Tuesday, September 20, 2005


A wide area network or WAN is a computer network covering a wide geographical area, involving a vast array of computers. This is different from personal area networks (PANs), metropolitan area networks (MANs) or local area networks (LANs) that are usually limited to a room, building or campus. The best example of a WAN is the Internet.
WANs are used to connect local area networks (LANs) together, so that users and computers in one location can communicate with users and computers in other locations. Many WANs are built for one particular organization and are private. Others, built by Internet service providers, provide connections from an organization's LAN to the Internet. WANs are most often built using leased lines. At each end of the leased line, a router connects to the LAN on one side and a hub within the WAN on the other. Network protocols including TCP/IP deliver transport and addressing functions. Protocols including Packet over SONET/SDH, MPLS, ATM and Frame relay are often used by service providers to deliver the links that are used in WANs. X.25 was an important early WAN protocol, and is often considered to be the "grandfather" of Frame Relay as many of the underlying protocols and functions of X.25 are still in use today (with upgrades) by Frame Relay.
Academic research into wide area networks can be broken down into three areas: Mathematical models, network emulation and network simulation.

Friday, September 16, 2005


1996: Bambi was published. This was a slash zine about the Guns N Roses member, Slash. 1996: The X-Files fan fiction community begins to become more Mulder/Scully Romance centered and the subgenre being a dominant force in the organization of the community. At the same time that this is happening, the slash component, largely marginalized and kept separate from the bigger archives and alt.tv.x-files.creative, begins to form and grow. On July 31, Brenda Antrim's "Krychek" was the first piece of Mulder/Krycek slash, and between October and December, the Mulder/Krycek Romantics Association and the Mulder/Skinner Slash Society were created. These three events would be very influential in the X-Files slash fan fiction community. 1997: In December, slash reaches a critical mass in the X-Files fan fiction community. 1997: alt.fan.disney.afternoon discusses the merits of a Chip/Gadget relationship. This discussion leads to bitterness on both sides of the argument. 1998: On March 12, Sofie Werkers founded the Rareslash mailing list. 1998: On Alt.Startrek.Creative.Erotica.Moderated, related dialogue involves the issue of if slash and het need to be rated differently. 1998: The term, chick with a dick, enters fannish usage through the site God Awful Trek Fic. The term, used deragoatoryly, refered to male characters being written effiminately in male/male pairings in order to put traditional male/female gender roles on the same sex pairing.


1990: Slash appeared on-line this year in one of the first references to be found. This reference happened on Usenet in the Star Trek community. The reference was found in rec.arts.startrek’s FAQ. 1993: First slash mailing list created, run from a private list-serv on the East Coast. It was called "Virgule" (a reference to the / symbol) and membership was limited to women. It remained active through the 1990s, until more fandom specific slash mailing lists on Egroups and Yahoogroups became popular. 1995: Seven slash stories were posted to alt.tv.x-files.creative. 1996: On April 16, Michael Demcio's "Rhyme and Reason," premieres as the first Rescue Ranger fan fiction on Usenet. It was the first novel-length Ranger story, and the first story to explore the possibilities of the Chip/Gadget relationship, the first to provide real character development for any of the characters.


1980: Slash was discussed at a panel at Media West. 1980: The Starsky and Hutch community in England veers into the land of slash. This happened when “Forever Autumn” was published in March. According to Langley and K. S. Boyd, this type of content later caused a disruption in the community as members worried about the reaction of the actors, networks and producers to this material if fen were to publish slash zines. They feared that those parties would acquire these materials and begin a crackdown to prevent the proliferation of this material. 1980 to 1984: The Professionals (a UK spy TV show starring Martin Shaw and Lewis Collins) fan community starts up as a primarily slash based community. 1980: Led Zeppelin fan fiction was circulating in fanzines. The early zines used the names Tris and Alex instead of Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. This material was being circulated with an awareness on the part of the parties involved and was slashy in nature. 1981: Slash was being discussed in the Star Trek fan fiction community, as was to how people preferred to view the Kirk-Spock-Bones relationship. Verba cited a survey which said most people preferred to see that relationship as a friendship. 1984: Archives from net.startrek during that period show that discussion of slash, referenced as K&S instead of the current convention of K/S to refer to the Kirk/Spock relationship, was happening on the group, along with advertisements for various Star Trek fanzines. 1985: The term, slash, is used for the first time in the fanzine "Night Tonight, Spock." 1986: One of the first pieces of femmeslash was published this year. It appeared in the Women’s List 2. The story was a Star Trek story where Saavik went into pon far and started a relationship with a female Romulan physican. The story was written by Ouida Crozier.


1975: In "Halkan Council," Diane Marchant published an essay about Star Trek Kirk/Spock slash. The first public discussion of this essay occurred in the Star Trek letterzine, ""Grup" #4." as a reaction to the essay written by Diane Marchant. 1975: Star Trek Lives!, editted and written by Jacqueline Lichtenberg, Sondra Marshak and Joan Winston, was published. This book contained a chapter at the end of the book which examines Star Trek fan fiction and the Kirk/Spock relationship in fan fiction. This book is important because that last chapter helped formed a lot of the modern thought on slash fan fiction communities. Scholars still cite this source today. 1976: According to the National Library of Australia, the Star Trek Action Committee was formed as a Star Trek Club. This Star Trek Club held its first meeting in April. Members included Susan Clarke, Julie Townsend and Edwina Harvey. This fanclub would publish the Star Trek adult fanzine, containing both het and slash, Beyond Antares. 1976: In June, "Alternative: Epilog to Orion" is written by G. Downes and published in a fanzine. It was the second piece of Kirk/Spock slash to appear. 1978: Thrust was the first Star Trek anthology fanzine published to contain only Kirk/Spock slash

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Guido von Robot - Simple computer language to help students learn programming

Guido van Robot (GvR) is a minimalistic programming language that provides just enough syntax to help students learn the concepts of sequencing, conditional branching, looping, and procedural abstraction. Its biggest strength is that it permits this learning in an environment that combines the thrill of problem-solving with instant visual feedback.