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First Experiences On the WWW

Discussion in 'Tech Talk - Gadgets, Gizmos and Technology' started by mikeny, Jun 26, 2009.

  1. mikeny

    mikeny Hall Of Fame

    Aug 20, 2006
    There's a Firefox thread here and the Commodore 64 was referenced. It got me thinking about the first time I was ever "online". I would like to share my experience and would like to read your stories too.

    My father subscribed to the ISP, IDT and had some kind of "shell" account where he was able to access text only using the Commodore 128. It was very odd. I think we went the CIA Factbook page a lot and some MLB stat page. :) We also printed out the lyrics to every Pink Floyd song ever with some archaic dot matrix printer where we needed to seperate each page for 1/2 and hour after it was done. I remember also printing the script to Monty Python and The Holy Grail.

    The first time I saw images online was on my future wife's Uncle's compuserve account which I was trying to use to get research articles for school. Of course I still needed countless hours photocopying in the library as the Library of Congress website didn't have what I needed and/or was too expensive.:eek2:

    Remember your first times online?

    It's amazing how far the web has come.
  2. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

    Jun 18, 2006
    I spent a decent amount of time on Compuserve in the early 1980s. It was underwhelming even at the time, but the idea of being "connected" was very cool.

    In 1989 the company I worked for became a Prodigy Gold Vendor so I had an unlimited account. For those who don't remember Prodigy, it was the first widely-promoted online service that was even remotely graphical. Full of potential, but dog slow.

    By 1990 I was one of the first members of America Online when it required GeOS to work. I liked GeOS, it ran a lot faster on an XT computer than Windows did.

    I moved back to CompuServe in 1993 and by 1994 CompuServe had a method where you could download Mosaic and use your Compuserve ID to log on to the internet. I was really impressed except CompuServe charged by the minute.... oops!

    I got my first true ISP account in the fall of 1995 and my first broadband connection (768k) in 1999.

    I continue to be impressed with what the web can do.
  3. mikeny

    mikeny Hall Of Fame

    Aug 20, 2006
    Good stuff Stuart. Yes, I remember my wife's Uncle's compuserve account evolved into Prodigy. He and my father in law could go online simultaneously from different locations which was a unique (and $ saving) feature. Then it turned into Prodigy/SBC Yahoo, right?
  4. sigma1914

    sigma1914 Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

    Sep 5, 2006
    Allen, TX
    Around 1993-94...me and my dumb teenage friends discovered AOL and chatting. Then, we discovered AOL private rooms that distributed naughty jpegs. We were young and dumb.
  5. naijai

    naijai Hall Of Fame

    Aug 19, 2006
    :D definetly remember those times and yes i agree with the assessment "young & dumb".
  6. spartanstew

    spartanstew Dry as a bone

    Nov 16, 2005
    Wylie, Texas
    No idea.
  7. Jimmy 440

    Jimmy 440 Hall Of Fame

    Nov 16, 2007
    My 1st expierences online were with an Electronic bulliten board from Union Beach NJ called "Instant Access".They had all sorts of naughty photos too <LOL>.Then I moved onto PCLINK,the predecessor of AOL.Then AOL.I used to remember signing onto the service with one of those "modern 300 baud" modems through a local access #.They also had a gateway to the internet.It was sooooooooo slooow.
    Boy,it took around 5-10 minutes to download a small picture.I think the first WWW site I accessed was a subway map of NYC.And if you had a problem connecting,you were sometimes online for 2-3 hours just to get to a CSR who were just about as equally useless as some others we can all think of.I fiddled around with others including Compuserve & Prodigy,and eventually wound up at Comcast@Home which is now just Comcast.
  8. dennisj00

    dennisj00 Hall Of Fame

    Sep 27, 2007
    Lake Norman, NC
    I did the Prodigy, Source, Compuserve and a lot of independent BBSes but life really changed the day I brought home a beta copy of Windows 95 -- I think it was August or September of '94.

    It included a dial up MSN account and I got it working about 7pm that evening. At 3 or 4 am the next morning, my wife and I were still 'surfing' and could not believe the vast amount of information available! That was probably on a 32k dialup modem!

    Still surfing!
  9. FHSPSU67

    FHSPSU67 CE'er & Retired Engineer DBSTalk Club

    Jan 12, 2007
    Windber, PA
    I also subscribed to The Source for awhile, first using a 300 baud modem, then a 1200 baud, I think.
  10. ncxcstud

    ncxcstud Icon

    Apr 22, 2007
    My first 'online' experience was when I lived in Naples, Italy. After school on the Navy Base, I would walk over to my mom's office some days and hang out in the hospital. Why? Because she had Netscape and I was able to go to the Electronic Gaming Monthly website (which was like www.nuke.com or something...). Then, when we moved back to the states in 1996, I discovered a little program called Napster....and my dad bought a CD burner (1x!). I was the king of the school for a few months :)
  11. HDJulie

    HDJulie Icon

    Aug 10, 2008
    I first got on the Internet in 1993 when I went back to college to finish my degree. The first time I was in school in the early 80's we used a mainframe for programming & all we had was email. Going back, there were a few PC labs but the school was mostly Unix labs. We had Netscape (or whatever it was called back then -- had the dragon that breathed fire) but most of the searching was text based. Computer Science was in the College of Engineering & I was asked to give a presentation to the Engineering majors who were non-CS to show them how to use the Net. I remember talking to them about Gopher & Veronica. My mother was online at this time with Prodigy. I even remember her email address -- XNSK77A@prodigy.net. I also remember playing MUD's on one of the Universities two dial-up lines :). Man, we were addicted to those games.
  12. Mike Bertelson

    Mike Bertelson 6EQUJ5 WOW! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Jan 24, 2007
    I was with Compuserve through the ‘80s and partially in the ‘90s. They had some great tech forums. I also used dialup to access a few favorite BBSs.

    Prodigy, now there’s something I forgot about. I seem to remember getting something from Sears of all places(I think it was an insert in my bill). I was on it for a while but liked the forums on Compuserve so I went back.

    In ’94 I started working in the IT dept of a local hospital. Until this point I used dialup through Compuserve to get the internet. For the next couple of months we worked on setting up a new network and systems. Then near the end of ’94 we got a T-1 line. For almost two months I was the only one with access and had what amounted to my own private T-1 line with all the brand new Cat5 cabling on a fiber optic backbone. I was a happy camper. :D

    By then I quit using the forums on Compuserve as my sole source of info and bounced around between ISPs. Who ever could get me access to the web with the least problems.

  13. elaclair

    elaclair Rescued Racers Live Here

    Jun 18, 2004
    Del Mar, CA
    Wow, this thread brings back some strange and interesting memories...

    My first "on-line" experience would have been in the early 70's, on what I guess could be considered the consumer pre-cursor to the Internet. We'd go to one of the science buildings at the University of Arkansas, log on to one of the really spiffy IBM Selectric typewriter terminals, and remote connect to SuNY in New York (They had the best version of moon lander we could find)..we went through a LOT of paper on those terminals. :lol: I also ran the gamut of BBS's, Compuserve (I still remember my compuserve ID 71777,334 which, to say the least is a bit "odd") Like Stuart, GEM graphics/GeOS for AOL were a lot better than the native Microsoft stuff (Hmm, things haven't changed much....). Progressed from a 110baud acoustic modem, to 300,1200,2400, 16,800, and 56k flavors. Remember having to piece together like 10 downloads of encrypted text, decode the result, and get a really cool 800x600x64 GIF file. At the time JPEGs were EVIL because they contained compression, and if you had 1Meg of memory in your system, you were the bomb! My IBM AT computer cost more than my car....

    Ah, been a fun ride........
  14. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

    Nov 13, 2007
    I was on local BBSs in the late 80s on friends' computers, and first accessed the Internet through Exec PC's (a huge national BBS) Internet link. All text-based of course. Gopher searches and FTPing files. Email that could get through in an hour, where email through our networked BBSs took days to "hop" between systems.

    A year later, I moved into a house with a couple of friends, and one of them got a SLIP account, and we eventually got Mosaic working, but at the time there was very little to see, as there were only a few thousand websites and they are almost all text-only. It was also very slow, but much nicer than Lynx. Later we started downloading the Netscape betas, and soon after, websites started exploding. And they were all grey, and far too many of them had flashing red text... :)
  15. Jimmy 440

    Jimmy 440 Hall Of Fame

    Nov 16, 2007
    And does anybody remember this , "Internet in a Box" ? That was my first web browser.
    It came on 4 or 5 big 5 1/4" floppy disks.It was such a PITA to configure.
  16. MIKE0616

    MIKE0616 Godfather

    Dec 13, 2006
    Compuserve was owned by H&R Block and was later bought out by AOL.

    Prodigy was a joint venture of IBM / Sears. Yes, P* was later branded SBC / Yahoo when Sears unloaded their part to IBM, which dumped it to the Mexican phone company, who dumped it to..... etc. :D
  17. ncxcstud

    ncxcstud Icon

    Apr 22, 2007
  18. Greg Alsobrook

    Greg Alsobrook Lifetime Achiever

    Apr 1, 2007
    It was probably 1992-93... My dad had a friend who worked in IT... and they had internet access at their business... It was a Saturday afternoon... and he showed me The Trojan Room Coffee Machine and Yahoo!... I was so fascinated, I pestered my parents until we got internet access at our house...
  19. tcusta00

    tcusta00 Active Member

    Dec 31, 2007
    That's pretty cool - I'd never heard of that.
  20. Shades228

    Shades228 DaBears

    Mar 18, 2008
    I used a public access line for Fermilab on their vax cluster all the way through high school. When I graduated in 94 I helped start an ISP.

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