Four Candles for Metropole

photo: cafe bar balto

Fourth anniversary café is the Balto in Saint-Germain.

The Other Métro Provides Free Access

by Ric Erickson

Paris:- Monday, 28. February 2000:- The weather has not changed much from last week: it is still playing its 'one day nice - one day not so nice.' Temperatures have risen a bit more, so on the 'nice' days it is nearly spring-like.

For as long as it lasts, Parisians and visitors are benefitting from this winter mildness. If you read the 'One Year, Two Years Ago' paragraphs at the bottom of this page, you will see that mildness is not uncommon in February.

A bit later on, if you are in Paris you will also probably notice that winter-like weather is not uncommon at Easter - although it will be late this year; on the fourth Sunday in April, a little more than a week before May Day.

Cadeau Metropole!

As we were about to part at Port Royal after a short 'looking for spring' tour of the Quartier Latin on Saturday - 26. February - Allan Pangborn assumed a formal posture to give the following speech:

"On behalf of all the readers of Metropole and virtual and real members of the Café Metropolephoto: street band, st germain Club, on the occasion of Metropole's 4th birthday, we offer you this gift."

I was surprised and touched. I knew this would be an anniversary issue, but wasn't particularly aware that Saturday was the actual day.

Spring in Saint-Germain, means street music for the terrassians at the Deux-Magots.

Metropole has never gotten any of the awards you often see displayed on other Web sites. I don't think the magazine has been nominated for any of these; not by me, not by readers. Around here this is considered just. Awards should only be given for a significant achievement somewhat more than merely being online.

If the turmoil of our times allows, if awards are still being handed out in 2006, Metropole will accept one and put it on a private shelf.

Thank you, all readers and your representative, Allan Pangborn. The two 32 Mo SIMM bars are something that I will really appreciate, and they will be a great benefit to Metropole.

About Your Online Magazine About Paris

Nominally, Metropole Paris first went online on Monday, 26. February 1996. The actual date was Friday, 23. February, but due to a change in Web-servers in July 1996, the date was changed to conform to the Monday issue-date.

All of Metropole remains online. Older issues have not been reformatted, so they look the way they were when they were made. As Metropole begins its 5th year, a rapid check says that it contains about 1950 Web pages.

The last report concerning Metropole's word database indicated that it has over a million references. I do not know how many images are contained in Metropole, but will guess that there are more than 8000.

In January, readers living in 75 countries accessed 1270 different Metropole pages. The magazine changed from a sub-domain to a 'Dot-Com' last September, so it is a bit unclear to me whether accesses to the old sub-domain addresses are being counted - possibly not, because the Web pages involved are on a different server at the Cadillac Ranch.

In other words, I do not how many readers Metropole has - regardless of the computers that may be trying to figure it out. These same machines sent me no numbers at all for December 1999 - was it the mythical 'Y2K' glitch?

'Cyberdeck' Cadeau RATP!

Without much fanfare Paris' transport authority, the RATP, installed four Internet terminals in their Port Royal RER 'B' station last August.

Offering free access and unlimited online time, this 'beta-test' has proved successful and now the RATP plansphoto: cyberdeck, port royal to install the stand-up 'Net centres in other stations. These will be at Denfert-Rochereau, Luxembourg and Châtelet-Les Halles; all on the same RER line 'B.'

On Saturday, Allan Pangborn 'tested' a 'Cyberdeck' at Port Royal. The units are equipped with touch-screens instead of 'mice' and they have French keyboard layouts, so these are two features that take a bit of getting used to.

Allan checks out a 'Cyberdeck' at the Port Royal RER station. He's using his left hand as a mouse.

While we were in the station, we ran into Bénédicte Vidal who was there to interview 'Cyberdeck' users for a report. During the time Allan was checking his online accounts and catching up on news, Bénédicte and I interviewed each other.

This led to me taking a look at ',' which acts like an enabler for radio stations to broadcast online - with TV coming soon. To get the full effect of 'Net radio, you will need to have Apple's QuickTime version 4.1 installed, and a 56 K modem.'s software would also seem to offer independent radio producers a means of broadcasting, without using the government- regulated airwaves.

Another feature worth mentioning about the Cyberdecks is their ability to read plastic cards. So equipped, it means that a user could buy tickets to events, just to cite one possibility. The units are also outfitted with cameras, so eventual video communications may be possible.

I thought these might be useful for eyeballing 'beta-testing' users as well.

'Freedom for the Front Page' ooboo

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