In September, 1989, Ed was a principal at a Career and Technical Education (CTE) school. He was visiting with parents whose students were starting at UIUC. They began to describe a way to make a local phone call on their TRS80 home computer that would allow them to use their computer to send a letter to their student at UIUC - free of charge, much less than the cost of a LONG DISTANCE PHONE CALL. They called this "thing" electronic mail. Everyone in the room shook their head and asked, "Why?" and the overwhelming answer was, "Who knows?". Electronic mail was about as useless as "Pong."
September, 1989 was nearly a full year BEFORE Tim Berners-Lee of the University of Oxford began developing the "protocols" for Hypertext Markup Language" that lead to the development of "Mosaic," the first web browser, that was developed at the NCSA at UIUC and released on January 23, 1993 - a day in which Ed was attending an Internet Conference at "The Chancellor" presented by NCSA. At the end of the day, at the final General Session of the conference, they displayed "Mosaic". Everyone was in awe. It was so much better than the "green screens" to which they were accustomed when using FTP and Pine. The rest IS history. Ed's talk at the MSTE Friday Lunch Symposium will recount what happened next with MSTE and that CTE school.