Getting a Tired, Old Computer and Musician Connected to the Internet
Dear Squeak and Blat,
My music department is still in the dark ages and isn't connected to the Internet. I would really like to have e-mail and take advantage of all those neat things on the Internet. How can I get my old tired Mac LC connected from home or my college office?
Squeak: This is really a career move question, Milton. It sounds like you have an iron deficiency and want to do something about tired technology blood.
A quick way to get connected would be to sign up with a computer service like American Online, Compuserve, or Prodigy. They typically run around $10 a month for 4-5 hours of connect time per month and have e-mail and World Wide Web services, and lots of other extras. Just about any computer magazine in the bookstores have free trial-period disks for these. You just boot the disk on your computer and follow the directions. I get a ton of these in the mail every month (the free disks are great for disk recycling or coffee cup coasters!).
Now, you will need a modem for your computer. Go straight to your nearest computer store and find the best price on a 28.8 bps modem (you don't have to know what that means, just tell the store that's what you need for your Mac LC). Get the store's assurance that they will help you get the modem set up and working as part of your purchase.
Blat: You're only as old as you feel Milt! You actually can do quite a bit with your Mac LC on the Internet, but Dave sure is right about boosting the memory and getting a fast modem. Do those two things and that LC will work well.
I'm not sure about the AOL service however! Dave likes AOL because he gets free time when he signs up new user! Smile! Seriously, Dave is right about AOL being a fast and efficient way to get on the net, but it has its drawbacks too. You may not need all those extra services and if you are connected for more than a few hours a month, the extra charges can get ya! It's like going to a Tapas restaurant--those little dishes add up.
Another option is for you to buy time from an "internet service provider" or ISP. Ask your long distance phone company about what they offer. Another independent one to check out is EarthLink which charges $20 a month flat rate with unlimited access. Software is provided free and you use a local access number for dialing in. Such providers also give you a couple of megs of space on their server for your new homepage which will convince everyone that you are not tired at all! I can see it now Milt--a picture of you teaching your theory class and a sound file clip of your latest composition!
By the way, I'd use those AOL and CompuServ diskettes and CD ROMs as neat Frisbees for recreation at the beach!
Peter R. Webster (a.k.a “Blat”) and David Brian Williams (a.k.a. “Squeak”) have presented workshops and other presentations together for CMS/ATMI conferences and workshops for more than 20 years. Their collaboration has led to publications and presentations internationally on music technology as well as the co-authorship of the textbook Experiencing Music Technology (Cengage Learning/Schirmer Books, 3rd edition Update, 2009), a widely adopted and highly acclaimed music technology textbook for high school and college students. Dr. Webster is emeritus professor of music education at Northwestern University and Scholar-in-Residence at the University of Southern California; Dr. Williams is emeritus professor of music and arts technology at Illinois State University, a freelance consultant, composer and musician, and immediate past president of The College Music Society.