Metanet discussion


                                                      THE STORY VIA METANET

Now, as a Pioneer in turning personal computers and modem communications – via at first my own, and Colorado Springs very first Radio Shack computer Bulletin Board in 1979 into Electronic Democracy, and then via the first national computer conferencing system – the Source – in the early 1980s, and then being invited into the first iteration of a system called Metanet – from Meta System Design – run largely by Frank Burns and Lisa Carlson who ran a business teaching executives how to use computer conferencing as a progressive method of organizational leadership and management – found myself on many systems – and services.

I liked the way Metanet was designed – its fostering of genuine computer conferencing. And the fact that Lisa, a woman, moderated many a conference, gave the discussions a ‘civil discourse’ flavor, absent on many other, male, hacker dominated services. Especially the California based ‘Well”

So I chose to tell the story, as it unfolded, of Ed in China, on Metanet.


Below, over two years, I reposted information from Ed in China to and from me on the Metanet Service– including the violence of Tiananmen Square and more significantly, the reaction of the Chinese Communist hierarchy – as it reached right down to the Students at the Dalian school – affecting foreigners, including Edward Hughes.  And users of the system – most of them well educated – commented and questioned in turn. Since all those reading the Metanet thread also were following Newspaper and Television News out of China, their comments reflected that very newsworthy immediacy. And frankly, many were worried about Ed’s safety, especially after foreigners fled the country, while he did not, in part because I was able to keep him informed, in China, from national press accounts in the US. As we were linked person to person. 

This long and remarkable saga of ‘Ed in China’ as it was happening was archived by Lisa and Metanet, and put into Item 27 of the ‘Treasures Conference’ (noteworthy discussions over the years) by Gordon Cook, who found the whole saga, and my involvement facilitating Ed’s ability to communicate back to me by modem (Long before the Internet or other computer networks accessible to the public) exisited, remarkable.

                                     Ed and Ha Ning Hughes in china 11/88 - 7/90

Item 27  Gordon Cook (cook) Oct 04, 2000 21:43 

Item 19    11-NOV-88    0:11    Dave Hughes

Links to the Middle Kingdom? 

Now that we have settled our electronic relations with Russia via telecom, Japan is linked, Europe is no problem, another vast area of the world deserves some attention.

  One of my sons - the tall one with an excellent job doing celestial mechanics programming for Martin Marietta, but young enough to want to see the world, has accepted an offer from a Princeton UnInternational program to spend a year in China. The area he may go to is Dalien, which includes the old Port Arthur, on the Yellow Sea where there are several large universities and technological schools. He will help teach conversational and technical English, one of maybe 20 others - most graduate students.

  As it so happens a friend of mine - telecommer Mason Rumney was there last summer and reports that there is a *tymnet* link of some type there.

 So Ed - and I - are interested in somehow telecommunicating to/from China after he gets there. (MM still has to grant him the leave to do this, so it is not assured, but - sooner or later we just have to connect up the Middle Kingdom don't we?

 My other, artist, son (David) has had a screen play translated into Chinese through the Chines Cultural ministry, with whom *he* telcommunicated by telex from his microcomputer.

  So I guess the time has come for me to learn something about modern China - and the telcommunications possibilities there.

 (Then all we will have to do is figure out how to link up China with Russia, via Mongolia by modem and we will sort have  done our job girdling the globe, hey wot Ghenhis Khan?) 

  129 Discussion responses

19:1) Dave Hughes                          11-NOV-88  0:12

So who knows anything about technological China? 

19:2) Gordon Cook                          11-NOV-88  9:34

Not I but I'll sure be interested in seeing the resources that you find.

How bout Orville Schell who has traveled extensively there and published a few recent accounts?? Is he in the Boston area? Joan? ANY ONE?

19:3) Donald L. (Skip) Conover             11-NOV-88  10:39

As always, Dave, you are leading a worthwhile charge, although I'm not particularly sanguine about the possibilities of connecting up  conveniently with China within the next decade.  There is, of course, public telex available, at central offices.  These use telex machines which were popular in the USA in the 30's--40's at latest.  Access to the tymnet link promises to be pretty inscrutable, although it wouldbe great to see your son crash the bureaucratic barrier over his (brrrr---cold!) year in the "Port Arthur" area.  I, for one, welcome his (and your) pioneering efforts to break down the barriers.  Mind you, there are frequently not barriers of legal regulation, but barriers of bureaucratic inertia, etc. etc--you know, the same ones which appear in the "Federal Triangle".  Best regards, Skip 

19:4) Dave Hughes                          11-NOV-88  11:49

Well *one* thing we are already working on is to approach it from the Tymnet, rather than China, end. "Hey Tymnet - there are several billion Chinese just waiting to be hooked up by you. But really!

They don't exactly know how or why. So now why don't you give Ed Hughes access while he is there, so he can demonstrate constantly - after all he is going to carry a lap top computer there – the wonders of modern telecommunications. At your expense. And we promise he will only occasionally ask his mom over your lines to 'send socks' :-)" 

19:5) Gordon Cook                          11-NOV-88  18:52

What about any of the various packet net sales people to who you talked when in the process of hooking Metanet up frank and Lisa? 

19:6) Scott Burns                          11-NOV-88  19:16

I'd say the best bet, besides Tymnet, is Computer Science Corporation's or InfoNet (same?) services. 

19:7) Gordon Cook                          14-NOV-88  9:27

Yeah they are the same. 

19:8) Dave Hughes                          14-NOV-88  11:15

Last night my son Ed and I had fun listing what he might need to take high-tech style for a six months, or year stint. We added a firm in Boston which has an MSDOS word processor in Mandarin Chinese. 

19:9) Joan L. Sweeney                      14-NOV-88  19:18

Interesting about passing on which Boston firm ... would like to know .  Thanks 

19:10) Gordon Cook                          14-NOV-88  19:23

There was an article on the front page of the Sunady new york times about

the chinese teacher exchange.... a BIG program! 

19:11) Willard Uncapher                     14-NOV-88  22:51

I didn't think I should respond to Dave's inquiry about Annenberg and its students before he got here and made up his mind for himself. After all, I am doing my best to teach them them the skills and questions appropriate to the sorts of things they might do on the networks of the future.  I'm sure they'll be changed for having met Dave, but then that's what he demanded of the students that took his Telecom course in Co.

 Also, I'm a bit behind in the discussions having been out in San Francisco for awhile (had a nice chat with Cliff and Tex at the WELL).

But it does seem that some China info would be very timely. Here's a short late '87 history of the ChinaNet connections which might serve to provide a few mailing addresses, and a sense of the state of Sinic CMC:

The following is a letter from the TAMVM1 LISTSERV information network. 

---------- A Cautionary Note --------------

Chinanet is a big group with a few hundred people on the list, and some people have to pay to receive mail.  To control the amount of mail flow, we ask you to post only the info related to CHINANET that you would like to share with EVERYONE.  Otherwise, do so by E-mail on a person-to-person basis. 

********* NEVER REPLY to something posted on Chinanet.************

*To ask for help, send mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ;

*To express your personal opinion, do so in USENET newsgroup soc.culture.china  which will be established soon.  Consult This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for details

*To inform people of latest developements of Chinanet and related projects, post to Chinanet.


                        NETWORK CONNECTIONS TO CHINA 

I. Background 

     In early 1970's, the idea of establishing Chinese computer networks was proposed by Qian Xuesen. In 1978, during the National Science and Technology Conference, the National Science and Technology Plan called for building a preliminary nationwide computer network in 8 years (i.e. by 1985).  However, no substantial progress was achieved until recent years.

In the community of Chinese students abroad, the beauty and potentiality of computer networks has long been aware of and appreciated by individuals.

The awareness on large scales has been brought about in the last few months.

The discussions on network connections to China went public after the appearance of an article by LI Zhenqin at Cornell University in the first issue of USTCAAA News, in which he explored the possibility of having China connected to BITNET, a worldwide research network.  Several of us got excited  about the idea and started a small discussion group called "NCC", aiming at obtaining the precise and detailed information of how to connect China with the outside world through network and eventually writing a proposal.  It was at this time that we found that there already existed a proposal called "Chinanet-Bitnet", which I'll describe in a later section. 

The news spread out among the Chinese students, and all were enthusiastic, many volunteered to help.  In late August, three of us went to Texas A & M university to visit Dr. Laan and Dr. Kemper who are in charge of the Chinanet-Bitnet project to learn more about this project and to inform them the support of Chinese student community in the U.S.

They were delighted to see us, told us the history of the project, and  even supplied us the proposal in its original form.  Later on, a discussion list is set up to facilitate our communication and to inform interested parties of the latest developments.  The Support also came from Chinese Americans and foreign professors.  One American professor wrote to us saying that he would be willing to put in some funds to help a certain university in China connected to the network.  Now, the Chinanet Discussion Listconsists of more than two hundred people from around the world (U.S., Canada, West Germany, United Kingdom, and so on), with Chinese as well as non-Chinese.  All the people take a strong interest in the Chinanet project and engage in various activities to bring it about.  Recently, we have learned two other projects that have already connected China with Western Europe, which will be described later.


19:12) Frank Burns                          14-NOV-88  22:56

You are? 

19:13) Dave Hughes                          14-NOV-88  23:02

He'll finish the sentence when I get there tomorrow. 

19:14) Willard Uncapher                     14-NOV-88  23:35

II. The Chinanet-Bitnet Project 

     The CHINANET project was initiated by by Professor John Maier, who went China during 1984-85.  In his trip, he visited many of the Chinese Universities, including  Zhongshan, Qinghua, Beijing U., Beijing Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (BIAA), Nanjing U., Wuhan U., Fudan, U. of Defense Technology, Hunan U., Shanghai Jiaotong U. ,Central China Engi. College, etc.  After seeing the computing facilities, he found it feasible to develop networks.

The Chinese hosts welcomed the idea, but did not have first hand experiences with the network technology. After returning from China, Prof. Maier and his colleagues have written many proposals to Chinese Academy of Sciences, Ministry of Post and Telecommunications (MPT) and contacted IBM, EDUCOM, BITNET, NSF and the White House' Office of Science & Technology Assessment. Initially, U.S. officials discouraged developments of such computer networks between China and U.S., fearing that technological secret might be lost to China. Later they are gradually convinced that such network may be more beneficial to a strong tie between China and U.S. both scientifically and economically. 

 According to the CHINANET-BITNET proposal, formally proposed by the Institute for Pacific Asia at Texas A & M Univ., prepared by Dr. G.H. Kemper (Assistant Director of the Computing Services Center of Texas A&M) and Dr. Lane (Director of the Institute for Pacific Asia), the CHINANET project is divided into two phases:

 Phase I involves the implementation of the communication link between Texas A & M University (TAMU) and Beijing Institute of Aeronautics and Aviation (BIAA) through a satellite channel.  The use of the satellite channel is free during the development phase of the CHINANET-BITNET Project, owing to the support of the International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (INTELSAT) headquartered in Washington D.C. IBM has promised funds covering computer hardware for phase I, the rest of the funds are being sought from some other private companies (e.g. AT&T).

 Phase II will begin after the TAMU-BIAA link is fully operational, which involves extending CHINANET to seventeen universities and research institutes.  The following is the topology of the proposed CHINANET: 

                Beijin U ----- BIAA ------ Qinghua U ------ Jilin U


                   Inst. of Computing Tech., Academia Sinica(CAS/ICT)






  Sichuan U----Wuhan U----Nanjing U---Shanghai Jiaotong U---Fudan U

               |     |                        |

               |     |                        |

       Central China |                  Sun Yatsen U

       Engr. College |                        |

                     |                        |

                     |                     Hunan U

              Xian Jiaotong U                 |


                                     National Defense U 


The funds for phase two will probably be from IBM.  Phase two is planned to be completed by June 1, 1988. The main concentration now is on the phase I  Phase II has not been on agenda yet.  The list of the institutions in Phase I is open to discussion.  The present CHINANET-BITNET working group is as follows 

John Maier, initiator and principle coordinator

Jaan Laane, director

George Kemper, assistant director in charge of technical details

Qian Shixiang, BIAA counterpart of Laane and Kemper

(cont... two more) 

19:15) Willard Uncapher                     14-NOV-88  23:47

III. China-Western Europe Connections 

 Currently in China there are two medium size computers connected to the international X25 network. One is a VAX 785 in the High Energy Physics Institute (IHEP) of Academia Sinica through the No. 710 Institute of the former 7th Mechinary Ministry, another one is a Siemens 7.760, with BS2000 operation system, in the Institute of Computer Applications (ICA) at Beijing Institute of Technology.  ICA also belongs partially to National Machinary Commission.  The later link was reported by the People's Daily (oversea's edition) on Oct. 9. 

 The VAX785 at IHEP links to Vienna, Austria via a special line with a speed of 1200 baud.  It uses a software called Kermit which provides several functions such as the file transfer, the electronic mail, based on the virtual terminal capability provided by the link.  The Simens 7.760 at ICA is connected to another Siemens at Univ. of Karlsruhe in West Germany via a modem in Rome Italy.  The connecting line has a speed of 300 baud.  Both Siemens computers are equipped with the CSNET/PMDF mail distribution system.  It provides the electronic-mail service, file transfer and virtual terminal capability have not yet being implemented.  This node (beijing) is fully integrated into the CSNET although the office status is not yet established.

To satisfy those who are curious, we provide a little background information on the link between the two Siemens computers.  According  to Prof. Zorn at the Univ. of Karlsruhe in West Germany, the project goes back to an idea of Prof. Wang Yunfeng from ICA at the Beijing Institute of  Technology and himself some two years ago.  Prof. Zorn has been running the German CSNET host for Germany in Karlsruhe since 1984 and has done quite a lot of work in the area of international network, including a CSNET/PMDF implementation for the SIEMENS/BS2000 operating system, was quite well equipped to try the connection.  He has a lot of very good friends in China, at the ICA in Beijing, Tongji Univ. in Shanghai, and in Xian and a lot of other places, where SIEMENS hosts are installed (having friends helps, especially in China).  The project was supported by the government in the German state "Baden- Wuerttemberg" as well as by the Chinese agencies involved, i.e. the National Machinery Commission, to which the ICA partially belongs.  During his stay in Beijing in September, when the link was finally realized, he had the opportunity to speak to Minister ZOU Jia Hua from the machinery-commission and got the impression that the project had a very high priority, and that the minister was personally interested in it.

 According to Prof Zorn, the next step will be hopefully the official admission of China to CSNET, and by this to all the existing networks.

There will by an important network shop in Princeton during Nov. 9-11, and people from Beijing will also participate.  A networkshop is planned for next Spring in China to discuss the necessary steps for the admission.   

19:16) Willard Uncapher                     15-NOV-88  0:06

V. Other Developments 

 According to some private equiries made by Chao Jin at Cornell Univ., network connections between Hong Kong (who is a member of the international network community) and inner China is under development, no detailed info is available.  Network technological research is also under way in China.  A Chinese newspaper reported recently that Xian University has succeeded in building a wide area network (whatever that means).  Small scale links within China also exists.  For example, a computer link exists between Nanjing and Yancheng, two cities in Jiangsu province in China. 

We hope that all the people on the Chinanet distribution list would put in efforts to publicize the Chinanet project, among our colleagues and friends, in- and out-side China.  Note that, our final goal is not to have one or two machines connected to the international networks, but to have something on the scale of CHINANET-BITNET project, or even bigger.

For those eager-beavers who would like to use the CS node in Beijing, we are obliged to put in a cautionary note that TPQPlinkKM still in its early stage and not reliable.  Also the 300 baud speed is fairly slow, heavy traffic would certainly cause a lot of trouble.  Upgrading of the links is planned in the near future.  We will remain in close contact with Dr. Zorn and other parties and keep all of us informed of the latest progress. 


}i    To help facilitate communications among various groups working on

network developments in China, we would like to collect names and

address's of contact persons in Chinese institutions, who have shown

strong interests in and supports for the CHINANET project, or who are

actually engaging in network developments. If you know of such persons,

please send their names and address's to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The list will be available to people working on network developments

in China. 


     To better publicize CHINANET and related discussions, and to

help communications of Chinese students abroad on issues related to

China, we plan to setup a new newsgroup on USENET under "soc.culture.

china". Since we need more than 100 "yes" vote to get approval, we

hope all of you would vote for it. Details about the vote are going to

be posted soon. All discussions not directly related to CHINANET should

go to the newsgroup in the future. 

     Questions can be directed to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. He will either answer directly or forward to relevant people. 

Patt Haring                 {sun!hoptoad,cmcl2!phri}!dasys1!patth

Big Electric Cat Public Access Unix (212) 879-9031 - System Operator

19:17) Willard Uncapher                     15-NOV-88  0:24

My poor cursor is fighting against the winds of line noise tonight. While these are more institutionally oriented connections, having been in China, I would figure that these are the sorts of connections and people from which more private initiatives and links will be made. 


19:18) Dave Hughes                          15-NOV-88  7:59

Wow! Thanks Willard. (and here all I was looking for is a little RJ-11 jack somewhere in Dalien so Ed could send for clean socks from his mother. :-) 

19:19) Gordon Cook                          15-NOV-88  10:30

Fascinating Willard, now if I could ony get with a bunch of folks and do russia Net! 

19:20) Joan L. Sweeney                      15-NOV-88  23:00

Gordon, I KNOW  you could pull that off ! 



19:21) Gordon Cook                          16-NOV-88  10:11

Thanks for the flattery. . .:-> 

19:22) Dave Hughes                          27-NOV-88  15:24

So the doorbell rang late last night, and a postman special delivered a packet to my son Ed - who was just in his car to drive his girlfriend home. Right from Dalien, China. Containing a cover letter typed on an old typewriter with slightly fractured English expressing happiness that Ed wanted to accept their offer of a year in Dalien teaching conversational English.  And enclosing a four page contractual  agreement, signed at their end, also typed on an old-style typwriter, with one copy made by a process that we would recognize as 'late 60s' copying machines. In slightly better English, detailing their offer, and his obligations - teach 16 hours a week, be given an apartment and a car, return airline ticket (he pays to get there), be paid $200 a month (where the average wage is $20) (but that means he would be getting substantially less than 1/10th what he makes now in a high tech company - more like 1/15th), a month's 'vacation' at the end of his one year's obligation.

 He stood there in the dining room, his girl friend there also, in their coats as he rapidly read aloud the text, and faced the reality of his decision to set aside his comfortable, well paid, young (25) bachelor life in the US for a year in a strange land, midst a sea of Chinese faces, in a socialist setting, in a technologically backward nation (where he works with the most technologcially advanced part of his own). He smiled the smile of a young man with the infinite possibilities of the future before him - cheerily left the missive covered with ancient chinese characters around the border of the rice-like paper with us to read, and drove off into the night. 

19:23) Frank Burns                          28-NOV-88  0:32

What great excitement.  I hope he goes... and takes a computer with

v-e-r-y   l-o-n-g   r-a-n-g-e    p-a-c-k-e-t    r-a-d-i-o. 

19:24) Dave Hughes                          28-NOV-88  0:46

His comment on that subject was "With a car I can probably find the place with the Tymnet port to dial out from" 

19:25) Gordon Cook                          28-NOV-88  10:17

Beautiful inspiration Dave. . . . . . 

19:26) Jeffrey Shapard                      29-NOV-88  10:49

Whew! Great article, Willard Uncapher. 

There is a feller down in Austin, Texas, named John S. Quarterman who is deep in the manuscript of an incredible piece of work called The Matrix, and he briefly describes the CHINANET plan you have outlined so thoroughly. I would like to show him your information, too, and he will probably contact you. I have his DASnet address stashed somewhere inconvenient, but in other formats it is...  domain:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.    uucp:  uunet!longway!jsq He lists a couple contact addresses for what you have described, in addition to the utexas contact: 

 Li Shao-Hong   rzli%beijing%This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. tel: 890581 636

   tlx: 22558 NISTI CN 

 Werner Zorn

zorn%This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 tel: +49-721-608-3981 

I find a listing for a DNIC 4600 for PKTELCOM, operated by the Beijing Telecom Adm, so they have their X.25 system registered as part of the international stream. According to good ol' jsq, though, China seems to have gotten their international connections in place before they have much going domestically. 


19:27) Billye Lemon                         29-NOV-88  14:10

  I hope he goes.  There is *nothing* to compare with that kind of experience. 

19:28) Gordon Cook                          29-NOV-88  20:11

Well I just had 2 long phone conversations with quarterman today as he asked me to review parts of his book.  I mentioned China Net.  he replied that he believed it to be pretty much DEAD in the water.  didn't go into details although he said the 300 baud link from beijung to germany was something entirely apart from chinanet. 

19:29) Jeffrey Shapard                      09-DEC-88  10:24

Dead in the water, eh? That is too bad. Bridges are _hard_ to buildand _harder_ to maintain. There is that old critical mass problem, on one end, and the problem of too much mass on the other. Maybe it will revive. 

19:31) Dave Hughes                          19-DEC-88  21:40

  Ha! Even with 'telecom dead' China, there are still ways...In the   letter my son sent back to China confirming arrangements and   asking for a few important details (like who will pay the duty if asked for one, for his lap-top he brings in) he said they could   *also* contact him by telex and gave my partner's (Larry Fox's)   intl ITT (ascii) telex number.

  Well guess what, here I dial up Tokyo to get a message from Alex  in Moscow, then hung up and dialed into Chariot, and here is a   telex from China, which came via ITT (800 # dial up ascii) to Larry's micro, which he quickly ported in e-mail to my son via  Chariot through me!

(answer to one question - we (in China) will pay the customs duty, if any, if you use your lap top for teaching) 

19:32) Gordon Cook                          20-DEC-88  9:23

Now dave, I didn't say TELECOM dead in China.....I said that Quarterman told me that China NET was dead. That still leaves CSNET. And TELEX. 

19:33) Dave Hughes                          19-JAN-89  21:32

The deal is closed, the visa approved, the confirming Telex received via ascii and ITT from Dalien, and the airline ticket bought to Beijing (Only $475 from LA!). So son Ed will be disappearing into the maw of massive China the end of March, toting his lap top computer, his youth and optimism - shrugging off the angst this is causing the personnel system of Martin-Marietta over whether to approve this as a job-guaranteed-on -return sabbatical. 

And though he will be there to help the Chinese students learn 'conversational' English, he will be so closely associated with the technological schools in the area that the door might just open via his contacts for me to trundle over there with a 286. With unix, uucp, usenet, and the ability to network with the rest of the world...

  Table Tennis anyone? 

19:34) Lisa Carlson                         19-JAN-89  22:13

I'll really be looking forward to the reports!  I've been reading Discos and Democracy by someone who went back to China after many years to see the changes ... It's fascinating! 

19:35) Gordon Cook                          20-JAN-89  10:44


19:36) Dave Hughes                          28-FEB-89  1:15

Well, Ed Hughes' great Journey to the Middle Kingdom has begun.

With a gleam in his eye, spring in his step, three 70 lb pieces of baggage, a laptop computer outfitted with everything possible he flew to L.A. yesterday, and at 8 AM tomorrow gets on Canada air, and in a 12 hour polar flight  will arrive in Beijing day after tomorrow. Try to get through customs with Touchbase Modems, printer cables, short wave radios, Word Perfect 5.0 Spelling Checker and Thesaurus, travel to Dalien, China and fit his 6 foot 3 frame into the inscrutable land for one solid year.

 But he has our telex number, fax number, and direct dial modem number (Hey dad, can my girl friend have a free account  on CHariot so we can exchange e-mail?)

 Love at 300 baud.

 And a billion Chinese. 

19:37) Frank Burns                          28-FEB-89  2:41

Great.  What an adventure! 

19:38) Billye Lemon                         28-FEB-89  22:44

And his first sign-on will be as exciting as his first step. ... 

19:39) Gordon Cook                          01-MAR-89  10:42

I was thinking last night Dave about whether you might be able to port here some of his letters home??? 

19:40) Dave Hughes                          01-MAR-89  11:23

If they come electronically, yes. (I ain't gonna sit here and retype paper letters!).

Unlike some on this board ( :-) ) Ed will probably not be a lengthy 'reporter' of what he observes - at least not until near the end of his tour there, to help others. But we shall see.

 My cousin who saw him off on the Canadian airlines plane in Los

Angeles yesterday morning called and reported all was well (including those three 70lb bags) but that the 'realtity' of this trip was beginning to show on his face (he who has never traveled outside the


But he also had conspicuously marked his bags "PROFESSOR Hughes".

Which will give the Chinese bureacrats pause before they hassle him.

  Smart kid that. 

19:41) Van Gyi                              01-MAR-89  12:51

I read this item 4 times today.It really made me very interested. It also helps me getting some ideas. 

19:42) Joan L. Sweeney                      01-MAR-89  13:10

Van Gyi, what ideas did it provoke for you ?  we'd love to know ! 

19:43) Taylor Walsh                         04-MAR-89  1:08 

Just read this through in one fell swoop.  Timeless  stuff.  Young Man and His Laptop in China.  How come it feels like a journey from the 19th century?  This reminds that there are so many wonderful stories about the connections between people arising from this technology. 

And tonite on 20/20, a segment portrayed it all as just a way to do *work* away from the office: stockbroker up all day; economist checking the markets from his Aspen home; part-time horse breeder sending her documents in to the office from home/ranch. 

Who is writing about the connections among *people* that are happening? 

I'm straining to recall, and can't.  Hmmm... 

19:44) Dave Hughes                          04-MAR-89  3:10

We are. Here. Where else does it need to be? 

19:45) Margo Lynn Hablutzel                 06-MAR-89  10:17

Yes, any conferencing (or BB) system is *the* way to get people together online on a social basis.  But if you're looking for *writing* on the subject, face it -- we're all too busy interacting to discuss what we're doing!     y:-) 

19:46) Gordon Cook                          06-MAR-89  14:44

To go back to my earlier question.   Some letters surely will come 300baud??? Isn't that why he took alll the computer and telecom gear, well one reason why at least? 

19:47) Dave Hughes                          06-MAR-89  21:11

Yeah, and Houdini went into the great beyond leaving plans to 'medium back.' SO far no contact. No guarantees he *can* get back here.

Only one reason he took the computer. He is also going to carry it to class to call up via Word Perfect's Elec Dictionary and Thesarus words for the Chinese students, to make his own class notes, to  keep sharp his programming skills, to keep records, to ... well all the things other people do with personal computers. 

19:48) Dave Hughes                          17-MAR-89  20:49

 Wouldn't you know it!  Instead of getting a paper letter, or an  e-mail from son Ed after he arrives in China,  he waits until he  gets  a telephone in his room and  calls  voice!  20  minutes

“Before  I had to rush to the airport to catch my plane to Canada at  8:30  in  the morning!  (It was 11:30 at night  next  day  in Dalien).”

 Direct  modem  talk?  Hardly.  The  first call  came  as  an operator with a you-know-what accent calls and asks for me (lucky they didn't get an answering machine) and says I have a call from China. When Ed came on, very dimly, all I got to ask was "How you doing?"  and  in his upbeat voice answers "*Very* good"  and  the whole thing faded out.  Had to hang up.  Well at least I knew  he wasn't  in a cell in the Great Wall or anything.  Then 10 minutes later  the phone rang again,  and though his voice kept  breaking up, (he could hear me fine) we were able to converse.

First  point.   All  was  well,   and  the  Chinese  at  the Liaoning  Foreign  Trade  Institute  were  *very*  interested  in telecommunications.  But  he needed me to research links from the US more,  cause its hard to get anything done from that end.  And the  phone connections - through operators - were so poor so  far he couldn't get through by modem yet. He wanted to demonstrate to them.

Then  some talk about his troubles running Word Perfect  4.2 on the single disk Toshiba 1000,  getting up its dictionary,  and the printer connection.  Which we can fix.  And on what a veerryy slow time schedule everyone there in China was.

 And  yes the food is ok,  cafeteria quality,  and they  were trying  to feed him too much (his mother worried about that  - he is 6' 3" and eats plenty).  And the weather is not as cold as  he expected, more like San Francisco.

 With  the intermittent voice,  we couldn't talk much more so finally hung up.  So the culture shock is not as bad as I feared.

He is obviously having a great time.  And knowing Ed, his talking so  much about his computer and their reaction to it means he has made a big - and unexpected - hit with it.  He is there to  teach 'conversational English',  not computer!  But what is a high-tech Ada-Fortran  celestial-mechanics  computer programmer to do  with all of his digital tools in the Middle Kingdom among the natives?

Hook  em up to the rest of the world!  Before he is done I'll bet he has a credit course in Electronic English going! Or C-Caucus.

Then,  at  the  airport (I am writing this on the flight  to Toronto.  If I had an acoustic modem with me I would even post it via the MCI inflight phone.  No modular jack!  ) I made a hurried call to Mase Rumney,  of Steamboat Springs,  who has already been to  Dalien,  China  to strike a joint venture business  agreement last  summer,  and  who will be going back there in  late  April.

Guess what? He will be there while I am in Sendai, Japan, and had been bugging me to "drop over to China" and see if I can help him dial out. Just a couple miles from where son Edward is.

      Hmm, I just may do that.

      Nothing  like  visiting  your  kids who have  gone  away  to school,  and  can't  seem to find the time to  write  home,  even electronically. 


19:49) Frank Burns                          18-MAR-89  5:02

Oh that would be fantastic Dave.  Go for it.  I say go for it.  Hell you're practically there once you reach japan anyway!  (oh well, we know that's not exactly true... but sort of.)  And the rest of us'll ride along electronically.  I WANT YOU TO GO.   I WANT YOU TO GO. 

 19:50) Dave Hughes                          18-MAR-89  17:24

Thanks for the encouragement, Frank. But I am getting to dislike all this travelling by air more and more. Crowded seating, lousy service, erratic takeoffs and connections, high prices...etc. etc. If it wasn't for my lap-top portable, so I could write things such as the above enroute, I would go stark raving mad. If there was any  assurance of smooth ice across the Bearing Straits, I would just mosy over to Sendia by my computer camper, and then to China, spend month in Outer Mongolia.... 

19:51) Gordon Cook                          19-MAR-89  13:53

Bravo Dave! 

19:52) Margo Lynn Hablutzel                 20-MAR-89  13:14

Yes, Dave -- how many times do you get a chance like this?  (I don't mean dropping in on a kid to see how they're doing -- I mean going to China!)  Yes, airtravel is the pits (take it from someone with 100'sof 1,000's of free-travel miles!) but it beats the legendary "slow boat to China."  And I can sleep in the semi-vertical, so I never fuss. 

19:53) Dave Hughes                          20-MAR-89  16:50

Oh I am *not* so sure it 'beats the slow boat to China'. The idea of lazing out on the deck of a slow boat to China, with a laptop computer on the table beside me, linked to everywhere by a packet radio satellite, is pretty tempting.... 

19:54) Margo Lynn Hablutzel                 20-MAR-89  17:17

Sure.....  Just think of the incredible descriptions and adventures you could pass along!  Think of the stories you can tell at future f-t-fs!  I'm waiting for someone to post from 35,000 due up. 

19:55) Gordon Cook                          20-MAR-89  18:49

.....or even for someone to post from a slow boat to china! 

19:56) Joan L. Sweeney                      20-MAR-89  23:59

Sounds like your son encountered the same lack of reliability to the Chinese phone system as I did three years ago Dave when I sat in a meeting in the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and gave a shot at doing a demo of The MetaNet during the seminar I was part of delivering...tremendously frustrating and disappointing to not be able to get a clear and reliable signal ...and...who [at least not I ] knew from packet radio etc....the up side of it was that The MetaNet made the front page of the Beijing paper !

I'll sure follow Ed's exploits with interest . 

19:57) Dave Hughes                          21-MAR-89  8:38

Ha! I never thought he could direct dial out to the US from there over their phone system. But I am hoping we can find some in-country link through some packet switching. We know Tyment is in Beijing, but of course not on a 'dial-in' basis. 

19:58) Gordon Cook                          21-MAR-89  9:48

metanet in China???  Years ago??? I didn't know that.   tell us more! 

19:59) Joan L. Sweeney                      21-MAR-89  23:07

The dialing out was to a Tymenet or Telenet node in Singapore... can't recall which it was right now...NOT a direct dial out Dave. 

19:60) Dave Hughes                          25-MAR-89  17:01

Ha! A letter on *paper* from China, from  'Prof. Xiao Ed' Yep. None other than son Ed. Xiao means 'young'. The kid who had dyslexia and hated to read or write - until I brought home my first computer lo, 12 years ago. Who now writes his old mom and dad a 6 page *literate* letter, our first 'glimpse' of his reactions to China. Excuse the fatherly interest in what one of his children is turning out to be when out - way out - in the real world. (My gawd. I would nothave *dreamed* of upping one day from a nice well paying job at 25 years old and saying 'Well, I think I'll go to China for a year and see what happens')

 A few small excerpts

  "My two days in Beijing, a very grey city...It took me a while to truley grasp what I was feeling...I ventured out to Tien An Men Square. This is where the Palace of the last Emperor of China is, and the Memorial Tomb of Mao Tse Ting (or Zhou Ze Tung)...I had a similar feeling when I was in Washington D.C. a couple of years ago...respect for a government in a powerful country."

"The palace was amazing and extremely palace for one man covered two square miles"

  "The place they have for me is comfortable, but compares nothing with American standards. I guess the best way to describe it is imagining going camping but the only difference is that you have abuilding instead of a tent...with the same insulation qualities of a tent."

   "The people here have been very nice. I am the first foreign teacher that they have had here [at the Liaoning Foreign Trade School] so they have treated me a little like glass...I am still figuring out what eactly I am supposed to teach besides Oral English. They just put me in front of a group of students and said - Here, now teach..."

 "I have only been through a few rough neighborhoods in the US, but the hardest in the US is the standard here...but the people just deal, as would anyone else."

   "Hopefully I will be able to telecompute...right now it lookspositive...Most of the people, from principal to English teachers, seem to understadn the concept...I have received the comment from the teachers that maybe this is better for the Technology School, or that 'Chinese' would not understand this. But I reply that the Tech School may be interested but this can be a very powerful tool for people in Foreign Trade and that perhaps we can be the people who teach the first Chinese what telecomputing is all about. I get cautious agreement..."

The school has an [IBM clone] Fujitech. It is put deep in its own room and locked away."

   "Although I am somewhat of a novelty here because I am not from China...they also are surprised at how much other knowledge I possess. I seem to have quickly, to my surprise, gained some peoples trust and confidence.."

   "I was given one of the five telephones for the entire school...

I was told that my phone was going to be given direct dial to overseas privileges..."

   "Oh, yeah, I have really enjoyed the Shortwave radio. Thanks a lot. It keeps me a little sane. Since I have been in China I have only talked to two Westerners, a lawyer from London and another teacher"

   "The teacher would like to go to Japan or Taiwan to teach Englishthere. If you could make an inquiry on a Japanese BBS he would much appreciate it..."

   "I may be interested in working for someone like Tymnet after my time at if they are interested in Dalian and me this could be an exploratory period. (I have my dreams)"

   "..enough for now from the Peoples Republic of China..."


.  19:61) Lisa Carlson                         25-MAR-89  17:05

What an incredibly interesting experience!   And I'm so glad we get to share it! 

19:62) Willard Uncapher                     25-MAR-89  18:15

   Thanks for the sharing the letter from Prof. Xiao Ed, Dave.  It'll be interesting to find out about what some of his students think can be done with a computer.  The fact that the school computer is lockedaway will perhaps renew his sense of the value of a 'personal' computer.  I remember when I was hitch hiking around Tibet that a number of Chinese there told me that the camera that I had was to them a livelihood: they would take pictures in the market place for a fee.

  It'll also be interesting to follow up some of the friendships and influences he is now having.  There is no easy way to predict what ideas he is illuminating in the minds around him, but it is certainly clear that the Chinese have someone much more special than an 'English teacher' with them right now. 

19:63) Nancy Stefanik                       25-MAR-89  22:07

Neat!  What I think is cool is the telephone offer!! 

19:64) Gordon Cook                          27-MAR-89  9:36

What a "young" Ed!  You sure did SOMETHING RIGHT Dave! i hope he can soon ascii out so we can follow his story more closely! 

19:65) Dave Hughes                          13-APR-89  17:03

Another vocie call, clear this time, from China. And Ed's room (midnite there, 10 AM here, yesterday).

(His call was to request a 46 Long Levi Jacket - he is too tall for local clothes makers!)

 Come to find out he was accepted (to teach English) because of the *added* feature of his technical expertise! Beating out a bunch of plain old English teacher-capable people.

 He said 'the cultural revolution really is still going on.' The students are so intimated by 'authority' they jsut don't want to speak up in class. Outside it they talk happily.

   He still likes it.

   He thinks he can hook up his laptop and modem to his room phone.

So we may be trying a direct computer to computer modem session soon.

   And he is merrily using Word Perfect 42. on his Toshiba 1000 (one disk drive) to help in his work. (he had to drop back from 5.0 - its too much a hog in memory)

   So he is settled in. And we have our 'China connection' about ready to try out. 

19:66) Gordon Cook                          13-APR-89  19:48

Walllll, i suspect I'm not the only one eagerly waiting! 

19:67) Tom Strand                           17-APR-89  20:07

I saw the item below on linking to China. 

Count me among the curious.. 

I've got to figure out a way to get a professor at Fudan U. in Shanghai online this summer. 


19:68) Dave Hughes                          17-APR-89  20:16

You are in luck (maybe) Tom. I just got off the phone with a Japanese in the US who gave me the address and telex of an official of the China Telecommunication Ministry who has access to Telenet in Beijing. Try contacting him.




  11, XI Shanog An Street


Telex 71622211

callback PKLDT CN 

Accordiong to Mr Usami, if he does not know, `nobody else will! 

19:69) Tom Strand                           18-APR-89  10:25 

Thanks, Dave... 

I'll let folks know what happens 


19:71) Dave Hughes                          07-MAY-89  0:30

         Another incredible letter from 'Xiao' Ed in China. I will skip  over  the  hilarious part where he - 6' 3  and  a  half"  - participated in a Teachers versus Students Basketball game.  Most of  the teachers simply stood around while he ran up and down the court,  scoring while lots of students hit, elbowed, banged, hung off of him, using their soccer style more than basketball.

     He  would  have  to  stare at the  Referee  (the  phys-edteacher)  before  the  Referee would shake  his  head  'yes'  and finally blow a foul. They were down 32 to 42 at the half.

        In the end the Teachers won,  74 to 62,  and he had scored 64 of the Teachers points.  Which, as he pointed out beat Michael Jordan's  record  in a Laker-Bull's game.  Now the Foreign  Trade Bureau  of Liaoning Province would like him to play  for  *their* team.  He observes that they are really playing for fun more than winning  or developing skills;  that they are better at  football (soccer) but not much;  and best at table tennis,  where he feels anyone  who plays him could 'wax him at any moment' but they  are being too polite to him to do so.

        I   guess   they  are  getting  a  lesson   in   American 'competitiveness.'

         Some extracts below.


         "I am learning my way around the city [ Dalien ] of about 4  million.  Mostly the very poor.  The path from the bus stop to this  school is very rough dirt path with hand built shacks  where their plumbing is a groove dug into the ground going from  inside the  shack to the outside to the edge of the path.  The smell can be somewhat brutal.

         Walking at night there is no light for the path, which is about  1  kilometer long.  You just hope for some  moonlight  and incident  light  from other factories.  Then you  feel  your  way amongst  stewing  chickens and a few barking dogs and the  rotten small of trash and human waste (careful where you step.)

         Along the main road they have lights of course.  They are about a kilometer apart when they work.

         Today is cleaning day. They have a few old women who will mop  the floors and empty the trash from the bath rooms.  If  you are lucky the trash can you have is a cardboard box.  Usually  it is  a  dustpan that is propped up in the corner.  You throw  your trash  in  the  corner,  or wherever it  lands  is  ok  too.  The bathrooms  can be pretty rough also.  Cleaning means rinsing with water;  no soap,  no disinfectant,  nothing.  So every bathroom I have  been in has a very strong ammonia smell.  Outhouses in  the parks and national forests in America do not smell as bad.

         ....All  the  teachers are cleaning  their  offices,  for there  is  once-a-semester cleaning...some people will  come  and inspect  the cleaning...if the cleaning is not good  enough  thenpeople    get    punished..    which   usually    means    severe  criticism...which   could   mean   never  getting   any   further advancement in your career...

         ...  there  are  many  leaders for  just  about  anything

...people  just seem to get jerked around like a  steel  pin-ball until  they  settle into a little hole where no one  will  notice them...  I  guess that is why I like the young students so  much.

They haven't been thrown to the wolves of daily life yet.  When I talk  to  them  they  are very curious and more  or  less  happy. Different from most adults I have met.

         The  students are interesting.  They seem pretty  spoiled and have little respect for any property,  including their own...

         Getting on the bus is a patience or attempt  to wait  in  line...I have seen old women elbowed and old  men  just pushed away...People say that one should flow like a river around all  the  rocks...the Chinese seem to flow like a river of  rocks around boulders.

         I am trying to learn...the language, calligraphy and  Wu Shu   (martial  arts).   The  first  two  are  easy  to  find  a teacher...But finding a good teacher of Wu Shu is very difficult.


         He says the students got permission to march in Dalien as part of the current student movement.  And they did.   But as  he points out, we know more about what is going on than he does.

         He then goes on to discuss his Telecommunications Trials.

He  got a modem answer tone on both Chariot and TWICS (in  Tokyo) but  could  not  connect  acoustically.  Since  a  Petro-Chemical Company    he    has   contacted   is   *very*   interested    intelecommunications,  as  well  as  the  Dailen  Computer  Science ompany (a retailer across China) he is still trying to hard wire a solution. But every call is $3.86 a minute (about $232 an hour)(costs us about $50 an hour to call him). So tests are expensive.

 But he still likes it, and is talking about staying if he can  land  a  good technological position with a US  company  in-country.

         Ah youth! 

19:72) Dave Hughes                          07-MAY-89  15:34

Are readers of the above getting garbage characters at the end of each word? I don't but I may have failed to 'scrub' the text before uploading to remove the high bits. 

19:73) Scott Burns                          07-MAY-89  18:09

Looks okay to me Dave, I'd think Caucus or Xenix would remove them on the way in, but will check for sure. 

19:74) Gordon Cook                          08-MAY-89  9:35

just great Dave, keep the inspiration flowing! 

19:75) Dave Hughes                          11-MAY-89  12:27

         Ah. Young 'Xiao' Professor Ed is turning out to be a chip off  the old Hughes telecom-block.  He has landed the first order for  a  modem to be imported to a company in Dalien  which  sells imported  computer stuff in China.  Almost all Japanese stuff  to date.  This will be the first 'American' product (I think I  will go  US Robotics,  though who knows where *they* get their  modems manufactured). And if it works on their lines...(he even got them to pay for the phone call this am. *Thats* hustle for ya!)

         And  from  all I can garner there is just virtually  *no* modem telecom within or to/from that vast land.  This is  getting exiting. 

19:76) Gordon Cook                          11-MAY-89  19:05

The significant other of one of our user consultants does business in Beijing. He has communicated with her via telex and I think fax. 

When  I asked about modem he looked at me like i was nuts! keep us posted! 

19:77) Dave Hughes                          11-MAY-89  20:38

We (Larry Fox and I) are peering at the export license rules for China. Maybe just maybe there are some modems not requiring an export license. Fax and telex? Ugh. 

19:78) Gordon Cook                          12-MAY-89  10:12

Well of course UGH!   These are SUPPOSEDLY knowledgable people who think that these are the ONLY feasible technologies to and from the middle kingdom! 

19:79) Gordon Cook                          18-MAY-89  20:02

What an incredible time to be in china!!!!!!! 

how many people saw Nightline last night? 

The leaders of the Chinese Communist party negotiating for their positions with the student demonstrators LIVE on Nationwide television!!! 

Mind boggling!!   This is the stuff of which revolutions are made!! What's Ed's typing speed dave?   he could have the ability to produce an on the scene best selling book! 

19:80) Lisa Carlson                         18-MAY-89  20:22 

I'm watching the CBS "48 Hours" live special from China right now... 

Fascinating!  Inspiring! 

19:81) Lisa Carlson                         18-MAY-89  20:33

One of the reporters on the CBS special just asked, "When do we stop calling this a demonstration and start calling it a revolution?" 


19:82) Dave Hughes                          18-MAY-89  23:43

Ah, China is a *large* country - and up until the last few days news by media of the happenings in Beijiing was supressed. Ed  said "You probably know more about it than I do. But the students at this school 'requested permission' to march, and did after it was granted." I have heard nothing since then.I'll hear more - and he *can* write (bless his soul, after learning on a wordprocessor). So we shall see. 

19:83) Dave Hughes                          19-MAY-89  7:15

         Yes,  'Xiao'  Edward is living in 'interesting times'  inChina  right now.  I talked to him and he reports from Dalien  as follows.

         The  portion  of  the Liaong Trade college  with  'young' students  is totally out of business.  All young students are  on strike.  While  the older vocational students are still going  to class.  He  taught a group of them yesterday.  But all his  other classes  have been cancelled.  They are not opposed in any way by the  government  (or  college  administration).  All  life  seems normal,  except  that school is shut down and there  are  student marches all the time.

         He says 'the people' seem to support them fully,  as does the  school administration and faculty - but without showing  it.

Very quiet. Just watching and talking.

         It also appears to him that the government can do nothing about what is going on. That it is 'out of their control' so they are permitting everything without opposition.  Even, in some ways

helping.    Over  10,000  students  have been  gathering-marching  in  'Stalin  Square' in downtown Dalian.  The students of his  school  have  to  walk a good 4 miles to get to downtown.  So the  school administration holds supper until they have time to get back.

         They    are   'incredibly'   organized,    even    though communications seems so difficult.  But news is beginning to  get in.  Everyone is now aware of the scope and importance of what is going on in Beijing.  (He chuckled when I told him that while he, Ed, had been able to wander through the Forbidden City, Gorbachev had  not been able to.) Chinese government-controlled  television was  not only showing what was going on,  but it was clear  those running  the station were supporting the student  movement.  Over half  a  20 minute English TV news broadcast was  given  over  to covering Beijing events.

         He  is  constantly asked "What he,  an  American,  thinks about it." Only the students seem publically involved. He says if he  tried  to join a march,  he would probably  not  be  stopped, because  the  whole  movement appears beyond the control  of  the government.  But everything is quiet and,  except for the  strike and marches, normal.

         Yesterday  a group of busses passed,  carrying  uniformed 'marine'  students  (Dalien is the famous port Port  Arthur  port city).  When the last bus passed,  a student waved to him out the back window in a way that told him the student understood that he understood.

         He will pass on the supportive (of the student strike for 'democracy')  message  Van  Gyi,  Burmese student living  in  the United States gave me via telecom to give to 'Xiao' Ed.

         He is going downtown tomorrow.

         This must be the politest revolution in history. 

19:84) Scott Burns                          19-MAY-89  8:24

I've heard on  the news  this  morning that the  Chinese government is going to start cracking down.   They haven't  threatened violence, but they say they do want to remove  the students from the  Peoples Square in  Bejing (sp?).   I'm interested in seeing  how the police  (some of whom were marching with the protestors in days past) will handle this.

We'll see. 

19:85) Van Gyi                              19-MAY-89  14:32

The situation in China is on the brink right now. Chinese people are demanding freedom of speech and writing and democracy. If the chinese leaders represent for the fellow citizen, they should allow it.

I always remember one chinese leader's words " Our government is like a fish that travels in the water".

My worry is also the crack down on the movement. But the government will play a beautiful trick. If they crack down the leaders from the world will blame on Chinese leaders. The Government might use the people from the intelligence service disguised as students and make or turn the demonstration into rioting and looting. And then the authorities will make reason for it and will crack down. The authorities will detain the student leaders for a long time.

Here are the facts supporting for Chinese movement for democracy:

_To organize the entire people to participate( Send the student representatives throughout the country to explain the people)

_To unite each other in the movement.

_To demand peacefully

_To avoid personal attack.

_To make the future planning

-To try the support from outside-world.(The Chinese community in

D.C should demonstrate in front of the Chinese Embassy.Chinese students in D.C should do something...)

_To explain the organizations of Chinese armed forces about the

movement.(The Chinese leaders will use them to crack down.

_To form all China Student Union with constituencies. 

19:86) Lisa Carlson                         19-MAY-89  21:34

Special Reports from CBS are now saying that there are people in their broadcast booth from the government saying that there will be a news  blackout.  They are broadcasting the hallway negotiations in which CBS is attempting to maintain its broadcast. 

Marshal law has been imposed in parts of the capital.  News media have been ordered not to leave or enter the city ... 

Makes me value freedom of speech we have here even more .... 

Live broadcasts from the square have been cut off ...

There have been some "fly bys" of helicopters over the square ...  it's pretty scary .. 

19:87) Van Gyi                              19-MAY-89  21:58

I guess they will cut off all the connections with outside world and then they will crackdown.(We had the same thing in Burma.).If there ie drop of blood of the student in handling the student demonstration, things could   confused.

It is very strange that 1989 is a bicentennial year of the FRENCH REVOLUTION.

The meeting of a farmer's son named Mao Tsetung and an educated Chou En Lai changed into Red Chinaand the chinese people got two bowls of rice s than one bowl of rice soup before. Edgar Snow introduced Red China and the culture revolution to the world. He died a few years ago. Edgar Snow, Mao Tsetung ,Chou En Lai who establish the Red China has now faced the great challenge from her people. In fact, they are hungry for something, not food. 

19:88) Lisa Carlson                         20-MAY-89  10:19

John and I were just talking last night about how this period of time is for the Communist world like the revolutionary period which produced many of our current democracies... 

19:89) Dave Hughes                          20-MAY-89  11:43

Well, it is stretching it a bit to think that the current events are aimed at anything resembling a really new order. It is interesting to see that the students keep invoking American images and sayings (Statue of Liberty float, 'by the people, of the people etc..' quotes in tv interviews, frequent references in interviews to 'as in the United States' ) At the same time 'overthrow' of the government is denied as an aim. It is widespread 'reform' that is being called for.

   A lot of the problem seems to be economic too.

   So let me ask a tough questions. Does anyone here really believe that if communist brand of socialism *really* was replaced by a representative, multi-party democracy form as we know it, that China’s immense problems would be on the way to solution? Population growth out of control, space, jobs, technology improving 'productivity' food production, education for a billion people...

  What would happen, for example, to the 'one child' per family policy - rather harshly enforced by nosy old ladies in the urban areas, while less observed, but still influential in the rural areas? 'free' democratic India  and Bangladesh is hardly a comfortable model.

   Maybe the question is - can *any* form of government work in China? 

19:90) Nancy Stefanik                       20-MAY-89  18:17

   Well, Dave, I don't know enough about China's problems to respond to your question, but do know that I wish more than anything today that I was  born in China and was part of the peoples revolution. It is so exciting. 

19:91) Lisa Carlson                         20-MAY-89  18:29

You can fight for many of the same ideals right here (and I know you do, Nancy!).  I keep thinking about how much freedom of speech and of the press means.  The first thing a totalitarian government does is try to make a news blackout before they "crack down" ... There are some thingsyou just don't do while folks can "watch" .... 

19:92) Frank Burns                          20-MAY-89  18:44

Yet what's also "real" in this new, wonderful, wacky, complex world is that a country cannot _actually_ pull its shades down tight.

They can make it tough for the reporters and the networks... but the words and images WILL get out. 

Truly exciting happenings in China.  Sure good to be getting your son's reports, Dave. 

19:93) Dave Hughes                          20-MAY-89  19:35

You bet you can't stop the news from getting out - as CNN noted today (while running some fresh pictures) *everybody* has a videocam! 

19:94) Van Gyi                              20-MAY-89  21:41

A good question, Dave. A billion people-multi party system government in China. It depends on the thickness of communism foundation in China. In my opinion the source of the situation comes from the past.

Mao Tsetung and the communist partly provided the needy people with shelter Food, Clothing. The entire people welcomed them. And then the communists organized the people .(Sorry to use the word"brain washed)" .At that time, the worshipers of Mao Tsetung issued the "Red Book"_on the traffic light-post we could hear a kid reading Loudly the red book to hear the passerbys. On the plane the marching songs of the army broadcasted all the time.

Deng Xiaoping opened its door of China.He made reform on economic issue.

Deng Xiaoping and group laid lown the economic plan of reform but the lower chinese leaders are unable to walk on the path. Corruption have been growing, and the people have difficulties on food,shelter,and clothing. The Chinese people would like to say or write. But they are not allowed.

They begins to find freedom of speech and writing. Well, let's start your question. Multi-party system is so dangerous for China.(we haven't known who is the main philosopher in the movement, how much the military stand on the side of the people,is there any political rival group appeared in the movement). By seeing this situation, I myself ask China could be divided into 2.

    The best for Chinese leaders are to reshuffle or resign , giving freedom of speech and writing, and always avoiding laying out the economic plan which hits the needs of BASIC people and to respect the wishes of the people.

  Dave, Time will answer the truth on Chinese situation.(smile -releasing my tension) 


 19:95) Dave Hughes                          20-MAY-89  23:30

It is clear - and good in-depth recent television coverage has confirmed - that there is Chinese life 'in the cities' and then peasant life. The rules of one won't work for the other. 

19:96) Frank Burns                          21-MAY-89  9:02

This morning's _Washington Post_ contains the headline: "Students Teach Army A Lesson From Mao" -- and the lead article begins: "The people outmaneuvered the People's Liberation Army and its generals today." 

Fascinating, what is happening in China. 

Something else that caught my eye:  "A madcap band of between 300 and 400 motorcyclists raced about the city as a kind of reconnaissance force, warning citizens of the army's approach and passing messages back and forth among groups of citizens and students." 


19:97) Scott Burns                          21-MAY-89  10:36

Current word this morning is that  the government is going  to attempt to move the army in at 4:00PM EST today (which is something  like 5:00 in the morning there).   The news  says  that the  government has sent troops  into  town  via the subways but  that  people  are  now massed outside the subway stations where the  troops would exit and  have the blocked underground.  Better watch the news late this afternoon! 

19:98) Dave Hughes                          21-MAY-89  10:41

I think there is going to be bloodshed, and mass arrests. The hardliners have no choice now but to order the Army to use deadly force. 

19:99) Gordon Cook                          21-MAY-89  16:59

Don't you think a lot of it will depend on what troops they send in?  Do Mongolians speak the same language? If I wanted to repress things i would be sure to try to find troops who couldn't comprehend what the crowd was saying. 

dave you may well be right and probably it's inevitable that there will be some blood shed, but  how effective are 30,000 troops gonna be against a million people? 

The Times wrote today about the army trucks that were surrounded with the people jumping on to educate the soldiers. Stop, we want to talk to you for a few minutes. Oh you look tired and's some coca cola, some bread, some support you must support us. 

By this point some of the soldiers were crying and the truck turned around and drove off from whence it came. 

19:100) Gordon Cook                          21-MAY-89  17:03

I don't think the army has shown enough loyalty to the system to be counted on. Would you be inm a helluva predicament if you had to lead a battalion out there against your own people???? 

Now the army may yet let rivers of blood flow but I think it's touch and go and that the loyalty of the army is by no means assured.  

19:101) Dave Hughes                          21-MAY-89  17:20

It only takes one soldier and officer out of 1,000 who refuse with a machine gun... 

19:102) Dave Hughes                          21-MAY-89  18:45

*VERY* interesting set of facts were related by a China expert who recently returned. He points out that the Army has serious grievances itself with the regime. That the status of the Chinese military establishment has been so greatly reduced over thelast 10 'reformist' years that it is the laughingstock of the country. That service in it has been so demeaned that its ranks are largely filled by peasants with no better future to look forward to. And it was so denied funds that for large numbers there has been no pay at al - only a uniform, food, shelter and a job.

  So the question of how it will behave is quite problematical. 

19:103) Dave Hughes                          21-MAY-89  18:49

But that leads to the irony Henry Kissinger pointed to, that this crises in fact has been brought about *because* the regime has implemented reforms - a most difficult things for any authoritarian regime.

 And that old Deng, whom Mao purged three times, then was restored, has been a Greek tragic figure - as the most reformist of all the leaders, who now is being reviled by those whom he empowered by 'decentralizing' the economy, and inevitably requiring political loosening up too. 

19:104) Dave Hughes                          21-MAY-89  18:50

Finally, some experts are saying that the lesson the Soviets will get from this is that it is too *dangerous* to liberalize!

Gorbachev may be the worst hurt of all!!!! 

19:105) Gordon Cook                          21-MAY-89  19:16

On the last (104) I hope you are wrong.  Certainly Gorby must get severe collywobbles when he looks at China now.  That's for sure! 


 19:106) Dave Hughes                          21-MAY-89  20:05

Gorby's 'conservatives' can just point to Beijing and say "See what will happen?"

  (the other irony is that the 'students' are, by a large, the children of China's power elites) 

19:107) Van Gyi                              22-MAY-89  2:01

>I always remember a chinese leader words "The power comes from the gun. "They can substitute the generals who dare to shoot the demonstrators. Or the chinese intelligence will nab the high ranking officers who disobey the order to shoot.

One sound of gun fire and seeing blood is very trembling. If the army fire one gun fire in the air the crowd would be disperse.The people will destroy the government factories and party buildings.

The main thing is what the people from Beijing will do. The people from all over China are looking on the people of Beijing.The authorities could control Beijing, The other would be easy. The other question for us is "Are the people  opening their individual strike camps thru out the country.

We haven't known yet  whether the communist cadres resign the member of the party throughout the country.

Issuing the Martial Law and the cut-off of international communication organization is a bad sign. If the army stands on the ruling people, the chinese students 'movement will  be crushed. 

19:108) Van Gyi                              22-MAY-89  2:30

Burmese government has a great deal of experience in handling such demonstration! 

19:109) Dave Hughes                          22-MAY-89  3:34

         Talked again to Xiao Ed.  (supper time in Dalian May 22d, day  after purported ultimatum to students in Beijing).  He  said that  to  the  surprise  of  everyone  the  students  marched  and protested  again - two groups this time.  (surprise  because  they thought  that  although martial law was imposed only  in  Beijing that  students there would take the hint).  But still being  done very  peacefully  and  nothing else but school  is  really  being disrupted.  And  no  sign  of either  other  sectors  of  society protesting or of an increased military presence.  He, Ed, had not been  warned or told to do or not do anything,  but he was  being cautious nevertheless.  (not so cautious he was staying home.  He was  on  his  way 'downtown' to Stalin  Square  area  again.  And keeping a journal of everything)

         Information  is very sparse and he said that the  Chinese in  his area are almost soley relying on Chinese English Voice of America.  He asked that I get the word - as if it is necessary  - to VOA that the Chinese *really* are depending on them now. Other news  sources  are  very poor now.  One teacher told him  that  a government radio announcers voice reading the obligatory   things he had to say was obviously very depressed,  doing his announcing job spiritlessly his voice so low it was hard to hear him.  (body language?)

         I was able to inform him - and he will inform some of his Chinese  faculty at the school - of the way US news is  reporting events  in Beijing.  They had two disturbing rumors - one that  a student  had  died  from  the hunger  strike  and  that  one  had committed  suicide.  I  told him that several news  reports  said there  had  been no confirmation of anyone dying from the  hunger strike  - in  fact that the students themselves felt  the  hunger phase was no longer necessary, that they were waiting quietly for the government to make the next move.  So he learned some  things from me of events in Beijing from US news sources (that are doing a remarkable job even through the restrictions).

         Ed  asked  me  what a 'Red Leader' had meant  before  the cultural  revolution.  That the president of the school had  been one and gotten into trouble from it then.  So was very quiet now.I told him I didn't know.

         Wondering  whether  all we said was being  monitored,  we rung off. He said he would call if anything dramatic changed.  The  same  eerie 'wait and see' seems to be going  on  in Dalian just as it is elsewhere. 

19:110) Frank Burns                          22-MAY-89  4:08

Sure is good to have your report here from Ed, Dave.  I'm reading itafter having just re-read Shumpei's thoughts in item 182.  I keep thinking about _how_ the information technologies have changed the rules of the game of revolution.  There were hints of these changes in the way that the "Red Leaders" in the "cultural revolution" saw their role... but this current drama in China is giving us "external observers" a much more direct role in shaping the events... to the extent that Heisenberg could not have foreseen.  The role of the "observer" *is* a factor in the equation of social change and global information technologies mean that "we observers" are as accountable for the results as are, in this case, the students in Beijing. 

What does "martial law" mean in the age of global communications? 

Are Ed Hughes, tired VOA readers, and CNN reporters the "real" leaders in this new revolution? 

19:111) Gordon Cook                          22-MAY-89  9:21

The news this morning is that 100 top military leaders have sent apetition to the "givernment" saying that they will never kill their own people! 

If the military can't/won't act, the government is powerless! 

19:112) Scott Burns                          22-MAY-89  10:49

Wow, I hope that isn't just a rumor.  That's great! 

19:113) Dave Hughes                          22-MAY-89  11:31

Historically we know that the advent of public (press) photography caused a tempering of conspicuous display of personal wealth and power in the latter part of the last century. I haven't forgotten that. Today's counterpart has been the eye of global television being able to record every public beating. Of course that has simply driven some things out of sight. *But* global visual communications sure has inhibited the naked exercise of power, particularly police and military, when compared with the past.

 Now *personal* telecommunications (not just press), and this kind of individual reporting, not just news agencies, in words that can convey things pictures can't, may be taking it a big step further.

   I only wish son Ed had a packet radio with the range to reach here, instead of our relying - voice or data - on government controlled phones...

  Maybe next revolution.  But here is an important fact. It is not just getting information *out* but our ability to get information *in* that is different, and quite beyond broadcast media that is being watched, jammed, or ordered off the air in turbulent areas.

   In many ways, my ability to talk to Ed voice with 1+ direct dialing (not through an operator) right in his room, has permitted *me* to be the reporter to him and his Chinese associates who - as he said - know less of what is going on that some of us do, especially our interpretation, informed in part by the Chinese and foreign policy experts who are speaking out in the US on tv, radio, and papers.

   My 'advice' both as a concerned father for his safety and for the fragility of the so far peaceful changes taking place, has been greatly heightened by what I know that I have gotten from our own press - originating right in the Beijing square.

   A total feedback loop!

   Now if we just could sneak in a packet radio to the student leaders in the square.... 

19:114) Dave Hughes                          22-MAY-89  11:50

In their way, the Chinese have always been leaders on the face of the globe. The profound image of themselves as a race has underlain much of their behavior. Experts yesterday pointed out that (1) this whole movement can also be interpreted as an expression of pride in themselves as Chinese - that they feel they are not being permitted (seeing the success of the other eastern countries - Korea, Japan) to 'be all they can be.'

   Gary Utley a weekend anchor on a network news hour did an interesting personal 'aside' at the end of his reporting. He said when he was  in rural China a few years ago a peasant farmer, when speaking of his reaction to the economic reforms said they were needed because "If we Chinese are as smart as we say we are, why arn't things better?"

 So in the land where Mao brought a new meaning to the idea of revolution - the wedding of political system to arms (yes Van Gyi, he said "Poltical power grows out of the barrel of a gun") just maybethe Chinese people - led by the students (few of whom have ever visited or studied *in* the west) are going beyond that vision.

   The army's message to the government may be an expression of an understanding of the relation of civil to military that is really the 'military ethic' of the future even in societies where governments are backed by military force. (look at Noreiga, and remember the Phillipines). Which may foreshadow the decline of national Tyranny which have always relied on blind military obedience as much as anything.

   Once again, China may be teaching us all a lesson which goes far beyond economics or marxist theory. Rooted in their deep sense of themselves, the Mandate of Heaven, and the location of the Middle Kingdom. 

19:115) Van Gyi                              22-MAY-89  15:17

I was very surprised there is no announcement made by authorities after issuing marshall law. The students and the people are the strength.This strength is powerful. If this strength is not utilized very well, the dangerous result could occur.

My wish is to get a "leader" who stands on the side of the people. There is some chance that a "hero" from the military could appear. At present there is no leader on behalf of the demonstrators.I don't trust the people's army. The pullback of the army from Beijing's suburbs don't mean that the army feel sympathy on the people.

One thing I worry is how much of food is stocked in Beijing. Without food the people could not make further movement. A great chinese philosopher said ;

           The government is like a boat on the water. The water represents the water.The boat can turnover the wave of water.

Mao Tsetung  added a little bit;

          The government is like a fish. It travels in the water.

          The water represents the people.

I think,after this chinese revolution,a new kind of philosophy will beheard .I am very eager to hear it. 

19:116) Dave Hughes                          22-MAY-89  16:33

Beware of singular leaders emerging in a time of crises. 

19:117) Margo Lynn Hablutzel                 22-MAY-89  20:33

Could Xiao Ed hook into the international ham radio network???  I am fascinated at the impotence of the government.  It gets more harsh and more strict, but the students persevere.  I read about (I do not get cable) CNN's showing of the negotiations as all AV news was banned.  Did the leaders not realize that they were being beamed worldwide?  Or how does it fit into their plan? 

Although I cannot see Chiuna making a great leap into total democracy as a result of this, it clearly will not return to communism as it was in the past.  Too many have sipped the wine.  But I would like to wait and then compare this with China's last revolution, when all the shouting is done and the dust has settled. 

19:118) Bill Robinson                        22-MAY-89  20:36 

May we live in interesting times, indeed!! 

19:119) Van Gyi                              23-MAY-89  0:10

If the benefit of the country and the benefit of the communist party are compared in a time,which is the first priority to be chosen.

     The above statement is very very important for the chinese leaders.

They will have to choose only one.

Yes, Dave...In the period of revolution, the leaders will appear. Without leaders.>     In Burma,"the Burmese Way to Socialism" and the philosophy of correlation of human and human's evironments were introduced to the people by the military govt.(Revolutionary Council).There was only one party, Burma Socialist Programme Party. From 1962 to now, everything is red tape, food shortage is in red tape,food shortages for many years,lacking the country, large corruption and lacking of freedom of speech andwriting and losing human rights and bullying on the people have occurred.

    Burmese students have been campaigning since 1962.Thousand of students died  and some have been going to underground. Burma is a small country and lacking good communication system ,so the world didn't know what they should know.

    I do trust the chinese people also have painful sufferrings.

We,Burmese wish the chinese people are never shot by its army like the Burmese people being shot by its army. 

19:120) Dave Hughes                          23-MAY-89  0:11

It seems confirmed that the 100 top military leaders did in fact write to the government and party leadership. CNN quoted the main points - which include (1)the Army is a people's army andbelongs to the people (2)it should not be used against the Chinese people and (3) it *will* not shoot the people.

 So they tossed the matter back into the lap of the politicians.  And to make matters even more interesting some of the student leadership wrote a letter also asking what is it going to take to end this stalemate?

   May end, not with a bang, but a whimper. 

19:121) Dave Hughes                          23-MAY-89  0:14

Well, Van Gyi, you and President Bush agree on *that* point. For I heard him say yesterday that he hoped the matter would *not* end the way it did in Burma! (the violence by government) 

19:122) Dave Hughes                          24-MAY-89  8:40

I'm sure you have all read by now that Stanford U centered Chinese students in the US are sending 'fax news' to China to bypass censored news, and in turn are linked in the US over a computer conferencing network they have set up some time ago called 'Social Culture China' which they say links 30,000 Chinese students in the US with each other. 

Well, I spotted a uucp announcement for a fall Computer Conference inChina, with a US point of contact in California - Zhihong Zhang, ande-mailed him to see if he knew of general telecom links to China.

His answer is typical hacker-student-interesting.


Subject: HPDesk 


Did you get my reply? Do you know what's HP Desk? 

My girl friend works for HP China. She can send mail to US thru HPDesk.

I am wondering if there is a gateway between HPDesk and UUCP or

BITNET so I can send mail to her. 



So maybe we will find a pathway into where Ed is via the girlfriend route. Good as any I guess.

(I have asked Netnews Colorado if they know the answer. Lots of HP sites in uucp) 

19:123) Gordon Cook                          24-MAY-89  9:48

That's neat Dave.....keep working on it. 

Did everyone hear?   Satellite transmissions having been started from Beijing have again, this morning been stopped. 

19:124) Van Gyi                              24-MAY-89  11:21

No, Gordon.It is strange and it is too bad for us who want to watch the chinese situation on T.V.

I think the administrative machinery of China is in good shape.The order of martial law is issued by Li Peng but Deng Xiaoping seemed to agree.  However,in Communist and socialist countries there is too much centralization, and I think Zao Ziyang and Li Peng might ask approval from Deng. 

19:125) Dave Hughes                          26-MAY-89  12:31

         As  of  May 25th,  Ed reports things are still  quiet  in Dalian.  There  are  now  great  spreads  of  posters  everywhere downtown but less marching.

         He  did not know - and doubts that many locals knew yet - that the liberal leaders had been put under house arrest.  I told him I thought the crack-down and purge was coming, and being that he is at an educational (i.e. student) place to walk quietly.

         His  ancient  phone in his room  is  busted  -again.  The rotary dialer won't work.  Getting things repaired takes forever. So  he  is trying to get his Touchbase modem to work as  a  pulse dialer tapped into the line.  A computer assist to voice.  But he now  needs  a  modular jack he doesn't have which  I  will  mail.

Though  we  both think that half the stuff that we mail him  gets stolen when it reaches the local mail system.

         I  now  have established an excellent  uucp-mail  contact with a 'visiting scholar' from China,  computer science type,  in Sacramento,  California  who  says he has other  Chinese  studentfriends there who are from the Dalian area.  So I am busy  picking their  brains about both possible telecom links to/from China (he thinks  the  only uucp connection is through a  company  in  WestGermany,  and  it  is  private  business)  and  computer  science activities in the Dalian area. Of course Zhang also says that the'Chinese  government'  is not too keen  on  encouraging  advanced telecommunications  facilities in/from China.  He noted that  the Telex  connection to his own university in China has been cut offin recent days.

         In spite of Ed's reports about just how backwards,  timid (he  says  they  treat  the  students  like  children,   who  act accordingly  when  in school),  and over-staffed (there  are  200 faculty for 450 students) things are there he still is  exploring the possibility of staying on in China if he can secure the right technological position. He still likes it. Which amazes me. 

19:126) Frank Burns                          03-JUN-89  18:50

The news from China on television tonight is not good at all. Terrible violence, many students killed, chaos.  The movement for democracy has been attacked with force -- but i'm imagining the reported violence of the military will radicalize the people. Whether they will be cowed remains to be seen. 

19:127) Van Gyi                              04-JUN-89  2:22

I aws totally shocked to see the front page on Washington Post. Right now in China ,The parents who losts their sons and daughters might cry for the loss.The Chinese Murderer-Government might never give the student's bodies.

The Chinese Army shot on the students who have only ball-pens .I wish I could see the chinese people  give punishment on fistful of *STUPID* leaders for their crime. 

19:128) Margo Lynn Hablutzel                 07-JUN-89  8:21

I am both incredulous and resigned.  On the one hand, I cannot believe that a government would condone (and apparently even instigate) such a wholesale massacre of its citizens.  On the other, from what I have seen of totalitarian societies, it is the only way the government knows how to respond to demands for reform. 

19:129) Bill Robinson                        07-JUN-89  19:25 

The denials on their own networks that * any * deaths occured is just sickening.  Just sickening.