Computer-Mediated Communication Magazine / Volume 1, Number 8/ December 1, 1994 / Page 10

RoadTrip: 'cause getting there is half the fun!

by Tara Grant and Jason Teague (

Ya know how sometimes you just want to jump into your car, or your roommate's car, and out of your life so that you can randomly explore what this world has to offer? Yet silly little things like classes or no money or the fact that neither you or your roommate has a car prevents you from doing so. Well, if you are reading this, then you have the ability to do the next best thing--roadtrip through the Web. Well, we have been doing just that. We jumped from screen to screen, randomly clicking on whatever blue words caught our fancy, and the escape began...

We started three different trips from the November Computer-Mediated Communication Magazine, and from there wound our way through to some very interesting places.

First we headed over to England to visit the BBC (British Broadcasting Company). We did this via an article about the Titanic, the Dublin Institute of Technology, and "Interesting Links." Once inside the BBC, we were able to look into their radio and TV offerings, which included invites to share your experience of sperm bank donations to some strange talk show called "Esther's Show". It also had updates on current affairs, the fee required to join the BBC online service called "Auntie", and several other winding side roads that we will let you explore on your own.

As the "Tara" part of we was in a lousy mood, we decided that some humor would be just the diversion that was needed. Kind of like stopping at an amusement park and riding the rickety roller coaster. This was easily done by wheeling into the RPI home page, finding our way to "The Lighter Side" and, joy of joys, there was The Douglas Adams Worship Page. Just what we needed, a hitchhikers guide. If you are not familiar with Adams body of work (and you should be) he wrote The Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy and Dirk Gently books and he is the greatest novelist of the 20th century. A giant walking amongst us. A paragon of all that is nobel in humanity. Well... he is really funny anyway, and this page was just too much fun. It includes "The most awful poetry in the Galaxy," a fabulous letter that Adams wrote to a bill collector, info about joining Adams' fan club, and much, much more. This is definitely a destination that would be worth your time.

By now it was time for Jason to take the wheel and get us thoroughly lost. Heading off into the wilds of the "CERN virtual library," we hung a left at "Oceanography," across the great pond to Japan and the University of Tokyo: Of course our path went completely astray there (being male Jason would never dream of stopping to ask any one for directions) and we wandered around in their computer center looking at diagrams of how their system worked (in Japanese, of course). Any way the University of Tokyo is as interesting a place as you can find to get maps of the Tokyo Internet, Maps of the University, and information about the University. Another neat feature about this area is that you can select the option of getting the whole thing in JAPANESE. Well it seemed neat at the time, but since Jason's Japanese comes mostly from the movie Akira, the best we could do was leave before we really got lost.

Round trip we clocked about 24 different sights. Below is a chart of our different trips. Hop on, take a ride, and get off on your own path whenever you see fit. That's the fun of the net: Blazing your own trail into the Electronic Frontier. So don't get caught up with where you're going, just sit back and enjoy the ride.

A trip to the BBC:
Computer-Mediated Communication Magazine: November 1994 > Head for the Life Boats > Dublin Institute of Technology > DIT Kevin Street > Other Links > Interesting Links > The Net > BBC > BBC's most Wanted > Esther's Show >...

A Trip to the Douglas Adams Archive:
Computer-Mediated Communication Magazine: November 1994 > Exploring the Web Off-Line at the Second Annual Conference > Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute > Internet Information and Resources > The Lighter Side > Sci-Fi Resources Guide > Authors > Douglas Adams Archive > ...

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