Joe Lowe


In the early 90's I had been using a local Huntsville BBS (Buliten Board System) system called Interquest which had internet e-mail, no web or anything else, just e-mail. Their connection to the internet was a single 64K leased line to UUNET in Atlanta. In the early 90's this was the only "internet" available to the public at a reasonable cost.

MD had asked me to look into the possibility of setting up a WAAY-TV BBS so computer users could send messages to the station, download weather software, and in general be a place to connect with computer users which there was no shortage of in the Huntsville area. I thought that setting up our own BBS would be a real hassle, so I told him about interquest, and we contacted them about providing BBS service on a contract basis.

About this time interquest had expanded their internet bandwidth, and was offering full internet access. I had been playing around with a new program called Netscape which I had read about in Wired magazine. I told Mark Derrick about this new thing called the World Wide Web and Netscape and how he should come have a look. Being his usual self, he scoffed "I DON"T HAVE TIME FOR THAT!" I remember thinking maybe today you don't but some day real soon you will. I had better luck with MD though. I clicked on a few webpages and MD just looked at the screen and asked "you mean you can get sound and pictures on this thing"? Yes, I answered, that and a lot more. He turned and walked out with not a word more.

Next thing I knew Mark Derrick and I were off to Interquest for a little industrial espionage, orders were placed for equipment, and HIWAAY was born.

WAAY with MD at the helm was always an innovator. We were the first to have stereo sound, Doppler RADAR, and many other things. The internet service was no exception, it was an instant hit.

Thanks MD for a great working environment where innovation was allowed to flourish!

Joe Lowe

© 2003 Smith Broadcasting, Inc. [update 8-5-2003]