Whatever happened to …


(Educational Network of Ontario/Réseau éducatif de l’Ontario)

I had two forays into the internet originally.  I had a Compuserve account which came with an email address.  The problem with this was that it was some numbered account.  I can’t even remember it now.  But imagine giving out your email address like this:

Hi, I’m Doug.  You can contact me at 12345678@compuserve.com.

Well, actually if it was that simple, perhaps.

Around the same time, Ontario educators had the opportunity to become a member of ENOREO.  It was free and gave unfettered access to the internet.  The only fetter was that you had to be able to dial into the service to get connected.  If memory serves me correctly, our access locally was through the Windsor Board of Education’s IT Department which was allocated eight dial-in lines to get connected.

It was exciting to dial in and get “on-line”.  I had run a BBS for a number of years for fun, enjoyment, and the opportunity for students to upload assignments and converse with me and other students after hours so the concept wasn’t entirely new.  The connections through ENOREO were different through.

Through a text-based interface, you could connect with other Ontario Educators and discuss the educational issues of the day, 24 hours a day.  It really seemed like magic.  It also enabled classrooms to get connected with other classrooms world-wide for projects.  One that comes to mind was the Flat Stanley Project.  We all admire project ideas that have longevity; it’s awesome that Flat Stanley exits today.  You can get involved at the link above.

I do think that the whole concept of getting connected with other educators greatly influenced my subsequent use of Social Media for education.

ENOREO died for a couple of reasons, it seems to me.  First, eight phone lines for dialing in was a real challenge and “give up-able” after a while.  Getting your email seemed so important so I did keep trying…and trying…and trying…and trying.  The other thing was that access to the internet became increasingly more important and, with the advent of modern web browsers, so much more exciting than text.  So much for getting online just for the content!

ENOREO did make an impact on how teachers in Ontario connected.  It’s interesting to see how many resources still link to the original domain!  Who doesn’t enjoy a broken link?

Memories of this came back this week as I reflected earlier about my username for most social media things.  “dougpete” was assigned to me via ENOREO who created your account and let you know username and password. There was no room for creativity.  The original domain enoreo.on.ca has long gone but is not forgotten here.

For a Sunday, how about your thoughts?

  • were you ever a member of ENOREO?
  • if you were, what did you use it for?
  • if you were not, what was your first connection to the internet?
  • can you remember your original username?
  • have you ever belonged to a service that uses a traditional modem and a phone line to connect to a service?  If so, what was the highest baud rate you remember?
  • how did you pronounce it?  I can recall two different ways.
    • eh NOR EEE OH

Do you have an idea or thought that would be appropriate for my “Whatever happened to … ” series of blog posts?

Please visit this Padlet and add your idea.  I’d love for it to be an inspiration for a post!

Published by dougpete

The content of this blog is generated by whatever strikes my fancy at any given point. It might be computers, weather, political, or something else in nature. I experiment and comment a lot on things so don't take anything here too seriously; I might change my mind a day later but what you read is my thought and opinion at the time I wrote it! My personal website is at: http://www.dougpeterson.ca Follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dougpete I'm bookmarking things at: http://www.diigo.com/user/dougpete

2 thoughts on “Whatever happened to …

  1. Good morning Doug!

    Oh yes! I remember ENOREO. And I also remember The Electronic Village. I’m not sure which one preceded the other, or whether one was a subset of the other, or whether one morphed into the other, but I do believe that both ECOO and the OTF would have been involved way back then.

    Connecting to ENOREO/The Electronic Village provided a whole series of Ontario-educator specific text-based discussion groups. I know that way back then I would have had conversations with folks like John Taylor and Flick Douglas in a couple of different discussion groups related to Filemaker Pro and Electronic Report Cards. I remember monitoring several groups when the Planner project was starting.

    In addition to ENOREO, Compuserve was my other goto for getting online. Because it offered a graphical interface on my Macintosh at home, it was a literal (visual) window to educational resources from outside my district. Before I had a dial-up connection at my desk at the Education Center (back when we had computers, but before the building was wired for ethernet), I would go home each day to do research. For a while there, I carried my “personal cloud” back-and-forth with me on a 100 MB ZIP Disk. (Remember the Iomega ZIP disk?) I had a SCSI-based Zip drive on my Mac at home, and a Parallel-based Zip drive on my PC at work. This would’ve been before we had laptops. [Perhaps rather than “personal cloud” (today’s metaphor), I should be a little bit more accurate in my description with regards to the ZIPdrive and refer to it as the Air Jordans equivalent of sneakernet.]

    Back when my district was beginning to explore the Internet, we were able to use some dial-up lines to connect with a command line interface through our local Loyalist College. I was able to bypass that experience because I was online with ENOREO and Compuserve. At the time, the initial connection to the Internet was made through something called Datapac (a local dial-up number), and from there you specified what you wanted to connect to with your username/password. One step up from a bulletin board, I would say.

    I remember when I got a 14.4 modem at home, as that would’ve been a step up from my first one. I’m not sure if the first one was a 2800 or 5600, but I recall jumping up from 14.4 to 28.8 and then remember 56K modems became the standard. Whoo hoo. (The Internet used to just scream back then.)

    User names? CompuServe would have been a number, but ENOREO auto-generated your username for you using a first-four, first-four algorithm. That’s where your original dougpete came from. That made me andrforg.

    EEE NO REE OH is what I used/heard.

    I think one of the other things that also contributed to demise of ENOREO was the development of local district electronic networks. That, and First Class. I’m sure things got ported over to First Class, didn’t they?

    And, of course, then came that thing called the web browser and the World Wide Web …


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