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Poll: How long have you been on the Internet?

10+ years. Back in my day, we just had text. 46 (45%)
8-9 years. Have you seen that Yahoo thing? 26 (25%)
5-7 years. Hamster Dance is the greatest thing ever! 22 (21%)
2-4 years. There was a time before FHDC? 5 (5%)
0-1 year. Huh, so this is the internet everyone talks about. 0 (0%)
I'm not online. I mailed in my vote. 4 (4%)
   Discussion: How long have you been on the Internet?
dave "buh" · 19 years, 10 months ago
... "back in the day" we didn't even have text! and we liked it!
Josh Woodward · 19 years, 10 months ago
I was on some sucky Commodore-64 network around '85 (300 baud, baby), and I've been on local BBSes since the 80s, but my first Internet access came when Prodigy started offering FTP and Gopher access in 93 or 94 or so. Very nifty stuff back in the day. I remember you used to request files to be mailed to you. They started offering web stuff around 94 or 95, and I remember the hot site at the time was "Jerry's Guide to the Web" (the pre-cursor to Yahoo!). Yay Akebono!
dave "buh" Back · 19 years, 10 months ago
remember when they actually tried to publish guides to the internet ON PAPER? Such fools :-)
stealthlori Back · 19 years, 10 months ago
first real internet access was in 1993 via Ottawa's Freenet. before that i was on prodigy for awhile, but that was when they were basically an intranet.

andrew asked me yesterday "so how did people find stuff online before google or yahoo?" My answer: "with great difficulty and blind luck".
K-Lyn Back · 19 years, 10 months ago

God! Imiss my beloved C-64!!!

I'm getting all choked up! *sniff*

I loved that machine!

iPauley Back · 19 years, 10 months ago
Never had a C-64, but we did have a VIC-20 we used to poke at.

My sister learned her letters and numbers on it. :-D

-- Pauley
danced with Lazlo · 19 years, 10 months ago
We got Prodigy around '95 I believe... I was It was nifty.
Bender Back · 19 years, 10 months ago
prodigy? hah! compuserv, baby. much more sucktastic.
Phoenix Back · 19 years, 10 months ago
Hehe. Former compuserv user represent!
Talcott Back · 19 years, 10 months ago
Hmm... I was never a user, but it's from Columbus, so I'll join in with the representing ;-)
Andrea Krause Back · 19 years, 10 months ago
What's weird is I remember my "crowd" being very scornful of stuff like prodigy and compuserve and the like. We were kickin' it old-skool, yo, on the BBSes. It's very silly to remember.
Talcott Back · 19 years, 10 months ago
I never liked them either, but it's still one of the most famous things to come out of my home town ;-)
Misch Back · 19 years, 10 months ago
Andrea Krause · 19 years, 10 months ago

I think that's about right. I remember being 13... Called local BBSes and met most of my friends (and most of my boyfriends) from my teen years that way. Not much has changed, eh? :) I remember being able to touch type extremely speedily by the time I had my first typing class...shocked the teacher. But hey, when you have to keep up with a conversation, even at 1200 baud, you needed to learn how to type fast. :)

When things started changing and getting more internetty I mostly relied on Paul (Beasi) to guide me through the technobabble. Slip and PPP and all this crap I didn't understand. :) I was very happy when browsers and images and point and click as we know it came to be. :)

Erato · 19 years, 10 months ago
We got Prodigy in '94, I beleive. Woo for weird letter/number combinations. I think I was something-D as well.
A girl named Becca · 19 years, 10 months ago
8-9, I think. Started out with AOL on a (very high-tech) 14.4 modem. \/\/00t.
Andrea Krause Back · 19 years, 10 months ago
Heee. I remember being told that when modems hit a certain speed they wouldn't be allowed to be made any faster. My mind boggled, thinking we'd be stuck at that slowish speed forever. I just couldn't conceive of cable or dsl or these high speed delivery methods ever being affordable. I knew of stuff like T1s but I thought that only the very rich could have access to fast stuff. :)
Bruce Rose · 19 years, 10 months ago
My first web browser was lynx, which I think you can still use, if you're adventurous. IRC (I can't remember if it was IRCII or IRC 2.0) was the best thing ever. UNIX talk was ok, and VAX/VMS worked in a pinch.
Does anyone remember NeXT? I think my college was the reason the company lasted as long as it did.
Misch Back · 19 years, 10 months ago
links has replaced lynx for most people who use text browsers. (Still very useful!) ssh to my home server, then I can access firewall settings, or other things in my network.

With other text based utilities, I can even send a word doc/pdf/text document straight to the printer from anywhere. It's kinda neat.
goovie is married! · 19 years, 10 months ago
freshman year of college. i remember looking stuff up on yahoo and being so excited that there were people just as obsessive about stupid stuff as i was. then i joined the dar-list, and it all went downhill from there. :)
It's a girl! Back · 19 years, 10 months ago
Yep... the wonders of the computer lab at the Land. *flashes back to that silly beatles fic that was obsessed with pie*
goovie is married! Back · 19 years, 10 months ago

my name is ringo
and i play drums
but you don't play drums
and that's why you're not cool
but i am
and that is the rap
It's a girl! Back · 19 years, 10 months ago
Misch · 19 years, 10 months ago
I started out BBS'ing back in the early 90's... then I got onto the Buffalo Freenet, and I discovered this thing called the World Wide Web.

I even had a page out on the Freenet. It's long gone but there's a reference to it here under aj533

Soon after I pretty much got out of BBS'ing. I took over the role of Webmaster for my high school, and then was hired to be the webmaster for my school district. This was sometime back in the 1995-1996 range.

The rest, they say, is history.
iPauley · 19 years, 10 months ago
It's all RIT's fault.

My dad had poked at BBS's from time to time, but I never really followed what was going on at the time. But then I went to RIT's College & Careers program the summer before my senior year of high school (which would put it at July or August '96), and one of the sessions I attended was about computers and the internet, and that gave me my first exposure to the World Wide Web.

2 things immediately settled in my mind:
1-- computers and the internet was where I wanted to spend my career...
2-- RIT was where I wanted to go to school.

Doin' pretty well on both fronts. :)

-- Pauley
Prinut · 19 years, 10 months ago
We got the internet at about the time we moved into our new house. I was in 4th grade and now I'm in 12th grade. Back then we had Compuserve and I had NO clue how to work the 'net. Now I know how to work the 'net too well.
dave "buh" · 19 years, 10 months ago
users of internet bbses like quartz or isca?
Snow In Summer Back · 19 years, 10 months ago
*raises hand*  i was on isca for almost all of the late '90s (96-2000).  i was on as a guest not that long ago... it's really gone down hill.  sad, actually.
Michael (foof) Maki Back · 19 years, 10 months ago
I was all about the Mars BBS. And Cleveland FreeNet...
nate... · 19 years, 10 months ago
Started out on BBS's with my 2400 and an 8088.... then ran my own bbs once I got a 14.4.

I was connecting through UMASS to the internet... though there really wasn't much there in those days. The only thing it gave me was a internet-based email address. Connected via Slip.... and I remember having to try and type my password in realllly fast before all the garbage line-noise characters corrupted it.

Amazing how bad the phone lines were in those days.

At school I used to get on IRC chats on a mac classic... using a 300 baud modem. It was so cool to be able to talk to people in germany... and all over the world... even if I could type faster than the text came on the screen. :D

Mamalissa! · 19 years, 10 months ago
My friend in high school used Prodigy, but it was the night we hung out with that sorta hygienetically impared weird guy that we saw the world wide web for the first time. It was text. And it was porn.

When I got to college, there was one junior especially interested in taking me to the CS lab TA's office and giving me a private internet lesson. My god, I was clueless.

I used Mosaic back then.
Rachel Marie aka RAI · 19 years, 10 months ago
I remember... my mom's friend gave us her old 2400 modem and we got AOL and then we were online!


My parents then said, "Screw this" and we got a spakin' new 14.4 modem and I was online and HAVEN'T BEEN OFF SINCE.

Jeebus, I'm so freaking addicted to the internet. Anyone else?

(I'm frustrated with that right now)
Rimbo · 19 years, 10 months ago
Uh, about 5 hours now. Since I got to work and turned my computer on.
Joe Navratil · 19 years, 10 months ago
I'm not sure if it counts, but I was playing around on the Cleveland Freenet in '88 or '89. am349, if anyone here happens to remember the system.

I distinctly remember reading (rarely posting to) Usenet, joining a whole bunch of music-related mailing lists (The Police rock!), and spending inordinate amounts of time looking for telnet gateways in the gopher system they eventually set up, so I could type exotic things like "ls" and "mv" instead of "dir" and "copy".

Yeah, okay, not much has changed.
Michael (foof) Maki Back · 19 years, 10 months ago
am250, bee-yotch. :-)

These "am3"s...they just don't have the respect we did back in the day... :-)
dgodwin · 19 years, 10 months ago
I was BBSing with a CoCo2 with local club. Finally got a pc and aol 2.0 whenever that was...
Talcott · 19 years, 10 months ago
I remember we got our first computer back at the end of my fifth grade year. That would've been 1992. I remember being on a couple of one-line BBSes. All I did on there was play LORD though (hey, Josh, how's the FHDC-LORD idea comming? ;-) We also got on the Columbus freenet, which was all text-based. It actually had a pretty good newsgroup program, but they blocked all of the alt. groups from it. I was able to be on some Magic: The Gathering groups, as wel as, but no a.m.m-f or a.m.tmbg or anything like that.

I also remember using Gopher to find a ton of stuff that, and having no idea what it was. Then I found out the five or so links I had to take to get on to the web itself. It was all text-based, but back then, you could get around pretty well.

Of course, we had that same computer and internet setup until early 1999. By that point, you couldn't find anything with just text ;-)

ChrisChin is Getting Old · 19 years, 10 months ago
I pretty much started using the internet regularly during freshman year of college. I signed up to be on the floor of one of the dorms that had been wired for ethernet, that was part of a pilot project at the time. I popped open a computer for the first time to install the ethernet card. My roommate ran a unix server from his computer and gave me an account.

I used it primarily for e-mail, IRC, and gopher. The web was still mainly text based and then this brand new browser called Mosaic came out and we could see pictures. The rest is history.
Talcott · 19 years, 10 months ago
I knew there were a number of old-timers around here (internet-wise), but I wasn't expecting almost 50% to be in the 10+ group.
Kat Kunz · 19 years, 10 months ago
not that it really matters: I'd marked 8-9 before reading comments, b/c i really felt like my internet usage began in 1996 with our dial-up local ISP. but then i started reading everyone saying prodigy this and prodigy that, and we *definitely* had prodigy (RPRT74C), all the way back in 1990... but i agree with whoever said it was more intra than internet.

...but i went back and switched my vote to 10+ anyway. can you believe that in my e-commerce class last year in college, i was the *only person* who raised his or her hand to having participated in usenet/newsgroups? *shakes head in disbelief*
lawrence Back · 19 years, 10 months ago
can you believe that in my e-commerce class last year in college, i was the *only person* who raised his or her hand to having participated in usenet/newsgroups? *shakes head in disbelief*

sadly, yes. apparently newsgroups are now so uncommonly used that my ISP refuses to even set up a news server. it's really unfortunate.
Misch Back · 19 years, 10 months ago
but... but... where do you get teh fr33 pr0n then???
dave "buh" Back · 19 years, 10 months ago
News is really, really hard to "do right". Most ISP's have abandoned even trying to run their own servers and instead contract with GIganews or the like (or just tell the user to go do it themselves)., a long-time ISP in NYC spends a shitload of effort in keeping their news server environment running, with decent performance and decent spam prevention.
Andrea Krause · 19 years, 10 months ago

I have a related question. In your time online, what search engines have you been loyal to for a good amount of time.

I used Webcrawler for quite a while. Then I remember using AltaVista a lot. Then Excite. And Google has kept me for quite a while.

I think my leaving AV and Excite coincided with them adding so many bells and whistles that it became annoying as hell to use and my searches were getting less productive. *prays for Google's future*

Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 19 years, 10 months ago
I started with Webcrawler but switched fairly soon to a mixture of Yahoo and Hotbot. Then Lycos replaced Hotbot. Now I use google because it can be built into Mozilla. I prefer Vivisimo though. I use that when I get stuck.
Josh Woodward Back · 19 years, 10 months ago
Vivisimo now has a Mozilla plugin too.

I still prefer to use Paul's trick, though. ;)
Joe Navratil Back · 19 years, 10 months ago
I still prefer to use Paul's trick, though. ;)

Hmm.. try as I might, I can't seem to figure out how to use "Internal Error - 0x49f940" to search... I must not be 1337 enough ;-)
lawrence Back · 19 years, 10 months ago
I remember using Webcrawler, and especially enjoying its "search voyeur" feature, where it would scroll what other people were searching for. (mostly porn) I remember using Lycos when it still had a cmu address, but I've pretty much only used google for the past 4 or 5 years.

I just wish they'd get rid of the meta search results in their index - so many times I'll search for something and all the links will be pages that say "You can find ____ at these sites..." and half of those, even, are the same thing.

and I hope Microsoft falls flat on its face in the search business. google is fast, fairly thorough, and has a very simple, clean interface. MS will surely be slow with a complex graphical interface and a lot of unnecessary advertising. (same reason I'm moving from hotmail to gmail for my web based email access)
ellen, formerly evil · 19 years, 10 months ago
I've been online since 1989 or 1990... my brother brought home a 300 baud modem and hopped onto a BBS based out of Lexington, MA (Argos). Of course, being the bratty little sister, I had to do it too. It's kinda fun to say I've had an email address since I was 10 years old. *grin*

I remember... gopher was how I found the 1000 question purity test! o.O
Andrea Krause · 19 years, 10 months ago

What I'm curious to see is what percent of your life have you spent as an online person in some way. (I don't mean cumulative, I mean years with vs years without.)

Me...between 50-52% of my life (dependshow exact you calculate the ages)has been spent as an online computer user. Woot!

Talcott Back · 19 years, 10 months ago
I'm at just about that same level. I think I'm just under 50%
Andrea Krause Back · 19 years, 10 months ago
This is where the youn'uns would really shine. :)
Kris 'engaged' Bedient · 19 years, 10 months ago
I started on AOL in the very beginning, and that was in 1992. My dad had gotten an old computer from work, and we dialed up. In three more years, I will have been online for half of my life. being online rocks. *sigh*
Misch Back · 19 years, 10 months ago
From a fark photoshop contest today:

"Redesign the packaging for a product you dislike to reflect why you dislike it"


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