William Gibson\'s Neuromancer: Cyberspace


As described by William Gibson in his science fiction novel Neuromancer,
cyberspace was a "Consensual hallucination that felt and looked like a physical
space but actuallly was a computer-generated construct representing abstract
data." Years later, mankind has realized that Gibson\'s vision is very close to
reality. The term cyberspace was frequently used to explain or describe the
process in which two computers connect with each other through various telephone
lines. In this communication between the two systems there seems to be no
distance between them.
There are now four catagories that describe the major components of todays
cyber space. One oof those is commercial on-line services. These large computer
systems can host thousands of users simultaneously. When a computer user
purchases an account from the company they recieve a screen name and a password.
The user then can use his or her screen name and password to log on and use the
system. Most of the online systems have chat rooms where users can chat in real
time with one another. some users even think of on-line services as a community.
The second catagory involves Bulletin Boards or (BBS\'s). These services
allow the user accounts like their larger on-line service cousins. These BBS\'s
have less users because they run on smaller computers. The system operators,
more commonly known as sysops, are running the boards. Since most BBS\'s are
hobbies there is usually no charge for an account. The same as on-line services,
users use BBS\'s for trades, games, and to chat among other users. Since
bulletin boeard are so easy to set up there are thousands of them located around
the world. Each board has a theme. These themes range from astronomy to racist
neo-nazi crap. A boards theme helps users in their search for a board that will
satisfy their personal preference.
A third catagory is the Private System. These private systems sometime run
bulletin boards privately, not letting the public acess. In these private
systems users can perform specialized computer operations, or access to data.
Through this private network users within a company can send mail, faxes, and
other messages to each other through the companies computer network. If a
worker was to look up a customers information he could access it through the
companies private network. The public can not get access to the companies
private system unless he or she knows the systems password.
The fourth and last catagory is computer networks. These collections are a
group of connected computers that exchange information. One of the most well
known is the internet. The internet is the so called "network of networks."
Through the internet a user can transfer files to and from systems. The program
that allows this is called (FTP) File Transfer Protocol. This program allows
users to send anything from faxes to software from one to another. The progam
is taken from one computer and sent across the phone lines to the recieving
computer which compiles the information.
In cyberspace their are a number of tools a user can use. E-mail is a
popular tool which allows the transfer of electronic mail between users. This
mail more convenient than postage mail because it travels over phone lines.
Software exchange is also a popular tool. Some systems sell software while
other times it comes free of charge. The FTP program is the reason for the
speediness between transfers. Games and entertainment are another resource. A
user on-line can play a game against someone who is hundreds of miles away. It
is now possible to go shopping from the privacy of your own computer not even
having to leave your home. The chat rooms that are mostly found on-line allow
users to communicate with a variety of people together in a virtual room.
Sometimes services will allow guest speakers to have access to the rooms so
multiple users can ask questions. One popular resourse is education. A user
can find endless amounts of information either on the internet, on-line services,
chat rooms, or even personal computer software. The internet is bigger than any
library and it is possible to find any type of information needed.

Category: Technology