Technology a sideshow at fair

In an attempt to advertise Illinois' information technology programs, the state is hosting an exhibit at the state fair.

About 1 million people will visit the 10-day event that celebrates the state's agriculture economy, and they'll get a chance to visit the "Tech Town 2000" exhibit.

"We're showing the average American how we're using technology to help them," said Mary Reynolds, the state's chief technology officer. "Typically, people come to the fair to see and show animals, see grandstand acts, horse races, car shows and more, but this is a way to show ordinary citizens — that don't go to technology shows — how they can do things online."

The exhibit does more than highlight electronic government. It is divided into "neighborhoods," such as "Business Boulevard," "Public Safety Place," "Public Service Place" and "Learning Lane," highlighting technologies in each field.

Visitors to the exhibit can tour the state's Web site and try out the new online job matching system, professional license renewals, online tax filing, tools to help the disabled, biotech exhibits and other technologies.

More information can be found at the Tech Town 2000 Web site.

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