Internet - any replacement ?

I still remember back then, it was around 1995-1996, where some of my friends started to play with the Internet and Internet basically didn't exist in Malaysia before that. Anyway, I dont know how they (early birds) ever got excited about it as we were all still in high school. Those were the time where not everyone would own a handphone, perhaps only those big brother. Yeah, so there were no Internet which means no ICQ, web sites and etc. and there were no SMS and ringtone. So, i guess if you are going back to the future, things are really kind of boring. I can't remember which year Astro was out in the market but I think it has to be around 1997. The only fun was ... as some of us can afford, drive a car around town because our age is legalized. But those were only affordable to certain people.

I only started with Internet when I was in my college year (1999) for degree in Computing. and even then, I was using 56 k dial-up .. I started owning my own handphone when I started working my first job at year 2002. So i guess I am a pretty slow person.

I thought about those time when there is no handphone and Internet, business and social activities were so difference because you can't call up a friend or someone to arrange for last minute appointment. You would either need to meet them to arrange for the next meeting or to call them at home or office at appropriate time. To date, you can just SMS your buddy "happy hour at bangsar 10pm" at 8pm.. and you be suprised some would turn up. But I can't really comment about business because I wasn't in business back then.

Then suddenly, came dot come era where everyone was talking about webpages... such as Nevermind would it work or not, as long as you are dot-com you will be fine. The idea of dot-com is supposed to be this..

1. Cheap operational model. The whole business is represented by the web site. Thus technically you don't really need a office location, if not a bad looking will do. and since you don't need office location, you might as well don't need a lot of people working for you.
2. Open market - when dot-com is hot, everything is talking about it.. You get books on how to develop good web site in 24 hours... and etc.. Thus, everybody get a chance of becoming dot-comer.
3. Globalized - Since everybody can go online to see your shop, it means you are globalized. and also there is no need for conventional advertisement because the home pages already settle it.

But the problem is dot-com(s) has got nothing to sell. THey can't sell contents because it is supposed to be free technically. You can't sell nasi lemak or roti canai to individual without figuring out the logistic matter. So many dot-coms end up craving on to one dream; keep going until the miracle come. Hotmail was the biggest winner and set the standard for it, where it was acquired by Microsoft and the creator is a very rich man now. So many dot-com sit still waiting for opportunity, it didn't matter giving out free services and etc... as long as there were jobs to be done. But some how, dot-com has to go. to date, now body is really excited about it, except for some Internet marketing company, some company doing MLM via the Internet and etc.

The latest hit would have to be VOIP, where Malaysian is seeing more and more of such soldiers coming into the market. The handphone market is getting tougher where profit margin for selling new handset is basically nothing. The only thing that those handphone retailers are counting on are:
1. Reload coupon - also very low margin now.
2. Handphone accessories
3. Handphone services - repairng and etc.
4. Second handed handphone trading.
However, income is not really substantial... it is in fact very risky.

So i guess we are very bored already... except that we can surf the Internet for free(technically) everday.. due to broadband. and I would think that Internet is still the biggest winner. I was supposed to be going to Sungai Buloh now but am just so lazy .. and even felt awful when the image of Sungai Buloh car traffic scenario popped out into my mind. Think about the congestion, the hooting, the dust on the road... the scotching sun... I would really choose to be at home and learn about Tom Cruise's up coming film "War of the World" and etc. and if there is anyway I would sort out anything on the Internet, I would do it.

Some people said that it is necessary to go outside and take fresh air.. so Internet and computing is not perfect .. i can't agree more.. we need balance. But 90% of the people out there aren't balance because they are still spending a lot of time stuck in the traffic jam and etc..

According to MCMC, there are around 9 million Internet user and most of them are dial up. with total population of 20 million, it means 45% of the people have at least experienced some sort of Internet. Even if the government were to organized some sort of mass training for the government servant where everyone would get together in a big hall and each would have a PC with Windows flat in their face... and this would increase the percentage of IT penetration to the country and same goes for Internet. People like my mother is not part of the 9 million and she wouldn't be for the next century unless there is a miracle.

Also, there are 13 million mobile phone user in Malaysia and handphone accounted for 74.4% of all phones in Malaysia.

Overall, we are not too bad.. more than 50% of people have access to telecommunication.. and around 45% of the people have seen a WWW.

But why do we still need to stuck in the traffic jam ? is it because it is not socially correct to have a career without travelling to the city center, KL to show up in offices? I would be better off having a 17" powerbook on my lap and still able to do plenty of things while sitting under my tree in the garden.

we really needed something new.. Too bad the number of broadband user is still less than 1 million , it is only less than a quarter of a mil. and Time Telekom's webbit basically didn't make it.


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