Week 1
Using Netscape for the First Time
Published August 30, 1995
Lori N. Morita
Psychology 409
Dr. Leon James

An ancient Egyptian blessing to all who enter:

May God be between you and harm
and in all the empty places you must walk.

How difficult was this week's task (lumping all the sub-tasks together)? Circle one.
Very Easy 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Very hard
This week's rating= 8

How much negative emotions did it cost you, in all?
Very Little 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Very much
This week's rating=8

How valuable for later use is this knowledge or skill going to be for you?
Not useful 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Very useful
This week's rating=10

How likely is it that you'll be getting good at this week's tasks?
Not likely 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Quite likely
This week's rating=9

How satisfied are you with the computer and Internet systems?
Not satisfied 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Very satisfied
This week's rating=6

How hard did you try to get through this week's tasks?
Gave up easily 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Refused to give up
This week's rating=8

This week's task was difficult for me because I had absolutely no knowledge of the Internet, let alone e-mail, when I enrolled in this course. My difficulties came from simply starting. It was overwhelming. I had no idea how to begin; but after I did, and began tackling one task at a time, each moved into the other. Once one task was done (or was firmly begun--I wasn't too picky at the time), there was an enthusiasm for the others, and each sub-task became a natural progression. I was amazed that it seemed easier and easier, and I went faster and faster. I felt fascination, as though it were a labyrinth that never ended. This resulted in my exploring beyond what was the Week 1 task.

The negative emotions were very strong. Specifically, the anxiety of completing the assignment and the feeling of incompetency were the overriding emotions. At times, these emotions turned to hostility towards the computer, the other people in the CLIC Lab, and the CLIC Lab staff in general. I began looking over at other computers to see who was working on e-mail, or Netscape, or anything that wasn't a word processor. I was jealous. It wasn't incapacitating, because I still kept at it, but it was discouraging. The frustration of not knowing what I was doing at first, coupled with the frustration of knowing that asking for help would be not only be frustrating in itself but also humiliating, produced an awful compounded emotion. The only break in this came when a classmate, Puja, was seated next to me by chance. Just talking to someone who was experiencing similar frustration made me feel better (read: a lot less alone).

In order for anything to survive, it must adapt. So Chas Darwin is talking to me in my head, and he's saying that if I don't get with the Internet program sometime soon, I am going to be, in the most basic intellectual and social sense, natually selected out. Call me crazy, call it survival instinct. Regardless, knowing how to maneuver in the Internet, just the basics, is going to be invaluable to me, hence, the high rating.

As a child, I was taught a strong work ethic: if you put genuine effort, time, and desire into anything, you will reap rewards. And so I believe that if I just keep up my hours, struggling and screaming inside but still trying my best, I will get this week's tasks under my belt and build on them for my future use. So I will achieve some degree of proficiency on these tasks, maybe not everything at one time, but it will come in time.

At this point, I cannot really say how satisfied I am with the Internet itself. It would be a lie to say I am able to divorce my own feelings of frustration and inadequacy from the computer. So I can't give you an assessment of the computer and the Internet without realising those feelings as a major factor. Why wasn't the computer screen offering me more help? Why was everything so cryptic, all letters and no information? Why was the CLIC Lab staff so reluctant to give me information about the Internet systems? Why was the computer screen so damn small? All kinds of things rose up and growled.

They say getting started is the most difficult part of anything. I wonder if they have ever dreamed the Internet? Getting into the program itself was easy; the icon for Netscape was right at the beginning. I attempted to get into UNIX to e-mail Kevin; to let someone know that CyberLori lived. I could not get into UNIX from Netscape, and did not know why. I went into "anarchie", and then into "quickstart" to learn how to mail documents. I tried to mail a document, and it said that I had "not set mail server address in 'Preferences.' You cannot send mail without it. Please set." What did that mean? My address? Well, no. I couldn't send the mail.

Next came registration information, as soon as I closed the mail. I still felt as though I was doing something immensely wrong. I filled out the registration form for Netscape, which took more time than the program estimated. The information went slowly, as though there was too much on the memory, or some cyberjam. My Netscape Registration ID came out, finally, to be a set of letters...and so I suppose all the information went through.

Back to the home page, I sent the message again, using the same procedure. Now my "news fill was not connected." What??? Netscape's network connection was refused by the server? What did I do wrong now? I kept plugging away, trying everything that seemed logical, and was rewarded by "the server may not be accepting connections or may be busy. Try connecting again later." What server??? Okay, Lori, try the URL and send. Ahhhh...ahhhh...it's taking time...and then: "a News NNTP error occurred. WWW NNTP server can't talk to you. Goodbye." Well, that sounded final. Try e-mail address of Dr. James: leon@hawaii.edu and send. "Check server in URL." Okay, tried URL for Dr. James, and the same result.

At this time, I was maybe an hour and a half into my frustration and obstinancy, and decided to ask for help from the CLIC Lab desk. A young man came over and CLOSED EVERYTHING I DID. Bummer. I wasn't even on the right track. But I did get information registered with Netscape. I did receive an ID from Netscape, and I did enter some kind of drawing (hey, any prize is great with me), and I did ask for information on Netscape for future surfing. Not too bad.

The gentleman shows me in less than two minutes how to connect to UNIX. From what I remember, the steps are these: go to the hard drive, select Telnet 2.6, select UNIX, select uhunix (the first icon). There were a whole other set, the uhunix3, etc., but I believe the uhunix is a whole heck of a lot faster than the other icons. Perhaps the others are just alternative lines if I want to talk to more than one person at a time...like the Wonderphone connections from the telephone company? Well, I just let that question go; these things will come later. Then came "login:", and I entered lmorita, my password, and "pine". I got a quick blurb on commands in pine, and I requested the "Secrets of PINE" to be sent to my e-mail. I finally composed the message (yes!), and then could not figure out how to send it. What is ^X? I tried shift X, open apple X, option X, and finally, out of blind luck or maybe the pity of the Cyberspace gods, I found ctrl X, and that puppy got sent.

CyberLori lives!!!

Next was to find out how to get out of there so I could do some research on Netscape. Frankly I liked the pictures, but... So I hit the quit box in the upper left corner of the screen, just like exiting any other application. For some reason, I thought it would require something entirely foreign. I felt relieved to know that it didn't.

I hooked up to Netscape, and found the HTML Documentation Table of Contents. It went from a very clear outline with bullets to step-by-step instructions. When I first read it, I was reminded of when I was learning to program. I hated programming. But the more I read it, the more it made sense. I thought, I can use this; this is going to be essential. I printed it out for future reference. Never can tell when you might need something, like my aunt always said. I went from the Home Page (now I know what the thing is) and went to Look (or was it Find?) and it asked me for a URL. I sent in the URL on the syllabus, and lo and behold, I found Dr. James' Home Page. Very, very cool. I went on to Articles, and after bumbling around and checking things for my own interest (pretty thorough home page, Dr. James), I came upon Student Internet Feelings and Thoughts. After a quick scanning, I went to Harada's Lab Files, and then to Student Home Pages Learning the Internet. Here was something I could use when making my own home page. From there, I went to Traffic Psychology Student Lab Reports, and went Hey! It was talking about actual applications, instructions, and information for creating my own files.

After more bumbling around and feeling a beam of sunlight hit my computer (as well as my ego), I hit on Cyberspace Learning Community-Generation 2 files. Then, on to Learning Internet Cybercourse, which was interesting also. But the great part is that somewhere along this way (I regret to say I had stopped taking notes because I was getting really excited about what I could find), I found what I had been looking for all that time, the thing that would complete my assignment. I found the CyberGrail for Beginning Internet Students: Instructions for Publishing Your Reports on the WWW. PAY DIRT.

Well,sort of.

After reading it, I realized that there were other steps involved, and that I couldn't type it up on the WWW directly, and send it like e-mail. However, the CLIC Lab was closing at 3pm (because of Uncle Ben and the UH cutbacks). I had no time for any more. But after this paper is turned in, I have the instructions to publish it, and frankly, that excites me. Lori Goes Worldwide, kind of like talking penguins in children's books. Oh well. I printed out the instructions (also for future reference; I believe in foresight of some kind, and knowing me, I may never find it again...), and here I am. CyberLori coming soon to a terminal near you. Please, be kind. I still don't know what the hey I'm doing.

My fossilized errors were brutal, and more than I'd like to admit. I continually tried to access e-mail through the Netscape icon. I continually refused to ask for help from "those horrible people" at the CLIC Lab, and I tried over and over again to send e-mail through Netscape, although I had no idea what the server was. And my repeated lapses were more than lapses; they were complete amnesia. I forgot my address, Dr. James' address, how to get back to the home page, not to use the mouse to scroll up the screen in PICO, to use lowercase letters in the addresses, and my list could go on for another page.

I am proud to say, however, that I have progressed from being intimidated asking questions to asking for information quite plainly, to forwarding any information that might help in class. In an age when being able to learn how to acquire information may be more valuable than the actual information, or even knowing how to acquire the information, I consider this progression an important one. It is adapting to technology which changes every few seconds and not being afraid of such rapid change. This has been my most important lesson so far. It involved overcoming my fears (seeming stupid, slow, fear of humiliation, anger), but to know I can do this and produce feels rather good.

E-mailme,baby: but be kind lmorita@hawaii.edu