Virtual City on the net LO2271
Sat, 29 Jul 1995 11:45:51 -0400

Dear Learning Org. Community,

I have been in and out of this conference over time, and soon I must return
to share a couple significant organization learning projects I am involved in
at Sun Microsystems. I enclose the following not as an advertisement for
Sun, but as a view into a fascinating cyberspace community where powerful
learning can take place. Please read the following and visit the web site: . For best results expand screen.


David Wick

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Date: Fri, 21 Jul 1995 12:48:18 -0700
From: press@relations.Corp.Sun.COM (Press Relations)
Subject: SUNFLASH! (Virtual City in Amsterdam)


MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. -- July 21,1995 -- Thousands more `tourists'
will now be able to visit and mingle with the `inhabitants' of
Amsterdam's cyberspace version, De Digitale Stad (The Digital City).
With the installation of a SPARCserver(TM) 1000 system, The Digital City,
one of Holland's most popular and innovative Web sites, can now offer a
load of new interactive features. Sun Microsystems Computer Company
(SMCC) announced today that The Digital City selected the SPARCserver
1000 system to host version 3.0 of the software because of its ability
to process the growing number of visitors to the virtual city and
because of Sun's position as a world leader in network computing.

The Digital City of Amsterdam, which began in January of 1994,
originally offered its users access to governmental and public
information in text-only format. But because the City is all about
interaction between its `inhabitants' and interaction with the
government, on a local and national scale, it needed a new interface
to accommodate communication between individuals visiting the site at
the same time. Consequently, The Digital City hosted a site on the
World Wide Web which allowed the founders of The Digital City more
freedom to design a more creative interface. Today the City is
constructed around squares, all with their own theme. These squares
serve as a place where people with similar interests can meet and
interact in real time.

Wired magazine (June 1995) described The Digital City as
"an experiment in civic networking, a virtual world that exists within
a battery of computers . . . Its streets and alleyways are links of
hypertext strung thorough the World Wide Web." With 18,000 inhabitants
to date (individuals who are registered as `residents' with City e-mail
addresses), The Digital City hosts about 120,000 more visitors
(occasional bypassers) each month. They visit for many reasons: to
download minutes from governmental meetings, receive cultural
announcements, learn news about Amsterdam or the Internet, post messages,
or simply to visit one of the city's 'cafes' and enjoy a chat.

"On average, we have 5,000 visitors a day who spend an
average of a half an hour in the City," said Joost Flint, system manager
of the City. "We chose Sun's SPARCserver 1000 system as a platform
because we feel that Sun could supply us with the capacity to grow
further. In addition, we felt that Sun's Internet expertise, as well
as its partnerships and cutting-edge technologies such as HotJava(TM) Web
browser, offer us a lot of great opportunities for the future."

"It is very important that the visiting individual is able to
keep his or her own identity in the City," explained Marleen Stikker,
mayor of The Digital City. "An individual can `move' into a house in the
City. That house becomes theirs, and they can adapt it to their own
needs by creating and modifying their own homepage. Those registering
as inhabitants can define some characteristics of themselves, and even
attach pictures so their individual identity is maintained. In our
experience, this results in a very high loyalty to the City and a
commitment to participate in City life."

The Digital City has direct links to the Dutch Parliament,
creating a new channel of communication between civilians and elected
officials. The goals of The Digital City are the following:

*Encourage participation: Because the electronic highway will have
a considerable social and cultural impact, it is vital that as many
people as possible have access to and take advantage of the opportunity
to become familiar with the Internet.

*Increase use of Internet: The Digital City has been critical
in inspiring comparable Internet sites elsewhere.

*Develop the economy: The Digital City wants to help smaller
companies develop new products and services based on this new technology.

To reach Digitale Stad Amsterdam type

Sun Microsystems Computer Company (SMCC) is a world leader in the
design, manufacture and sale of network computing systems and is a
division of Sun Microsystems, Inc. Recognized for quality and innovation,
the company's SPARCstation(TM) systems and multiprocessing servers each hold
the No. 1 UNIX marketshare position. These systems are used primarily by
businesses, educational institutions and governments worldwide for
technical, commercial, industrial and software development applications.
# # #

Press announcements and other information about Sun Microsystems are
available on the Internet via the World Wide Web using a tool such as
Netscape or NCSA Mosaic. Type at the URL prompt.

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