Internet has a huge impact on all our lives

Published 1:56 am Wednesday, December 16, 2009

By By Lowell McGill
Whoever thought there would be an Internet 50 years ago?
Some are under the impression it does not exists today while some know it exists but simply fail to admit it.
And, there are some who want to learn more about it but are afraid to.
Many of those who closely followed Heisman voting last week don’t realize that many votes for the Alabama running back were “sent up” to Heisman headquarters via the Internet.
I have friends who frequently tell me “I don’t have a computer, I am not on the Internet and I want no part of it”. There probably have been times in their lives or there will be times in their future where the Internet could, perhaps, save their lives. You see, doctors, surgeons, hospitals and clinics rely on the Internet for reference, medical records and even robot surgical operations. Yes, specialist surgeons, who live in foreign countries, can actually perform an operation on patients right here in the USA.
The reason I used this subject this week is because of an email response I received from an earlier Internet column I wrote. That person, who has macular degeneration, explained how she used my information to “hook up” her laptop computer to a $39 wireless router, which allowed her to sit in her den and watch TV shows, ball games and newscasts. She could also pull up the “Mobile Press Register” and read it on her computer. Her laptop has actually become her TV. The eye condition prevents her from watching her regular TV.
There are so many ways to use the Internet. Sadly, it has almost caused the use of encyclopedias to become obsolete because you can find any subject you want by simply typing it in on your online webpage and bring it up.
One drawback is use of email, as opposed to writing letters, has injured postal profits. I am sure you are aware of the recent rise in the cost of postage stamps. This is unfortunate, however, some researchers say don’t blame the internet-just rearrange the US Post Office Department.
College students are finding the Internet helpful. They can now take many of their classes online without having to physically attend the campus. This saves much money because living on campus costs a lot of money nowadays.
Workers employed in large firms are staying home and performing their work with a computer and Internet. And, this is a trend growing more and more each day.
With the Internet you can email and receive family photos of friends and relatives. You can even develop your photos with a color printer.
As stated, all your TV shows, movies, ballgames are now available “in vivid color” on your computer via the internet.
I use it to write my column and to send it up to the Advance office each week without having to carry it there. In fact, all news stories I write for the Advance are written in my office at home and sent by Internet to the Advance office. When I did FEMA work my claims were inserted and sent in to our main office via the internet.
I could go on and on with all that the internet has to offer but it would require additional pages in this newspaper to do this.
It will not be very long before we fully enter the “Internet TV” age. You will be seeing less outside satellite dishes and more Internet connections for viewing. However, I won’t get into this now because this is a subject that requires much more explanation. But, you can count on it coming. In fact you will hear more about it in 2010.
I am not a computer technician, by no means. But I really admire those who have been properly trained to work on the computer, write software programs and diagnose computer problems. I think this is what really turns many away from wanting to become computer and Internet “oriented”. They shouldn’t feel bad about this.
I was never trained to do it back when I was in high school and college many years ago. I have been ‘dabbing” with it now for only the past few years but each day I find myself learning more and more about it. My doctor says the Internet is good to prevent Alzheimer’s Disease. He says it keeps your mind fresh and alert.
Farmers and contractors particularity should know about websites that give information about weather now and next month and even months from now. That’s how I learned about our receiving abnormal rains now and for the next month or so. As I wrote earlier it is due to El Nino conditions which are fully explained on several internet websites.
And, if you are really reluctant to “get into the internet” ask your 13-year-old grandchild to teach you. He will teach you all you need to know about it.
Now, let’s take a look at some nostalgic news from the year 1975.
Our Little League teams were managed by some dedicated men back then. Arthur Brantley and Jerry Colbert coached The First National Bank team. The Rotary Club Tigers were under the guidance of John Mitchell and Jim Monroe. Maxwell-Haley Cubs were managed by Eleyan Amerson “Doodle” Purvis and Al Amerson.
Charles Wicker and Earl Gunn led the Bank of Atmore Warriors and Ed Brown and Glen Simmons guided the American Legion Eagles. The Lions Club Cardinals were directed by Jim Corman, Robert Dean and Freddy Troutman.
Rene (Norris) Godwin, the pretty blonde daughter of James and Nan Reia Norris was crowned Miss Atmore Little League Queen.
She is now the wife of Lamar Godwin. Incidentally, Cassie, her older daughter graduated from the University of Alabama last week. One other daughter, Olivia, is a sophomore at UA.
Harriet Thomas (RN), wife of Dr. William E Thomas was recognized by the Alabama Heart Fund Association for directing our local chapter to one of the most outstanding Heart Fund Chapters in the state.
There was a rare treat on the local golf course that year. H.C. Williams and Frank Slay each scored “holes in one” in separate tournaments. Both men were regarded as avid golfers.
Woodrow Mclain Parker, a graduate of Escambia County Training School and the University of Florida, was named the director of Physical and Vocational Counseling Center at UOF. Dr. Parker holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree from that university.
Mrs. Joyce McGhee, widow of former tribal Chairman Calvin McGhee, passed away in 1975. Mrs. McGhee was active with her husband in Creek Indian affairs, having traveled with him on several occasions to The Bureau of Indian Affairs in Washington, D.C.
There was a gala State Academy Rodeo held at Atmore Saddle Club under the direction of Glen Jernigan. Some of the winning participants were Eddie Presley, Mike Ward, Gary Hetzel, Jay Blacksher, Chuck Flowers, Steve Jernigan, Tony James, Elizabeth Hildreth and Shane Mason.
Next week, I will have more from 1975 plus a closer look at some of your emails.
Lowell McGill is a historical columnist for The Atmore Advance. He can be reached at

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