April 11, 2011 Annual meeting of the Naples Free-Net
What a great year for the Naples Free-Net and its volunteers and members. I could talk hours about what we all accomplished.
We hope that this little booklet showes a few of the highlights of the poer of Volunteerism, the power of internet technolot and the power of collaboration. Whenever curosity, persistence, perseverfance and the ability to learn and the avility to teach comes together something magical happens:
Of course, quie a few of us feel that working or just dealing with computer is something magical, too and that wizards and agenles live among us to tame the beastly boxes, pesky little things.
Wizards & Angels. That’s how quite a few members of the Naples Free-Net feel about the volunteers on the helpteam, DSL team and ampong our NFN instructors. That’s how I feel about my fellow volunteers. Everyone is extremely helpful, courteous and patient. That extra dosis of compassion and patience makes the Naples Free-Net not your ordinary techie club.
You can walk into the office and just listen. Helpteam members in the phone are talking with members through their computer struggles, be it connecting on dial-up DSL, wiht programs for emails, web WordPress, or Skype or Photos. And then do what we do best, learn, fail, teach, solve, share and serve an electronically connected community.
And on the eve before Yuri’s Night, the world-wide celebration of the 50th Anniversary of human kind getting into space, I want you to realize that with the computer power of a smartphone, we – humans – were ableto put people on the moon and back and we were able to travel and communication 240,000 miles. Pinder that for a minute.
… before tomorrow, we are all beginners again.
The biggest challenge in our field is that we live in exciting times, new widgets, gadgets, software become faster and stronger. Welcome to our life on the bleeding edge between machine and humans. We are traverlers in a different form of vast space. New challenges are brought before us all the time, so the ability to embrace the new and the change is what we have constantly to deal with.
We are explorers, adventurers into the New: Yes. It’s hard. Sometimes we are tired, sometimes we would like to rest on our laurels one more day, shine one more day in the light of mastery, if not genius in the eyes of otthers, before tomorrow, we are all beginners again.
So the challenges before us: cloud computing, data privacy and security, the perpetual medium, mobile phones, user generated conent, in a multi-m,edia world. Pick one. Pick two.. Pick ’em all. And then we do what we do best: Learn, fail, teach, solve, share and serve an electronically connected community.
From the President’s report at the Naples Free-Net Annual Meeting on April 11, 2011. Birgit Pauli-Haack was president from 2009 to 2012.
On July 31, 2023, after 30 Years, the Naples Free-Net closed its doors. It was the longest lasting all-volunteer Free-net in the US. I was a proud volunteer between 1998 – 2005 and 2008 – 2015.