Internet Pioneer Mike Lawrie on the first steps of the Internet in South Africa. Mike overcame the technical and political difficulties in getting South Africa connected to the Internet in 1991.
Mike Lawrie matriculated at SACS in 1957, and then served as a computer technician with ICL. He earned his National Engineering Diploma at Cape Tech in 1961, and graduated with a B.Sc (Hons) degree in mathematics at Rhodes University in 1969. He took up the post of Computer Manager at Rhodes University in 1971, and was soon deeply involved in multi-access computer networks. He earned his Masters degree at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology in 1978, in the department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. He ran the Uninet network from 1994 until its closure in 2001. In 1988 Mike led the informal team at Rhodes University that established the first Internet networking in South Africa. From the outset, he set up Rhodes as a gateway to other African countries. In due course, there were links to Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. He has been a resource person at African networking conferences in Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi and Nigeria. He has attended a number of international networking conferences, and has had active involvement at several of them.
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