Memories of discovering the Internet

ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
Brought about by this news item.

Mine was heading to uni in 1995. I studied Computing Science so I was in that nerdy area where we used the thing. I remember loading up Netscape Navigator and being amazed. Nothing like the multitude of websites we have now, but people created pages, and I could create pages after learning HTML. And Yahoo even had a catalogue of websites!

And newsgroups -- oh my! I could type some contribution to some insanely narrow interest group from Sydney and someone in California would respond almost instantly! It was amazing. Astonishing to me. Now I get grumpy if a colleague doesn't respond to a Skype chat or email within a few minutes...ha ha.

What are your memories? When and where did you discover this thing that now is so entwined in our lives?
«1

Comments

  • MaryLouiseMaryLouise Shipmate
    Dial up with Alta Vista, 1996 or so.
  • Oh yes, Dial-up ... rushing round the Web as fast as you could because you were paying by the minute, waiting for frustratingly slow pages to load ... and the accompanying sound effects.

    And needing to get help over the phone (at 50p or £1 per minute, following a lengthy wait to be connected) as follows:

    "Can you log on to the Internet now?"
    "No, because I'm on the phone to you".
    "Do you have access to your computer now?"
    "No, because it's upstairs in the study and I'm downstairs in the hall".

    And then scribbling down a succession of keystrokes (which you barely understood), trying them out, failing to get the d+mn+d thing to work, and repeating the sorry process all over again ...
  • We discovered the internet between 1996 to 1998 at university. Then dial up internet at home from about 2001, because my daughter needed it for school work, and her class was banned from the internet. And trying to fit all the internet use into the cheap hours, so before 6:30am and in the evening. I can't remember when I got broadband.
  • LeRocLeRoc Shipmate
    LOL for me it was 1989. Text-based. Use the Tab-key to switch between links.
  • LeRocLeRoc Shipmate
    I'm trying to find out which was the first browser I used. I think it was Line Mode Browser. Each link is indicated by a number in square brackets. You type the number to follow a link. I remember also being able to switch between links with cursor or Tab keys, and then pressing Enter.
  • Schroedingers CatSchroedingers Cat Shipmate, Waving not Drowning Host
    It was sometime in the 1990s - so (I realise) very early on, and it was interesting. Not a lot available then (I do remember SABBS - Salvation Army Bulletin Board - a sort of pre-cursor to the ship).

    Dial up, of course. And slow, but I had email. I had some involvement in getting our email set up at work as well. We had dial-up there - it was emails only for most people.
  • It was 1993. I was the teacher-librarian at a primary school in a country town. The only computer connected to the internet was located in the library, and I was tasked with introducing this new technology to staff and students. The first project I remember from that period was when Don and Margie McIntyre spent a year in Antarctica and attempted to post a daily journal which many Australian schools followed.
  • ChoristerChorister Shipmate
    I came to it through my husband and children, being rather a technophobe by nature. So, around 2000, using dial up and being moaned at by people trying to reach me by telephone and always getting the engaged signal. I think Ship of Fools was the first website I tried, having read an article about Gold Teeth, which sounded so far fetched my curiosity was piqued.
  • MooMoo Kerygmania Host
    It was in 1994. I lived in New Hampshire, but I was staying with my daughter in Texas while I recovered from a serious illness. I had very little energy, and the internet was a wonderful diversion.

    There was a website about C. S. Lewis that I especially liked. His adopted son Douglas Gresham sometimes posted.
  • Mid - late 90s, it must have been. Email was ELM and the PINE; text only and very slow. I remember my friend in London telling me that every keystroke came through, so he saw all errors and changes of mind in my messages. Best of all was the newspapers that ended the sense of isolation, and the Glasgow Herald has been a favourite ever since. Then there came the chat groups that led to me selling our Triumph Stag in the Netherlands for far more than we could have got here. But now we take it all for granted and we all have hot and cold running internet in every room.
  • LeRocLeRoc Shipmate
    Then there came the chat groups that led to me selling our Triumph Stag in the Netherlands for far more than we could have got here.
    ??

  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    I was a very early adopter - I had email before I had anyone to send them to. :lol:
  • edited March 13
    About 1985. Netnorth was the version of Bitnet in Canada. You dialed the phone number and put it in a phone cradle and connected at 300 baud. I was at another university and needed to crunch my data at my home univ. Started with line editor called "vi" (vee eye) and used Emacs thereafter. Emacs was a windowing editor preceeding all the Microsoft nonsense about windows. They did not invent windows. Newsgroups were a big thing, which were a chaotic version of social media. I spent lots of time on alt.rec.startrek and whatever the episcopal group was called. Sad when things like Facebook and others commercialized connections between people and newsgroups became a desert. Email did become a thing but it wasn't at the start.

    Anyone else recall using Kermit to FTP, get and put files?
  • SignallerSignaller Shipmate
    LeRoc wrote: »
    Then there came the chat groups that led to me selling our Triumph Stag in the Netherlands for far more than we could have got here.
    ??
    A Triumph Stag was a (very unreliable) British car of the 1970s
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    Depends on what you mean by "internet" since there were ways of interacting with people in an online world before there was a World Wide Web. In dial-up, text-based days I was online and interacting both in real-time in chat rooms, and asynchronously by email and messaging. This would have been about 1994. When I discovered the Web, I still had an amber-screen monitor and a snail-paced modem, so it just didn't work so well. I can't remember when I finally got a computer that could handle the Web properly.
  • LeRocLeRoc Shipmate
    Started with line editor called "vi" (vee eye)
    I remember this!

    Signaller wrote: »
    A Triumph Stag was a (very unreliable) British car of the 1970s
    Thanks! (I was afraid to google it :smile: )

  • Jengie JonJengie Jon Shipmate
    Well

    I started off with Janet in 1984, I even had two accounts that year, one for computing and one for philosophy. A friend had one out of interest and ended up inviting a guy from Cambridge to a ball. So yes there was technically aspects.

    Then with my first job (1989) we had Pegasus mail which was run over many different colour books. My boss did not realise this until I started sending emails and he was quite sure I was hacking into machines.

    When I started my current job (1993) there was the talk of web and gophers going on around work. My employer shortly afterwards had a web server running on an Apple Mac.
  • PigwidgeonPigwidgeon Shipmate
    1998. My first evening of poking around, clicking on suggested links from various sites, I suddenly found myself at an odd website calling itself A Magazine of Christian Unrest. I've been hooked ever since.
    :smile:

  • NicoleMRNicoleMR Shipmate
    We got computers with internet at My Employers in 1995. I started experimenting with the internet, and eventually found a chatroom where I was a very avid participant, until things got nasty. Got our first computer at home in 2001, used AOL dial-up. That was the same year I found the Ship.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Wow! Some great memories -- and early adopters! I must find a recording of the modem handshake and play it to my nieces. And tell them the "fun" of being disconnected if anyone called the house.
    LeRoc wrote: »
    I'm trying to find out which was the first browser I used. I think it was Line Mode Browser.
    We had Lynx.

    LeRoc wrote: »
    Started with line editor called "vi" (vee eye)
    I remember this!
    Me too. I loved it. All those character-based keystrokes that could do amazing things.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    edited March 13
    NicoleMR wrote: »
    and eventually found a chatroom where I was a very avid participant, until things got nasty.
    Oh dear. Sorry to read. Guess it's always been thus...
    Boogie wrote: »
    I was a very early adopter - I had email before I had anyone to send them to. :lol:

    🤣
  • LeRocLeRoc Shipmate
    Climacus wrote: »
    We had Lynx.
    I'm not sure if I used that too. The examples I find have coloured letters, but I'm very sure we had black-green monitors back then. Did monochrome versions of Lynx exist?
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    edited March 13
    We had monochrome monitors for a while in some computing labs if I recall...

    I think it was white text on a black background (or the other way around? -- perhaps you could flip?) when I used it from 95-98. I do not recall colours. But I recall using Netscape Navigator far more often when I discovered the joys of multimedia. 😀
  • white on black I remember from 1996-8 - and Pine for emails. I was using computers in work long before this, but we didn't have email or the internet until after I moved away from those jobs.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Thank you. And Pine, yes. Good stuff, as my Unix programming lecturer would say -- he hated, absolutely HATED, GUI interfaces. I suspect he is still using vi and Pine. 🙂
  • Signaller wrote: »
    LeRoc wrote: »
    Then there came the chat groups that led to me selling our Triumph Stag in the Netherlands for far more than we could have got here.
    ??
    A Triumph Stag was a (very unreliable) British car of the 1970s

    Not entirely... If you got a good one and maintained it carefully, it was a transport of delight, a voluptuous beast, and very fast. Mine was red, so of course it was faster than the others. I had lusted passionately after one ever since it came out when I was a student in the 70s (now I am an old geezer in my 70s) and eventually bought one while working in Texas many years later. (David Steele had one - what higher recommendation could you get?) Sadly, the need to renovate it coincided with daughters being at university and a man in the Netherlands made me an offer I couldn't refuse, so away it went. A bit of a tangent, but LeRoc asked...
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    Definitely used Pine.

  • Doesn't your heart pound harder just looking at that? The last good looking car ever made.
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    Climacus wrote: »
    Thank you. And Pine, yes. Good stuff, as my Unix programming lecturer would say -- he hated, absolutely HATED, GUI interfaces. I suspect he is still using vi and Pine. 🙂

    LOL. I was a long-time holdout. Even still I prefer to learn keyboard shortcuts whenever possible.
  • We started with Elm. I'm not sure if it's true - probably not - but it was said by the ancient geeks of the time that Pine was an acronym for Pine Is Not Elm.
  • LeRocLeRoc Shipmate
    I have no idea which e-mail client I used in 89. Definitely not Pine, it doesn't look familiar at all. I vaguely remember it was something command line-based in Unix.
  • DardaDarda Shipmate
    I remember when a work colleague and I needed a more powerful PC for a specific project. I seem to recall it had a massive 40 megabytes of memory! We also used it to run a (pirated?) flight simulator program at lunchtimes.
    More importantly, I first met my wife when the firm sent me to Leeds on an email course.
  • Sometime in the 1990s I walked into my new office. It was my first day on the job and boxes were sitting on the floor around my desk. They were my PC. I had not a clue. I opened the boxes up and started reading.
  • Schroedingers CatSchroedingers Cat Shipmate, Waving not Drowning Host
    When I got my first PC, I was unconvinced it was worth while.

    There again, when I first learnt coding on PCs (rather than mainframes) I didn;t think it had a future.

    I have been coding on PCs for 20 years now.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate
    I first got online in 1986, with a primitive PC and the old Prodigy service. It was a closed system. There was email, but only to other Prodigy members, and there was a limit on how many could be sent: After 30 in one month, there was an extra charge for each.

    Prodigy was a joint venture of IBM and Sears, and its purpose was to sell things to users. There were message boards, but in the early days nothing appeared until it had been vetted by a human being - and very arbitrary human beings they were, too. (A post of mine was rejected because I referred to the "Soviet empire;" the vetter said it wasn't an empire.)

    They didn't start work until late afternoon, so having conversations was very frustrating. And we weren't allowed to discuss certain things, like religion. I got around that by starting a thread called "Anglican Church Music;" we found ways to work in opinions on other issues in the church as well.

    Eventually, the corporate masters got frustrated with users' preference for conversation over shopping. Eventually, AOL became an option (and a free one), and I bailed from Prodigy.

  • LothlorienLothlorien All Saints Host
    Around 1994 I think, dial up. Then I learnt to be careful with search terms, even with Alta Vista. Searching for “slaves” for an assignment turned up many sites I did not want to see, until I worked out how to modify search terms.
  • NiteowlNiteowl Shipmate
    I used Pegasus mail back in the early 90’s to sign up with email based mailing lists and Netscape Navigator for my web browser. My experience prior to that was CompuServe and AOL.
  • PigwidgeonPigwidgeon Shipmate

    Doesn't your heart pound harder just looking at that? The last good looking car ever made.

    And it's what Jesus drove:
    Alleluia! His the Triumph, His the victory alone!
    :wink:

  • Not necessarily - there were other Triumph car models (and motor cycles). The Herald might seem more appropriate than the Stag,
  • FredegundFredegund Shipmate
    1994. I went on maternity leave in July - wretched child was early (hasn't been since) 3 months later went back early as my assistant was creating havoc. Suddenly everyone had a PC and this e-mail thing. Imagine it, we had been sending internal memos and keeping the carbons. And I discovered the delights of HMRC's website. How did I live without it?

    Said child doesn't believe me, but those who were at a certain Midlands university which thought it was too posh to use its real location as its name will remember.
  • Re PC operating systems. The first I recall in Compaq's VAL-DOS and Radio Shack's TRS-DOS. MS-DOS was later.

    For data analysis, we had tapes like old time tape recorders for data storage. You took your tape to the operator and had then mount it for you. I certainly had newsgroup stuff on one of mine.

    I was into short wave radio back then. Ham radio people would do slow scan TV pictures which you could receive as sound, record and run through an interpreting program. I ran it all through modules within Emacs. It was pretty cool to see photos from around the world.

    There wasn't really web surfing. We did like to find FTP sites, mostly at universities and then begin to snoop around, reading research and data sets. No one really thought of security nor of commercialization. Email had started and we'd contact people with interesting stuff up and everyone enjoyed collaborating.

    Lynx, the browser is still available for Linux operating systems. When web browsing started we were all using Netscape.

    Our internet provider for home continues to be a publicly owned company (provincial gov't). Which also provides cellphone internet data. So still avoiding in part the commercialization.
  • NicoleMRNicoleMR Shipmate
    Climacus, yes. It was an unmoderated chatroom, and when it got nasty, it got VERY nasty. One reason I appreciate the hosts and admins here so much. I've seen what happens without them.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate
    Pigwidgeon wrote: »
    ...And it's what Jesus drove:
    Alleluia! His the Triumph, His the victory alone!
    Nonsense. Scripture tells us plainly, "And they were all in one Accord."

  • Must have been a squash.
  • HedgehogHedgehog Shipmate
    I recall the days when there weren't any decent search engines...but I had a book (yes, an actual book), a couple inches thick, that listed the url addresses of sites and newsgroups, all arranged in a roughly dictionary fashion. You could browse that until you found a website that interested you and THEN fire up the dial-up connection.
  • Not necessarily - there were other Triumph car models (and motor cycles). The Herald might seem more appropriate than the Stag,

    I can't speak for Our Lord, but I'm guessing that the donkey was a better choice than a Triumph Herald.
  • I was on the Arpanet for work back in 1983 and can remember the switchover to the internet. Tops 20 machine then unix. First experience of the web was investigating something some people over at CERN were developing which would have been early 1990s (this involved a terminal browser). I had certainly put up my first website by May 1994
  • I can't speak for Our Lord, but I'm guessing that the donkey was a better choice than a Triumph Herald.
    Oi, less of that please! My mother had one, and took me out for practice in it when I was learning to drive. I passed my test first time, too!

  • I was working in a financial services company, one with a Finance Director who was years ahead of his time, and we had an integrated computer system that would be regarded as pretty sophisticated even today, never mind the 1980s. Because of that we got experimental machines and our software developers worked with two research labs, one of which was headed up by a nice man called Tim... So what we called "the modem" was in fact the very beginning of the WWW. Of course, we used it to its fullest, swapping recipes for chocolate brownies with lab staff around the world :grin:
Sign In or Register to comment.