Why is this Pesach different from all other Pesachim?
In all other years I had one phone bill to pay. This year, I have two: - one for my "voice" phone, and one for my modem. In all other years, I was free woman, this year I am a "slave" to my computer!
How could I let a day go by without "logging in" to check my e-mail? Perhaps there will be another letter from Robin in Pennsylvania. In one of her recent letters, she told me about a special presentation she attended in New York, commemorating the 50th anniversary of Anne Frank's death.
Robin knew that I would be interested in this because during her "visit" to my World Wide Web (WWW) Home Page, she noticed that I had a "link" to the Anne Frank WWW Site.
Why is this URL (Uniform Resource Locator) different from all other URL's?
To the reader who has yet to experience the Internet and all its wonders, as Lazar told you in the March 30 JWB, it looks like a lot of "gobbledygook"! But, without delving into the techno-babble of bits and bytes and packets and sockets, trust me: all you would have to do is click your mouse button on the link - and before you can say Charoses and Morar, excerpts from the Diary of Anne Frank will be on your computer monitor.
From this site, there is a link to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum and while you are "visiting" the Anne Frank Site, you will read the following: "Special thanks to Ken McVay whose Holocaust Archives [have] provided much of the Holocaust-related information which can be accessed here. His archives are the result of a dedicated and entirely voluntary effort."
Btw (this is "Internet-speak" for by the way!), if you missed the March 9 JWB article by Michelle Betz, "firstname.lastname@example.org", a click of your mouse button on the link from my Home Page will bring a copy of the article to your computer. As with all WWW "pages", you can (if you like) save it on your computer - or, if you prefer, have your mouse tell your computer to "add a bookmark" and leave the "driving" to the computer when you want to find the page again!
Why is the upcoming CJC Plenary Assembly different from all other CJC Plenary Assemblies?
Well, in my e-mail today was a note from McVay advising that a session of the Plenary on Monday, May 15 (in which he will be participating) will include an Internet demonstration of the WWW. So I know that I - along with other volunteers - will be very busy between now and then, beginning the conversion of McVay's archive material to "HTML" (hypertext markup language - the "language" of all WWW pages).
If any of the CJC Plenary Assembly organizers happen to be reading this column, maybe they could arrange to get a copy of a "really hot" new software program from Israel called "Internet Phone". I have just installed a "sound-card" - and "I-phone", as it has very quickly become known on the 'Net. Without paying any long distance charges - I could participate in (or at least listen to) that session!
But, if not, maybe I shall give myself a treat and take a Virtual Tour of Israel - or perhaps go to the Project Genesis Home Page. According to their introduction, "Project Genesis is one of the fastest growing Jewish organizations in the world today ... Via the Internet, we're reaching thousands each week with our Jewish educational material, and receiving ... constant feedback and support!"
Why is this Israel Information Service different from all other Israel Information Services?
Because it is on the Internet! From this Home Page, you will find links to almost everything you always wanted to know about Eretz Yisroel. And it can't hurt that the rest of the "on-line" world can find out more about Israel too!
So, this year you may not be on-line. But next year may there be more of us - and just think of the savings in long distance phone bills (not to mention postage costs!) if you, your friends and family start communicating over the Internet. Try it, you'll like it!
*Hilary Ostrov is a Chartered Webaholic, who lives in New Westminster, BC. When not busy "surfing the net", she is a consultant and educator who offers Internet "driving lessons", hypertext authoring and design of World Wide Web "Home Pages", and computer-related training. She can be contacted via e-mail (email@example.com) or telephone (604) 525-3055