COWBOYS IN CYBERSPACE – December 1997
CHRISTMAS LIGHTS


Merry Christmas from Cowboys In Cybersp@ce. Each month Country picker and Webmaster BOB HOWE covers a different topic, as well as bringing you the latest Country Music happenings on the Internet.

CYBER COWBOY Cowboys In Cybersp@ce - December 1997 CYBER COWBOY

By Bob Howe © 1997

"Unplugged or Plug-ins?"

No, we're not talking about whether to play acoustic or electric guitar! A plug-in is a small program that gets added into your Internet browser to help you enjoy the ever changing World Wide Web. When the Internet first started it was a silent and bland looking affair. No pictures or sound, just a lot of text, and it was mostly inhabited by University boffins and the U.S. military! Merle Haggard hardly ever got a mention. The birth of the World Wide Web brought new life to what was essentially an excellent but boring way of sharing information. Pages sent via the Internet, now written in a computer language called "HTML", are viewed through a program called a "browser" and become exciting and colourful. The most popular browsers these days are "Netscape Navigator" and "Microsoft Internet Explorer". They convert the pages into the format that appears on your screen when you "surf the 'net". Also, they also usually have the most popular "plug-ins" already built into them to enable you to hear music and see video. If you should happen to visit a Web site that requires you to use a plug-in that you don't already have, there is usually an option on the page to download it. When you arrive at the BMG Australia site for instance, you won't get to see their excellent animated menu appear unless you have the "Shockwave Flash plug-in" installed. There is however a link provided to obtain it for free if you need it!

SCREENSHOT "Real Audio" and "Real Video" are relatively new technologies that are very useful to music fans. In the past you had to wait for a sound or video file to completely download onto your computer before you could enjoy it's contents. A process known as "streaming" allows these plug-ins to start playing while you receive the information. For a demonstration, why not visit the new Web site of Australian country singer "Audrey". With her band the Rhythm Wranglers she performs in the "classic" style of the 1940's & 50's, and this is reflected in the graphical design of the Web site and the outstanding photography of Terry Phillpot (Eyeball Photoimages). Three songs from Audrey's CD are presented here in "Real Audio", and although "streamed" audio can sometimes sound like AM radio, in this case it adds to the overall feel of the site. If you are like me and sometimes miss the crackle of vinyl records, you'll know what I'm talking about! To see some "Real Video" why not head over to the "Timecast" site that features a directory of pages that have this type of content. Follow the links to sites like "Polygram Records, Nashville" and watch Shania Twain strut her stuff!

SCREENSHOT Before we close for this month, a quick round-up of new and interesting sites. Audrey's CD was co-produced by Bill Chambers, and the Dead Ringer Band crop up on an American site called "Marq's Texas Music Kitchen" which also features Townes Van Zandt and Lucinda Williams, and even recipes for Texas food. This is an very good source of links for you to explore. Australian born Sherrié Austin who is making big waves with her U.S. album "Words", can be found in good company at the wonderfully named "www.twangthis.com"!

SCREENSHOT Two local artists are promoting their albums at "ShowNet – The Australasian Showbiz Directory": Doug Ashdown's page includes details of his album "No Cheap Grace" which is now available by mail order; Keith Glass has just released a long awaited CD entitled "Smoke And Mirrors" on the Shock label. It features contributions from The Amazing Rhythm Aces, Wylie & The Wild West Show, and The Crosby Sisters, as well as local pickers. The "Aces" own site features a big mail order selection and the interest that their Web site attracted from fans was large factor in their decision to reunite after 15 years. The power of the Internet!

If you want to share the location of an interesting site you’ve seen or request a topic for discussion in future columns, why not E-mail me. Don't forget to listen out for Cowboys in Cybersp@ce each month on the radio waves with Belinda Miller of Murri Country , 4AAA –FM (98.9 in Brisbane). Until next month, happy surfing.

LAST MONTH HOME COWBOY NEXT MONTH

rule

You can use this box to search this site for your favourite Country Music artist...

...or if you want to search the World Wide Web...
Google
...type their name into this search engine box and then press the GOOGLE SEARCH button.

rule

Visit the rest of our site while you are here...

INDEX/HOME || CHARTS & SERVICES || PRODUCTIONS, SESSIONS & RESUMÉ || QUIZ? || HARMONICA ||

BOB'S CABARET SHOW || WHERE TO SEE BOB || DISCOGRAPHY || PRESS QUOTES ||

WEB DESIGN || LINKS || MUSICAL JOKES || PET PUZZLE || WHAT'S NEW ||

FRANK IFIELD & THE BEATLES || LENNON - THE MUSICAL || ZEN & THE ART OF GUITAR PLAYING ||

rule

© 1997 Bob Howe Productions