Scott's Internet Hotlist Press Release to Gregory Cowles of the Greenwich Times
From: Michael Louis Scott []
Sent: Monday, March 22, 1999 11:42 PM
Subject: RE: Mike Scott
Hi Greg,
I am not sure there is enough to do an article on my internet activity, since whenever I talk
about the internet it tends to get over technical and people quickly loose attention.
Four and half years ago when I got on the internet, I thought it would be interesting to
keep track of links in what then was called a "Hot List".  After about a month, I had a
couple hundred links, and I received email back from Tim Berners Lee founder of the
World Wide Web, telling me to "Keep It Up.". I have not heard from him since.
I also emailed such people as Bill Gates , about my interest in
Volcanoes. One of two and only two replies back then was the messages were too long.  I
had emailed him since one of the first sites I looked at was NASA's radar imaging satellite
photos over the Kamchatka Peninsula back then around October 1994. I though since
Microsoft sits within 50 miles of Mount Rainier, there might be an interest in Volcanology.
I am not a Volcanologist myself, but while in school in Italy studying renaissance art in
1972, I decided to visit Lanzerote which is in the Canary Islands, and when I returned to
America living around the Italian neighborhoods in Manhattan, I knew the Italians had a
long termed interest in Volcanology.  One friend even endowed the Kress Library at
Dartmouth with funds for volcanic research.  Thus after living around research groups in
Key West after the Martanique eruption of 1975, I arrived down there in Key West in
October 1977,  I found a few like minded researchers.  People like Cousteau probably
were in the Keys then also.  I would summer in Nantucket back then, and quite a few of 
Dr. Bob Ballard's colleagues were also on the island back then working out of Woods Hole.
Michael Roman raised in Greenwich, Connecticut whom I went to Lake Forest College
with has a PHD in Oceanography from Woods Hole.
To not make the story too long, back in October of 1994 when I first started on the internet
I was interested in contacting a friend Rhone Dietrin, whom I last saw living in Lanzerote
in 1972.  I contacted a volcanologist Laura Maroni at the University of Pisa, who researches
Lanzerote and she did not know if he were still there.  She encouraged me not to talk too
much about Lanzerote to maintain continual conservation efforts there.  In my first usage
of the internet when it was slower, I began to realize it was terribly slow to access
information outside of the country. One of my first free sites was at Ohio State which
maintained a site for the Scott-Amudsen Polar Research Station.  
The second site was maintained by Sam
Epstein who was a developer of Windows with Bill Gates, and ran a free site in Santa Cruz,
California. The Ohio site eventually was reserved for Ohio students, and the Santa Cruz
site changed to Hawaii and Sam eventually locked it, and said he was going to write a
UNIX program on monitoring volcanoes.
About two years ago, I set up my own rental site in Florida since I figured it would be
more easily accessed away from California for people in the Caribbean, South America,
Africa, and other island research stations. I gradually focused on collecting links on
Volcanology and Geo Tectonics. has links to my
Volcano lists.  
The more I worked on the internet, since I had people working in remote locations possibly
using my directory, I focused more on technology links, and I gradually collected quite a
few. I also added some recreational links to make it more enjoyable.  If you notice a lot of
what I have in my internet directory is based on my own experience, and not relevant to
I use to joke the Internet directory was a way of shielding the volcano directory which is
partially true.  More recently people like the Discovery channel have picked up on Geo
Tectonics, but my original exposure was through National Geographic.
I asked the United States Government for $50,000 funding about four years ago to
maintain the site, and I received no reply; but the United States Geographical Service
linked my site along with a half dozen others from their site which I considered approval.
Eventually the U.S. Government gave Lawrence Livermore Laboratory a half billion
dollars for Volcanic research focusing on the Cascades region and Mexico.  
Basically my forte is not Volcanology or Tectonics, I just simply have COBOL
programming experience back in 1970s, so I was able to handle the details of HTML
programming back then, before HTML editors.
I have done the effort basically by reading computer tech books, magazines, and news
weeklies from the Greenwich Library.  I receive some minor support in paying computer
expenses from family members who have computer experience.  Basically I have let the
sites evolve.  I put a mirror of the Florida site in California to let people in the other side of the hemisphere access it more
This Christmas I got cable modem service which enables one to set up a server at home. I
just set up its own domain name based on what is available and it is for
the Greenwich Server.  In January I posted some music, on it and suddenly old Beatles
music became very popular. One has to remember Paul McCartney use to live in seclusion
in Montserrat before it became Volcanically active. Basically I knew bits and pieces of the
Volcanology network, and when touring California in the late 1970s, I was around those not
only starting up the Silicone Valley, but also following Mount St. Helens.  If I had not run
out of money, I might have been there too close to.  One of the first people I chatted with
on the internet four years ago was named Thomson from Boise, Idaho who was the last
person to interview Harry Truman at Spirit Lake. 
Thus the internet sites developed, and I added various categories as I had time.  I have
probably spent most of my free time on the internet for the last four and a half years, along
with tinkering with PCs for four years before that. My first home computer was a Apple II,
bought about nine years ago at a tag sale on Round Hill Road for $100.  I basically put
together my own systems from parts and spend up to 50% of the time tweaking and
maintaining the system I am presently running.  Basically it all has been a self taught
learning experience.
I added the extensive IBM and Microsoft categories when the internet became more
focused on those companies' activities.  My basic attitude is that people in remote research
locations needed all the available information that could be culled through and presently
easily.  Today now that we have satellite links, and high speed modem connections the
concept of a downloadable directory might not be viable anymore, since people can log on
to most sites like Yahoo quickly for more professional searches.
Basically on a shoe string budget I have done the best that I can do. I have spent probably
over 30,000 hours on the computer and the internet over the last four and  a  half years
creating the site.  I have not advertised the site and have simply let it go by word of mouth
over the internet.  
Since Volcanology is a non political subject, I have tired to make the site politically neutral
while still acknowledging some of the help of local friends and other associates around the
In terms of your family name, I once met Charlie Cowles of Cowles Communications which
is in operation in the Pacific Northwest around the Cascades Range, and Microsoft; so I am
sure they are well versed on that subject matter.
I have a feeling the government keeps a lot of the Tectonic information on a "Need to
Know" basis, but once one starts searching the freely available information on the internet,
one begins to put together  a few pieces on the internet.  The only relevance to the 
Greenwich, Connecticut area is weather forecasting, and possibly how worldwide weather
conditions might effect the local stock markets and other market economies.
Thus Scott's Internet Hotlist is "Hotter" than might be expected, if one is into doing one's
own research.
I thus regard myself as more as a "reference librarian" on the internet.
Scott's Random Notes is my way of keeping track of everything I do, particularly tech
activity; so if I have to recall some technical fact I can hopefully find it in the search engine
that only works on the Florida site.  Basically I once read that Thomas Jefferson while the
Declaration of Independence was being debated, was keeping track of the temperature
every half hour at Montecello, so my random observations might have relevance to other users on the
Scott's three sites probably have about 20,000 different users a month downloading about
five files apiece. Recently about 80% of the Greenwich server has been music requests,
which I actually find disappointing since people are not looking for the important
information, or maybe it indicates people are burned out on the net, and are trying to relax
for a change, who knows.
Well if you have anymore questions let me know. , my internet picture and address.
To be honest in 4 1/2 years on the internet, I have not had any invasions of privacy or
unwanted intrusions or harassing email, thus I feel if one has the time to learn the
technology, it is a useful tool.  However remember  I have continually used libraries for
45 years, and I had the good fortune of a decent education.
Yours Truly,
Michael Louis Scott
71 Vinci Drive
Apt. # 206
Greenwich, Connecticut
PS: I read the Greenwich Times when ever it is available in the library.
Scott's Internet Hotlist