Guest Blogger Aris Fleming: Welcome to the Internet

Welcome to the Internet

The internet is a giant network of networks. Floating around in these networks is data, which can be defined as meaningful information. Some data like the image above may seem debatable in terms of meaningful information, but I assure you, gun wielding cats riding fire-breathing unicorns forefront-ing the Mushroom Kingdom are as vitally important to the development of the internet as the events to precursor it. The internet as we know it did not happen over night, it has been a work in progress since 1969 where the first metaphorical domino was tipped.

There was the commercial computing network, the telephone system network and the academia network; a tool to share and exchange research. These networks in addition to others were stitched together to form a global network; ARPANET, the first internet. In an attempt to homogenized communication the Defense Advanced Research Project (DARPA) of the Department of Defense created the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol, more commonly known as TCP/IP. This allowed networks of all types to connect and pass around information.

Almost a decade later the UNIX-to-UNIX copy program (UUCP) would make its mark on internet. UUCP allowed users to send files to other computers on the network who were also running UUCP. In subsequent years the USENET, CSNET and BITNET platforms were developed opening up the possibility of users emailing users. All of a sudden people were connecting for the sake of connecting. The system was gaining developmental momentum and growing in popularity. Finally, in 1982 the system was given a name; the “Internet”.                                                        

By the end of the 1980’s the National Science Foundation (NSF) implemented several supercomputer centers where users could access stored data. They did this by linking the supercomputers together with the NSF network and it is considered one of the more important backbones of the Internet. Then came 1990 and along with it a new graphical user interface giving inexperienced users an easy layout to navigate the internet. This only caused the user count to climb and climb into the millions leading the federal government to legitimize the internet with a new high-speed backbone upgrade; the National Research and Education Network (NREN).

In 1995 the internet becomes a playground for the private sector. Microsoft releases Windows 95 and its first version of Internet Explorer (yay…). Java is released by its former owner Sun Microsystems. Amazon, Craigslist and the awesomeness of Geocities debut. Geocities is a web hosting service that gave inexperienced users the tools to throw together terrible looking web pages. Typical characteristics are clashing foreground background colors, senseless visit counters, broken links and pre-Google pop-up advertising strategies to name a few. As terrible as the designs were, the hosting services created the opportunity for individuals to get involved and contribute their personal expertise.

In 1999 the infamous Napster launches paving the way for future peer-to-peer file sharing services like Folding@Home, BitTorrent and Bitcoin. The browsing market was entirely dominated by Internet Explorer and Netscape, neither of which are used today. Okay some are still using Netscape…






 Mozilla Firefox




Gangnam Style

Sites come and go, some are bought, some are sold.

The landscape of sites and services is constantly changing. Today’s champions may be tomorrow’s losers.

In regard to internet accessibility in the future, we will continue to see traditional business models like tiered plans and unlimited talk/txt/data fade away. They simply won’t be able to compete with pervailing wireless use. Eventually, the internet will become a public good like the library. Something we come to expect. Something our children laugh at us about, “You paid for internet!? Hah!” The internet provides too much for everyone involved to justify a charge from a private party.

And after that, Skynet.



Join CIS and our quest to Code 100 Hours on December 11

Don’t worry, you don’t have to code it all alone…or even know how to code.  As part of Computer Science Education Week, the CIS Department at GRCC is hosting an hour of code on Thursday, December 11 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  You can do this online or face to face in 214 ATC.  It is a great opportunity to network and learn a few things about programming (and we will have FREE swag if you show up in person!!!).  You really DO NOT NEED TO KNOW HOW TO CODE.  Together, we’ve got this! is a non-profit dedicated to expanding computer science education. The vision is that computer science should be part of the core curriculum in every school, alongside other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses, such as biology, physics, chemistry and algebra.

Why 100 hours?  Well, if you haven’t heard…it’s GRCC’s 100 year Birthday this year!  We need at least 100 hours of code on December 11.  If you are interested or want to sign up, please visit….


Register NOW for Winter 2015 & NEW Mobile Registration Stations

Registering early for Winter 2015 is important to both GRCC and YOU!  First, it allows you to get the courses you need for your degree.  Secondly, if you wait to enroll there is a chance the course may be cancelled due to low enrollment.  If you want the classes you need and want a good schedule…it would be in your best interest to REGISTER NOW!  Get your schedule together NOW!

Please take advantage of the following resources that are available to help you.

New this year will be mobile stations around campus to provide students with quick walk up access to counselors and enrollment staff.   Here is a list of their times and locations from October 14 to October 30!

Here is information as to when students can enroll based on credits earned.  Registration opens TODAY, October 14, for students with 30+ credits.  Check out the schedule for your enrollment date!

Visit the Counseling and Career Center if you have questions about class selection…or see your department academic adviser.

Do you know about the FACTS payment plan – a way to break up your winter tuition payment? There is no down payment for students who enroll by December 10.



Hour of code coming up and you are challenged!

Just days after becoming the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner in history, Yousafzai took to YouTube to implore young women and girls in every country to do one hour of code. “You can do it, even if you don’t have a computer,” she tells the audience.

Who’s in? 

CIS Academic Advising Day October 9

CIS Academic Advising Day this Thursday, 3 – 5:30 p.m., 118 ATC! 


Need advice, not sure what to take next???  No appointment needed!

This advising day is for current and future CIS students to receive
information on our degrees, what classes they should be taking
and transfer opportunities!

Did you know that each curriculum code/program degree has a department adviser?  It does!  I am the adviser for those in the Code 147 Network Administration.  If you are not sure who your department adviser is, first identify what degree you are going after, and call our department administrative assistant to find out who advises under your code.  Our secretary’s name is Kelsee Mullins and you can email her at or call her at 616-234-3670.

Other important things you and your adviser needs to do for Departmental Level Academic Advising…

1. We need to insure you are in the correct plan code for your degree. Please ask students their plans for transfer or work to make sure they are placed either the AA or AAAS degree and the correct curriculum code. Recent changes to federal financial aid makes this much more critical than in the past.

2. My Career Path student information has been updated and corrected over the summer and is more accurate than in the past for 2011-2014 catalogs. MCP can now be used accurately for course placement/selection and graduation audit information.  Use it!

3. Students changing degree programs will start with the catalog in effect at the time of the change. This is NEW policy.

4. Students who leave the college for more than two calendar years and re-enroll will follow the catalog in effect at the time of the re-enrollment. This is NEW policy.

5. Students must complete an application to graduate This is NEW policy.

See you tomorrow if you are able.  If not, email me for personal phone of face to face appointment for advising.

Registration opens soon.  Know what you’re doing with your life!  Take charge of your degree!

Katie Vander Meer, Professor