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First internet usage

When did you first use the internet (WWW) and what was your opinion?

For me it was August 1995, and I was a teenager at a music festival in England.  I thought it was fairly cool, but at the time the potential it had never occured to me.

I vaguely remember it was Netscape Navigator on Windows 3.1, and Yahoo looked roughly the same then as it did now.

Fg

Furious George
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

1997, IRC. Talked for 2 hours to a much older woman (I was 19 she as 32) and spent the whole week thinking I was the shit.

RP
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Well... I guess it depends on how you define "the internet" but let's presume you're talking about "the web."

Also mid 90's, probably '95, when AOL had homepages for each of it's members. I remember thinking how interesting it was that each person on the planet could have their own web page to talk about anything they wanted.

Now with the Blogging Revolution, it seems we've actually done this. Add in Friendster profiles, forum posts, and other things like this and it would see our lives are pretty much self-documented.

www.MarkTAW.com
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

1995, Netscape Navigator on some kind of UNIX box (Solaris maybe?)

Giovanni Corriga
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

I  think around 1994 or so, using some text browser (Lynx I think) on a dialup Unix account on a 600 baud modem as I recall. (I was such a newbie I didn't even realize the modem could send twice as fast if I'd only known how to set it).

I was using the company laptop to research this "internet" thing.

When I saw a graphical Gopher interface it was an amazing step up from Lynx.

Mr. Analogy
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

The Internet is not the World Wide Web!

John Topley (www.johntopley.com)
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

1993, 1200baud dailup terminal & shell access to a sun box.
gopher was all the rage back then - www was unheard of. IRC was fun back then. Remember seeing the world wide web sometime around 1994/5 or whenever it was :)

The trojan room cofee machine site rocked.

Patrik
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Around 1990 I got a 1200 bps dial-up modem (solid iron casing the size of a lunchbox) with which I could connect to local electronic bulletin boards. Connecting to a remote computer was quite a rush. I dreamt of a 14.4 bps U.S. Robotics modem priced at around US $2000. There was one ISP in the country and without a WWW the only thing it offered was an email account, an obscurity no one knew what was good for.

Since then I drifted away from computing and not until 1995 did I pick it up again and tried the WWW for the first time. I used a HTML based chat site and felt the same kind of rush to be online with someone from the opposite side of the planet.

jz
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

My first time on WWW was in '97, on Borland's website, trying to work out a bug in a Delphi app.

Shortly after I learned about the Borland NGs, and that became my #1 line of assistance.

Paulo Caetano
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

"The Internet is not the World Wide Web!"

Exactly.

1988 - usenet newsgroups.

My Cousin Vinniwashtharam
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

1996. I've been addicted to porn ever since.


Wednesday, April 14, 2004

1991 - E-mail access on the same Sun box as Patrik :) Good ol' Abacus.

My first usenet posting was 30 march 1993. Still available on Google... Old sins never die.

/Jocke

Jocke
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Mid 90's.

I remember thinking that Yahoo was really good, but wondered how they managed to get their link into the bookmarks. Clearly a shrewd business move.

Steve Jones (UK)
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Nov 1998, opened my first email account at hotmail for uni entrance application. Since I've lived in the campus hostel for my first year, I was hooked to internet for crazy hours. Now I am addicted.

Current Situation
----------------------
Do my blogging 4-5 times a day
Race to get as many friends as possible in friendster
Check my email, don't know how many times a day
etc

Richard Sunarto Yu
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

c1994

Gopher was the bomb.

So was NNTP. Early newsgroup posts still on Google... scary.

ftp'ing for games on sunsite via console ftp.

was hooked on chat before it became fashionable

http and www in about '95

As an aside, does anyone remember the sunsite pub ftp servers with the hidden games directory?

Tapiwa
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

94 ish I think my final year at uni - it was the mosaic browser and it had a page that listed all the pages on the internet at the time which would have a couple of things added to it. My brother (11 yrs younger) doesn't believe that there was a single page with all the net on it for a while.

G
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

First Internet: 1991, from a DEC Ultrix machine in the university computing lab.  FTP to grind.isc.uiowa.edu.  Dial-in procedure was as follows:

- Dial into an async switch (can't remember brand, but it was not Gandalf)
- Connect from that to Sytek terminal server.
- Connect from that to Ultrix network.

File transfer back to PC (an Amiga 500) was using Kermit. Default settings effectively gave you 500 bps throughput. And my disk quota on the Ultrix network was a whopping 1 MB.  For everything.  Including schoolwork.

First WWW: At University of Toronto, using NCSA Mosaic, 1994.

Those were the days...

David Jones
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

I feel old.

I was online on local BBSs and compuserve in 1985.  I made it onto the internet in '87.  I first heard about the WWW on a music mailing list in spring of '93 and actually got onto the web when I started grad school that fall.

jburka
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

1992 or 1993 using Mosaic (Hot Java) on Sun Sparc machine at Univ @ Buffalo

Prior to that (1988?) AppleLink that I think eventually became AOL....

apw
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

I remember having to read newsgroups and send email in the early 90's for a class I was in. Text based Unix crap. I didn't really give a flip until I had my own PC running X, which was whenever redhat 4.2 was out.


Wednesday, April 14, 2004

The mid 80's for me. I was working for a mega-giant multinational company which was one of the first commerical IP addresses. It was not called the WWW until several years later.

At that point the tools for connecting to the Internet consisted of a usenet news reader, ftp and telnet. That was it. There was no browser and graphics file formats were still nascent.

Besides, most of us worked from text-only terminals off a mainframe or Vax. If one had a graphics monitor at all it was more likely to be only black and white. To see anything graphical one would download a gif or X bitmap file.

old_timer
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Hmm.  My first newsgroup post was back in '96 (Borland C++ vs. Watcom C++ question - I feel dated! - thanks to google groups for the archive)  Before that there was Prodigy and before that BBSes...

GiorgioG
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Early 80s at college on a lovely pdp8.

son of parnas
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Fall of 1995, freshman year at Carnegie Mellon.  I first viewed the web on NCSA Mosaic, running on a SPARC Station.  I built my first web page on CMU's student section, and uploaded all my pictures from senior year of high school.  when i came back home and scrounged up an internet connection to show off my page, i realized that a page designed for 32 bit color and broadband looks horrible on a 16 color laptop over 28k modem.

nathan
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

For the web I think my first steps were late 1993. I was at university and remember getting really excited a few months later over the fact that there were now new sites coming online "almost every day". I also remember we wanted to get our site "right" before anouncing it on the "www sites" page, since this would be the big introduction to the world and you'd be in the spotlight for a few days and you only had that one shot.

For the Internet, I guess I must have made my first appearence around 1987-1988. We were restricted to email and nntp usage. Anyone remember the days of ftp-to-email gateways?

Just me (Sir to you)
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

First internet was 1988 for usenet and email. 

First WWW was 1993 using Mosaic.

He whose name must never be spoken
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Internet email starting in 1992~1993, via Pegasus mail (DOS) -- pegasus had some sort of dial-up script that connected to the local BBS (or whatever), grabbed our mail, disconnected.  Looking back, that had to be some sort of nightmare to set up and debug.  Nowadays Pegasus mail is just another POP email client.

Later, 1995ish, we got a dialup-based login to a linux system directly connected to the internet.  I think the first web site I connected to was the Lucasarts site, via lynx.  I also specifically remember tooling around the linux server and thinking "Wow, this is a lot like DOS."  Gopher sites were more easily navigable (is navigable a word?) than web sites via lynx.

Later, 1997ish, we set up using SLIP to directly connect to the internet.  I've never fully understood how that works, so attempting to explain it only causes more fuzziness.


All of the above were in the Philippines, so I guess we were way ahead of the curve in some respects.

pds
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

1993. I was going to a community college with a somewhat geeky friend and he invited me over to his house to show me something. I had been a big BBS using as a kid, and still cruised the BBS's for various things.

He said there was "a place like a BBS where you can download school papers, and teachers had no idea!". I remember seeing my first first web page and thinking "wow this changes everything". Just the concept that anyone in the world could communicate with anyone else instantly using text and images seemed pretty staggering.

About a year later as Netscape took off, for Christmas I hooked my parents up with an ISP and configured everything. My mother was a complete computer-phobe so I figured once I left the house it would never be turned on again. I called her a week later and asked if she had "been on the internet yet". She said "8 hours today". That was my first clue that the Internet would not just be limited to geeks.

Then six months later my parents got divorced and she married a guy she met through an AOL chat room. So it goes...

kenoyer130
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Internet was called Arpanet until sometime in the late eighties. I used the arpanet starting in 1983/84 or so just screwing around. You could find out the status of a coke machine at CMU via the network. Other than that, it was just games (hack, trek, etc) and email.

pdq
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

in '83 i hacked into my school's mainframe to change this girl's grades. later i hacked into WOPR and we went to defcon 5.

david
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

My first use of the web (not internet !!) was to arrange a holiday in Alaska in 1993 or 1994 (we live in the UK).  My company had a PC with a dialup modem, probably about 2400 and a Pipex account. I used to post to alt.postmodern and alt.cyberpunk, used mozilla (or something) to sew together multiple posts into pictures which took an hour each to download. No not those sort of pictures, although I do remember checking the hard disk with Norton one morning after one of my colleagues had been working "overtime"  and finding some deleted files . . . I was so innocent, but thats another story. We used Netscape, but either it didn't support pictures or we switched it off because it was too slow.

Before that, I wrote an EDI system in 1987 for Kodak which used to dial up ISTEL (I think) and place orders for medical supplies. At a stretch, you could call that the internet. Mind you at a stretch you could squint and call the messages XML too.

Email: commercially 1985 (profs), as a student 1983 (some Multics thing), personally, 1996 (late starter).

Hipp.Stenoglepsis
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

I should add that we had the Cambridge Coffee Pot as our homepage, but working in Cambridge, some of us actually got to go and see it.

I can still smell that burning coffee. Tears come. . .

Hipp.Stenoglepsis
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

First time online (local BBS, not Internet) would've been around 1983 (?). Using a 300-baud acoustic coupler, no less.

First real Internet (not CompuServe or a local BBS) in 1988. One of the guys I met during freshman orientation at college showed me how to telnet (or maybe rsh) into a remote machine. I didn't comprehend the potential at the time, and I think the first time I used the Net seriously was to follow newsgroups looking for job listings before I graduated in 1992. That's also when my first Usenet posts show up on Google.

WWW, probably sometime in 1994? By August of '95 I had quit my job and gone to work for a dot-com startup (one that's still in business, amazingly!). I still remember the excitement at seeing URLs start to pop up in public places -- on billboards and in movie trailings. And meeting with some Netscape folks to get a preview of Navigator 2.0. We were so thrilled by frames and plug-ins. Sheesh.

John C.
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

"wow this changes everything"

I can actually recall the time when Tim Berners-Lee first proposed the WWW. It came onto one of the netnews discussion forums as a simple posting. I was reading it from a dumb terminal tied to an IBM mainframe Profs application. His first note was sort of like, hey guys, here's an idea...

It was a global Eureka moment. You could almost hear 50,000 computer scientists simultaneously slapping their foreheads. Hypertext was not new. Mac was using it since 1984 in Hyperhelp and I'm sure Apple didn't invent it, so we were all familiar with the concept. But linking to anywhere for anything from any page just hadn't occurred to anyone until suddenly, boom!, as John Madden would say.

One could immediately see the potential. But at that point there were still probably only about 100,000 people connected. The average Joe never learned about it until about the middle of 1993. Our local newspaper did a cover story on this brand new technology on Easter Sunday, 1993.

I remember because I was the featured expert with a few comments on how I used this in my research work. I still have the photograph hanging on my wall. Not because it was my only 15 minutes of fame, but right near my head on a window sill was a cactus I used to have that was shaped like a hand flipping the bird to the world. I loved that cactus.

old_timer
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Feb-1995

 
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

1994 the best local bbs had a email gateway.

MyNameIsSecret();
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

1993 - email @ university 1st year. Used gopher for retrieving course schedules and apartment hunting.
1994 - discovered usenet, and lynx WWW
1995 - graphical WWW with Navigator on NeXT boxes.

asdf
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

1994 - I bought OS/2 Warp 3 and a modem and connected via BTX (Germany) on a metered line.

It was VERY expensive.

The reason I started using the Internet was because Warp 3 came with Internet software and I wanted to use at least some of the "high-end" applications that came with it.

What I did was at first Gopher (was the nicest-looking application) then the Web (IBM Web Explorer) and at some point I started reading newsgroups (although that wasn't via BTX) using NewsReader/2. In 1996 I switched to AOL because it was the cheapest ISP-equivalent then in Germany. (AOL's software still ran on OS/2.)

Leauki (Andrew J. Brehm)
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

My online history:

1981-1985: Local PCs only. Not online.
1985-1988: BBS / non-internet
1988: first actual user account on an internet connected machine from local university. Also first exposure to the Unix world.
1988: email
1991: usenet (I've calculated I've lost multiple thousands of hours to that timesink!)
1994: www via mosaic, IRC
1995: finally graduated. Got a job. Switched to mainframe world. Very little online activity until migrating back to PCs in 1999
1999 to present: far too much to list here.

Sgt. Sausage
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

First use of the Internet was way back in the Fifties, when it as a super-secret project and we routed packets by hand.

Back in '89, I created the internet text linking protocol (ITLP), which I suspect Tim Berners Lee later co-opted and renamed HTTP. Also created the first version of an ITLP browser (written in x86 assembler, mind you) which I called ITLP-Nav and I think some hackers at UI later got a hold of it and renamed it Mosaic.

Al Gore?
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

I invented a good part of it.

Jon Postel
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

usenet: late 80's via pacsbb, early part of the switchover from !UUCP email addresses to @ addresses, it was interesting trying to route mail to CompuServe (which just started their gateway about the same time).

internet: 91 visiting CMU.
92: convoluted mechanism: tymnet (or telnet, i forget) to something to an ancient Cray XMP, then telnet/etc out from there.

~93: info.cern.ch. but there was nothing there. same with mosaic when it came out, but at least it supported gopher.

~95: first web page. unfortunately i removed the edit history, it used to go something like 95, 95, 96, 99, 2002.

mb
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

First experience with anything internet-related was in college (1990-94). I used to love the 'fortune' program. But I never quite understood that some of the things I could see on the college Unix terminals actually came from the other side of the country.

We got our first PC at home in 1995. Then we got AOL a couple of years later, and I discovered Usenet. The web kind of grew from there - visiting sites linked on usenet posts, that sort of thing.

Martha
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

It was Compuserve for me - I have no idea on the date

DJ
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Oh, and according to Google, my first usenet post was Jun 29, 1997, to "the Rialto" (rec.org.sca).

Martha
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

In 1993 or 1994:  Participated in my first internet commerce, I used a site online to buy CDs, via telnet!  Can't remember what company that was.  Also did a little IRC, Usenet, and anonymous FTP.  I had either a 2400 or 4800 modem, when all the cool kids had double that.  I remember it logged in at 300 once, dear god, it was like watching someone type.  Slowly!  Can't remember when I started using the web, by 95, I'm sure.  I looked up all of Sun's documentation on Java, and printed it out on the school printers.  Did a couple of reports on it, but to this day, never learned to program in it.

Keith Wright
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

"It was a global Eureka moment. You could almost hear 50,000 computer scientists simultaneously slapping their foreheads. Hypertext was not new. Mac was using it since 1984 in Hyperhelp and I'm sure Apple didn't invent it, so we were all familiar with the concept. But linking to anywhere for anything from any page just hadn't occurred to anyone until suddenly, boom!, as John Madden would say. "

I'm not sure I agree with your contention that nobody thought of linking from page to page before WWW. A local guy (University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon) came to our UNIX user's group and demoed something he had come up with called HyTelnet. When I first saw a Lynx browser I thought it was just a new version of HyTelnet. In HyTelnet, if I recall correctly, you used the tab key to move from link to link. Each link was just a highlighted word in a text document. With the right setup, you could actually use a mouse to click on the links and off you went.

As I recall, he was not a programmer, but a library administrator trying to figure out a way to make better use of the new-fangled networked computers they installed for him.

http://www.lights.com/hytelnet/

Ron Porter
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Sometime in the early 90's a friend in college showed me gopher which we thought was the coolest thing.  A few months later he showed me this new program that he found, called Mosaic, which allowed you to access something called the world wide web.  He told me that it was going to totally revolutionize the internet.

I agreed with him that it was definitely cool, but told him that it would never catch on.  Now that it has been more than 10 years, I think I can safely say that I was right, and that this "www" thing will never catch on.

madking
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Unfortunately, I do not remember when exactly I saw Mosaic running for the first time. Spring 94, I would say, on a HP-9000.
Before that, we had Archie, and Gopher, and Veronica... and IRC of course (we would talk with russians all night - back in 92, one year after the end of the Soviet Union...).

Mosaic (and HTTP) may not have catched if they had not implemented gopher. But I remember thinking that this was great, whereas my FTP/IRC-friends were not too impressed.

I also remember telling my younger brother about all these fantastic tools.
And we also kept wondering who was paying the bills for our nights on the "Net"...

Pakter
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

1995 in highschool typed a message that our computer science teacher posted on a newsgroup, all I remember was that time was dialup time was expensive, and we had to remember 'log on, download any response, then log off to read them' never type while logged on as it costs too much....I still remember my first post. It was something like 'Hi my name is ... my middle finger is 9cm long and I wear a size nine shoe. The rest of the class was typing 'hi my name is .... and I have brown hair and blue eyes' I thought that was lame. I got two responses, they got none....turns out on the internet if you have a cool personality, then everybody justs assumes you are gorgeous.

1999 went to the town library and paid $4/hour to chat online, got my first email address. Became addicted. Got icq-ed by some weird guy who wanted to meet an Aussie, have been friends with him ever since.

Aussie Chick
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Mosaic 0.9 on Mac OS 7.1 in Jan or Feb '95.

Mosaic would always crash in less than 20 minutes so
I don't remember there was Quit command somewhere in
it's menus... ;)

VPC
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Just for nostalgia's sake I installed Netscape 4.02 and a game called Dark Colony, both from 97.

A curious thing: both programs closed misteriously on their own (crash?) and Windows XP Pro didn't even noticed it.

RP
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

94. My friend got an account with ISP that we can use paralllel at the same time, and the billing somehow still not exceeding the normal monthly rate.
For about 12 months, it has been shared to around 12 people. When the ISP found the flaws then some of us stopped using Internet for a while because for some of us Internet is something of a luxury.

Raja Selingkuh
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

It was before the Windows 95 era for sure ( 94 or 95? ) I had to log on to a BBS to download Winsock Trumpet for Windows 3.1, and Netscape 1.1. It took the night to download the software on a old 2400 bauds modem an uncle gave us to try the "new thing".

First site I went was yahoo.com, it did not take long to find playboy.com :) I was 14/15 years old at that time.

Newsgroup was an interesting find at that time, I remember reading a lot of rumours on Final Fantasy III US, and lost hours and hours playing that game to find the elusive items that "Locke69" had found while fighting a random monster that appears very rarely. I quickly learned that not all information found on the Internet was true :P

Anonymouche
Thursday, April 15, 2004

It was the early-to-mid '80's.  I got an IP address range for our medium-sized company.  Seems like at that point in time the only way to get one was to pretend to be associated with an academic institution, or something, if I'm remembering correctly...

The thing I remember the most, for some odd reason, was how everyone was talking about 'subnet masking', and what a difficult concept it was to learn.  So I'm reading this article in "Data Communications" magazine - God, are they still even around? - and it turned out to be nothing more than a bit mask, for heaven's sake!

That was my first clue that there was easy money to be made in the computer business...

Grumpy Old-Timer
Thursday, April 15, 2004

End 1996 I was in Barcelona and unemployed so thought this internet tning would be good to get translation work (most translation agencies had already gone over to hiring translators through the net, and it was getting uncommon to even know in what country your translator lived).

I got a 28bps modem from the state telephone company. The Spanish telephone company had just set up something called Infovia, which meant that you only needed to pay for local calls wherever your ISP was located. It was an almost revolutionary concept at the time and in three months Spain went to having more ISP's than the rest of the world put together (a few months later most of them went broke as all the local banks started giving free internet access as a perk to their customers and then foreclosed on the loans they had given the ISP's they had just put out of buisneess).

Now the fun started. I couldn't get the modem connected to Infovia, let alone to the ISP which was the next stage. My ISP was the local telephone company whose headquarters were in Madrid and for the next six weeks I spent nearly $300 in phone calls to Madird and courier costs to send the modem back and forth. The ISP called me back most times so they must have used up $600 of phone calls, though obviously this was a matter of internal accounting, and another few hundred dollars in labour costs for support time. Eventually the guy in Madirid sent me a floppy with Carbon Copy on it, and set the connection up himself remotely. I never found out what the problem was.

I was impressed (still am actually). I did not become addicted to porn, unlike others. When I upgraded to Win 95 it had set up the video card is VGA 16 color mode, and  never realized that I could do anything to make the colors more realistic!

Stephen Jones
Thursday, April 15, 2004

Regularly since ~1994. Remember preferring Webcrawler to Yahoo because in Lynx, you needed fewer keystrokes to bring the cursor to the search text box on the Webcrawler home page!

I remember a 1 hour session ~1991(2?) when I saw a webpage on cern.ch which was called 'All the webservers in the world', which was what it was, /one single/ page with a link to /all/ the websites in the world.

VB
Monday, April 19, 2004

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