On the Beat: 09/01

Can’t live with it, can’t live without it: the Internet

By Jim Bucher

This just in from the OHMYGAWD department…

I was going through some old papers and came across a printed email from a segment I did while working on local television called, “Hey Buch, What’s Up With That?”

I took questions from viewers on just about any subject that I’d try to answer or get someone who could. Folks could “write-in” via snail mail, call me or send a question over the “information superhighway,” also known as the Internet.

Now this was 1994, and I remember my operations manager saying he’d create an email address for me because the station only had one.

It’s hard to believe, right? Just one account to handle all the correspondence coming in daily… He came up with buchbeat@erinet.com.

So now the television station officially had two email addresses.

You young people out there are probably thinking “Wow, that’s really old,” but it was only a little over 20 years ago. I guess if you’re young that is ancient history.

Oh how far we’ve come…

Gosh, just writing this brings back so many memories—good and bad.

For instance, do you remember AOL and “You have mail!”? It seems like everyone had it. And those disks they’d mail you or pick up in the grocery story so you could load it on the PC? How about the dial up?

And the long static sound while you waited to connect, plus if someone would pick up another phone in the house it would disconnect you.

My goodness, have we come a long way in a short period of time. The Internet started in the 1960s as a way for government researchers to share information.

Computers in the ’60s were large and immobile and in order to make use of information stored in any one computer, one had to either travel to the site of the computer or have magnetic computer tapes sent through the conventional postal system.

Another breakthrough in the formation of the Internet was the heating up of the Cold War.

The Soviet Union’s launch of the Sputnik satellite spurred the U.S. Defense Department to consider ways information could still be disseminated even after a nuclear attack.

This eventually led to the formation of the ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network), the network that ultimately evolved into what we now know as the Internet.

ARPANET was a great success but membership was limited to certain academic and research organizations that had contracts with the Defense Department. In response to this, other networks were created to provide information sharing.

January 1, 1983 is considered the official birthday of the Internet.

Prior to this, the various computer networks did not have a standard way to communicate with each other. A new communications protocol was established called Transfer Control Protocol/Internetwork Protocol (TCP/IP).

This allowed different kinds of computers on different networks to “talk” to each other. ARPANET and the Defense Data Network officially changed to the TCP/IP standard on January 1, 1983, hence the birth of the Internet.

All networks could now be connected by a universal language.

The Internet’s takeover of the global communication landscape was almost instant in historical terms: it only communicated one percent of the information flowing through two-way telecommunications networks in the year 1993, already 51 percent by 2000, and more than 97 percent of the telecommunicated information by 2007.

Today the Internet continues to grow, driven by ever-greater volumes of online information, commerce, entertainment and social networking.

Boy, ain’t that the truth.

But as technology improves, there seems to be more problems associated with it.

I’ve written before about our Wi-Fi issues, speed problems and the like.

Recently my youngest had an issue with her cell phone. You’d think she was 12 months old and I took away her binky. She was experiencing separation anxiety, anger and frustration until we could get an appointment with the phone store.

The sky was falling, Chicken Little.

This problem of not being able to dial in to the world lasted 24 hours.

I wish she’d clean her room or take the trash out that quickly.

But I’m not telling the whole truth here. I too can’t seem to live without the Internet and/or an electronic device.

Now with that said, every evening I don’t just put the phone down, I turn it off and put it in a drawer. It really is refreshing; you should try it sometime.

Gosh, I wonder how many people do the same? Here, I’ll check for stats on the Internet.



For over 25 years, Jim Bucher has been a regionally known and loved local television icon. “Buch’s” followers describe him as trustworthy, fun, the guy next door, a friend and role model. You can promote your business with Buch and grab your customer’s attention! Reach DCP freelance writer Jim Bucher at JimBucher@DaytonCityPaper.com

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For over 25 years, Jim Bucher has been a regionally known and loved local television icon. “Buch’s” followers describe him as trustworthy, fun, the guy next door, a friend and role model. You can promote your business with Buch and grab your customer’s attention! Reach DCP freelance writer Jim Bucher at JimBucher@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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