A User’s Guide to the Future: A User’s Guide to the Present

Here’s the third (and final) of the recovered lost episodes of A User’s Guide to the Future, originally broadcast on CBC Radio in Prince Edward Island in the summer of 1994 (exact broadcast date lost to time).

In this episode, titled A User’s Guide to the Present, we left the future and concentrated on the present: how could “regular everyday people” get hooked up to the “information highway.”

The first thing you need is a modem. This is something you can buy for your computer that allows you to communicate with other computers — like the ones that form the Internet — over normal telephone lines.

When this episode was first broadcast, our local ISP Island Services Network was still several months away from being born: we got our Internet from the now-defunct partnership of Online Support and Island Tel called PEINet.

This was also pre-Google (still several years away), the first summer of Yahoo!, and we searched the “web” by searching “Gopherspace” using Veronica.


Sam Abuelsamid's picture
Sam Abuelsamid on November 12, 2005 - 03:45 Permalink

Peter, I just listened to your wayback machine podcast where you and talk with Peter Gzowski and others about cd-roms. As it turns out you were just way ahead of your time. In the age of 28.8 dial-up the stuff you said about getting all the information off the net was just a few years premature. Now that I have a 6mbps connection at home, and I sit here in bed with my laptop and wireless connection I can barely even imagine trying to find anything at that speed. Thinking back now to the multi-media cd-roms that were being pushed in those days, they generally were pretty lame. It was funny to hear someone talking about upcoming 4x and 8x cd drives, now that we have 16x dual layer dvd burners and 10k rpm raptor drives.

Sam Abuelsamid's picture
Sam Abuelsamid on November 13, 2005 - 23:54 Permalink

This modem thing you speak of. Where can I find one? Will it work with my voip service, or do I have call the phone company and get one of those copper wires attached to my house?