inkwell.vue.240 : The WELL at 20, with Howard Rheingold, Cliff Figallo and friends
permalink #151 of 215: Michael C. Berch (mcb) Fri 1 Apr 05 12:59
    
What was the conference, and has it been archived/preserved online? 
  
inkwell.vue.240 : The WELL at 20, with Howard Rheingold, Cliff Figallo and friends
permalink #152 of 215: Michael C. Berch (mcb) Fri 1 Apr 05 13:10
    
>  I was a snotnosed kid in Galena, Mo with a book-learning-only idea of
> what a MODEM was.  Where were you?

"It was 20 years ago today..."

Being an electronic packrat, I dug up my logbook for 4/1/85: 

85/04/01 Mon.   9:00-5:30                       (8.5 hrs)
Caught up on mail/memoranda from last week, when I was away.
Working lunch with ______. Discussed: project developments
  during week I was away: Ethernet problems, scheduled rework of
  QMS printer; orientation and tasks for _______; status of
  network reconfiguration and DCA liaison.
Conference call with ______ and ______ of CRG about
  borrowing of NBI U! Workstation for short period to evaluate and
  demonstrate.
Lengthy conference with _________ to discuss plans for documentation 
  of EM 6.8; plans for future development; features and user
  interface, and EM user support.
Participated in "Office Automation Planning Meeting" with DoD
  officials and MITRE Corp. representatives. Gave presentation on
  [project name] documentation program and on planned integration of
  OA/WP functions into our UNIX local net. Conducted extensive
  question and answer session.
Technical discussion with _________ and _________
  of MITRE Corporation, McLean VA, about network architecture,
  network support of terminal-host communications, DDN protocols,
  TCP/IP, MITRE's strategy, DoD/USAF strategy, etc.
  
inkwell.vue.240 : The WELL at 20, with Howard Rheingold, Cliff Figallo and friends
permalink #153 of 215: Howard Rheingold (hlr) Fri 1 Apr 05 13:18
    
<untitled> was right about rock dust: I started using it in my raised
beds, and my vegetables are larger and more abundant
  
inkwell.vue.240 : The WELL at 20, with Howard Rheingold, Cliff Figallo and friends
permalink #154 of 215: Andrew Alden (alden) Fri 1 Apr 05 13:37
    
Ten thousand glaciers can't be wrong!
  
inkwell.vue.240 : The WELL at 20, with Howard Rheingold, Cliff Figallo and friends
permalink #155 of 215: Cliff Figallo (fig) Fri 1 Apr 05 13:43
    
...and there you have it. The WELL was wikipedia before wikis.
  
inkwell.vue.240 : The WELL at 20, with Howard Rheingold, Cliff Figallo and friends
permalink #156 of 215: Gail Williams (gail) Fri 1 Apr 05 14:05
    
Yep.  Forced into the bone structure of PicoSpan, that marvelous
contraption!   

PicoSpan was pretty minimal when it started, but it had
some real quirkiness.  "Fair Witness."  "Failed Security Checkpoint."
"What's Your Handle?"   

That's Stranger in a Strange Land, war games, CB radio.  Metaphor soup. 

(By the way, we really ought to build out the wikipedia entry on The WELL
while we're dwelling on the past.  All take some pokes at it, and watch it
evolve.)
  
inkwell.vue.240 : The WELL at 20, with Howard Rheingold, Cliff Figallo and friends
permalink #157 of 215: Claudia Stroud (ckstroud) Fri 1 Apr 05 14:46
    
I had the dubious distinction of joining The Well when the
company I worked for, Rosewood Stone Group (Bruce Katz), purchased
a 50% interest in it.  The first I had heard of it was when Bruce
returned from a visit to Sausalito where he said that Stewart Brand and
a bunch of other folks were doing some really interesting things with
computers.  I think this was in 1995, but am not sure. It 
seems like a lifetime ago.

There was so much involved with getting up to speed and I remember
dear Matisse making several trips to our office to teach me the
picospan commands.  I really have never posted much, but used to be a
major lurker.  We made a lot of blunders, e.g. not paying enough
attention to the marketing plan that <fig> and <tex> proposed - leading
to both of them resigning.  I also vividly remember posting the first
proposed Well Users' Agreement for discussion on a Friday afternoon,
and then leaving the office - not realizing that it would generate a
huge brouhaha.  Eventually I figured out that the smart thing would be
to get <jdevoto> to write the user agreement, and she did a wonderful
job.   

I've always loved The Well and have been so impressed with (and
envious of) the quality of the writing and the expertise of Well
members.  Just ask a question in Experts and see how quickly you an
excellent answer is posted.   It was certainly a unique company to
"own" and, in fact, it was pretty clear that we weren't the owners in
any traditional sense.  
  
inkwell.vue.240 : The WELL at 20, with Howard Rheingold, Cliff Figallo and friends
permalink #158 of 215: Uncle Jax (jax) Fri 1 Apr 05 15:03
    
Right. The WELL has always been more of a moving picture of the
zeitgeist than a business :-)
  
inkwell.vue.240 : The WELL at 20, with Howard Rheingold, Cliff Figallo and friends
permalink #159 of 215: David Gans (tnf) Fri 1 Apr 05 15:39
    

I have taken to referring to the media conference as a "collective blog" that
fulfills the promise of human information agents that I remember Howard et al
talking about back in the day.
  
inkwell.vue.240 : The WELL at 20, with Howard Rheingold, Cliff Figallo and friends
permalink #160 of 215: young fogey (caput) Fri 1 Apr 05 16:04
    
Hi, to many familiar <login>s! I'm never around these days, but check in 
once in a great while, and always, always, always via pico. Was delighted 
to see mention of this discussion on Salon (my homepage for some years 
now), so wanted to drop in.

BTW, I hate that my bio says I joined in '99. I actually arrived on the
WELL on July 15, 1995, when I bought my first computer. I used this for
dialup, and spent a little time here and on AOL (ack!). Sometime in '99, I
realized I didn't check in here, so I dropped it, and after just a couple
of months, realized that I missed the human touch, especially as a Bay
Area pern.

In fact, when I was in the hospital in 2001, this community was definitely 
part of the beams, prayers and whatnot that must've had some effect on 
pulling me through. I was really glad to be able to check in here and know 
there were real people around with whom I had a certain connection. I'm 
another who will be here as long as the Well is, come hell or high water.

Cheers!
  
inkwell.vue.240 : The WELL at 20, with Howard Rheingold, Cliff Figallo and friends
permalink #161 of 215: Gail Williams (gail) Fri 1 Apr 05 16:39
    
caput!  and ckstroud!

Claudia, I miss you.  You're such a good egg!
  
inkwell.vue.240 : The WELL at 20, with Howard Rheingold, Cliff Figallo and friends
permalink #162 of 215: Howard Rheingold (hlr) Fri 1 Apr 05 16:42
    
Hi Claudia!

Jax -- was the last time I saw you on the streets of Telluride?
  
inkwell.vue.240 : The WELL at 20, with Howard Rheingold, Cliff Figallo and friends
permalink #163 of 215: Public persona (jmcarlin) Fri 1 Apr 05 16:49
    

> (By the way, we really ought to build out the wikipedia entry on The WELL
> while we're dwelling on the past.

Did you miss that it had been built out a while ago by <calton>?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WELL
  
inkwell.vue.240 : The WELL at 20, with Howard Rheingold, Cliff Figallo and friends
permalink #164 of 215: Uncle Jax (jax) Fri 1 Apr 05 16:52
    
hlr -- last in Telluride, what, 1995?
  
inkwell.vue.240 : The WELL at 20, with Howard Rheingold, Cliff Figallo and friends
permalink #165 of 215: Howard Rheingold (hlr) Fri 1 Apr 05 18:18
    
Shady -- what is your opinion of the signifance of the past 20 years
of the WELL?
  
inkwell.vue.240 : The WELL at 20, with Howard Rheingold, Cliff Figallo and friends
permalink #166 of 215: b since 1 (paul) Fri 1 Apr 05 21:54
    
Claudia, what was your role through the period you're talking about with
Bruce Katz?  Do you currently do heavy lurking?
  
inkwell.vue.240 : The WELL at 20, with Howard Rheingold, Cliff Figallo and friends
permalink #167 of 215: Claudia Stroud (ckstroud) Sat 2 Apr 05 09:08
    
Paul, you asked my role during the Katz/Rosewood Stone period.  I was
on the Well Board for a number of years and was, I suppose, the
principal liaison between Bruce and Well staff.  The Well was always my
favorite of the Rosewood investments, but I was never able to give it
my undivided attention because we always had lots of other projects
going on.   I don't lurk nearly as much these days, probably because I
am on a dial-up connection - the only type available from my house in
the woods of western Mass.

Hello back at you to <hlr>, gail, and the many other fondly recalled
friends from that era.
  
inkwell.vue.240 : The WELL at 20, with Howard Rheingold, Cliff Figallo and friends
permalink #168 of 215: Cliff Figallo (fig) Sat 2 Apr 05 10:09
    
Claudia, you are a wonderful person and it was indeed a pleasure to
get to know you. I wish you'd been at the party last night. What a
flash to see not only <flash> but so many other historic denizens.

I was reminded, talking to a few of the folks there, that some people
managed to avoid all thrashes and involvement in the meta conversations
that raised blood pressures, and simply enjoyed the nice, intelligent
conversations they found in places like Writers and Parents. Gopod
bless 'em. They held down the "sweetness" factor when many of the rest
of us were huffing and puffing over some issue of vital importance to
the universe. 

There's an article in the SF Chronicle business section today. Pardon
my url:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2005/04/02/B
UGJ9C243D1.DTL&type=business

I think there will be another article in the same paper tomorrow. A
reporter and photographer were at the party, working the room.
  
inkwell.vue.240 : The WELL at 20, with Howard Rheingold, Cliff Figallo and friends
permalink #169 of 215: John Payne (satyr) Sat 2 Apr 05 11:27
    
> <160> (caput)
> BTW, I hate that my bio says I joined in '99. I actually arrived 
> on the WELL on July 15, 1995, when I bought my first computer.

Bios are editable.  It's the ".plan" file in your home directory.
You're on your honor not to have claimed to have joined in '85.  ;-)

Quite frankly, I don't remember exactly when I first joined the Well.
It was either late '87 or sometime in '88; the oldest postings of my 
own that I have archived are from December, '88, but I lurked for 
awhile before starting to post, and there may have been earlier posts 
that ended up in the bit-bucket before I got around to archiving them.

"satyr" is my sixth account (or at least 6th login; dhawk did some
sysadmin fiddling to swtich me from "jtp" to "jtom", but it wasn't 
simple and I didn't ask for that service again) and I've taken ~6 
months off between accounts a couple of times.  (By the way, "jtom"
isn't exclusive to me; someone else used it after I gave it up.)

I envy those who arrived here with an identity (login) they were 
comfortable enough with to keep it; I kept getting tired of them
and wanting something different, as well as wanting an extended 
break from it all on two occasions.
  
inkwell.vue.240 : The WELL at 20, with Howard Rheingold, Cliff Figallo and friends
permalink #170 of 215: David Gans (tnf) Sat 2 Apr 05 14:44
    

I am so sorry to have missed the party (and the one in SF tonight).  I'm on
tour in North Carolina, sorry to say.

The WELL has meant so much to me for twenty years.  I really am a different
(and better) person because of my experiences here - in more ways than I can
count.
  
inkwell.vue.240 : The WELL at 20, with Howard Rheingold, Cliff Figallo and friends
permalink #171 of 215: Judy Malloy (jmalloy) Sat 2 Apr 05 14:53
    
Hello everyone!

It is good to be back and read everyone's memories of the first years 
of the WELL.  I came on in 1986 at the urging of Carl Loeffler
who was the host of Artcom Electronic Network. At that time my login
was <badinfo>. Part of the Bad Information Base --that lots of people
here contributed to begining in 1986 and I made into a web site around
1995  -- is still on the web at
http://www.well.com/user/jmalloy/badinfo/bad.html

Uncle Roger that I also began on the WELL in 1986 is also still
on the web at
http://www.well.com/user/jmalloy/uncleroger/unclerog.html

I tooled up the interface for Uncle Roger a little bit a few years
ago, but Bad Information still looks like an antique website!

Howard, I think the last time I saw you was also in Telluride.
I believe it was 1993.
  
inkwell.vue.240 : The WELL at 20, with Howard Rheingold, Cliff Figallo and friends
permalink #172 of 215: Gail Williams (gail) Sat 2 Apr 05 15:29
    
Judy Malloy, as I live and breathe!
  
inkwell.vue.240 : The WELL at 20, with Howard Rheingold, Cliff Figallo and friends
permalink #173 of 215: David Gans (tnf) Sat 2 Apr 05 15:39
    

Judy!  I loved Bad Info.
  
inkwell.vue.240 : The WELL at 20, with Howard Rheingold, Cliff Figallo and friends
permalink #174 of 215: tc newcomb (nukem777) Sun 3 Apr 05 04:42
    
Pretty much a new comer, pun intended...

standard Seattle '60's street fighting man, followed the print version
of everthing = Whole Earth Catalog, Co-Evolution Quarterly, etc. When
it went electronic, I went to pencil and paper. Sort of followed things
from a distance. Got back on in 1993 when my son said his computer was
too slow and he wasn't interested in it. Lurked on the Well as
'publius' for a while and then officially joined in 1999 or 2000 as a
present to myself to celebrate a Systems Integration Consulting
business I started after going to 5 years of tech conferences in Las
Vegas. I lived and worked there for 8 years and got comped, free
passes, to all the shows - Comdex, CES, Networld/Interop, etc.

Met all the CEO's of the start ups and all the chief engineers, John
Seely Brown is the nicest of them all. Took that to my own site -- and
started blogging before there were blogs, called Behind the Curve, re
future tech.

All to say, The WELL and its aura has been an influence for quite a
long time. I remember Howard's original website and how cool that all
was. 1993-1995 was a huge burst on the WEB/Internet scene until
commerce and government took hold of it all. Sad, but that's why I
finally formally joined as Nukem777. Like a whale going to deep water,
Not really much happen on the surface these days.

I can't thank you all enough for your perserverance, and all that has
spun off from all of your efforts. Beams to all.
  
inkwell.vue.240 : The WELL at 20, with Howard Rheingold, Cliff Figallo and friends
permalink #175 of 215: Ramon Sender Barayon (rabar) Sun 3 Apr 05 18:40
    
Howard wrote:
"Shady -- what is your opinion of the signifance of the past 20 years
of the WELL?"

Before I consult Shady for an answer, I should point those readers
unfamiliar with this particular online oracle to read Topic 113 in The
Spirituality Conference, especially the first posting. I dipped into
the bag after an appropriate mantra, and my fingers brought out three
slips, which I flattened and read in the following order:

SLIP ONE:
Side A:  serving as an illustration or example.
ILLUSTRIOUS - (i lustrea -adj. [<L. illustris. 'clear'] distinguished,
famous; outstanding -- ILLUSTRIOUSNESS
Side B: to connect or associate closely
IDENTITY 1. the state or fact of being the same
2. the state or fact of being some 

SLIP TWO
Side A: SATINWOOD 1. a smooth wood used in fine furniture 2. any of a
number of trees yielding such a wood
Side B: SAUERBRATEN beef marinated befoe cooking
SAUERKRAUT

SLIP THREE
Side A:  flicker or tremble
WAVY having or like waves 2. moving in a wavelike motion. WAVENESS
Side B: uncultivated plant, esp. one that crowds out desired plants 
1. to remove weeds from a garden  WEED


Shady, with SLIP ONE you have once more proved your capabilities.
Two and three seem to meander off-topic a little.  
  

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