Bulletin Boards : in the early days of the personal computer, one of the wonders of having a computer in your home was the ability to plug an acoustic coupler into the machine and snug your telephone handset into the device and connect to a bulletin board. Bulletin boards allowed communities to form around topics, buy and sell things
Listservs : with “beyond the walls” email, the world of listserv where, again, communities could form simply by typing “sub me listserv x”. Communication became a “Push Technology” where people’s opinions, thoughts, questions, and even rants (remember “flame wars”?) came into our in box.
“ I don’t see why any one needs access to the internet at their offices or in the library because they can come to the central Smithsonian computer office and use it there. What would they be doing on this “internet”?”
Case Study: NASA Mars Climate Orbiter (1999) - The peer review preliminary findings indicate that one team used English units (e.g., inches, feet and pounds) while the other used metric units for a key spacecraft operation.