It is with great pleasure that I present to you this brand new publication, Digital Aspectarian in online as well as inprint format. The online version will have dynamic as well as static content; obviously the inprint version will have static content only.
During my college years, we went from typewriters to to CRT screens, to Apple Mac computers, to PCs. And in that time the internet went from LYNX which was colored text (white, yellow, green or salmon), on a black CRT screen, to Netscape Navigator, to Windows Internet Explorer. During the LYNX era we witnessed the evolution of email and chat. To engage in what we have today come to know as "chat", you would type "talk" and then the email address of whomever you wanted to talk to at the vaxd prompt (if you had an sxu email address):
vaxd> talk email@example.com
and the entire CRT screen would split in half horizontally. The text of your compadre would appear in the top half, and your text would appear in the bottom half. I recall introducing many of my friends to email, identically as shown in a superbowl commercial, I believe in 2011. Email was different than "talk" because you had an in folder, a draft folder and a sent folder, much like gmail is structured today, with the distinction that early email was all text on the black crt screen, no point and click, you used keyboard shortcut commands or the tab button to navigate around the screen. There was no mouse available for networked machines. When Telnet came along you could use a mouse to navigate the screen, and to point and click, if you had installed it on an Apple Mac. At that point, the CRT went the way of the covered wagon, though I would not be surprised to see a handful still in use somewhere, as late as today.
I remember demonstrating the CRT version of email for Sister Denis. I said, "You press send (ctrl-z), and the message can get to Japan in an instant, no stamp required". She was amazed. As were we all. For historical purposes, I will mention that Gopher and Spider were the early text based versions of the search engine. Usenet was the early text based version of a webpage, and Finger was similar to Facebook's side bar. You would use the finger command to see if your friend was online: vaxd> finger firstname.lastname@example.org ; or you could see every person logged into the sever all at once: vaxd> finger @vaxd.sxu.edu. Ah, the good old days.
So, graduating college classes contemporary to mine, were the very first to be in near constant connectivity with fellow classmates. Though dial-up was rapidly becoming a flegeling commodity, when we were in the computer labs we always had access to email, and would sit there for hours, much the way people never put their smartphones down today. I worked in the SXU printshop as the student supervisor and I ran the shop on Saturday mornings. I was the only one on the entire internet, but I was on the internet. Two of the students I supervised are now journalists for this magazine, Lance Ayers, and Rohit D'Souza.
We were also the first wave of college graduates to face the prospect of losing that near-constant contact with fellow classmates as this was just before cellphones went mainstream. The year after I graduated I formed a company with three fellow graduates and we had the Nextel flip phones with the walkie talkies. Our phone numbers were sequential, and we thought we were all the rave. I still have that same phone number. As graduation approached, it was then that I realized personal connectivity and personal networking were the key to dominating the internet, as opposed to just computer connectivity and networking per se.
Since my college days I have wanted to program an online magazine, my original plan was to develop one about cats, it was to be called Cat Chat. At the time it just seemed too one-dimensional to me, so I scrapped the idea. My intention was to collaborate with Maryanne Terpstra and her daughter Melissa on Cat Chat. Maryanne is now the Executive Editor of this publication, and another that is to be launched in February of 2016.
In response to the prospect of losing touch with everyone I had been in near-constant contact with for the last 5 years (I tripple majored), I had also come up with an idea to program something like Facebook so that it would be easy to stay in touch with my colleagues after graduation. It was going to be a communications hub called St. Xavier's Universe, and intended for Saint Xavier Alumni only. That name would have allowed me to use the acronym SXU, which would have allowed me to rellish at the chance to piss of the SXU administration. The license plates on my car read "SXU 1998" for about 10 years following graduation.
Prior to graduation my plan was to program an online yearbook, and then overlay the social media connectivity. Instead of publishing a new yearbook every year, the idea was that alumni would just get added to the existing website with each graduating class. But St. Xavier gave me a very hard time and the administration was just too stupid to allow me to do this. That is why Zuckerberg is the Trillionaire right now instead of me. My idea surfaced 10 years before Facebook hit the internet and I still have the code. The famous battle played out in the Xavierite, the student newspaper of SXU. It is no coincidence that 10 years after graduation, the first people that I connected with on Facebook, were the very same people I contemplated losing contact with after graduation.
However, in retrospect, I am glad that things happened this way. Because a lot of things that exist today, such as Yelp, Youtube, Twitter, and Facebook, did not exist then. Fast forward to today and I do not have to program all of those separate platforms to be able to do what my colleagues and I are doing in the present day. Even moreso, it would be quite easy for me to replicate those platforms in the present day if need be. Also the brilliant layout I engineered for this site would be twenty years in the making. Every once in awhile I impress myself, and this is one of those times. My contention is that the online structure for this magazine is revolutionary. I have seen nothing like it to date. Perhaps watch for more to come.
In addition, HTML itself has gone through a myraid of versions since I first dreampt of the idea to produce and publish something along the lines of Digital Aspectarian. And we now have Platform Independent web design (everyone else calls this, Responsive web design), which means that the website will look the same regarless of which device or computer you are viewing it with, with the exception of scale - it will look smaller on smaller devices, and larger on larger ones. Had I programmed Digital Aspectarian then, I would have had to reprogram the whole thing today, including all of the archived material that would have accumulated by now. Many of the traditional core HTML commands have been depricated and replaced with CSS (cascading style sheet) commands, and each subtle necessary change would have to have been tracked down within miles of code. Yikes. Thank you SXU for saving me from having to do that. After all this time, the only thing that has remained constant is the editor I use to program web pages. I have never used anything else. I have always programmed all of my webpages by hand using Notepad text editor.
In fashion similar to the push back I experienced when I sought to engineer Saint Xavier's Universe, I experienced pushback when I began to announce my plans to go forward with publishing Digital Aspectarian Magazine. Not this time bitches.
One of the main objectives of this publication is to further the economic success of small local businesses, be they metaphysical, spiritual, or otherwise. I have come to recognize that the key to sustaining the affluence of the middle class, or retaining a middle class altogether, is to promote merchantilism. Capitalism does not work for anyone other than those at the very top, and they couldn't care less if the rest of us die on the vine. You can have one person own 10 pizza places, pay everyone minimum wage, and have the tax payer foot the public assistance bill for that person's workforce (otherwise known as capitalism), or you can have 10 pizza place owners each making 100K and paying taxes on top of that (otherwise known as merchantilism). You can work your ass off, but trust and believe, capitalism will never work for you. What it will do is work against you until the day you die.
That being said, thank you for joining us in our endeavor to take back our country and jobs. Thank you to those who are sponsoring or contributing to this publication and its efforts as journalists, editors, directors, advertisers, and most of all as readers. We are about to embark upon an exciting adventure and I can hardly wait to see where the day takes us.
Most of all, I hope everyone involved in whichever endeavor has a thoroughly enjoyable experience. We have found our home.