Pat's Work at NCF
The National Capital FreeNet was created September 9, 1992 in Ottawa, Ontario. For many years we celebrated the birthday in early February 1993. Using Freeport software, it offered a very simple menu navigation system that was easy for anyone to understand and use. All you needed was a computer, modem and telephone line. In no time, it was the second largest freenet in the world (Chicago had the largest membership), and voted the best community network in Canada. NCF wasn't the first - Victoria was actually the first freenet in Canada. On it's tenth anniversary, it still had 8 thousand active members. (NCF information, archive)
ncf offers free internet access to anyone who cannot afford to donate to keep this fine network afloat. unless you use a public internet terminal, you need a computer, but the oldest computer, modem and software can access their service. over the years it has morphed into a full internet service provider (isp) but still maintains a vibrant member "club" of discussion newsgroups. the original help desk soldiers on.
i became a member in march 1993. i was immediately helping people in the newsgroups, so matthew darwin, who had set up a help desk, asked me to join. he also asked me to create information for the pc users sig as an "information providers" (ip). at that time, you had to update any menu or information on the system using unix shell!
in the early 90's, ncf volunteers set up access to the internet using a text interface (many people have probably only seen the internet using modern graphical software). you could do archie and veronica searches of databases, telnet to bulletin boards and other freenets, and finally access pages from the world wide web.
in 1996, people were flocking to "the web", so ncf took the plunge and began to setup and test new internet services, create a web sites, popmail, nntp news service, and more. i offered to coordinate testing and documentation of the new services.
community networking attracted a large number of dedicated and talented people who believed in the aim of getting everyone online, even those who couldn't afford a computer. they toiled on the board of directors, maintained online files, helped organizations connect with members and the public, set up computer services, convinced companies to donate equipment, set up terminals in libraries, gave public seminars, and much more. still do. here is a list of my "hats" working at freenet.
Mar /93 Member ad995 /93 Help Desk (Q&A) member Jun 25/94 PC Users SIG (SIG maintainer, shell access) Aug /94 "Get Connected" in the Help Desk Aug /94 Help Desk rewrite Survival Guide Mar 14/95 3 Kanata "Help Desk Live!" public meetings Apr 11/95 Online Community SIG (SIG maintainer) May 13/95 Volunteer as Menu Admin Jun 7/95 Confirmed Menu Admin, in IMT (Information Management Task Force) (Jun 26/95 Stephen Toy SIG Admin, Mike Jankulak IP Admin) Aug 7/95 IP Admin training Mike Jankulak Aug 18/95 Style Guide to IMT Oct 31/95 IMT problems from outside Nov 95 IP Admin Dec 4/95 ask Don McCallum about IP work Dec 9/95 Don working on dormant IPs Feb/96 Volunteer of the Month Mar 30/96 PFA: pat given for being VOM mar /96 Osgoode Library thanked me for the NCF terminal July/96 Sheila took over IMT Menu Admin job Sep/96 Nepean Help Desk Live public meeting Oct/96 FreePlan-Tech TF freeplan menus/files ? Coordinator of the PDA Jan/98 Organized Home page contest Mar/98 Volunteer of the Month
Did you really read down to here?!
|Copyright ©1998 Pat Drummond|