This is part of a chapter of the yet unpublished exciting novel 'The Magic Screen'. The book is based on Dan, who is nine years old, and is in Perth, Western Australia, where his father is on sabbatical at Murdoch University. The University people next door, Damon and Melinda. show Dan how to use the Internet and because of a typing error he accidentally gets to a site called Guggs, which provides Dan with adventures. The essential bit of information is that a Tim Tam is a famous Australian Chocolate coated biscuit, which Dan adores. This item is approximately 1300 words of the 45000-word novel.
On the table was a vegemite sandwich, which Dan ate as though he hadn't eaten for a month. He walked through to his room and switched on the computer. He was in a curious mood so decided to explore another tile in Guggs.
The heading came up - Link to mind mail.
"Ah. Is this what Damon was on about," thought Dan.
He pressed his Fl key and a brief note stated that "http://mindmail.com" was a good site to consider. Dan double clicked the icon and a screen came up showing two heads and a thought in a bubble moving from one to the other. He pressed the enter key. A black screen with white letters appeared. It said,
As this site will have considerable effects on your life, initially you will have to go through the FAQ hefore you can get into the site.
There were two response boxes - Enter Site and FAQ. Dan clicked on the 'Enter Site' and the system responded 'Access Denied as you haven't been through FAQ'. Dan had to start again and this time responded to the FAQ option.
Q. What is mind mail?
A. Mind Mail allows the transmission of a thought from one person to another anywhere in the world. Unlike email, mind mail doesn't require a computer or a modem except to register.
What a fantastic thing, thought Dan. No wonder Damon wanted me to find it. That means I could contact Jonathon Appleyard without his parents knowing what we're doing, thought Dan. Gives us a secret Network. So long as we keep it to ourselves it will be fantabulous. If Sarah were on mind mail then we could chat in class and not get caught. We could even help each other with homework and no one need know. He returned to the screen.
Q. flow much does the service cost?
A. At present the service is free. Nokia sponsors the service.
Q. Who designed mind mail?
A. Dr Tuksu of the University of Helsinki in Finland.
Q. How does mind mail work?
A. DR Tuksu discovered the frequency of people's brain waves was related to their DNA (the basic building block of each person). As every DNA is different, so every person's brain wave frequency is unique. Dr Tuksu worked out how to change one person's frequency to that of another person. These are carried round the world on a Broad Brain Wave Band. Most people refer to this as the World Conscious.
That's really clever, thought Dan. I send a thought and World Conscious changes the frequency so that only the other person receives it.
Q How many messages can the band carry?
A. A trillion thoughts at the same time. Enough to handle the thoughts of every person on earth
Q. What is the average response time?
A. The maximum time to transmit a thought from a person to any other person in the world is recorded at less then two nanoseconds -~ that is 0.000000002 of a second.
Dan couldn't imagine anything so small,
Q. How secure is a thought?
A. Of the ten thousand people using mind mail at present, no two frequencies have been the same. Policy is should this ever occur the second person would be denied access. The World Conscious monitors where all registered persons are at any time and the wave is only beamed at that area. Individual 's brain wave frequencies are coded and the database guarded by Finland's Army.
Q. Are thoughts continually monitored?
A. No. If you agree to join you will be given a unique method for mentally accessing the World Conscious. You will he notified a thought is waiting for you by a double chime.
The screen cleared and a message came up - "Do you wish to register?"
Dan clicked the "yes" option
Again the screen cleared. A message came up - "This is the time we need to identify the frequency of your brain wave. To do so the room must be clear of other people. Is the room clear?"
Dan clicked the "yes' option.
The screen came up with the instruction - "Our program on your computer is at present emitting a signal for World Conscious to identify. When this is complete, World Conscious will look for the brain frequency adjacent to the computer. Dan sat and waited. In a minute or so the screen changed - "What name do you want people to think to connect to you?
Dan responded - Dan the man.
"We need an access thought - a sort of password- that will connect you to the system. Please think your thought, press enter and keep thinking your thought."
Dan paused. He decided to think of a Tim Tam to get started into the process.
"Thank you," responded the screen. "To check if the service works, please think your code and you should get a thought chime."
With no trouble Dan thought of a Tim Tam. Inside his head was a small chime.
The screen said. "Perfect. To close the connection you can use any of the following -escape, quit, stop, cease, kill, exit. The service works better if you always use the same end. Try one Dan the man."
"Kill," thought Dan and a mind chime sounded off in his head.
The system took him through the routine a couple of times.
"Great. If you need to contact mind mail please make contact through this web site."
The screen closed down. Dan was stoked to have access to mind mail. All he needed was to get someone else on the system so they could use it. Dan's mind immediately went to Jonathon. They had once invented a secret code where they had replaced every vowel with a number and changed the consonants by counting the number from the front of the alphabet and replacing the letter with the one for the same count from the back of the alphabet so a B - the second letter from the front - became a Y - the second letter from the end.
He wrote the alphabet across the top of a piece of paper. Under the vowels, he wrote I .2,3.4,5 under the letters a,e,i,o,u respectively. He wrote his message - GO TO MINDMAIL.COM. I AM DAN THE MAN. Dan opened an email to Jono. He then started coding the message. He loved making up secret messages. G was the seventh letter from the front of the alphabet and T was the seventh letter from the end of the alphabet. He used the T as the first character of his coded message. As 0 was the fourth vowel of the alphabet. Dan wrote the number 4 as the second character. The message finally read T4G4 N3MWNI3O.X4N. 3 IN WIM GS2 NIM, which Dan entered into the body of the email.
When he finished he clicked on the email icon and sent Jonathon the email, closed down the computer and wandered into the kitchen. There on the table was a packet of Tim Tam. A mind chime sounded off in his mind. "Sugar," he thought. A double mind chime sounded off in his mind and a thought instructed: no recipient with the identification Sugar.
"Kill," Dan both spoke and thought at the same time.
"Daniel." said Mum in her "I'm annoyed" tone.
"Sorry," said Dan.
"Would you like a Tim Tam?" Mum asked.
A mental chime sounded off in Dan's mind. "Kill" thought Daniel.
As he touched the biscuit, another mental chime rang. "Kill "thought Dan.
Each time he savoured the taste of the biscuit, his mind registered 'TimTam' and off sounded the chime and he had to quickly think, "kill".
"That's the most thoughtful you've ever eaten a Tim Tam, Dan."
Immediately the chime went off. "Kill" thought Dan.
Dan quickly left the room.
He didn't know what to do. Did he want to be on mind mail if he could never eat Tim Tams in peace again'? He looked up as his Dad walked in.
"How do you have an original thought?" Dan asked.