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Robert Lentz: Cybertalk Columns


I was selected to be the Daily's Cybertalk columnist for Winter '96 (Jan-Mar '96). Here you will find copies of my columns, along with the more verbose original if such exists. Both versions will contain appropriately hyperlinks. Enjoy!

I have also been doing "experimental" columns for WebExtra. (More like, "thinking out loud".)

1/8/96 - Computing Needs More NU Support (Original draft)
Here at the outset I provide an overview of what I think are some of the key problems with computer support on campus, preventing us from realizing the full potential of the computer revolution.

1/15/96 - Exorcising the POP Daemon (Slightly longer vesion)
In my second column, I deviate from the schedule I had in mind to address a current "hot topic" on the campus computing scene, a forced migration from interactive logins for internet applications to desktop client usage.
(See Connected campus strains limited NU computing resources for some background.)

1/18/96 - WebExtra Column: A Web of Families (1/18/96)
For the premiere of the Daily's on-line supplement, I wrote a shorter piece on family ties via the Web.

1/22/96 - For a Few Clues More (Original, longer vesion)
While Northwestern ensures that its students know the fundamentals of such everyday subjects as math and English, it ignores the necessity of having computing skills. In this column, I address this problem and how we can start correcting it. I also address improving training for staff.

1/25/96 - WebExtra Column: Capitalist Networks at NU?
Northwestern's policy against commercial use of its network extends to include web "sponsorship", depriving its best web sites of the same support enjoyed by others. This is an odd decision considering the rampant commercialization NU already benefits from.

1/29/96 - I Heard it Through the 'Net (Sorry, no longer version this week.)
Current publishing and group discussion methods are inefficient and wasteful compared to new, electronic methods. Even though it has been available for many years, we yet have to make a whole-hearted push forward into the electronic realm.

2/1/96 - WebExtra Column: The Internet on Five Clues a Week
While the Internet is a powerful source of information, its high volume and sometimes boisterous members can produce an intimidating environment. I try to provide a few tips, mainly for new net surfers, on how to effectively use the internet as an information resource.

2/5/96 - Net Behavior Symtomatic of Rude Society
Many disparage the rudeness society's online behavior. But is this behavior really limited to our online presence?

2/8/96 - WebExtra Column: World Wide Web in Need of Lifeguards
I "examine the problems of banality on the Web and paves the way to an enlightened future."

2/12/96 - Computer Nets Enter Video Age
Video conferencing over computer networks can bring world-wide events to our desktop without greatly aggravating the current traffic congestion.

2/15/96 - WebExtra Column: Our tools are only as powerful as our control over them

2/19/96 - NU Puts Shackles on Web Community
Northwestern wants restrictions on the free speech of student groups on the World Wide Web.

2/22/96 - WebExtra Column: Computers demand and provide vigilance
In my last WebExtra column I provide some interesting references for people to track to educate themselves on issues relating to computers in our society.

2/26/96 - Model of a Major Modern Robber Baron
The rosy picture of Bill Gates and Microsoft presented by the media fails to provide you with the information you need to know.

Netscape HTML Checked! February 26, 1996 - Robert Lentz (

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