Midi: Descending The Stratosphere.

 Shareware is a key to understanding which if protected will enlighten our minds in our quest for Founding. The key to protection is understanding the shareware concept which is based upon the precept that all people are basically honest. When we use shareware, like it and will recommend it to a friend, than we should pay for it. When we buy shareware, an aspirating author is rewarded for his or her work and is encouraged to develop further shareware. The shareware which is purchased becomes "our ware" and all of us benefit.


Our quest for Founding is best explained in terms of our involvement with computers, the internet, the WWW and software since our undergraduate days at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. We have been allowed to reveal these events by The Keeper.


During my senior year at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa General Business Administration was a required course for business majors. The course was anything other than general. The class was divided into teams. Each team had a member whose specialty included marketing, advertising, manufacturing, finance or business administration (personnel, etc.). The purpose of the class was to make business decisions as a stem. Each team would then be evaluated in terms of the other teams. The evaluations would be calculated using an IBM 360-10 main frame computer located at U. S. Steel in Birmingham, Alabama. My team placed average at the conclusion of the course and we were awarded a C.

Several years after graduation, while on a trip to U. S. Steel in Birmingham, Alabama, I learned that other "teams" who competed with us, included executives with all of the largest corporations in the Birmingham area. In light of this revelation, I was sure happy that they did not skew the curve and cause us to fail the course.

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During this period of time, my only experience with computers involved main frames - IBM and UNIX. However, two things were perfectly clear - I wanted to own a personal computer, but could not afford one, and I wanted to learn programming.

While attending an American Management Association seminar in Atlanta, Georgia on The Use of Computers in Business, we were given information about ARPANET, SAT NET, TCP/IP, COMMODORE 64 AND THE TANDY COLOR COMPUTER II and about ten pounds of other information, which included personals on Dr. Vinton Cerf, who is shown on the left receiving the ITU Medal from Dr. Pekka Tarjanne.

Dr Vinton Cerf and Dr. Pekka Tarjanne

Dr. Cerf, who is generally known as the father of the internet, was responsible for our ability to venture into the information highway. For a complete detail, visit the following site (click the image).


Vinton Cerf Details.

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In 1982 the Commodore 64 was introduced. Then the Tandy Color Computer II emerged, followed by the Apple II in 1988. The world finally had a computer which was within its financial reach! Our family saved coupons, dollars and anything else which would enable us to purchase a computer. In 1988 a friend told me about Software City and a tent sale where trade-ins and such were to be sold at reasonable prices. We attended the sale with $100, but discovered that the latest and greatest cost far more than one-hundred dollars. Tillman Brown asked us at the conclusion of the sale if we wanted to buy several broken Commodore 64's for $50.00. Piecing them together gave us our first computer.

Over the next several years, the frustration of buying software, only to find that it did not meet our expectations, led us to shareware and beta testing - two of our most wondrous adventures.

1985 - Present

Communication over the internet during the late 1980's and early 1990's involved ftp, Unix commands, and using the key board in general, until a little program called Mosaic became available.

Mark Andreessen

NCSA Mosaic was originally designed and programmed for the X platform by Marc Andressen and Eric Bina at NCSA. Marc (shown above) is now with a well known internet company.

For more information about NCSA, please click the link shown below.




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Shareware of the Month Club

We have subscribed to Shareware of The Month Club since its inception. Early shareware files were downloaded without the graphical user interface which Mosaic and current browsers provide to the consumer, by simply going to a Bulletin Board. Most of the time a good description of the software was provided, but you had to order directly form the author. We have some of our original shareware programs still in operation. Now the process is simplified and more shareware sources are available.

Along our shareware journey we meet many fine friends, who creations adorn our start-up screens, enhance our "sounds", remind us of our appointments, encourage us to visit again, share our dreams, console us in our frustrations and generally make our lives worth living.

The following friend has been on my desktop for several years. My friends, this is one piece of truly "free - ware."

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Mister Dore


Mr. Dore keeps in regular contact. He will open your minds eye to a childhood dream of beauty and cause all of us to exclaim, "gee, wish I could do that."

Our shareware journeys have taken us to many different and unexpected places. Shown below are some which we would like to share.

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We did not know that finding answers or hints to a game called Amber, which we played on our Commodore 64, would lead to a totally new world of reading science fiction novels.

After purchasing the book and completing the game Amber, The Science Fiction Book Club became a source for additional reading experiences.

If SF novels are not on your regular reading list, we encourage you to learn more about Roger Zelazny by visiting the following site. By reading SF novels, you will soon discover that a large number of current and past software games are based upon these novels, in whole or in part.

Nine Princes in Amber


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