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Mon May 20, 2019, 08:10 PM

Willing to share your oldest memory of the "internet"?

Yes, I was visiting a friend in 98 or 99. He was deep into computers and had been for years. He took out this laptop, (cost $3000 in 1998) hooked it up to the net, and he showed me White House dot gov. Clinton's site at the time. Also, we looked up Al Gore and his info.
..The library where I lived installed 4 computers for public use in 2000. I was actually on the internet looking around,(as we do) when 9/11 attack hit. People yelled out, switch to this site and watch this. After a while they turned on the main TV at the library and everyone was able to watch.
..Long before any of this, I took a course in the early 80s, or late 70s, where the professor said, one day everyone would be carrying around a hand held computer like we saw in "Star Trek" (original series)...First time I ever saw a hand held computer was 2006. Someone was carrying around one, while I walked around the indoor track that I still go to from time to time. I said to myself..Why does that guy have to have one of those while he walks around the track?.(now lots of people have them while they walk around the track, which I still go to.....
..............Oh well, back to my computer game.............................
.......................................................................................................

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Arrow 56 replies Author Time Post
Reply Willing to share your oldest memory of the "internet"? (Original post)
Stuart G May 20 OP
applegrove May 20 #1
unblock May 20 #2
jberryhill May 21 #28
unblock May 21 #29
brush May 20 #3
elfin May 20 #4
Stuart G May 20 #6
elfin May 21 #37
DonaldsRump May 20 #5
Eugene May 20 #7
emmaverybo May 20 #8
SAIKILITY May 22 #40
byronius May 20 #9
Stuart G May 20 #10
byronius May 20 #15
unc70 May 20 #11
hunter May 20 #12
abqtommy May 20 #13
enough May 20 #14
True Blue American May 21 #27
highplainsdem May 20 #16
Brother Buzz May 20 #17
Historic NY May 21 #32
Backseat Driver May 20 #18
CentralMass May 20 #19
hunter May 21 #24
CentralMass May 21 #33
Turin_C3PO May 20 #20
happyaccident May 21 #21
912gdm May 21 #22
ProudLib72 May 21 #23
TreasonousBastard May 21 #25
True Blue American May 21 #26
lapfog_1 May 21 #30
hunter May 21 #35
nolabear May 23 #43
woodsprite May 21 #31
ccjlld May 21 #34
Totally Tunsie May 21 #36
Aristus May 21 #38
mudpuddle May 21 #39
csziggy May 22 #41
nolabear May 23 #42
rennaisance man May 23 #44
tonedevil May 23 #46
tonedevil May 23 #45
JonLP24 May 23 #47
madamesilverspurs May 23 #48
backtoblue May 23 #49
Codeine May 23 #50
SHRED May 23 #51
C_U_L8R May 23 #52
JoeOtterbein May 23 #53
kimbutgar May 24 #54
lunamagica May 24 #55
The Figment May 24 #56

Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Mon May 20, 2019, 08:13 PM

1. I used to talk to the online computer generated psychologist Eliza. I also

contacted an author whose book was important to me. He did not respond. I could not believe how easy the internet was to contact people. I think this last thing was one of my first action on the internet once I got hooked up.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Mon May 20, 2019, 08:18 PM

2. Reading rec.humor, probably in 1981

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Response to unblock (Reply #2)

Tue May 21, 2019, 07:06 AM

28. In 1985, I was removing some files...

...and typed rn instead of rm. Oops.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rn_(newsreader)

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #28)

Tue May 21, 2019, 07:13 AM

29. Haha! Well, better than typing rm by accident....

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Mon May 20, 2019, 08:23 PM

3. Netscape Navigator, MySpace, Yahoo, Alta Vista

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Mon May 20, 2019, 08:28 PM

4. Early to nineties. NETSCAPE!!!

Got the extra phone line for dial-up access. Supposed to be used for spouse's business interests.

I was interested in ethnobotany. On a lark, looked up an ethnobotanical site in FINLAND - lots of info there but not of North American plants. Nevertheless, mind blown. Couldn't sleep that night thinking of all the informational possibilities.

I excitedly set up an email account that was useless in that no one I knew was remotely interested in this new and confusing thing.

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Response to elfin (Reply #4)

Mon May 20, 2019, 08:34 PM

6. I like your words.."Nevertheless, mind blown...and thinking of all the informational possibilities"

..And most of them, have come true. ?? ...

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Response to Stuart G (Reply #6)

Tue May 21, 2019, 02:33 PM

37. More than "most", BUT in my innocence I never even thought

that info on the net would be for evil purposes. Oh well, humans can be so diabolical.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Mon May 20, 2019, 08:32 PM

5. I programmed the first website of our state's Democratic Party HQ

Used dial-up AOL, a shareware HTML editor I found, and basic HTML code from the California Democratic Party's website.

I had no training, and it took weeks; but it worked! Circa Summer 1995.

I was also on CompuServe in 1985-1994, using an analog 300 bps modem on an Atari 800. I was amazed then and am both amazed and appalled now. The internet is simultaneously a great and awful thing.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Mon May 20, 2019, 08:36 PM

7. Back in 1994 during the 94-95 baseball strike.

AOL offered links to baseball-related Usenet newsgroups.

Around September 1994 (or approx. September 385, 1993 )

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Mon May 20, 2019, 08:48 PM

8. Through AOL, you could get ftp files. I wanted to see what internet had on Haitian language.

I found one file with a few documents located somewhere at Cal Berkley. I remember a two page list of vocabulary, typed. and a phonetic pronunciation guide, plus a little history.
I felt like I had wandered into a back office down dark corridors, found a now vacant office with an old cabinet, and pulled out a dusty drawer to see a few rumpled pages that had escaped the move.
I could google search now and not know where to begin.
But then,I was like wow!

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Response to emmaverybo (Reply #8)


Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Mon May 20, 2019, 08:51 PM

9. There were eleven thousand web pages when I first signed on.

Some cannabis pages, a few 'racy' ones, many horribly, horribly designed pages intended to portray hipness or national competence.

It was awesome. A year later the number of pages had skyrocketed.

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Response to byronius (Reply #9)

Mon May 20, 2019, 08:52 PM

10. Could I ask what year that was??

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Response to Stuart G (Reply #10)

Mon May 20, 2019, 10:07 PM

15. Way early nineties. Early '92?

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Mon May 20, 2019, 09:36 PM

11. Several different things from the late 60s and early 70s

It all depends on your definition of "internet". Lots of computers I was involved with were networked together long before the mythical DARPA connectivity. By the mid 1970s, I had widespread connectivity for email and file transfer through systems at MIT, UNC, and DEC. These educational and corporate networks were increasingly interconnected through gateway backbone networks like NSFNET, NCREN, EDUNET, and others. By about 1980 there were a lot of repositories and search facilities like GOPHER with users throughout the world.

I developed quite a bit of interoperability and networking software in the 70s and 80s. Also involved with several hyperlink projects emerging from SGML, etc several years before HTML was "invented".

So I have over 20 years experience before the work a CERN. Gives me a really different perspective.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Mon May 20, 2019, 09:44 PM

12. I first signed onto the internet in the later 'seventies.

Been here since under several identities.

I was in the lab when the second Berkeley Software Distribution ( 2BSD ) was installed. I was so excited by vi that I wrote a bad science fiction novel. I found a bug in Pascal. (I still have my silver Pascal User Manual and Report, 2nd edition...)

I also know who wrote some of the earlier slash posted on the internet because I was there when they wrote it. It amuses me when others claim it.

Then usenet grew large, although by today's internet standards it was microscopically small.

I wrote some astonishingly embarrassing things in my teens and early twenties which are probably still out there. (Did not expect that!) I don't go looking for it. But hell, I've written plenty of embarrassing things here on DU as well.


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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Mon May 20, 2019, 09:46 PM

13. Around 1998 I bought a WebTv unit (at WalMart for 50 bucks)

that connected to your tv and provided internet access via dial-up on the phone line. I was immediately hooked and amazed at this new (for me) medium. In the year 2001 I bought my first computer and have never looked back. Today I use my computer(s) mainly to access DU, for email and to play online solitaire. Microsoft provided the WebTV access for 28 bucks a month and nowadays I don't mind that I pay big for cable tv and broadband access.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Mon May 20, 2019, 09:53 PM

14. What a great question.

Unfortunately I cant remember my oldest memory of that because my brain has been slowly but hopelessly fragmented since the moment I encountered the net. I wish I were joking.

Im 75 now, and I think my ability to concentrate, focus, even to observe, has been significantly eroded since bringing the net into my life. Of course many useful and enlightening elements have also come with it. But overall, Im thinking its time to get closer to the consciousness I came in with in 1944.

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Response to enough (Reply #14)

Tue May 21, 2019, 05:36 AM

27. I call that brain overload!:)

So much information to absorb it boggles the brain.

Who would think you could chat with someone from Australia, London, Ireland, Germany from the midwest?

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Mon May 20, 2019, 10:31 PM

16. Mid-1980s, slow modems, Tymnet.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Mon May 20, 2019, 10:35 PM

17. Bake in the day, it was music to my ears

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Response to Brother Buzz (Reply #17)

Tue May 21, 2019, 07:52 AM

32. I was going to do this....

I had the Mac SE decided to hook it up to the phone line. 1989

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Mon May 20, 2019, 10:53 PM

18. I graduated from Zork on a Commodore64

to a PC in the summer of 1994 loaded with Windows 3.1. We dialed up to a local Billboard and texted an on-going on-line fiction called the Perils of Pauline, each one contributing the next paragraph of the story - it was creative and hilarious as we also discussed the future and what we'd discovered. AOL gave us the internet and Netscape first revealed to me the human genome project site. From that point on, I was enthralled hook, line and sinker. We got a second phone line during the browser wars, using all the big-name providers who passed out their software like free candy. I learned DOS commands, lol, and taught the kids to go on-line. I used a typewriter at work, but I brought my old PC to the office and taught my boss, skeptical yet an eager student, about web sites, wrote content for his page, and how to use e-mail until he was proficient in his own discovery of what the technology could offer--hah, quick study he was! The technology advanced so so fast, but the good it could serve was quickly matched and "bettered" by those who would do evil, to steal, and to influence. I am still amazed at how the digital revolution has changed communications, sales and marketing, education, and entertainment forever.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Mon May 20, 2019, 10:54 PM

19. I can't remember the year: maybe '92 or '93.? I used a text only browser called Lynx at DEC.

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Response to CentralMass (Reply #19)

Tue May 21, 2019, 02:24 AM

24. Lynx is still alive and well...

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Response to hunter (Reply #24)

Tue May 21, 2019, 08:14 AM

33. +1

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Mon May 20, 2019, 11:05 PM

20. 1995.

I was in sixth grade and my friend had the Net on his computer. I was so amazed.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2019, 01:32 AM

21. 1997 Icky's Teahouse Eugene OR

I was homeless and volunteering at Icky's, An anarchist coffee shop and venue with other homeless people. We got a computer setup so a couple guys could play those text adventure games. No one else really cared, I got on and went on a site called NativeTech(native american skills).Mostly people checked out punk music on these websites, we mostly all lived outside. I didn't get on again until 2010 and DU is the first site I've posted on ever(couple weeks ago)I love this site, it reminds me of those older sites.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2019, 01:53 AM

22. late 80's.

2400 baud was the norm and I found local bbs's.. And since I was a teenager, it wasn't long until I found the porn

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2019, 01:57 AM

23. '98 or '99

I was in grad school, and I really needed to have internet access. I remember getting one of those ubiquitous AOL discs, loading it on my laptop, and nothing happened. I called up customer support. They asked me how much RAM I had. I think I had something like 4mb! That was when I decided to go for broke and buy a desktop.

I remember the first time I wrote an email. I wrote to my friend something like "I'm testing to see if this works." I just wasn't sure my email would 'take'.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2019, 05:22 AM

25. Absolutely no idea what year it was, but got on Compuserve...

and later AOL. Can't remember what browser I used, but it predated AOL's and Netscape.

Even with a 300 baud modem, I was fascinated how I could "instantly" travel around the world.

300, btw, had the fascinating advantage of letting you read text as it was downloading.

And who else has fond memories of usenet? Rec.woodworking was one of my faves.

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Response to TreasonousBastard (Reply #25)

Tue May 21, 2019, 05:31 AM

26. Took my first lessons

On the computer in the 1990s.

The company set up practice machines. 3 phrases stuck.

95% of computer problems can be solved by turning it off, then back on.

Watch the screen, it will tell you what to do.

You can not hurt the computer. I practiced, then had to teach others who were scared to death.

My Son insisted I had to have a computer. Internet, whole new ballgame.Bad mistake on his part. DLS, phone line, then came Roadrunner.

Addictive personalities really should resist.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2019, 07:17 AM

30. sure... 1978

I was a student at the Univ of Kansas - working on getting my BS in CS.

I had taken all of the advanced courses offered at my school... and was teaching undergrads in CS600 (assembly language, fundamentals of computing).

A group of other students and I had heard about a class being offered at K-State (down the freeway in Manhattan KS from Lawrence KS) by a Dr. Wallentine on something called the "Arpanet".

Thinking that this might be a "thing" someday... we enrolled in it and commuted to class using the university provided "Kazoo bus" (well, KSU bus). And we all learned about and wrote some code for things called IMPs (Internet Message Processors). KSU was one of around a dozen sites on this thing called the Arpanet and we were writing the code to allow computers with different characters sets, different number representations, etc to communicate with each other. Saw early file transport protocols like FTP being developed along with other applications.

There was no DNS, really no TCP/IP... just the beginnings of the Internet.

our informal class motto was "Much has been written about the Arpanet... we are here to write a little more"

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Response to lapfog_1 (Reply #30)

Tue May 21, 2019, 10:51 AM

35. I was in California. It was a time of wonders.

I met my first serious girlfriend in the computer lab.

Her pickup line was "You need to eat."

That was true. I'd be in lab hours and hours, generally at night, only taking bathroom breaks. At dawn I'd go out and run, shower at the gym, go to classes (whether I happened to be enrolled or not...), and repeat.

Sending and receiving messages and files across the U.S. was magic to me.

The Arpanet connection for the entire university was roughly equivalent to a 56k modem.

The computer labs were a motley mix of serial terminals connected by a fat coaxial cable using vampire taps.

Looking back I suspect I was tolerated as some kind of beta tester. I was really good at breaking things, rarely by any kind of intent.

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Response to hunter (Reply #35)

Thu May 23, 2019, 02:02 AM

43. Put you at Duke and you could be my husband.

We met through mutual friends and relatives but he was that guy sleeping under a desk in the computer lab and I was trying to drag him out and feed him and ruin his reputation. Must have worked. Two grown sons and happy together.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2019, 07:38 AM

31. Early 90s, using Gopher (before http protocol). nt

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2019, 09:48 AM

34. Bitnet

Have worked in the Univ of Missouri Data Center since 1985. We used to play around on Bitnet.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2019, 02:15 PM

36. YAY - Free internet for three years!

Last edited Tue May 21, 2019, 07:16 PM - Edit history (1)

Thank you, AOL! You could plop in one of their free trial discs and get a 3-month freebie. When it was time to expire, you'd have to phone AOL to delete or you'd be charged for continuing service.

So, in went my free trial disc. Almost three months later, phoned to cancel. "Are you sure" asked the AOL rep..."We can offer you an extension of six months if you need more time to decide." Well, who'd pass that up? Almost six months later, phoned to cancel again. "Do you need more time?" asked the AOL rep. "We'll be happy to extend you for another three months." So, thanks again AOL, and so it went for three full years of free internet access.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2019, 02:46 PM

38. "Computer bulletin boards".

I heard about them back in 1984 or so. All I knew is that a person could access simple static files on a remote computer via modem. I knew it was limited.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2019, 02:46 PM

39. Netscape Communicator with the free website designer!

Then you debug the site with notepad.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Wed May 22, 2019, 11:54 PM

41. About 1982-83 I got a modem for my Apple ][ ( my first computer)

The only way to cheaply get onto the internet was through the Florida State Library system. You could get a remote sign on that was supposed to be used to check out the card catalog for the libraries in the state system - but it also had access to other libraries' catalogs in case a legislator or professor needed to request a book through inter-library loans.

My husband was researching the early colonial period of Macau (long family history that had gotten his interest) and somehow, completely by accident ended up in the catalog system for the University of Macau. He found several books that were pertinent to his research and later was able to borrow them from libraries much closer to home.

The ironic thing is that when I graduated in 1977 the only job I was offered was a temporary position for the first computer cataloger at the FSU library - there would have been a direct link to the Library of Congress to access their catalog system. I'd never worked on a computer and was not sure if I'd like it. Plus I'd already made an offer on our farm, my husband and I had already planned a trip driving from Tallahassee to San Francisco, and that ten month job had no time off and no benefits. So I turned down the job.

Once I got my first computer, it turned out I'm a natural at it and probably would have turned that temporary position into a lifetime closed up in the backroom of a library. Sometimes I wonder what my life would have been like - but I've enjoyed myself and don't regret my choices!

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Thu May 23, 2019, 01:58 AM

42. Prodigy I guess. Though we were on the Duke U system.

I have to think about when various little networks became The Internet. We were on Dukes way back, playing Empire, one of the first online games. And we played with Walter Bright, the creator, who was just a guy who created a cool game. He made bank on it later.

But my earliest BB days were Prodigy. I still know a few of the folks I met there, 30 years later.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Thu May 23, 2019, 03:39 PM

44. Archie, Pine, and Finger

Accessed the internet through Unix long before worldwideweb or mosaic. I remember huddling around a professor's monitor the first time I ever saw a browser. It was either Mosaic or netscape. We were all blown away! Her computer was the only one in the entire school that had a browser

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Response to rennaisance man (Reply #44)

Thu May 23, 2019, 05:05 PM

46. I had all but forgotten about Archie...

I loved the Finger instances at some colleges that would tell things like if a certain Coke machine was full or if there was coffee on the warmer.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Thu May 23, 2019, 05:02 PM

45. There were the Bulletin Board Systems...

and I had an IBM 8088 that was several years old in 1991 when I was dipping my toes in. The school where my youngest daughter was going at the time had portable buildings in the yard and her class was in one of them. At parents night the teacher pointed out there was a computer lab in the room behind his that had lay dormant for nearly two years. I volunteered to try to get it going, mind you my experience amounted to having learned about computers taking accounting classes at Healed and assisting with the install of a Novel network for a company where I worked as a temp.
About that time I had first encountered TCP/IP and got an idea that was why the computers would turn on, but not be very functional once on. Turned out some of the boot disks must have been lost so someone copied some new ones. The problem was they each was supposed to have a unique address, not as it turned out an IP address, and the copied floppies all had the same address. When I fixed that the lab was functional and the teacher was able to teach the kids computer fundamentals.
During that time California State University of California was giving elementary school teachers logins to their system. The CSU system was like a BBS on steroids. The teacher let me piggy back on his account and it was off to the races for me. When I first got on there was Veronica, a Gopher collection that allowed me to pull down all sorts of files. There was also Telnet which allowed one to use a remote computer and FTP which was again more file downloads. After I had been in this play ground they opened up a brand new menu option, WWW. I used the famed Lynx browser and piloted the internet like a fish newly introduced to water.
Since those heady days I have gotten much deeper and have been working as an IT professional since 1994. It is hard to even remember what the world was like before computers took it all over.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Thu May 23, 2019, 05:15 PM

47. WebTV

Also created my own website using html code on Angelfire. I couldn't do something like that today.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Thu May 23, 2019, 08:48 PM

48. c1993

After about 30 years I decided to go back to school. Man, had things changed! My first computer contact happened after an embarrassing moment at the library where I'd asked for directions to the card catalog; one of the student workers sat me down at a computer, showed me how to turn it on, then showed me how to do a simple search and print. Scary!

Another class required each of us to have email. Those of us who were new to the net marched ourselves to the nearest computer lab, where we signed in for 30 minute sessions. If we weren't emailing we could explore a bit; I sent a snailmail to my godchild and asked her to send me her email addy, took two weeks for that correspondence to complete, and she was my only email buddy for better than a year. And I was among those who became maddeningly familiar with that "timed out" message.

.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Thu May 23, 2019, 08:58 PM

49. I stumbled across my mom's chat room...

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Thu May 23, 2019, 11:32 PM

50. I got into BBSs in about 1988 or 89.

From there I found Usenet.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Thu May 23, 2019, 11:36 PM

51. Free AOL cd's.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Thu May 23, 2019, 11:39 PM

52. Wardialing for BBS's

Looking for a good game of chess

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Thu May 23, 2019, 11:42 PM

53. Had my first Internet connection in 1992. Yes, in Baltimore. Then we had black & white text with...

...few links, no pictures, just lists of mostly scholarly works and crude porn pics that took way too long to be worth downloading.

Ah, the good ole days!

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Fri May 24, 2019, 12:00 AM

54. I worked in the finance industry and was friends with the tech guy who made sure our trades could

Be transmitted electronically. One day he showed me how toaccess the internet. It was via / modem/Ethernet connections, this was 1996. The internet was so primitive then. I paid him $1800 to get me a new computer, monitor and printer and he helped me get an internet provider. By early 1997 I was dialing into my internet via modem. During that time I couldnt get telephone calls because I was on the internet which upset my mother! In 1998 I took a computer repair class and met these nice geeks who showed me how to completely access the internet. After that I was hooked on the internet. From dial up, to Ethernet and then wireless. In my family I am computer tech. Whenever a new computer is brought, set up and fixed its me behind it. My husband has no problem asking me for help.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Fri May 24, 2019, 12:32 AM

55. AOL. CompuServe, Prodigy, Netscape. We bought our first computer in '95, an IBM Aptiva

Windows '95 was the rage. Our computer didn't come with it loaded, but we got a coupon for a free installation. BIG mistake . The Aptiva small memory could not handle Win '95, so it slowed it down tremendously.

First thing I installed was a Doonsburry Christmas screensaver.

I was loyal to Netscape for as long as I could.

ETA: Those were good times. I remember everything was so new, so exciting...I wish I could recapture that feeling about something today.

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Response to Stuart G (Original post)

Fri May 24, 2019, 02:23 AM

56. About 1994

The first place I went was to an IRC chatroom...holy crap was that a zoo!
The next thing I did was download a video of a Volkswagen doing a crazy burnout, Good Times

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