William Gibson

’s Neuromancer: Cyberspace Essay, Research Paper

William Gibson’s Neuromancer: Cyberspace

As described by William Gibson in his science fiction novel Neuromancer,

cyberspace was a “Consensual hallucination that felt and looked like a physical

space but actuallly was a computer-generated construct representing abstract

data.” Years later, mankind has realized that Gibson’s vision is very close to

reality. The term cyberspace was frequently used to explain or describe the

process in which two computers connect with each other through various telephone

lines. In this communication between the two systems there seems to be no

distance between them.

There are now four catagories that describe the major components of todays

cyber space. One oof those is commercial on-line services. These large computer

systems can host thousands of users simultaneously. When a computer user

purchases an account from the company they recieve a screen name and a password.

The user then can use his or her screen name and password to log on and use the

system. Most of the online systems have chat rooms where users can chat in real

time with one another. some users even think of on-line services as a community.

The second catagory involves Bulletin Boards or (BBS’s). These services

allow the user accounts like their larger on-line service cousins. These BBS’s

have less users because they run on smaller computers. The system operators,

more commonly known as sysops, are running the boards. Since most BBS’s are

hobbies there is usually no charge for an account. The same as on-line services,

users use BBS’s for trades, games, and to chat among other users. Since

bulletin boeard are so easy to set up there are thousands of them located around

the world. Each board has a theme. These themes range from astronomy to racist

neo-nazi crap. A boards theme helps users in their search for a board that will

satisfy their personal preference.

A third catagory is the Private System. These private systems sometime run

bulletin boards privately, not letting the public acess. In these private

systems users can perform specialized computer operations, or access to data.

Through this private network users within a company can send mail, faxes, and

other messages to each other through the companies computer network. If a

worker was to look up a customers information he could access it through the

companies private network. The public can not get access to the companies

private system unless he or she knows the systems password.

The fourth and last catagory is computer networks. These collections are a

group of connected computers that exchange information. One of the most well

known is the internet. The internet is the so called “network of networks.”

Through the internet a user can transfer files to and from systems. The program

that allows this is called (FTP) File Transfer Protocol. This program allows

users to send anything from faxes to software from one to another. The progam

is taken from one computer and sent across the phone lines to the recieving

computer which compiles the information.

In cyberspace their are a number of tools a user can use. E-mail is a

popular tool which allows the transfer of electronic mail between users. This

mail more convenient than postage mail because it travels over phone lines.

Software exchange is also a popular tool. Some systems sell software while

other times it comes free of charge. The FTP program is the reason for the

speediness between transfers. Games and entertainment are another resource. A

user on-line can play a game against someone who is hundreds of miles away. It

is now possible to go shopping from the privacy of your own computer not even

having to leave your home. The chat rooms that are mostly found on-line allow

users to communicate with a variety of people together in a virtual room.

Sometimes services will allow guest speakers to have access to the rooms so

multiple users can ask questions. One popular resourse is education. A user

can find endless amounts of information either on the internet, on-line services,

chat rooms, or even personal computer software. The internet is bigger than any

library and it is possible to find any type of information needed.


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