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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Partying on the World Wide Web

Wednesday, December 3, 2003

Jason Short, Northview High School Computer Club president, right, participated in a computer game with Justin Boyd and Mitch Mershon, standing, at the LAN party held at Jason's home Friday night.

Being called a computer geek used to be an insult. Now it's rather a compliment denoting intelligence, success and popularity. Computer enthusiasts at Northview don't care what they're called. They just enjoy what they do.

The Northview High School Computer Club held a Local Area Network (LAN) party at the home of Club President Jason Short on Friday evening.

The computer club assists the Business Professionals of America (BPA), in teaching computer classes and Power Point computer basics twice a year to interested area residents.

"We teach Power Point, Computer Basics, Microsoft Word, Excel and Windows Internet," Short said. "This year we purchased a networking switch and network cable so we could continue to do the LAN parties.

"That basically means we take computer technology, new and old, and connect them all to the Local Area Network and we can exchange different technologies, programs and games," Short explained. "We can exchange with everyone connected to the LAN. It's a learning and entertaining event."

Club sponsor Beth Moody said they've had LAN parties before but the equipment was owned by former members who have since graduated. The computer club had some fund raisers so they could purchase their own equipment. The networking switch can connect up to 24 computers.

More than 30 people showed up Friday for the party including club members, alumni and friends. There were 20 computers, worth $35,000, available.

The most expensive one was a $4,000 apparatus owned by alumni Robbie Miller, a freshman at Ball State University majoring in computer science. The least expensive computer was one built by Eli Ratcliff costing him $500.

"The LAN party teaches them a lot about networking," Moody said. "But its main purpose is just for fun and to play computer games."

The noise seemed to bounce off the walls when guests visited, talking over the beat of the music, as the evening began. However, when a game was in process there was almost total silence as the players from each of the two teams planned their strategy. Nobody moved until a winner was declared. The average time for a game was 1/2 to one hour.

Players became oblivious to the clock as they got engrossed in the matrix world of computers. It was nearly 6 a.m. when the last electronic toy was unplugged.

"I think it's a great way for these students to spend time together having a good, clean, entertaining and educational experience." Moody said.

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