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Windows World - Summer 1995
by Rick Smith (October 1995)

Wow! August 1995 was a really busy month, with Windows World happening in last week of July and three more trade shows and conferences held in Chicago during the month.

First there was DCI's Web World and Data Warehousing World which were held simultaneously at both the Hyatt Regency O'Hare and Rosemont Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois. Rounding out the month was the 1995 Midwest Accounting and Business Management Show, held by the Illinois CPA Society also at the Rosemont Convention Center.

Each of these shows and conferences had wildly different focus and attendees. The Internet was a very hot topic - even the accountants were talking about it! Here are some key things I found out about the Internet:

  • VRML (Virtual Reality Markup Language) is HOT, very hot and huge graphics files on the Web are NOT. VRML lets you create virtual spaces that can be explored online by other Net surfers.

  • Internet marketing is HOT but sending a single message to every single News groups is NOT. Many people are making a fortune marketing (not sales transactions), using the Internet and other online services.

  • NetSite is HOT while graphic "under construction" signs on the Web are NOT. NetSite is a software package from O'Reilly & Associates which lets you create your very OWN Web server using a Windows 3.1 or Windows 95 computer system.

    Here are highlights of some great seminars held this month:

  • Marketing products and services on the Web. How certain people are providing Web related services and are really making money on the Web. These seminars exploded the myth that you will make a fortune by simply marketing your product on the Internet and will end up with 30 million new customers.

  • Security on the Web. Everybody is concerned with credit card security and there are many solutions forthcoming. Several people feel that sending your card number over the Net is safer that handing it to a waiter at a restaurant and I agree. Your physical card is taken away from you for several minutes and you finally get it back. Do you follow the waiter to make sure that they don't record it improperly? And what would it matter? After all, the "Merchant's Copy" is in their files. Credit card slip security at a restaurant or store is probably more of a problem than a possible cracker on the Internet. And that only takes a low-tech thief.

  • Creating Web pages (it's not as difficult as one might expect). HTML looks a lot like raw Ventura publisher files and there are many good converters that exist. If you want exact leading, color and font styles then you really need to rethink your Web page style.

  • Legal aspects of online services along with fraud and court decisions relating to online services. Looks like lawyers and judges are getting involved with online services and some of their decisions are not good. Although I don't like to say it, we may need new laws to protect our rights.

    New Products

    CH Products released CH Pedals which are moderately priced ($79) pedals for games which support either rudder or gas/brake pedals.

    The non-Microsoft non-utility Windows 95 products are starting to appear on the market. Starfish Software has released Sidekick 95 - a slim (5 megabytes of hard disk space), easy to use PIM (Personal Information Manager).

    Copyright 1995 Rick Smith All rights reserved.

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