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April 1996 Stories

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The following stories appeared on the Potomac KnowledgeWay's Regional News page during April 1996.

All links within stories are verified at the time of publication, but some may have changed or no longer be available.

What's New for the Crossroads Web Site?

The Arc of Northern Virginia Introduces Online System

April 29, 1996 -- The Internet is changing the way parents of a child with a disability in Northern Virginia can access the maze of services available to meet their needs. The Association of Retarded Citizens of Northern Virginia (The Arc), an advocacy and support organization for families and individuals with mental retardation and related disabilities, recently developed an online system called NoVa's Arc. The system was created with the support and assistance from the Morino Institute.

NoVa's Arc is designed to meet the communication and information needs of people with disabilities, their families and friends and the professionals who work with them. Currently, NoVa's Arc houses all of their Information and Referral files including information on schools, respite care, residential options, and legal services.

This new communications medium has revolutionized the way Arc does business. Through NoVa's Arc, consumers can access critical information at any time. In addition, NoVa's Arc has opened the door to explore new ways of supporting the programs and services they provide. Eventually, NoVa's Arc will sponsor listserve support groups for families with members with disabilities. These groups will allow families to communicate with each other online at any time of the day or night in the comfort of their own home.

The Arc of Northern Virginia is hoping to use NoVa's Arc to cut costs, restructure programs and possibly generate income.

Electric Press Announces Turn-Key Intranet Sites

Reston, VA, April 29, 1996 -- Electric Press of Reston, Virginia announced that it would begin offering complete intranet solutions for businesses and other organizations. Intranets look like Internet sites, but they are used internally by an organization. They are closed network communications systems which use Internet-style technologies (such as World Wide Web, email and ftp capabilities) to help an organization improve its internal and constituent communications.

Some examples of how organizations use intranets are: forming internal discussion groups, distributing internal communications including policy manuals and forms, providing direct access to corporate databases, and supporting distributed teams of employees. Intranets are one of the fastest growing applications of organizational network communications.

"Organizations now have a single way to access diverse internal corporate information," says Duffy Mazan, president of Electric Press. "The Electric Press Intranet is a powerful tool that streamlines the distribution of sales and marketing support, personnel and training information, corporate communications, among other areas." According to Mazan, what makes the Electric Press offerings both turnkey and unique is that they include not just the hardware/software bundle, but development of the initial content as well.

Based in the KnowledgeWay, A HREF="[">Electric Press is one of the nation's largest developers and managers of Web sites. Priced at $35,000, the company's Intranet service is a complete turn-key, fixed-price solution that provides everything from the hardware server to the cables, including Web server software, database engine, up to 100 pages of formatted content, tools for database access and content development, and more.

Volunteers Needed to Install Refurbished Computers on Saturday

April 25, 1996 -- Volunteers are needed to help out on Tech Day scheduled for this Saturday, April 27th. Seven schools throughout D.C. have offered to serve as drop-off sites for people in their area who have used and unwanted computer equipment they wish to donate. In return, each school will receive ten 286 and 386 computers from the Lazarus Foundation and Computer Reclaimation Center. Volunteers are needed to install (plug in) these 10 computers at each one of the schools.

A presentation of the 10 refurbished computers will be made to the principals from the participating schools between 1:00pm and 2:00pm on Saturday afternoon at the National 4-H Center in Chevy Chase, MD. From ther, one or two volunteers (depending on how many there are) will accompany the principals back to their schools to install the computers. It will only take an afternoon; it doesn't require a lot of technical knowledge; you'll get a free Tech Day '96 T-shirt; and it will really help out the schools.

The following are the 7 drop-off sites in D.C.:

  • Ward 2: Jefferson JHS, located at 8th & H Streets, S.W.
  • Ward 3: Key ES, located at Dana Place & Hurst Terrace, N.W.
  • Ward 4: J.R. Keene ES, located at 33 Riggs Road, N.E.
  • Ward 4: Nativity Catholic Academy, located at 6008 Georgia Avenue, N.W.
  • Ward 6: Hine JHS, located at 8th Street & Pennsylvania Avenue, S.E.
  • Ward 8: W.B. Patterson ES, located at South Capitol & Elmira Streets, S.W.
  • Ward 8: Clara Muhammad School, located at 2313 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, S.E.

If you would like to help, please contact Mark Root by e-mail or by phone (202-393-2427).

Drop-off Sites To Donate Computer Equipment

The following are the 10 final drop-off sites in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia for individuals and organizations who want to donate used and unwanted computer equipment to area schools who need them. For more information, contact Mark Root at 202-393-2427 or e-mail

In Washington, D.C.:

  • Ward 2: Jefferson JHS, located at 8th & H Streets, S.W.
  • Ward 3: Key ES, located at Dana Place & Hurst Terrace, N.W.
  • Ward 4: J.R. Keene ES, located at 33 Riggs Road, N.E.
  • Ward 4: Nativity Catholic Academy, located at 6008 Georgia Avenue, N.W.
  • Ward 6: Hine JHS, located at 8th Street & Pennsylvania Avenue, S.E.
  • Ward 8: W.B. Patterson ES, located at South Capitol & Elmira Streets, S.W.
  • Ward 8: Clara Muhammad School, located at 2313 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, S.E.

In Maryland:

  • Rockville HS, located at 2100 Baltimore Road, Rockville, MD
  • Bradly Hills ES, located at 8701 Hartsdale Avenue, Bethesda, MD

In Virginia:

  • Thomas Jefferson HS for Science and Technology, located at 6560 Braddock Road, Alexandria, VA

Volunteers Needed For Computer Refurbishing At Tech Day 96
Effort To Benefit Children In Potomac Region

April 24, 1996 -- On Saturday, April 27th, the area's first Tech Day will be held to collect, refurbish and deliver used and unwanted computer equipment to area schools that need them. Drop-off sites have been set up in schools in Maryland, D.C., and Virginia to collect the donations. Volunteers are needed to help staff the drop-off sites and to inventory the equipment as it is brought in. If you wish to help out at a drop-off site, contact Mark Root at (202) 393-2427 or email Volunteers are also needed to help repair a large number of computers that have already been donated. This process will take place at the National 4H Conference Center off Connecticut Avenue in Chevy Chase, Maryland, beginning at 8:30am and lasting until 4:00pm. Here you will experience the art of computer recycling, learn how to perform computer diagnostics, install memory chips, floppy drives and hard drives. Later that day you'll have the opportunity to accompany a principal back to his or her school to install at least six of the newly refurbished computers. If you wish to volunteer, just show up on Saturday.

You will have fun, learn more about the machine that impacts our lives, and, more importantly, you will ensure that deserving children in our region are equipped with the technology and skills they need to build a brighter future for themselves and their families. Tech Day 96 is co-sponsored by the Potomac KnowledgeWay Project.

To learn more about Tech Day and the drop-off sites that have been set up, you can call the Tech Day '96 Information Hotline at: (202) 628-TECH (8324) or check out the Tech Day '96 home page at

Finalists Selected for Fairfax County Small Business Awards

April 23, 1996 -- Small Business Week, sponsored by the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce and the Washington Business Journal, will take place the week of May 6th. This week-long event acknowledges and celebrates the achievements and contributions of small business leaders throughout Fairfax County. Events for the week will include a Breakfast Exchange on Tuesday, May 7th at the Fairview Park Marriott, and a Technology Seminar and Power Mixer on Wednesday, May 8th at the Center For Innovative Technology in Herndon, VA. Small Business Week will culminate with the Small Business Awards Luncheon on May 10th, at the Ritz Carlton in Tysons Corner.

The Awards will be presented by Mario Morino, chairman of the Morino Institute, Chairman of the Potomac KnowledgeWay Project, and founder of Legent Corporation. Morino is known as a leading advisor in the information technology industry, and is this year's recipient of the Legacy of Leadership Ward co-sponsored by the Washington Business Journal. Thirty-three companies have been chosen as finalists and will compete for ten Small Business Awards including the new Potomac KnowledgeWay Award!

For more information on how to attend Small Business Week, you can visit the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce's homepage, the Crossroads' events page or call 703-749-0400.

Bell & Howell Announces First Shareholders' Meeting on the Net

April 23, 1996 -- The Interactive News Network reports that Bell & Howell Co. announced its first Shareholders' Meeting will be broadcast over the Internet with Progessive Network's RealAudio software. Bell & Howell, best known for its motion picture equipment, went public last year and its first annual meeting on the Internet will be broadcast "Live" at 8 a.m. on May 16.

AT&T's Internet Toll-free Directory Offers Hyperlinks From Listings

April 23, 1996 -- According to the Interactive News Network, AT&T has announced that its Toll-Free Internet Directory now includes hyperlinks to the Web sites of AT&T's over 150,000 customers. AT&T also plans to host customers' Web pages and provide them with up to four pages of ad space and e-mail services.

Impact Online Offers Free Web Presence to Nonprofits

April 23, 1996 -- Impact Online announced a new service beginning April 25 which enables nonprofit organizations to instantly establish a presence on the Web. Impact Online, a registered nonprofit, will host logo, address and descriptive information on its nonprofit database searchable from the Web. Through its Web database, Impact Online enables concerned individuals to more easily and efficiently access information about potential volunteer opportunities.

Nominations for NII Awards Deadline May 1

April 22, 1996 -- Do you know of a great example of how networking technology has had major benefit for a business, government service, community group or school? Perhaps your own organization has a significant story to tell about using the new medium for news, entertainment, commerce, arts or the humanities?

If so, the National Information Infrastructure (NII) Awards should hear about it. Soon.

The second annual NII Awards is inviting nominations of exemplary success stories of how networked communications and applications are working today to improve our quality of life and demonstrating the potential of the NII. To enter, you can send email to and follow the instructions; or, visit the Awards Web site. Deadline for your entry is May 1 and there is no entry fee.

The awards are designed to help the global community realize the potential of a networked society by recognizing best practices, examples of excellence and by helping others learn from those examples. Awards are given in ten categories: Arts and Entertainment, Business, Children, Community, Education, GII Next Generation, Government, Health, Public Access and Telecollaboration.

The Awards are sponsored by more than 60 industry, community and government leaders. Vice President Gore calls the NII Awards "important to our future" and Newt Gingrich says the Awards are "a model for how important national objectives can be achieved." Winners will be honored at a special ceremony in September.

If your organization uses electronic communications to enhance the services you offer, we encourage you to apply. Please make others aware of this program and encourage those with compelling accomplishments to apply.

Kirwan and Tydings to Join Potomac KnowledgeWay Board

Reston, VA, April 16, 1996 -- The Potomac KnowledgeWay Project today announced that William (Brit) E. Kirwan, Ph.D., president of the University of Maryland at College Park, and John R. Tydings, president of The Greater Washington Board of Trade, have joined its board of directors.

"The addition of two well-known and highly respected leaders underscores the Project's expanded focus and commitment to serving the interests of the entire greater Washington region," said Mario Morino, chairman of the Potomac KnowledgeWay Project. "Brit and John will help us reach out to a broader segment of the community and better serve the area's businesses, individuals and institutions."

The KnowledgeWay is focusing on four primary initiatives: increasing the awareness of what the communications revolution means to companies, individuals and institutions in the region; cultivating network driven entrepreneurship; promoting a net-savvy workforce; and advancing a regional information infrastructure that will improve and facilitate connectedness throughout the region.

"I am excited to become part of such a vital and innovative project," said Kirwan, who has served as the University's president since 1989 and has been a professor and administrator at College Park for more than 30 years. "My interest in finding creative, business-oriented solutions to educational challenges and in advancing the interests of the future workforce and the community makes this an exciting opportunity, one which meshes well with the strengths of this University," he added. Kirwan is credited with leading several significant University initiatives, including streamlining academic offerings, recruiting and retaining distinguished faculty and initiating a successful capital campaign. He is also known as a visionary and consensus builder.

Tydings, a long-time advocate and representative of the business community in the greater Washington region, will be a tremendous asset to the board. "The Potomac KnowledgeWay's efforts complement those of the Board of Trade," said Tydings, a founder of Leadership Washington and secretary to the Metropolitan Washington Council of Chambers of Commerce. "The greater Washington business community has an incredible opportunity to position itself for the future based on some emerging new strengths. I want to help shape that future through the Potomac KnowledgeWay Project," he added.

Formed in June 1995, the Potomac KnowledgeWay Project has quickly emerged as a powerful and positive force in the greater Washington region. It is committed to establishing the region as one that has embraced the communications revolution and prospered from it by educating the community and workforce about the enormous opportunities the communications revolution represents.

Bios of the new board members are available on the Project's Organization page on the Crossroads. For more information, call Clair Sassin at (703) 620-8975 or email You may also contact Diane Perlman, (703) 351-5666.

Potomac KnowledgeWay Sponsors Special HTML Class

April 16, 1996 -- The Potomac KnowledgeWay sponsored a special class on HTML programming on April 11th for the Northern Virginia CAD User's Group, and the American Society of Civil Engineers. Over 25 representatives from area organizations attended the class called "Introduction to HTML." The class was taught by Peter Bostrom, the WebMaster for the Potomac KnowledgeWay's Web site, Crossroads, located at URL /. Though the class was comprised of technical staff with varying levels of Internet expertise, it appears that everyone benefited from the instruction.

The class was particularly fascinated by how easy the techniques were, and clearly expressed their acceptance of the Internet programming language. According to Bostrom, the enthusiasm was very contagious. He said there was lots of interaction, questions and sharing of experiences and ideas.

The Potomac KnowledgeWay will be starting a WebMasters Discussion Group shortly on the Crossroads web site. The next Potomac KnowledgeWay class on HTML programming and Web Design is scheduled for May 4th for the American Studies Association to be held at George Mason University.

American Express Launches "Travel Express" on the World Wide Web

April 16, 1996 -- PR NewsWire reports that consumers surfing the Web for vacation travel and flight options now have access to an interactive airline booking capability backed by the world-renowned customer service of American Express(R) Travel. Travel Express, a Web site recently launched by American Express, is now listed in Yahoo and will be added to other popular search engines on the Web.

"The number of people logging onto the World Wide Web is growing dramatically and this is an important channel through which we can reach our customers," said Mike Mulligan, Senior Vice President of Interactive Travel at American Express.

Travel Express is simple to use. Users fill in a few blanks on the screen about when and where they want to go, then the system searches for the best ticket price or most convenient flights in the same reservations systems used by thousands of travel agents. The best options pop up quickly, listed by the user's preferences. In a snap, users can check out the price or search for other options, then book their own reservations online. Consumers can also browse through a selection of exciting, high-value vacation packages while visiting the site.

Travel Express offers a secure environment for customers who wish to purchase tickets online, provided the customer is using a version of Web browser software such as Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Explorer with security features for financial transactions.

Bell Atlantic Is Latest Telecom Internet Provider

April 16, 1996 -- The Wall Street Journal reports that Bell Atlantic plans to offer businesses and consumers Internet access and a full suite of Internet products, including Netscape's browser software and a one-button click to the Microsoft Network. Bell Atlantic Internet Solutions also will include local sports scores and local government information. "Our overall goal is to make the Internet as simple as using the telephone," says the president of the new division.

Netscape Teams Up With GE Information Services

April 16, 1996 -- The Wall Street Journal reports that Netscape Communications and General Electric's Information Services unit located in Rockville Maryland, have formed a joint venture called Actra Business Systems to market software solutions for conducting business-to-consumer transactions over the Internet. The Actra venture capitalizes on Netscape's encryption technology and ease of use and GE's leadership in electronic data interchange, or EDI.

Northern Virginia Firm Digital Focus Provides Java Developers With Special World Wide Web Site

April 11, 1996 -- Addressing the needs of Java developers around the world, Digital Focus Corporation of Fairfax, Virginia earlier this year unveiled The Java(TM) Developer - the industry's first World Wide Web FAQ (frequently asked question) Site focused on helping developers to resolve technical problems in an environment where technology is still young and information is scarce. The Java(TM) Developer, which is designed to be highly interactive, allows programmers to submit questions and find answers from the frequently asked to the obscure. The FAQ addresses needs of all levels of expertise, from Java programming fundamentals to sophisticated application-specific issues.

The Java(TM) Developer contains lists of resources of particular interest to developers and programmers including development tools and products, print resources, as well as Internet and Web-based resources. Both stand-alone and corporate resources can be listed on the FAQ for free. In addition, users can join the Java(TM) Developer Network, an international association created to leverage and assist independent and corporate programmers all over the world.

The Java(TM) Developer FAQ site, has already been extremely successful. The site was recently voted one of the top ten Information Resources as ranked by Small-Young Award for Web Interactivity. Over 1400 developers are using the site including a broad spectrum of programmers from Europe, Asia-Pacific and the U.S.

Digital Focus is the premier, independent Java developer's resource center. The company has made a strategic commitment to the support of programmers and to the development of new technology shaping our future.

For more information please e-mail:, or call 800.765.5012.

KnowledgeWay Company Provides Travel Services Through Online Web Site

April 10, 1996 -- In order to remain competitive in the rapidly evolving knowledge revolution, Cal Simmons Travel of Alexandria, Virginia established a Web site in early 1995 to provide its services to the rapidly growing number of people obtaining travel information online. In an effort to retain customers who now prefer to access travel information via the Internet, and to attract new customers looking to purchase travel services online, their home page offers access to instant flight schedules, fares, and other travel-related information. Travelers can review this information and actually book a reservation that will then be ticketed and delivered. The Web site also provides the Cal Simmons travel team with effective quality control by reviewing reservation plans made online. Customers get both the personal touch and speed of delivery.

According to Laura Machanic, Director of Sales for Cal Simmons Travel, "we realized that our 30-minute return call policy might not be fast enough for some people in this Information Age, so we positioned ourselves to provide instant information through our online service." You can contact Cal Simmons Travel online. In a related footnote to this story, Cal Simmons Travel is a member of the Potomac KnowledgeWay Project's Net-Worker Program. Machanic is pleased with the impact the Net-Worker Program has had on her company saying "[the Net-Worker Program] got me energized to push myself and my company forward in our online endeavors."

25 Companies Represented at KnowledgeWay Net-Worker Orientation Session At CIT

Reston, VA, April 9, 1996 -- On April 3, The Potomac KnowledgeWay Project held its second in an ongoing series of Net-Worker Orientation Sessions, which was hosted by CIT--Virginia's Center for Innovative Technology--and conducted by two members of the Potomac KnowledgeWay team, Cathy Lange and Rana Jaffan. Twenty-five companies and organizations were represented at the meeting.

As a participant in the Net-Worker Program, an organization assigns a senior level representative or "Net-Worker," who provides the leadership, vision and encouragement to help your organization understand, apply and benefit from this pervasive phenomenon. The Net-Worker, supported by the Potomac KnowledgeWay team, serves as a conduit of information from the Project while working with and leveraging the experience of other Net-Workers from other organizations.

Attendees at the April 3 meeting included First Union Bank, George Mason University, BTG, Cal Simmons Travel, McGuire Woods Battle and Boothe, Northern Virginia Community College, Washington Council of Agencies, Technology Resource Alliance, SOS Technologies, Informatics, Dewberry and Davis, NVTC, Techmatics, Ritzert and Leyton, PC, Leadership Fairfax, Center for Applied Telecommuncations, Inova, and TSS Technical Services.

Participants attending the orientation meeting were pleased with the outcome of the meeting which is designed to encourage them to engage their respective organizations in the knowledge revolution. Here are just a few of the comments:

"Thanks for a very upbeat and interesting session this morning...It got me so energized to push myself and my company forward in our online endeavors!"

"My next step is to join the discussion group and implement the Checklist"

"Great examples of homepages!"

"Would be very interested in mentoring program as I have been developing designs for us and others!"

"I think this is great! I would like to see some discussions about the need for this resource for rural regions"

"Smooth presentation! Good visuals, articulate spokesperson!"

"Excellent presentation...what's the next level and when?"

For more information about the Net-Worker Program and the Net-Worker Checklist, visit the Potomac KnowledgeWay Web site, Crossroads. The next Net-Worker Orientation is scheduled for Friday, May 3 from 9-11 a.m. at CIT; please confirm by email or call 703-620-8975 Ext 152, Cathy Lange. We look forward to seeing you then!!

Recycling: New Life for Old Computers.
And a New KnowledgeWay Action Team

Reston, VA, April 8, 1996 -- On March 12, 1996 some 20 regional leaders in computer recycling and mentoring met at the Potomac KnowledgeWay Project's office to compare ideas. Computer recycling is a grass-roots movement that is growing thanks to the work of volunteers and organizations across the country. Recyclers accept computer equipment donated from businesses, institutions and individuals. They refurbish the equipment and get it into the hands of people who can use it- kids in schools, neighborhood centers, seniors facilities, underprivileged neighborhoods-wherever there's a pressing need but few resources.

Recycling and mentoring leaders met and formed a new KnowledgeWay Action Team which determines ways to advance awareness and effectiveness of recycling efforts within the region. People leading efforts in Maryland, DC and Virginia have been doing related work independent of one another. They included:

  • Don Bard the founder of the Lazarus Foundation, who works with Cardoza High School students and other area schools to provide computers and computer mentoring
  • Michael Wiggins of Computer Reclamation Inc., which places some 450 recycled computers each month in DC and Maryland schools and on-profit organizations
  • Ken Chapman of The National Trust, who is involved both in providing computers and points of public access
  • Kevin Dolan, founder of the National Computer Recycling/Mentoring Association
  • Tom Tate, head of Americans Communicating Electronically
  • Bob Kelly of Second Chance, a computer recycler for public schools in Fairfax County
  • Paul Foldes, who has worked for many years in computer recycling efforts and has compiled a directory of major initiatives across the US

Attendees also included: Adam Dennis, Fred Williams, Don Bard, Mark Root, Dane H. vonBreichenruchardt, Joan Daly, Diane Perlman, Peter Bostrom, Zim Putney.

Participants found they had a great deal to share in common experience and needs. While the team is still coalescing, some members are already involved in the planning and coordinating of the first National Computer Recycling/Mentoring Conference that is scheduled in Chevy Chase, Maryland, later this month.

By facilitating and expanding the regional efforts of organizations involved in technology recycling and mentoring, the Action Team hopes to enhance the communications and personal achievement of those in our society who are at risk to be excluded from these technologies. The Potomac KnowledgeWay Project is pleased to have helped bring everyone together and to support their team efforts.

Virginia Telecommunications Summit Report Available On-Line

Reston, VA, April 1, 1996 -- The Virginia Technology Council, in conjunction with the Center for Innovative Technology, has posted their report on a series of telecommunications summits held across the Commonwealth in late 1995. These summits were held at the request of Robert T. Skunda, Secretary of Commerce and Trade, and the report was submitted to him in December, 1995. Secretary Skunda then shared the report's recommendations with Governor George Allen.

Between October 11 and November 21 four telecommunications summits were held in Fairfax, Danville, Norfolk, and Wytheville, Virginia. On December 12 the Virginia Technology Council met and approved reports on those summits and ten recommendations organized around four key areas: technology awareness and economic development; regulation; access, cost and user facilitation; and education and training. Three of these areas were highlighted as Virginia businesses' leading and most urgent telecommunications priorities: Access, especially for rural businesses and institutions; Education and Training, especially in workplaces; and Financial Incentives which would provide locally matched awards to localities that want to develop plans for infrastructure development and deployment.

This report can be found on the CIT Web site. For further information, contact Maxine Lunn by emailing or calling (703) 689-3034.

Old Macintosh Computers To Aide in Adult Literacy Programs

April 1, 1996 -- The Computer Assisted Literacy Center of DC is starting a pilot project to loan older Macintosh computers to adult learners in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. If you know of anyone with an older Macintosh they would like to donate to a worthy cause, please contact Phil Shapiro at (202)686-5465,, or Paula Johnson Williams, Adult Basic Education Office, MLK Library, (202) 727-1616,

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