Solutions For A Technological Universe
Welcome to TechTalk, brought to you by Baratunde Rafiq Thurston, your connection to the world of information technology.
Folks, in case you haven't noticed, the world is changing. Everyone--from the Zapatist rebels to Harvard Square's Tommy's House of Pizza--is getting connected to the Internet.
There's hardly a city bus that passes without some advertisement for Random-store.com. Banks want you to pay your bills via computer, and first-years should remember that while the first item they received on campus was their room key, the second was information about their e-mail account.
Yep, the world's racing full speed ahead into the Information Age, and people are getting technology fever.
However, the demand for technology has expanded much faster than the supply of people who really know what's going on, people who keep their finger on the pulse of this great expansion. The result is a market for technical interpreters and gurus.
Just go to your local bookstore and note the "For Dummies" series of computer books. Open up any major newspaper on a given week, and you will see special sections such as The Washington Post's Fast Forward and The New York Times' CyberTimes.
The world of journalism is full of people trying to tell you what to think about computers and the Internet and everything else that sounds technology-esque. So where should you, a member of the Harvard community, go for your technology fix? Who's going to be your computer guru?
You are reading the answer now: TechTalk. This column appears every other Tuesday on The Harvard Crimson's Science & Technology page. Its mission is simple: to keep you up to date on the world of information technology, to be a reliable source in this crazy world, to tell you what to think, not just about technology, but everything.
In the past, it has covered such topics as MMX technology, online banking, what to do when Microsoft Word eats your paper and my ongoing bout with repetitive strain injury (RSI).
On the slate for the future: the year 2000 problem, Microsoft versus the world and, of course, the continuing saga of RSI. You will also see TechTalk brought to the more dynamic forum of The Crimson Online (www.thecrimson.com).
So who am I (not sim simma, I assure you), and what qualifies me to stand on this soap box and espouse my so-called knowledge?
I was born in the decaying, politically absurd city of Washington D.C. My first computer was an Apple IIe, and I played "Dr. J vs. Larry Bird." I loved the little guy who would sweep up the glass after a slam dunk. He has been my inspiration for everything I've done since, including this column. Thank you squeaky clean-up guy.
But that was then. Today, I am a senior philosophy concentrator and serve as online-technology chair at the very newspaper you are reading. In addition, I am employed as an advanced support computer user assistant by Harvard Arts and Sciences Computer Services (HASCS), the people who brought you the Pink Book, the Science Center Help Desk and a 50-megabyte quota for your Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) account, among other goodies. Don't call me with your computer problems, though. Really. I'll hang up.
So that's the introduction. I look forward to sharing this space with you, and if you have questions about the column or suggestions for topics, send them to email@example.com.