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Please note that this page is a Voices Forum article and is NOT Zyra's actual website, which can be found at www.zyra.org.uk


(published in PERCEPTIONS magazine in early 2001)

The first news announcement is that this year is called "2001". I realise a lot of people were taken by surprise when the year before was called "The Year 2000", but now to add further futuristic shock it is 2001! This is of course GOOD NEWS, even though it is going to be difficult for some people to come to terms with.

This new age of individuality and freedom of expression is worth getting into, but you have to understand that some people can't keep up. Governments don't seem to have sussed it entirely yet and a few cultural cliques are lagging behind. There was one particular store in Knightsbridge where I was CHUCKED OUT for wearing an outfit which didn't conform to their still-stuck-in-the-previous-century notion of what a person spending money in a shop ought to look like! Ah, never mind, eh? There are plenty of other good places to shop, some of them just along the street. And if you really want a green plastic bag, I've got plenty!

In this brave new world of technological progress, advancement, and generally leaping-ahead, what new pieces of technology can you get hold of easily? Spacecraft? Behindhand on that, unfortunately. Bit of a problem with funding and political conservatism. Cloning - how about having yourself cloned? Or having food generated genetically in vast quantities to eliminate starvation in the world? Technology is there to do it, and it isn't expensive, but there are a few ethical setbacks in the same kind of way as when Darwin said we had evolved from apes.

What about a COMPUTER? That would be quite futuristic. Vast amounts of supercomputer processing power and memory, just ON THE TABLE. How about a thousand million bytes of disc, sixteen million bytes of memory, and seventy five million cycles per second on the main processor? And for less than a hundred and fifty pounds Sterling. Oh, and not forgetting, we'll have them linked together INTERnationally in a kind of "NET". This of course is Science Fiction. Except that it ISN'T!

You can now buy a second-hand computer without having to pay a huge amount of money, and get a machine which is of a power beyond that speculated on by many Science Fiction authors a few years ago. Here's how to do it: Go to a proper computer shop (the type that's got a lot of junk lying about is best), the sort of place that knows what they're talking about, and buy a Pentium 75 (Antique shops do them too). Don't pay out for the latest operating system because some of them are expensive but aren't very good.

I am very keen on promoting user-led websites - you can e-mail me here (You can talk to me before buying the computer). Now the news about my website www.zyra.org.uk. It's got loads of stuff about all sorts of curious things on it, advice about things, and a lot of useful contacts and links to all over the place. There's the Unofficial Voices Forum website visible on there, and a digital photo taken at the Voices Self-Management Conference2000. There is also a set of "Mad Links" to an ever-increasing set of contacts. YOU can add to the site (regardless of whether you've got a computer), and any helpful suggestions will be greatly appreciated. E-mail me, talk to me, see the website at www.zyra.org.uk and I hope you like it.

You too can have a website like this. And if you do have a site, I'll LINK to it if you like.

This page has been adapted from the review in Voices Forum's magazine PERCEPTIONS. The original, being ink on paper, did not have so many hyperlinks in it. AND, of course, the "unofficial Voices Forum website" was something that existed before Voices Forum had this growing website!