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To: HAL9000
The Internet is now everywhere but there was a time not too long ago when there was for all practical purposes, no Internet. Yes, the Internet has technically been around for a while but up until the mid 1990s, it was basically used only in military and academic circles and you had to know your way around a command line interface and you could only use text because most modems were only 200 or 300 baud - when the 2400 baud modem started appearing on the market in the early 1990s, it was heralded as blazingly fast!

I am fortunate to have been on the ground floor of the Internet when it started getting popular in the 1990s. I was one of the first people in my company to get an email address (when I asked for one, the IT department initially didn't know what I was talking about). Back then, you usually had to subscribe to an online service like Prodigy or CompuServe and apps like Gopher and Telnet were still widely used. I was a member of Prodigy, which had the clunkiest interface you could ever imagine. Their idea of Internet was showing you sports scores and weather reports on gaudy yellow screens that were six hours old. Still, you had the sense that you were on the cutting edge.

Then Mosaic came along and as long as you had that, you could escape the confines of those blue and yellow Prodigy screens and browse web servers all around the world. At the time, the Internet was so small that if you emailed a celebrity, they likely emailed you back. I remember having email conversations with local disc jockeys about music, talk show hosts like Gene Burns and Tom Leykis (who called me a right-wing dope). Nowadays, nobody answers your email because everybody has thousands of emails clogging their inboxes.

There was one time around 1993 or 1994 when I had the entire World Wide Web on my local hard drive. Reason was that they charged $3.60 an hour to browse the internet in those days so one Saturday afternoon, I just downloaded the whole damn thing on my 9600kps modem so I could browse it offline for free. Sound ridiculous but remember it was nothing but text in those days and I think it was only about 20 megabytes. If I was smart enough, I'd have built a search engine around it and I'd be a mega-billionaire today.

17 posted on 12/29/2007 4:51:10 AM PST by SamAdams76 (I am 43 days away from outliving Nicolette Larson)
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To: SamAdams76

Interesting bit’o cool history! Thanks for that.

(Nicolette Larson?)


18 posted on 12/29/2007 5:57:01 AM PST by canuck_conservative
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To: SamAdams76

24 posted on 12/29/2007 8:48:44 AM PST by Dumpster Baby ("Hope somebody finds me before the rats do .....")
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To: SamAdams76

Tom Leykis duraflame bopped his wife after Christmas party and was given heave ho


26 posted on 12/29/2007 8:54:33 AM PST by dennisw
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To: SamAdams76

Wow man, those are some great memories. I am quite astonished that you downloaded the whole www on your hard drive. You were way ahead of the time, and yes, had you known about search algorithms, or even employed someone to write one, you would be super rich today.


31 posted on 12/29/2007 1:03:58 PM PST by nwrep
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To: SamAdams76
There was one time around 1993 or 1994 when I had the entire World Wide Web on my local hard drive


33 posted on 12/29/2007 2:42:59 PM PST by Turbopilot (iumop ap!sdn w,I 'aw dlaH)
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To: SamAdams76
Your recollection gave me some great memory flashes. I was also on the Internet back in the pre-GUI days, and it was a strange world of names and acronyms like WAIS, Gopher, Telnet, Bulletin Board Systems, and this funny little network of university libraries and government research sites called the World Wide Web. And all of this crazy stuff was obtainable through a phone link, a 1200/2400 baud modem, an IBM 8088 processor with 256Kb of memory and a 25Mb hard drive, and an (approximately) 2,000 lb. CRT monitor with a green monochrome screen and if you were rich, a Hercules graphics card.

And when the graphics revolution came along (a/k/a VGA-mania) along with those blazing 9600-baud modems, there arose a demand for dial-up portals, and Prodigy was among the first. And yes, it was a very ugly interface:


42 posted on 01/29/2008 12:10:01 PM PST by andy58-in-nh (Kill the terrorists, secure the borders, and give me back my freedom.)
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