By Jeff W. Zimba
Greetings fellow Emma-Geeks. (For any of you who have not followed this column from the beginning, Emma-Geek is my favorite reference to the computer literate machine gunner.) Until a few short years ago, the shooting, hunting and gun collecting crowd looked a whole lot different than the stereotypical computer crowd. Back when I was in High School, there were not many computers around except for the big old main frames we used to learn “BASIC” computer programming. They were very slow by today’s standards and difficult to use. Personally, I found nothing “fun” about them and took the classes only to earn the credit I needed to graduate and earn my diploma.
It was shortly after that time when the Commodore Vic-20, and later the Commodore 64 started to bring personal computers into the home. They were a little easier to use, and I remember seeing a few text driven games available for them, but they still really failed to catch the interest of the majority of us.
I was forced into regularly using a computer, an 8088 I believe, in the early to mid 1980’s for inventory and billing and a little desktop publishing. It seemed to make work a little easier, and I had the ability to make my own ad copy and signs, but it was strictly for work. It wasn’t until the original Windows® operating system replaced the necessity for countless DOS commands that computers started to get interesting to me. Games were starting to get interesting, processors were growing from the lightning fast 286 to the 386 and 486 and the Pentium® was just around the corner. Power and processing speed we could not even imagine a few short years back would be at our fingertips in no time.
With the upgrade of my computer to a 486-25, I added a modem and it was time to start looking into this Internet people were talking about. It was slow and boring to me at first, and then I was introduced to chat rooms. The one I was introduced to was on the “Undernet” and I used to frequent the topic areas (channels) of “Politics” and “Guns” regularly enough to get to know a few familiar names. It was fun to dial-up, engage in a little debate on current news, and scare off the occasional liberal who would wander into the “guns” channel just to stir the pot.
Another friend introduced me to one of the major search engines a short time later and the rest is history. All it takes is a few minutes of web-surfing to see the amount of information available at your fingertips and you almost instantly need to be wired. Like it or not, we have been dragged into the computer age. It might have been kicking and screaming for a few of us, but we are here and there is no going back.
If you are not “on the web” yet, do yourself a favor and check out this valuable resource. If you are trying to be stubborn about it, you are only hurting yourself and stand a chance of getting passed by those in the faster lanes. Believe me, I know. I am one who doesn’t mind change, I just hate things being different.
Here are a few gun related web-sites you may enjoy. If you would like to have your site listed in a future Net News column, you can drop me an e-mail at: Production@wtvl.net and I will check it out.
This is probably one of the most popular sites on the net for the recreational machine gunner to stay in touch. Of interest may be the Machine Gun Discussion Board, The NFA Sale board and the NON-NFA Sale Board.
This site will be a favorite for any fan of The Black Rifle.
Antique and Collectable Firearms and Militaria Headquarters
A cool place to look up some of the older U.S. Military guns for information. Enter the serial number and manufacturer and a database will be searched on your particular firearm for the date of manufacturer, rarities, etc.
Knob Creek Range
Here you can keep up to date on events at the famous KCR. They do a good job of updating the page and you can always find the date of the next shoot at the click of your mouse.
Golf Ball Cannon
I have no idea if these are being built, sold or delivered yet, but they certainly look cool. Just looking at the photos available are enough to get my “gears” turning.
The Institute for Research on Small Arms in International Security
Founded in 1989 to fill a void in the field of Small Arms Studies. Interesting site with a lot of information relating to small arms.
Internet Auction Site. This was brought to me attention by a friend who is a fellow emma-geek. I don’t know very much about the site other than it appears very professional and is pretty simple to navigate. At the time I last visited the site there were 1,375 items for sale in 39 categories.
Hiram Maxim Historical Society
This is the official site of the annual HMHS Military Firearms Shoot & Expo. You can obtain shoot dates, lodging information, directions and look at photos from shoots over the past 5 years. There is an area to join HMHS and an area to purchase HMHS merchandise.
The American Firearm Page
A huge site of up-to-date links to firearm related manufacturers, businesses, and services found throughout the internet community. You will want to bookmark this one.
Small Arms Review’s Website
I would have to be foolish not to mention our own little home on the web. Here you can subscribe, buy back issues, read a few sample articles, buy machine gun books from Moose Lake Publishing, search our article index (using the “find” command in your browser) and much more.