UpDate - Vol. 15, No. 29, Page TT-1 April 25, 1996 TechTalk 'Personals' We are used to thinking of the Internet as an extension of only the academic functions of the University. But, it also extends our community. The summer before he went away to college in Ohio, Greg Wilson met a young lady who was about to enroll at the University of Delaware. Throughout the school year, the two of them exchanged multiple e-mail messages every day. Eventually, they began to discuss which of them would transfer to the other's university. Wilson transferred to UD and is now a sophomore neuroscience major. "At my old school, we didn't have Web access," Wilson said. In addition to being able to do research from his residence hall room, he has found the technology at Delaware fascinating. "I've been playing around with CUSeeMe conferencing software. And, even little things like being able to check my dining plan over the Web are great." He has continued to use the Internet to stay in touch with others and corresponds regularly with friends and relatives in places as far away as Denver; Cambridge, England; and Brussels, Belgium. "When my friend, Fran, and I went to Nashville last spring to see 'A Prairie Home Companion' live at the Ryman auditorium, we got our tickets through someone I met in the rec.music.folk newsgroup," Debbie Durant, systems security and access, said. "He was a member of the local public radio station, and we bought his ticket so he'd stand in line and buy four for us." Graduate student Laura Chutny reports that "I ordered 'Godiva' Chocolates for my sweetheart for Valentine's Day over the Web!" Brent Thompson, nursing, has had a variety of Internet experiences. In addition to winning two t-shirts from MacMillan publishing for entering some of their "Top 10" contests (http://www.SuperLibrary.com/120742471430043/bookstore/tt2.html), he has regularly "purchased books and laserdiscs through the Web and have been very satisfied with the experience." Thompson said he has no qualms about making credit card purchases over the Net. "When I give my credit card number over the phone for mail order purchases, any unscrupulous salesperson could take the number from any store where I use the card. So what difference does it make to send it over the net?" Thompson said that, in both cases, he feels adequately protected against fraud; however, he tries to use a credit card whose company is good about dealing with disputed charges at all times. Every summer, Thompson goes to Cliff Island, Maine, a small island in Casco Bay. "It has been fun to keep up with the 'news' of the island through their Web page (http://www.mainelink.net/~clifisle/)," he said. The island has fewer than 100 winter residents, "But, we summer people use the net to keep in touch with the island." Thompson said that when a barn housing the largest business on the island burned down around Thanksgiving, he was able to read first-hand accounts and see pictures of the fire and aftermath. David Ingersoll, political science, and his wife, Jo, researched vacation spots using the Web and USENET newsgroups, deciding to go to Guadeloupe in the French West Indies. On a shuttle bus taking them to a connecting flight at the San Juan airport, they struck up a conversation with another couple. "We were shocked when they suddenly asked if we were the Ingersolls! It turns out they had seen Jo's postings to a travel newsgroup and had sent her one short letter." Michael Porter, network and system services, said there are some large vendors of books and CDs whose catalogs he and his wife use as a "books in print" or "CDs available" list. "We have made use of the CD vendors when my wife is looking for a specific song. This is particularly useful for old songs that have appeared on many CD compilations. She is able to see all the compilations and buy the CD that is most likely to be useful in addition to whatever song she is looking for," he said. Porter added that since he and his wife are both avid figure skating fans, during the recent world figure skating championships, "We pretty much needed to get a second phone line at home!" He and his wife were online constantly, checking schedules, results and detailed articles about the events.