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Thread: Internet Memories

  1. #1
    RESIDENT JEDI MASTER Stargazer's Avatar
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    Jul 2003
    On a Rocky Mountain High

    Internet Memories

    We were talking about this on another thread, and I thought it would be interesting to bring the discussion here. I couldn't find another thread about it, but if there is, please feel free to merge

    The first time I saw the internet, it was a convoluted mess of computer speak that was incredibly difficult to navigate. At the time, most people I knew were still calling it the "World Wide Web".My husband (boyfriend at the time) was always saying, "This will change the world!"
    I would look at him and think that it would be a nice diversion every once in awhile, but I didn't see how it would 'change the world'. Then, I saw my very first picture on the internet (which, btw, was one of the nastiest porno pics I've ever seen :rolleyes) and suddenly I had a flash of insight and realized that he was right. It really did have the capacity for changing the world (and not just to provide porno to the masses).

    It boggles the mind that our kids will never know what the world was like before the internet. They won't remember a time when most of the pages had no pictures. They won't know life before 'Google' made searching for information as easy as turning the channel on the tv.

    So, what are your first memories of the internet? Did you realize immediately what a significant technological wonder it would become or did you have a moment of , "aha!" like me?
    "Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter."- Yoda

    "I'll just see where Providence takes me and try to look like I got there confidently." - Craig Ferguson

  2. #2
    Premium Member FinallyHere's Avatar
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    Oct 2003
    I remember back in junior high once learning about "future development" type stuff. One of the things mentioned was that one day people will be able to shop at home using a system that would use telephone lines to transmit data. It wasn't until many years later after I had been using the internet for a while that I remembered back to that lesson and realized that what they were talking about developed into the internet.
    Some people are like slinkies, they're useless until you push them down the stairs.

  3. #3
    eternal optimist Shazzer's Avatar
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    May 2003
    greener pastures
    Well I have no idea how I held down a job and stayed productive without the net to surf. I think I played a lot of solitaire, chatted with friends, and stared into space a lot (while still being amazingly productive of course).

    I remember being the first of my friends to have e-mail access in 1994. I thought it was cool...and I was right!

    When I was first on the net, it was like, 1992, and I remember thinking it was dull, dull, dull. Then they got graphics. Cool. Then pictures. More cool. Then moving graphics and pictures!! Yay!!

    I remember the first time I saw a moving picture on a computer screen, and I was like..."wow"...but then that reminded me of this onion.com article:

    New $5,000 Multimedia Computer System Downloads Real-Time TV Programs, Displays Them On Monitor

    HOUSTON—The highly touted "Internet Revolution" took another major step forward Monday, when Compaq unveiled the breakthrough Compaq Presario 6000, a $4,995 multimedia computer system that enables users to download files containing network-television programs and display them on a computer monitor.

    Above: Joseph Ryback of Salinas, CA, enjoys an episode of Home Improvement on the Compaq Presario 6000. Ryback praised the advanced new computer system, calling it "just like TV, only a computer."
    "Imagine watching TV at the click of a mouse, instead of a remote control," Compaq director of product development Bill Welborne said. "With the Compaq Presario 6000 and a few reasonably priced add-ons, you'll never have to watch TV on a television again."

    According to Welborne, for a $49 monthly fee, owners of the Presario 6000 will be able to access network websites, where 300MB ".vid files" will be available for download. The downloaded files can then be conveniently viewed on the Presario 6000 using a special TV-dedicated version of Netscape Communicator 4.0, priced at just $89.95.

    A sound card enabling users to enjoy the sound that accompanies the downloaded TV images is also available for $349.

    "Pictures, sound—this is the promise of the Multimedia Age realized," Welborne said.

    Demonstrating the technology, Welborne stood proudly beside a prototype of the Presario 6000 as it displayed an eight-minute segment from a recent 3rd Rock From The Sun episode, downloaded from an NBC server in under 75 minutes.

    "Please note that this is a television program," Welborne said, "but it is being displayed on a computer monitor." ............................

    Okay, I didn't want to reprint the whole thing...so click here for the rest...

    "If you're like me, you have a 'been there, done that' attitude when it comes to paleolithic paleontology." - Jon Stewart

    "I swear, you are the ho-ho ho." - OTS

  4. #4
    Wonky snarkmistress Lucy's Avatar
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    Aug 2003
    Playing kickball for the beer
    Ooh, good thread, SG!
    I first remember noticing the Internet when I went away to college. That was in 1993. I was given an email address, but none of my friends who'd gone to smaller colleges had one. I mostly used it to keep in contact with a long-distance boyfriend. And I was on a rudimentary list-serv with a drama group there at the university. I did have a friend who would use a system called Unix to chat. We thought it was so weird.
    Other than that I didn't use the Internet much, at least my first couple of years of college. I don't recall looking things up on the Internet. It wasn't until my third or fourth years in college that professors even started posting schedules and stuff on the net. I don't even remember when it became such a staple of life. But it sure is now. I have no idea what people did at work without this.
    It's such a fine line between stupid, and clever. -- David St. Hubbins

  5. #5
    The new me! Feifer's Avatar
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    Sep 2002
    The world of the internet opened up to me at college in 1991. I started chatting with people in a monitor that was connected to the keyboard and screwed tight to the table so noone would steal it from the university I attended. I made roadtrips on weekends and sometimes hopped a plane to meet with people I talked to during the weekdays. Thank goodness all the people I met were nice, goodhearted college people and not axe murderers. I remember my friend getting soo excited about getting windows on her computer. It was so new and bright and easy!
    It occurred to me that no matter how bleak things might seem at times, at least I have a head. ----Stargazer

  6. #6
    My first memory of the internet was an e-mail system called PINE ... oh boy .... lol. I'd type emails and there'd be no way to backspace to delete what I typed...or I'd hit the "delete" button & an extra sentence would appear somehow... which I of course could'nt delete cause...backspace didn't do what it was supposed to do!!! (I think we finally figured out how to delete, not sure....dont remember!! lol... All I remember are all these emails full of typos and extra sentences, & I remember the joy when they started instally Eudora on the University computer systems!

    Other than that I wandered into chatrooms very early & met a lot of really nice people & good friends that I hung out with throughout university, we even ended up having a huge get-together with people from all over Norway, it was great :-)

    Of course my fondest memory of internet is my husband...who I met pretty early in my internet ventures as well :-)

  7. #7
    FORT Fogey lambikins's Avatar
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    Nov 2003
    Oo oooo, good thread, Stargazer!!!

    I was completely and utterly terrified of computers!!! If there was one in a room, I'd sit across the space, as far away as possible from them. Friends of mine, who were forced into using them for work, would try to have me look at the screens: they were black with green, glowy letters, and it reminded me of every single TWILIGHT ZONE and OUTER LIMITS show that I had ever seen.

    I hated how computers locked you into one place: you were literally CHAINED to the work station that one was located at, even in your own home. I suffer from claustrophobia and need to always be mobile.

    Well meaning friends would say, "Bea, think of how you could use it for work: you could do all your billings on it, and your blue prints! You could keep track of sales and clients!"

    Gawd! If they knew how much I despised doing those things as part of my firm, they would have discovered that it was the antithesis of what would make me want to buy a computer.

    Plus, like most new technology, my friends were chronically having to upgrade and buy new screens, towers, keyboards...yada, yada, yada. One friend bought three new computers in a year, because the technology was jumping that fast!

    Now, NONE of this makes sense, from my background. I have a Ph.D. in Plant Genetics and Landscape Architecture and a M.A. in Graphic Arts. You'd think that I'd want to be first in the neighborhood to own a computer!

    Nope! Now, I was FIRST with a cell phone (5 so far) and a PDA (3 so far), but, I never saw them as invasive. But, with computers, I had an visceral fear of them, that they would suck my brain out through my ears and all of the prophecies of Ray Bradbury would come true: of a giant-brained society that never left the house, finding contentment in front of a screen. Again, with the

    It became a joke, among my friends, that I was going to my grave as a Luddite, regarding computers. Then, in December 2001, everything changed.

    I had been a hard core fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and completely unbeknown to me regarding Fan Fic, I started to write stories to fill the Winter 2001 season. My largest story was already coming in at 71 pages and trying to keep track of it: the rewrites, the changing nuances, etc, was hobbling my writing efforts. I was taking MORE time doing rewrites than writing.

    I was complaining about this to a client-friend, when she said, "Why don't you get a computer?!" My eyes spiraled back in my head, I broke out in a sweat and I had visions of me strapped into a SILENCE OF THE LAMBS head gear, staring at a computer screen.

    When I told her, "Sarah, I travel too much to sit at a desk! Look, I haven't been home in 7 weeks; how can I write on a computer 1400 miles away?"

    (I travel around the U.S., installing high-end landscapes: I was in Rhode Island at the time.)

    She looked at me and said, "Get a laptop."

    I stared back. "What's a 'laptop'?"

    After she got done laughing, she explained that they were 'computers' that looked like a book, and you could travel anywhere, even Europe, and they functioned the same as a standard computer. She then suggested that we go to Best Buy together, and she'd help me pick out one.

    Now: all you computer people, laugh all you want to !!! I thought the 'screen' was the computer; I had never noticed the 'tower' when I viewed them and thought that it was a 'trash compactor' for computers. I always wondered why computers generated so much 'trash' that they had to have such giant things beside the desk!

    We went to Best Buy and she explained the components of a "desk top" <(new term for me) via a 'lap top'; that the laptop was more expensive because it held, in miniature, all the things that the desktop had in giant form. She explained other stuff too, but it's standard knowledge among all of you.

    All I wanted to do was 'write', I told her. I would have gone with a typewriter, but they were now as rare as Hen's teeth. I didn't want the "Internet" (whatever the Hell that was)...I just wanted to write. She helped me pick out a 16" screen Compaq Presario and left me to the actual buying of it.

    Well, little did I know, that to buy a computer through Best Buy, they gave you a free year of MSN with the purchase, but you HAD to sign up for it then and there, with the purchase. When the sales person asked, "What 'user name' did you want: I was clueless! "What's a user name? Do I have to decide NOW?" So, I pulled one out of my arse, when I was forced into it, and went back to the hotel room with my Compaq.

    That lasted for an hour. Never having sat in front of a computer, I didn't know how to turn it ON, there were NO instructions (computer companies believing that if you bought one, you knew how to use it!), so I called up my client and went to her home. She showed me where the ON button was and how to 'log on'. She also showed me how to "backspace, delete, enter" and other rudimentary stuff.

    Armed with 25 minutes of knowledge, I went back to the hotel room, hooked up and turned it on. Because I was working on a Buffy novel, I decided to try the exotic "Search Engine" of msn, hoping that there would be at least one entry for BtVS.

    What an innocent!

    There were over 28,000 entries for Buffy!!! I clicked onto them (Sara showed me how to do that) and I began to follow 'links'. For all of you Buffy fans, this was during the time of SMASHED and WRECKED: the big SEX shows of Buffy. The Web was flooded. I ended up on Zero's site, which promptly closed one month after I found it, Christmas of 2001. But, by the time she closed, I had become 'known' for my posts and I was asked to be a moderator on a new board.

    This is when the computer changed my life. I began to make friendships on the new board, some here and some overseas. One friendship in particular grew and grew, and finally...we were in love! Me, in Chicago, and Ali, in Scotland...of all places. We knew that it could be called silly and foolish, but, I needed to travel to the U.K. on business so we arranged to meet, along with some other U.K. friends that we had met through the Buffy board.

    We rented a cottage up in Inverness; spent the first 4 days together, alone, and that sealed the deal. Later that week, 6 other Buffy fans joined us, none of us knowing each other, other than through the site. We had an incredible 3 weeks together...all of us...and have stayed close friends ever since.

    We secured a job for Ali in America, she flew over here in July of 2003 and have never been happier...ever! So, I met the Love of my Life...through a computer, on a message board, from 5200 hundred miles away! We've been a couple since July 2002 and celebrate our 2nd anniversary this year, 2004.

    Now, had my friends told me THAT about the computer...I would have bought one years ago!

    What I use it for predominantly now, is emails with my global and local friends, doing intensive research for projects, and snarking shite TV.

    (Regarding the 'story': once I found out that the Net is flooded with Fanfic, most of it wretched, I abandoned all hopes of being a published FanFic author and went back to writing my magazine articles!) I also now own a VAIO 10" laptop, which I travel with around the World, and of course, two SONY digital cameras that I use on a daily basis!

    Awwwwwwwwwwwww, technology!

    That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
    Still crazy, after all these shears

    "lambikins, put the crack pipe down and back away from the keyboard." Unklescott

    "lambikins... I have come to the conclusion that you are the Jedi Master of the Kitchen on FORT!" SuperBrat

  8. #8
    daydream believer oneTVslave's Avatar
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    May 2003
    in the hizzy
    Wow, great story, lambikins!

    I was late to the computer scene as well. I was an English major, so I was writing tons of papers all of the time. I usually wrote my paper by hand and then typed it. I was so slow at typing that it was just pathetic. I eventually moved up to a word processor and was able to write and type at the same time, since I could go back and change what I had written instead of having white-out all over my paper. (Geez, those were the days, huh? ) But I was scared of having a real computer because I thought I would "lose" my paper in it and not be able to get it back. What a dork I was...but like you said, lambikins, those crazy machines didn't come with any instructions!

    And here I sit, years later - a data analyst of all things- chatting about reality television and god knows what else with my online friends...
    Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.
    - Albert Einstein

  9. #9
    Back from the dead! brusch's Avatar
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    May 2003
    Above the Cheddar Curtain
    I first used the internet when I started college in 1992. At the time it was pretty much all e-mail and gopher for looking up addresses, etc. I remember I hardly used the mouse, since I used Word Perfect instead of Word because it was more powerful. At the time, computers were seen as something mostly for numbers, even though I went to a school that had the newest computer systems and top CS and engineering departments.

    The first I remember of the web must have been 2 years later or so, there was a lot of hype there since the NCSA is at the University of Illinois so a lot of the browsers, etc., came from there. It has all just exploded since then, two years ago I was still using a 486 with a modem, now I couldn't even dream of that. I feel a bit behind the times though, since people 10-15 years younger than me grew up with the internet and keep up with the innovations and lingo, while I remember monochrome monitors in high school with probably 30 PCs and 30 Apples for about 1100 students.

    Still, nothing matches the games on a Commodore 64.
    Log off. That cookie sh*t makes me nervous. --Tony Soprano

    So I said to him, "Look, buddy, your car was upside down when we got here. And as for your Grandma, she shouldn't have mouthed off like that!" --Homer Simpson

  10. #10
    Premium Member FinallyHere's Avatar
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    Oct 2003
    Quote Originally Posted by oneTVslave
    I usually wrote my paper by hand and then typed it. I was so slow at typing that it was just pathetic.
    I used to do the same thing in college OTS. Even when I had a word processor I used to do that. I just couldn't get the hang of writing as I typed. I'm still a terrible typer but I manage. Who says you need more than four fingers to type?
    Some people are like slinkies, they're useless until you push them down the stairs.

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