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In 1997 the best selling non-fiction title in Australia was a slim volume from Choice Books (at the Australian Consumers Association) aimed at people who wanted to know what this new thing called “The Internet” was all about. There are still copies in various libraries, but a slightly revised version is now available. As befits a book about the Internet, the new version is only sold online and is distributed in digital form.

The introduction to the book says:

The text of this edition is as close as possible to that which appeared in the original print edition in 1997, with a few additions and changes for clarification and style. A lot of it is obviously out of date (nobody uses Gopher or Archie any more, in 1997 the biggest search engine, Lycos, indexed 70 million pages – Google stopped displaying the number of indexed pages when it went over 9 billion, who even remembers Netscape or CompuServe? …) but it is a historical document. It was written when the World Wide Web was only three years old and everyone was wondering what this new thing was and how (and why) they should use it. I can joke now about having to research pornography, but in every radio interview I did while promoting the book the second or third talk-back caller would talk about the fear they had of their children being unwittingly exposed to unacceptable material. There was cynicism about any future utility of the Internet, and I remember one big-name radio star berating me for wasting people’s time talking about this useless invention.

There were lots of things we didn’t know then that we know now, but that has been the story throughout recorded history.

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Another book that might be of interest. While it covers a range of topics, there are some chapters relevant to IT and business practices.

The introduction to the book says:

I love writing and I have been contributing to magazines and newspapers for a very long time. In 1996 I was commissioned by Choice Books (part of the Australian Consumers’ Association) to write a book, How To Connect To The Internet, which was published in 1997 and was rumoured to be the best-selling non-fiction book in Australia in that year. When I decided to put together a collection of things that I’ve written I had to pick an arbitrary starting date so I chose 1999, which happened to be the year I started publishing an online magazine called The Millenium Project (the spelling is intentional). For the first item I chose the first article I had published in The Skeptic, the journal of Australian Skeptics Inc. I had given a talk at an Australian Skeptics national conference and I was approached by the magazine editor immediately afterwards and asked to write up the talk for publication. As they say in the clichés, the rest was history. This volume covers the period from late 1999 to June 2003. There will be more later.

I make no apology for writing about things that interest or concern me, and I have been lucky over the years in that editors have generally given me freedom to write about what I want in the style that I want, although obviously there have been occasional suggestions for topics. I like to think that I have a broad range of interests, although I might go through periods when one thing interests me more than others. The thread running through everything is skepticism – I like facts and I like those facts to be supported by evidence, or at least reasoned argument.

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The following are magazine and newspaper articles and some presentations by Peter Bowditch of Gebesse. While some of the details in the pieces may be dated, in general the principles expressed in them are still relevant to computers and business.

Everything on this web page is Copyright © 1999- Peter Bowditch and Gebesse Computer Consultants. All trademarks or logos used are the property of their respective owners, and are being used solely to promote the products of those trademark owners.