)

The Merchant Networks Project
Merchant Networks Project logo by Lou Farina

The history websites on this domain now have a companion website on a new domain, at Merchant Networks Project produced by Dan Byrnes and Ken Cozens (of London).

This website (it is hoped) will become a major exercise in economic and maritime history, with some attention to Sydney, Australia.

Article by Jon Casimir, Outta site, on the importance of auditing a website's hits and its rating(s), Icon, The Sydney Morning Herald, 12 December 1999.

Column by Stewart Fist, witty with scepticism on e-hype being simply e-rational, countering gush about e-commerce. The Australian, IT pages, 23 November 1999.

Article by David Hellaby, Jobs put on the line in interests of success, on Andrew Hunter, founding co-ordinator of the Walcha telecottage and issues of working via telecommuting/outsourcing, etc. In The Australian, 26 October 1999.

Article from Dow Jones, Private e-mails at work: how to become a deleted item. Ethical questions on the private use of an employer's Internet facilities, The Sydney Morning Herald, 23 October 1999, p. 104.

Article by Sue Blatchford, Locating missing files on your PC, Icon, The Sydney Morning Herald, 17 July 1999.

Article by Ian Cuthbertson, Romancing the Net for a byte at clients - how a website can act as a 24-hour salesperson, The Weekend Australian, Executive IT, 10-11 July 1999.

Column by Jeremy Horey on XML, Information the key to customer satisfaction. The Australian, IT pages, 11 May 1999.

Article by Jeremy Horey, Bringing intranets to life, The Australian, IT pages, 12 January 1999.

1999: Women might overtake men on the information superhighway? Women use the Net more efficiently than men, spending less time surfing and going straight to information they want. By 1996, 90 per cent of regular Net users were men, now men account for only 60 per cent. Men spend 30 per cent more time on the Net than women. Women are also more inclined to use chat rooms, e-mail and websites with a community theme. A US prediction is that soon there will be 147-million Net users world-wide.
Reported in The Australian, 6 January 1999.

January 1999: Hewlett-Packard and Compaq announce plans to offer Linux-based systems. (Part of the Linux story)

1999: The more sensitive end of the trust spectrum with e-commerce: "Easily navigable pages and efficient order fulfillment are more important than branding when it comes to attracting online shoppers", new research has found. Online shoppers hate error messags, missing links and overly-complex sites. Order-fulfillment mechanisms need to be clear and efficient or shoppers will back off. (The research cited here comes from US-based Net researchers, Cheskin Research.)
Having a recognisable brand in non-online markets did not/does not guarantee success in the online retail environment. Customers also needed to be able to trust an e-commerce site in respect of factors which are irrelevant in non-online markets. "Such trust was encouraged by good site navigation, clear presentation, proper branding, but also the presence of recognised logos from third-party (that is, online expert) e-commerce endorsers, such as Verisign.
E-commerce shoppers have esoteric requirements regarding trust, such as look-and-feel and comfort. Correct billing is vitally important as part of order-fulfillment.
"Seven of the 12 most-trusted brands on the Internet originated there (such as amazon.com) and had no presence outside it. Interestingly, many retailers with large traditional presence (in bricks-and-mortar retailing) were not necessarily regarded by respondents as attractive places to conduct online transactions."
Reported in IT pages, quoting Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu enterprise risk services partner Dean Kingsley, The Australian, 20 April 1999.

New: out by January 1999, A Family?s Guide For Managing Access To The Internet. Check Website for download: http://www.noie.gov.au/netalert/

1999: Tasmania: "More than 100 adventure tourism businesses will gather online to create Tasmanian Adventures, one of Australia's largest e-commerce tourism portals. Tasmanian Adventures is made possible by a grant from the federal Regional Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund (RTIF). Check Website: (broken link?) http://www.tasmanianadventures.com.au/
Reported in IT pages, The Australian, 26 January 1999.

1999: Free ISP takes UK by storm: Freeserve, linked to British electronic goods retail chain Dixons, a free ISP service, has found that more than 900,000 Britons have taken to their service offering unlimited free access, free e-mail and 15MB of free home page space.
Note: By May 1999, the trend to provide free Internet access was also gaining momentum in France with Arnault and in the UK with Kingfisher/Libertysurf. British Telecom responded with a ClickFree service, Germany produced Germany.net, four operations arose in Sweden, and in France also arose WorldOnline and Free.fr. Many of the "free ISPs" were linked to large retail chains seeking to encourage new customers. The price paid by the computer user is permanent, in-your-face advertising on the monitor screen.
Reported in IT pages, The Australian, 26 January 1999, and 4 May, 1999.

>March 1999: The first LinuxWorld Conference and Expo attacts 12,000 visitors. (Part of the Linux story)

1999: Barriers to small businesses trading on the Web have been reduced thanks to an e-commece solution priced at less than $1000. Ezi-merchant, from Australian Windows Publishing (AWP), is a shrink-wrapped e-commerce application that allows businesses to set up an online identity, take orders and process online payments for an upfront cost of $999. "Once you understand the back end it's not rocket science". Check Website: http://www.awp.com.au
Reported in IT pages, The Australian, 20 April 1999.
Note: By late 2000, other e-commerce packages, such as Business-in-a-Box from Sausage Software, Australia, might start pricing from $500, which seems to be around the bottom-line starting price for a useful e-commerce package. -Ed

1999: Computers will soon be able to analyse what a user is reading or typing and automatically search for similar material on the Internet. Autonomy, a Cambridge (UK) software company, is developing a system that can identify keywords. The software, called ActiveKnowledge, then instantly finds background information on the Net."
Reported in IT pages, The Australian, 20 April 1999.

1999: Small Brother is watching you: The website www.scorecard.org.competing on the environmental awareness front with the US Environmental Protection Agency, enables a user to slot in their own postcode and find a list of the top ten worst polluters in their area. They can then take appropriate (maybe protest?) action. Maybe a good idea, but an article writer predicted that one result might be that politicians would be getting so much "green e-mail", they'd ignore their e-mail bags. Love-all?
Reported in IT pages from The Economist, The Australian, 4 May, 1999.

September 1999: “Linux at this moment can be considered more a plaything for IT students, says SCO. (Part of the Linux story)

October 1999: A National Bandwidth Inquiry paper claimed that the price of wholesale bandwidth should drop by 30 to 50 percent each year for the next five years.

21 October, 1999: Hong Kong-based regional Internet services operator Asia Online acquired three Australian Internet service providers, just several weeks after it took over two ISPs in eastern Australia and another in Auckland, New Zealand.

October-November 1999: ANZ Bank has launched a Rural Information Service Online, concerning banking services, an online information service. ANZ's Country Life provides country lifestyle, farm products and services, market reports, business and financial services at: http://www.anz.com

November 1999: Policy control for the .com.au domain space for registering commercial Internet domain names was transferred from delegate Robert Elz to the .au Domain Administration (auDA).

11 November 1999: The ISP network of Cable & Wireless Optus Ltd was hacked and customer account details posted on the Internet.

November 1999: @Home Network Australia, the joint cable Internet venture of Cable & Wireless Optus Ltd and Excite@Home, announced the impending arrival of a new Australian cable Internet service.

2 December 1999: Australia: A plan by media mogul Kerry Packer's PBL to establish a huge database of personal and financial details in partnership with US-based direct marketing services provider Axiom draws heavy criticism in Australia.


James Wallace and Jim Erickson, Hard Drive: Bill Gates and the Making of the Microsoft Empire. (Updated edition). Chichester, England, John Wiley, 1992-1993. P/back.

Ian R. Sinclair, Multimedia on the PC: An Introduction. Tonbridge, Kent, PC Publishing, 1994.

year 2000


Trend of the Future?
Promoting a culture of non-violence and peace for the world's children

"For the first time in the history of humanity, all the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates - without exception - have signed an appeal to the heads of all the member states of the United Nations. Their appeal has been heard. The United Nations General Assembly has proclaimed the first decade of the 21st Century (from 2001-2010) The International Decade for the Promotion of a Culture of Non-violence and Peace for the Children of the World. This historic decision was unanimously passed. Check Website: http://www.nobel.org/
From the Catholic journal Madonna, January-February, 2000.


The Dangers of Prediction: Sometimes, worriers about the future get it wrong. Follows a list of cases. In 1948, George Orwell wrote 1984, which remains a worrying set of metaphors for measuring any current trend but has not come completely true. By 1955, chairman of Radio Corporation of America, David Sarnoff, said that ships, aircraft and locomotives would become "atomically fuelled" and that by 1980, "atomic batteries" will be commonly used. By 1966, Time Magazine had predicted that by 2000, machines would be doing so much work, that humans would have enforced leisure, and cited one futurist talking about the rise of a pleasure-oriented society "full of wholesome degeneracy". (Horses for courses, quite true of the US, certainly not true of African countries!) By 1966, Rand Corporation scientist Olaf Helmer predicted that by 2000, the widespread use of easily-available mood-control drugs by family members displeased with one member's mood. Time in 1966 also printed predictions eg: "only 10 per cent of the population will be working" and many people would have to be paid to not work.
By 1967, sociologist David Riesman had said in Time, "If anything remains more or less unchanged, it will be the role of women."
By 1970, Alvin Toffler in Future Shock was predicting people en masse would be experiencing psychological meltdown due to high rates of social and technological change. Australian prime minister Bob Hawke said by 1987, "By 1990, no Australian child will be living in poverty." (Ludicrous!)
Ravi Batra wrote The Great Depression of 1990, which would be the greatest depression in human history and continue disastrous to 1996, none of which happened. About 1998, Dr. Robert White, a professor of neurosurgery at Case University in Cleveland, Ohio, said, "I have no doubt that within the next 50 years, head transplants will be as common as kidney transplants are today." (From an article by Tony Stephens in Sydney Morning Herald, 15 January 2000)

More to come here

Year 2001

More to come here

Year 2002

Internet Misused in the Future?: Advertisement for suicide bombers, promotion of violence and shoot-em-up games have risen on the Internet since 9/11, according to the Simon Wiesenthal Centre now based in Los Angeles. Extremist groups are putting in more online effort, the Centre says in its latest report, Digital Hate 2002. The Centre checked 25,000 websites and found 3300 to be "problematic". Offensive games are about "concentration camps", massacre victims, white supremacists shooting minority group people (ethnic cleansing), while images of the burning World Trade Centre are used on some websites to foment discontent about some specific groups, Jews or Moslems. (Reported 15 October 2002)

Update 2002: From Prof Croucher's column in Good Weekend (Sydney): Number of the world's children who are malnourished, 150 million, who receive no schooling, 20 million, who are killed or maimed by land mines each year, is 10,000.

Future?: Amazon Rain Forests and oxygen: The Amazon rain forests occupy an area just a little less than the size of Australia. The world's areas of rain forest are being reduced by about 5 per cent per year; and they account for about 90 per cent of the world's bio-diversity. But the Amazon forests are not "the lungs of the world" as far as oxygen-creation is concerned, they are about neutral in terms of oxygen creation versus oxygen depletion, as rotting matter uses up oxygen. The oxygen we need comes from tiny plants in oceans called phyloplankton.
(From a column Dr. Karl S. Kruszlnicki, who writes weekly in Good Weekend, the Saturday colour magazine of The Sydney Morning Herald, sometime in 2002.)

Year 2003

More to come here

Year 2004

2004 Olympic Games, Athens, Greece: By 21 August 2001, Greece appeals again to Britain for return of the Elgin Marbles, with an idea to display them at the 2004 Olympics.

2004: US government will be working on a space-based missile-interception capability sited in Alaska. Possibly at Fort Greely, Alaska. Also, a facility at Kodiak Island will be in use. (Predicted by July 2001 in world news)

2004: "More data will be created in the next three years than in the whole of human history", according to researchers at University of California. (Reported 9 January 2001)

2004 in Athens, Greece: Calls from 2000 for the return of the Elgin Marbles to Greece from Britain, in time for the 2004 Olympics set for Athens. Greeks in Australia support this call, which by March 2000 had been given added voice by former Australian prime minister, Gough Whitlam.

June 2004: National Geographic magazine devotes its June 2004 cover to the coming oil-supply crisis, providing an article titled, The End of Cheap Oil.





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