Services Family John R. Borchert



Help! Help! The Borcherts are lost in cyberspace! Caught in the Net! Trapped in the Web!.....We've become a caricature 90s family like the prototypical examples used at the beginning of trendy sociological magazine articles.

Pat 'job hopped' from one internet company, Secure Computing, to another, NetStar, last summer. Her old company provided computer network security products that allowed government 'entities' or businesses to hook their computers up to the internet without fear of break-ins. Her new company makes high speed communication equipment for computer networks that carry vast amount of information, such as the highest traffic links in the internet.

Dave has continued computer programming and consulting work from home. An original 'tele-commuter' he supports clients in the Twin Cities and beyond. In addition Dave has worked as part of a 'virtual company' with a friend in Nebraska, Jim Lowe, to write herd management software for the cattle ranching industry. For anyone with some Angus, Gelbvieh, Hereford, or any other breed roaming the back 4000 you can 'download' a working demo of our software off the internet at http:www.cnweb.com/midwestmicro.

Mike and Tom became avid computer Bulletin Board users (BBSrs). Their primary board is 'Walking Fish' which draws an interesting group of kids from across the Twin Cities. 'Walking Fish' has become the core of their social life as they have drawn friends and cousins into the boards virtual community. Tom has become the semi-official system administrator of the in-house network of three PCs (a legacy of computers generated as Dave has gone through successive upgrades). Karen has a good time with her 'Dangerous Creatures' CD, but hasn't yet discovered any Barbie chat groups on the internet.

Dig a little deeper and all is not as up-to-date as it seems at the Borcherts though...........

Pat keeps track of the schedules and tasks of all the NetStar programmers with myriad yellow post-it notes covering a wall at work.

Dave would love to spend more time in places that have no electric power and no phone connections.

The 'Walking Fish' BBS includes Ben and Peter Sand (Pat's brother's kids living in Minneapolis), and Laura Borchert (Dave's brother's daughter in Minneapolis). Instead of a high tech virtual community, the oldest institution, the extended family, has found a new home. Over the last year the 'Walking Fish' has undergone somewhat of a metamorphosis. There used to be occasional gatherings of the faithful, called "runs", at a Park or Perkins restaurant. The balance has shifted to the point where the BBS seems to be primarily mechanism for scheduling the next social get together.

Karen was never taken in to begin with. She's kept her priorities to family, friends, and a good book.


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