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What are your first memories of the internet?

Skeptic Bob

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I thought it would be fun to ask what everyone’s first memories of the internet were. Some indicators of your age at the time might be useful as well.

I was a senior in high school in 1992 when some guy came and spoke to our economics class about something called the World Wide Web. I remember thinking it sounded interesting but didn’t give it any other thought throughout the rest of my time in high school. My freshman year in college I remember seeing students in the “computer lab” always typing away. But it was always the same students. And it didn’t look like they were writing computer code or papers. Someone told me the computers were connected to the internet. Oh yeah, that guy in economics mentioned that.

My sophomore year, 1995, I began hearing about more and more people getting online. I still didn’t understand what the big deal was. In 1996 a couple friends and I moved out of the dorm and into an apartment. One of my roommates signed up for, I think, an AOL account. He told us you could look up porn online. That caught my and my other roommate’s attention. So he logged on and searched up a nude photo of Cindy Crawford. The picture started downloading. This was going to take awhile so we went and fixed ourselves a sandwich. We came back to the computer and the photo was about halfway downloading. But we could see the top half of the photo and it was awesome. So we sat there eating our sandwiches as the photo finished downloading.
 

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I thought it would be fun to ask what everyone’s first memories of the internet were. Some indicators of your age at the time might be useful as well.

I was a senior in high school in 1992 when some guy came and spoke to our economics class about something called the World Wide Web. I remember thinking it sounded interesting but didn’t give it any other thought throughout the rest of my time in high school. My freshman year in college I remember seeing students in the “computer lab” always typing away. But it was always the same students. And it didn’t look like they were writing computer code or papers. Someone told me the computers were connected to the internet. Oh yeah, that guy in economics mentioned that.

My sophomore year, 1995, I began hearing about more and more people getting online. I still didn’t understand what the big deal was. In 1996 a couple friends and I moved out of the dorm and into an apartment. One of my roommates signed up for, I think, an AOL account. He told us you could look up porn online. That caught my and my other roommate’s attention. So he logged on and searched up a nude photo of Cindy Crawford. The picture started downloading. This was going to take awhile so we went and fixed ourselves a sandwich. We came back to the computer and the photo was about halfway downloading. But we could see the top half of the photo and it was awesome. So we sat there eating our sandwiches as the photo finished downloading.

Christmas of 92 my parents got me the IBM thinkpad and it was our first computer with a modem and it came with Prodigy web service. That was my first experience with the internet but it didn’t really get big until around 95 when Charter cable demoed “cable internet” at the local library and the next day we signed up to have it installed.
 

Kobie

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Dabbling in the computer lab in my senior year of high school ('94) and freshman year of college. I remember going on sports sites to get all the latest stats for my fantasy baseball league, which I still calculated BY HAND every week. Before the internet, I used to have to get the USA Today when it ran the baseball stats every week and compile everything. God, that was a nightmare.

I actually do recall a friend dabbling on old prodigy stuff a couple of years earlier, but I was more interested in girls.
 
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I bought a webtv when Montgomery Wards was closing down. One thing led to the next and next thing I knew I was full geek mode.
 

Kobie

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My stepfather got the internet in his office in like 1995; I don't think my parents had home internet until about 1996 or so. 23 years later, I walk around with the internet in my pocket.
 

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My stepfather got the internet in his office in like 1995; I don't think my parents had home internet until about 1996 or so. 23 years later, I walk around with the internet in my pocket.

I started working with it in my office in 1995 or 1996. Decided I didn't need it at home till 1998. By then it had become less clunky, more useful and was starting to become essential.
 

Rexedgar

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Early AOL subscriber here. You couldn’t checkout of any store without there being a basket of “FREE TAKE ONE” AOL CDs. They also arrived regularly in the mail. The nearest number to get online was a toll call for me. A little rural, yeah. Not only was the calll racking up charges, but I had to listen to the ‘bong-bong’ of 2400 baud trying to get connected;




Young-uns have no idea......
 

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I thought it would be fun to ask what everyone’s first memories of the internet were. Some indicators of your age at the time might be useful as well.

I was a senior in high school in 1992 when some guy came and spoke to our economics class about something called the World Wide Web. I remember thinking it sounded interesting but didn’t give it any other thought throughout the rest of my time in high school. My freshman year in college I remember seeing students in the “computer lab” always typing away. But it was always the same students. And it didn’t look like they were writing computer code or papers. Someone told me the computers were connected to the internet. Oh yeah, that guy in economics mentioned that.

My sophomore year, 1995, I began hearing about more and more people getting online. I still didn’t understand what the big deal was. In 1996 a couple friends and I moved out of the dorm and into an apartment. One of my roommates signed up for, I think, an AOL account. He told us you could look up porn online. That caught my and my other roommate’s attention. So he logged on and searched up a nude photo of Cindy Crawford. The picture started downloading. This was going to take awhile so we went and fixed ourselves a sandwich. We came back to the computer and the photo was about halfway downloading. But we could see the top half of the photo and it was awesome. So we sat there eating our sandwiches as the photo finished downloading.

Game cheat codes and walkthroughs, not to mention playing Ever Quest for about five hours at a time. It was about all that I did until I discovered better ways to get music and new games in short order. My first link received from a friend was cracked copy of Masters of Orion, Metallica's first two albums and a few playboy pen-ups.

I think all that happened in the first two months.
 

Helix

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i first heard about the internet during my sophomore year in college in 1994. i got into the local BBS thing the year before, and one of my friends who was kind of a hacker was into this text based game in the internet. i started playing around and exploring with a text browser either that year or the next, then got dialup and the graphic browser that went with it. after that, the college offered ethernet access, which was insanely fast at the time. since then, i have been staring at screens a good deal of the time, lol.
 

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I bought a webtv when Montgomery Wards was closing down. One thing led to the next and next thing I knew I was full geek mode.

webtv! Oh, wow,memories! I got that for my mom and she had it for some years.
 

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I remember first getting on the "net" when working at a university, so the system was advanced for the time. Just typing in something on the search bar and watching it come up was like :2dancing:
I remember my first Apple computer cost as much as my MacBook does now!
 

AliHajiSheik

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BBS’s were the first mini Internet, then came Compuserve with exposure to news and reference sources and the impossible to remember user ids. Then a bit of Prodigy with a better GUI.

Then came the internet so I bought Netscape Navigator. Yes, I paid for a browser—still have the original box and disk.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Infinite Chaos

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1997 when we finally got computers connected on the college intranet. There were almost no filters back then or ways of tracking who was watching porn at work so my memory is of a fellow lecturer in multimedia who always had his computer facing away from the door - whenever anyone walked in to see him, he had a quick snap shortcut system to close his browser down.

We were always suspicious and it was a year later when the IT dept had put in the first forms of tracking that it was confirmed what he and others had been up to. This was apparently nothing compared to the sheer amount of porn being downloaded by students in the nearby halls of residence.

Our IT guy was seriously impressed.
 

Superfly

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About 1995. I had a friend who was mad involved with computers, and she got me involved. My first computer was a IBM 086. :lol: Didn't do much at all. I just sat there and stared at the screen, with a handful of 5 1/4 floppies to monkey around with.

Went to Walmart and picked up my first brand new computer. Was a 486, which was supposed to come with 25mg of ram. We got it home and it had 50. We felt overjoyed that we were able to capitalize on somebody else's mistake. We paid $1,000 for the computer. The modem was 9600 and we wanted a faster one, so we went to Walmart and bought a 14.4, and it was the wrong kind of modem. Still don't remember exactly, but we were told it was not compatible with our system (we were able to receive mail, information, etc, but not send it). We took it back to Walmart to trade for the right kind of modem, and the old lady wouldn't take it back. It had been opened, and she saw the driver disk in the box, and said, "We don't take back opened CDs." I tried to explain to her that it was a driver disk, and without the peripheral needing to be "driven," the disk was useless. She still wouldn't give me my money back. I took it to 4 Walmarts before I could find somebody who knew what a driver disk was. *sigh*

My favorite part of my new best friend called "the internet?" No more 1-900-NINTENDO! No more Nintendo Game Assistance Hotline! I lost a fortune calling those guys for game tips. :lol: Pretty sure they are out of business now.
 

calamity

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Used it at work from day 1. Began dialing up from the house in ‘95 or so to work there on evenings and weekends. It was so slow, I could hardly stand using it. That changed in 2000 or so. Watching porn has never been the same since.
 

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A friend hooked us up and I remember how it had to dial for a connection and that distinct sound it made when you finally got on. The idea of going through all that waiting and then some super slow speed is simply staggering compared to what we have today.
 

Helix

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About 1995. I had a friend who was mad involved with computers, and she got me involved. My first computer was a IBM 086. :lol: Didn't do much at all. I just sat there and stared at the screen, with a handful of 5 1/4 floppies to monkey around with.

Went to Walmart and picked up my first brand new computer. Was a 486, which was supposed to come with 25mg of ram. We got it home and it had 50. We felt overjoyed that we were able to capitalize on somebody else's mistake. We paid $1,000 for the computer. The modem was 9600 and we wanted a faster one, so we went to Walmart and bought a 14.4, and it was the wrong kind of modem. Still don't remember exactly, but we were told it was not compatible with our system (we were able to receive mail, information, etc, but not send it). We took it back to Walmart to trade for the right kind of modem, and the old lady wouldn't take it back. It had been opened, and she saw the driver disk in the box, and said, "We don't take back opened CDs." I tried to explain to her that it was a driver disk, and without the peripheral needing to be "driven," the disk was useless. She still wouldn't give me my money back. I took it to 4 Walmarts before I could find somebody who knew what a driver disk was. *sigh*

My favorite part of my new best friend called "the internet?" No more 1-900-NINTENDO! No more Nintendo Game Assistance Hotline! I lost a fortune calling those guys for game tips. :lol: Pretty sure they are out of business now.

i waited like two or three months for this to arrive :

51GVZ9OBqUL._SX390_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

Dad had to call multiple times to track the delivery.
 

Rexedgar

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First machine came from Sears. HP 486DX2 with a whopping 256 mb hard drive. Wasn’t Pentium ready, 14” monitor, 3.5 disc drive and the larger 5.5? First game of note was Wolfenstein and then came DOOM. DOS based games were clunky and the graphics were prehistoricby today’s standards.

256 mb, really?

I was in and out of the case, adding video cards, sound cards etc. Got the tool kit with the grounding strap and all. Spent a ton @ CDW, when they had the discount warehouses.



PS, HP 486DX@ was in the 3K $ range, iirc!
 

rjay

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I worked for a Government Department which had scientists as employees. We were hooked up in the early days.
The internet at that time was used for research primarily. There were newsgroups you could subscribe to on just about any subject you could think of. You could set up an email account.

Desktop computers were not automatically connected to anything.
In the morning you would log onto a LAN (Local Area Network) and with this you could communicate and share work with the 20 or 30 people that were also on your LAN. My hard drive was 10meg, I was a student coop worker, real employees had 20meg hard drives.

In order to get on the internet you first had to log onto the Mainframe. The two primary search engines were called Archie and Veronica.
You would do a search and eventually you would get a list returned with IP addresses. I remember being wowed by the fact I was logged onto a computer at an Australian University.

The internet was made up almost entirely of Universities and Government departments from around the world.
It was all text based. You had to know operating systems like Unix and DOS. In order to do anything you had to issue commands to the operating system.

A few years later all of the LANs became attached to a Department wide WAN (Wide Area Network) and then you were also connected to the World-Wide-Web. Netscape was available and you used search engines like web-crawler.
I would usually turn Graphics off so the pages would load faster :)
 

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Either 2002 or 2003. I don't know exact specifics but my first clear memory using the internet myself (Google primarily) is in the late 2002-2003 area of time. (I know this because I remember my papaw had a The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring screen-saver which came out on VHS/DVD in August of 2002, so it would've been at least a month after it'd been out I'd think).
 

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Early AOL subscriber here. You couldn’t checkout of any store without there being a basket of “FREE TAKE ONE” AOL CDs. They also arrived regularly in the mail. The nearest number to get online was a toll call for me. A little rural, yeah. Not only was the calll racking up charges, but I had to listen to the ‘bong-bong’ of 2400 baud trying to get connected;




Young-uns have no idea......


Yeah, I remember the dialup days. Back then a 2400 baud modem was the fastest you could get (first Hayes modem I bought).
DOS was the OS, and everything was still 24x80 character mode (43x80 came later).
Gosh, mid to late 80's? Before the NFS opened it to commercial use.
 

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I thought it would be fun to ask what everyone’s first memories of the internet were. Some indicators of your age at the time might be useful as well.

I was a senior in high school in 1992 when some guy came and spoke to our economics class about something called the World Wide Web. I remember thinking it sounded interesting but didn’t give it any other thought throughout the rest of my time in high school. My freshman year in college I remember seeing students in the “computer lab” always typing away. But it was always the same students. And it didn’t look like they were writing computer code or papers. Someone told me the computers were connected to the internet. Oh yeah, that guy in economics mentioned that.

My sophomore year, 1995, I began hearing about more and more people getting online. I still didn’t understand what the big deal was. In 1996 a couple friends and I moved out of the dorm and into an apartment. One of my roommates signed up for, I think, an AOL account. He told us you could look up porn online. That caught my and my other roommate’s attention. So he logged on and searched up a nude photo of Cindy Crawford. The picture started downloading. This was going to take awhile so we went and fixed ourselves a sandwich. We came back to the computer and the photo was about halfway downloading. But we could see the top half of the photo and it was awesome. So we sat there eating our sandwiches as the photo finished downloading.

I was likely 10 years old or so, so around 1977, at Ft. Hunter Ligget, in CA, where the father of a friend ran their computer systems they used to track tank 'battles' in TRL on base. He sat us down at terminals (remember those), activated a modem and we could play an 'online' tank game against his counterparts, one base away, as it were, at the adjoinging Camp Roberts.

Later, say 1979, during a visit as an 8th grader to UC Berkeley, we visited the computer lab and could play and game mimicking "Star Trek" (still all x's, o's and i's), in real time, against people all they way across town. I was pretty much hooked.

And, yeah, it was slower than all hell.

In highschool, we upgraded to cassette drives for our TRS-80s!
 

Jetboogieman

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Playing crappy flash games on Cartoon Networks website.

Beyond that, I was there for Xbox Lives inception, that was my real first gaming online experience, it was really something back then, before the unwashed masses gone involved and ruined it all... The guys I played with then were so ****ing cool, sometimes we wouldn't even play, but watch important soccer matches together in private lobbies, it was awesome.
 

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You all make me feel ancient. I can recall dabbling on ARPNET with my uncle, a mathematical graduate student at Columbia University as he worked on defense research projects at the university computer center. Dumb terminals connected to IBM iron almost the size of a large high school classroom. Barely legible white text on a green screen CRT with no better resolution than the TV's of the day. I distinctly remember a US Air Force colonel berating me for using valuable computer time at about 6am, while he was in Texas, I in NYC. Then he typed, "Go learn and conquer the world." I was 20 years old, on leave from the US Army, now 50 years later I take the net for granted and speak to my uncle who is 96 living in Maryland on FaceTime once a week.

17 years later I opened my first business, starting with Wang word processors, while competitors were using IBM Selectrics. Three months later, after watching friends trying to set up LAN's with Big Blue iron or clones and the assorted networking hardware and software packages available, and failing, I bought our first MacPlus with it 9" B&W screen. A month later, 13 more, networked through a Farralon router, networked through a previously unused line in our phone network and WordPerfect replaced the Wangs. In late 1989 we purchased our first Mac IIfx, "wickedly fast," and prior to general release, already using a Mac II as a server for the office and our dial up connection to Compuserve "the world's largest database." Compuserve, owned by H&R Block, was an essential tool for us. It provided technical self help groups for programming in different languages, groups for hardware advice, and tons of data we used in our businesses. It was slow, and we paid by the minute, racking up monthly bills in the $thousands, but paying for itself in increased productivity and product. The death knell for compuserve was the arrival of the World Wide Web. The self help groups migrated from compuserve to their own web pages and so did we. Cable services arrived, faster computers and modems, and much lower bills, along with exponentially increased available data. It was inimical to our business model and success. And then home communications and entertainment. I never saw it coming, barely recognized it when it arrived, and it is now the window to the world for everyone. Simply amazing.

No more multi thousand $ 10mg hard disks, no weird modem noises on dial up, no more waiting endlessly for downloads, longer for uploads, and damn, videos. :) It's not hard to remember, porn was the big driver for internet use. :) I remember some college kids coming to me looking for financing, they had an idea of networked gaming on the Net, and I thought "no way that will happen." Call me Stupid. LOL @ me. Those kids made $millions.
 
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