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The Web We Were

Analysis by the gang

     
10:16 am on Aug 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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To get into the idea click here: [youtube.com...]
Or not. :)

Some of us have been here since the beginning. And the Web was brand new. A frontier to be explored, and later exploited. Simple info, vanity, commercial before commercial, then early wall paper ad sites chasing keywords...

What do you remember of the Web We Were?

The Web We Are Now is quite different.
10:36 am on Aug 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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While I started working with USAF mainframes in '68, I didn't have a PC until '93.

I spent a lot of time on telnet discussion boards with no image support. Websites were a lot different, simple, most content centered. Geocities was the cool place to be... or Angelfire :)

Alta Vista was king of search and the only translation service was their Bablefish.
11:12 am on Aug 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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For me it was PCs in the 1980s and BBS (remember RBBS or Maximus when I embraced OS/2? (sorry another music que, ignore it! : [youtube.com...] ) The ponies did run, of course, and here we are. :)

Back then I had two phone lines (above the home phone) and 4,000 subscribers for what amounted to pennies per day (okay, quite a few pennies!, limited to 1 hour in 24 and full access to FidoNet) and then Tim Berners-Lee introduced something called the web in 1989 which pitched my playground upside down.

I miss that early fun because it was fun where we invented all kinds of new stuff (ANSI graphics, Audio, Imaging, et al) and yet, where we are now is such a different---and yet---very comfortable and easy entrance place.

I was web before there was a web ... and became an early adopter and made that transition from BBS to Web between 1991-93, only to see AOL kill all that cottage industry off.

How to, from that point on, is where I am today. I'm still here, a bit more ruthless in some regards, but still loving the concept of shared info, hands across the water and all that other kumbaya. It's just fun!
11:40 am on Aug 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Well I had access to the early web, but from the university computers not mine. I was pretty busy being a teacher and didn't realize my involvement with the internet at that point in time. There wasn't much going on in my niche online then.

What really stands out though is how slow everything was. And that awful noise the dial-up modems made connecting!
4:12 am on Sept 2, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I remember myself and my friends spending our lunch everyday in the library in HS, so we could hand code ridiculously simplistic dungeon games into an Apple 2 they had. I remember actually contemplating experimenting with the BeOS, but being too lazy to do it. I remember making my first webpage on that little 5 megs of space they gave each AOL account... and sitting there for hours trying to figure out what the hell I was doing wrong. I remember going through about a dozen 3.5 discs to install an app. I remember playing my first online game, and how it took about 5 minutes to go from thinking it was the best thing ever, to being pissed that some kid had written a god script and was invincible. I remember News Groups. I miss how most subjects only had a few places where people hung out, and everybody knew everybody. I miss the much higher average IQ, before anybody with a $200 phone could get on the internet. I miss actual websites that look like a proper publication, instead of something designed for 3 year-olds.

Yep, those were the days. :)
3:33 pm on Sept 2, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I miss the much higher average IQ
Along with that, the higher (unwritten) standard of behavior. No one would go off on some obscenity filled rant against someone. There was a high degree of common decency then which has since been lost.
12:27 am on Sept 3, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I remember finally figuring out how to get access to a server at the university, putting my first page up and then realizing my first web page needed a faux stars/space background. It was truly awesome.

I also remember working in the early 80s getting on my first Unix system (a DEC Vax I think) and figuring out how to send control codes to other users and shut down their terminal. That got old fast once everyone figured it out. Before that - Harris with the Vulcan Operating System, DEC machines with Tops20 OS and PDP11s... but I never used those except hardwired in with dumb terminals.

I also remember hanging out with my brother on some of his projects when mounting a hard disk really meant just that. You would type in the "mount" command and that would send a message to the sysadmin who would pull your hard disk off the shelf and put it the actual drive, assuming there was a drive available. If not, you waited until other users were done with their work.
 

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