Thursday, March 25, 2010

One small year for baby sweetness, twenty five big years for dotcom - Should I thank Al Gore?

Ok, I know this is a bit random - not to mention a week late, but I can't help but write a small post on this milestone...

I started using the internet "for real" in 1996 to get some background data for a research paper in college. My roommate had recommended that their might be some good stats on the web and when I looked at her blankly (crickets), she offered to show me how to use it. I can't believe I just had to write that... But it's actually true. I know I should 1000 there. But, um, you've been to my site - you have a good sense of my "natural computer ability" here. (note - I can absolutely LEARN computerese! Given years of practice, I'm actually really good with excel and access and can do just a little bit of sql - none of which helps in web design. And one more plug for delinquent designs here who has promised to fix the ugly for me! But I digress.) I think she was probably showing me how to turn the d@mn thing on as much as anything else! Also - remember - this is 1996. Google doesn't exist (again - can you imagine?), so God knows how I even found the information I was looking for.

But thus began my relationship with the internet. I'd had email before that, but let's not get into a pre-internet email description of vax machines - it will make all our heads hurt (no, I honestly can't remember how it worked - yeah, I'm not only that old to have used them, but also to have alz heimers). That relationship has grown and grown (to an obsession!) and here we are now.

So what was my point? I was actually a little late to the internet. It had actually been around since... March 15, 1985 (yes, that's 25 years this month) when the very first .com domain name was registered (in case you're wondering, it was And, as I am writing to you in this blog on that funny little interwebby, I thought - why not give some props? A happy birthday message, if you will.

And, why not also back up that I am actually THAT big a geek to know this stuff.

So for today's prompt... do you remember when you first started using the internet? I know for a lot of people reading, it's been there your whole life, but you probably weren't logging onto symbolics (via aol dial up?! ;) ) on that first day, so where did you begin?


  1. LOCKBOX!!

    (I remember this stuff from watching David Letterman. Not from politics.)

    I grew up in a computer free household. I had an email account that I set up at my friend's house. But no one emailed me except for Nigerian princes.

    I've been a member of the Internet-using community (regularly) for about 3 years now. I've had a usable computer for nearly a year. I HAD a laptop but it made bad noises, like it was crunching on rocks. Then it got left outside. Then it rained.

    But yeah, here I am on the Internet!

    (Not Amish. Promise.)

  2. We didn't have a computer in my house until I was in high school but my friend Jessica had a computer AND the internet. We used to dial up and sit there forever and ever in middle school listening to the horrible noise and then her mom would pick up the phone and we would lose it. Ahhh memories.

  3. Congrats on your milestone and congrats on your SITS day!!

  4. I think we are of the very same era since I was also in college in 1996 and it was the first time I used the Internet as well! I was a freshman and a friend of mine was showing me around AOL. I especially remember thinking how cool the chat-rooms were. Ha! Those were the (dial-up) days... =)


  5. Dial up aol, I was in middle school... It was wonderful! LOL
    Before that we had a computer, an apple, black screen green letters and numbers, I could type school papers and play lemonade stand! LOL

  6. For the record, I thought about it and realized that I HAD used aol dial up at my parents for email and some basic look ups (ah yes the chat rooms!) before that. But I didn't know how to use the internet with AOL's oh so impressive search engine! So sadd....

  7. I don't think I used the Internet until I went to college... 15 years ago. When you would log on it would have that awful dial-up sound and was so slower than a slug.

    I always wonder what the Internet will be like when my kids grow up.

  8. I have CRS now. So, wow. All I can think of is how popular AOL, "You've got mail" slogan was.

    It was definitely my first email address, then yahoo. I'd say 95-96ish. Final answer. :-)

  9. I remember using it my senior year of HS-- 1999. My family is a bunch of luddites (not really, but almost), and we're always behind on the latest technologies. My parents didn't upgrade to anything beyond dial-up internet until LAST JUNE!

    Confessions From A Working Mom

  10. I remember getting the net in high school after upgrading my computer from a Commodore 64 - I remember when bill gates said 64K was more than anyone would ever need in a home computer... lol it was dialup and took 4 ever!


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