Who is Jim Barber?
And what does he know about the Internet?

Dear fellow web entrepreneur,

I'm Jim Barber and I haven't always worked on computers — it just seems that way.

In fact, in my early years my exposure to computers was the same as most people's — I saw fake computers in movies or on TV shows. But in the late sixties, I began my adventures down the rabbit hole of software technology.

  • I touched my first real computer in 1969, when I developed a communications package between an IBM 1130 and a DEC PDP-8 at the Engineering Computer Lab at Cow College in Raleigh, North Carolina (otherwise known as NC State U).

  • For the next 10 years, I worked on 15 different computer systems, programming most of them in assembly language. They ranged from a paper-tape-based 24K EAI Pacer to a monolithic IBM 360 at Martin Marietta in Orlando.

  • I got my first personal computer in 1982 — a Radio Shack Trash-80 Model II with 64 K (yes, 64 K) of memory and three 8-inch floppy drives daisy-chained together to give me a whopping 750 K of offline storage. I also had a daisy-wheel printer that could print an entire page in less than a minute!

  • By the early 1990's, I was exploring the Internet via Gopher, FTP, and other arcane software packages — browsers hadn't been invented yet. (Besides, there wasn't anything to browse. The World Wide Web hadn't been developed.) I remember how excited I was to gain access to a computer in Sweden. I couldn't understand any of the documents I found — I don't read Swedish — but I was in awe that I could tap into a Swedish computer from my home computer.

  • Around 1993 I created my own website — The Barberian Web World. Domain names weren't available to the general public yet, so the URL to access it was impractical. But that was OK — none of my friends had Internet access anyway.

  • In 1995 I got my first domain name — www.thebarbershop.com — and I created my first standalone web site.

  • In 2000, PC World magazine declared The Barber Shop to be a “top ten” web site for professional speakers.

Since then, I've created more web sites than I care to remember — a few for friends, but mostly for myself. So even though I have no formal training in computers or technology (I'm an industrial engineer by education), I've got a bit of hands-on experience with computers in general... and the Internet in particular.

Because of this, I recognize the awesome potential — and staggering importance — that the World Wide Web holds for the speaking industry. And I have dedicated Jim's Web World to bringing the Internet into the reach of every professional speaker.

So... what can Jim's Web World do to help you tame the Internet? There's gold to be found on the Net. Stake your claim now!

As always, wishing you every Internet success!

signed Jim Barber

Jim Barber