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QOTW: What are your first memories of the Internet?

by Parm Mann on 14 March 2014, 16:35

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The World Wide Web turned 25 years old on March 12, 2014 and it goes without saying, in a relatively-short space of time, it has changed everything.

Almost 90 per cent of all British households are now connected to the Internet, and many won't remember a life without web access. Our very own Video Editor, Harrison, is younger than the World Wide Web and has no recollection of those screeching sounds, the slow speeds and the giant phone bills.

It's a great topic across all ages, so for this week's question we're asking: what are your first memories of the Internet? Let us know using the comments below. A/S/L won't be necessary.

HEXUS Forums :: 62 Comments

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Ah never ending Compuserve discs, my trusty 28.8K modem and back when you could send up to a certain amount of emails depending what tariff you were on.
I started playing with PC's and the internet in my first year at university, 1993. I'd had home computers from the 8 bit days and even did a lot of my A level homework on my Atari ST but no internet whatsoever. At that point to get an email account, you had to fill in a 3 page paper form and then wait a couple of days for some poor sod in the computer department to manually set up your email account. The university network was run an a Unix cluster that someone was always joking had a network enabled toaster plugged in for the busy periods.

And the Internet? Let me tell you where/what the Internet was in late 1993. A lot of people confuse the Internet (round for years and years, home to all sorts of stuff like Gopher, Telnet, FTP, Newsgroups and so on), with the World Wide Web. Well, the World Wide Web was effectively invented in my first year at university (yes I know the web was 1989 but popular adoption was lagging behind IMHO and it really took off in late 93). All those web pages? All that content? Nothing before NCSA Mosaic came along and allowed us to have (more or less) the modern internet that we all know and love.

Immediately the entire membership of the sci-fi society became the fledgling members of this brave new world. At this point in time, if the sci-fi society wanted to watch Star Trek the Next Generation before UK broadcast, they were beholden on an exchange student posting a VHS recorded off the telly from America. Remember, this was 3 years before Google was even founded, and the immediate uses for the world wide web were:
science fiction fan sites;
Geocities and it's garish sites that were always under construction; and
snuff movies, let's say it wasn't nice viewing…
Porn tbh
I suppose Bulletin Boards didn't really count as the ‘Internet’ proper but they were my first WAN-exploits, bagging shareware and tat like clip-art. Compuserve was the next big thing for me, I was a chat admin for a few years and made some good friends around there. The WWW-actual was a chargeable ‘add-on’ at the time but I honestly can't remember the first thing I actually did on the web itself…

Boobs; probably boobs.