The CIN [Community Information Network pilot project of the Department of Social Security] begun officially in July 1995, is an Internet-compatible network which provides, in 300 sites in Tasmania and other pilot areas, free access to a range of government and community information, and interactive communications facilities (e-mail and bulletin boards).
(From Information Policy And Infarastructure An Australia)
Also in the middle of 1995, the local community radio station, City Park Radio ran a Radioactive course, training people to be radio presenters. Although the course was good, I didn’t care much for on air stuff but I did stick around and help out in the library. At the time they were still building the current studios and the operating studio was upstairs in a former bedroom of the city park cottage, and the library was in the next room. Many shelves of CDs and vinyl, and the presenters were supposed to return them to a basket, for shelving by people who would get it right. Also, when new material came in it had to be added to the (DBase 3) catalogue. I seem to recall I was making some changes to the catalogue that involved behind the scenes reprogramming to add extra functionality, but I have no idea what. All gone now, of course.
However, the CPR building had 2 CIN access computers. One in their own right, but there was some community organisation that occasionally used one of the other downstairs rooms and they were given an access computer too. Now, the thing about the CIN wasn’t that it gave access to government and community information, but it also gave access to the actual Internet. A rather wishy-washy version of the Internet, but it had a search engine (I seem to recall Fred Davis explaining how it worked) and Usenet (newsgroups) and it was free.
So, I’d go up to the library, re-shelve all the CDs, poke around with the database and then come down and play on the Net. The main computer in the “sitting room” the volunteers used was the preferred computer. The other room was darker, and the connection slower and it dropped out a lot. This did improve after it was discovered that the box where the phone lines entered the building was hanging from the roof in a rather precarious manner.
One thought on “20 years ago, CIN & CPR”
How I first met the internet! XD