This paper is a report on a major project conducted primarily between April and September 1988. The goal of the project was to create Habnet, a computer network for the human settlements field. The idea for Habnet had its origins in two other projects conducted at the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University, both of which were carried out concurrently between 1986 and 1989.
One of these projects was the York/Habitat Networking Initiative (Y/HNI), the aim of which was to establish a multi-disciplinary network of people in the field of human settlements. It made extensive use of the traditional networking technique of face-to-face meetings. The other was the Native Computer Communications Network (NCCN) Project, which had the mandate to test the feasibility of creating a computer network to link native organizations.
The report begins with a brief overview of the concepts of networking and computer networking. After providing an analysis and comparison of the Y/HNI and NCCN projects, making note of the lessons learned, it then describes and evaluates the Habnet project. A discussion follows in which recommendations are made regarding future attempts to network using computer communications technology.
A lengthy set of appendices have been attached to this report in order to provide the reader with a wider knowledge of the projects and the newly-emergent field of computer networking.
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