U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Science and Technology > Internet
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 12-11-2015, 10:52 PM
 
Location: Central 858
596 posts, read 1,196,989 times
Reputation: 579

Advertisements

I purchased my old 486DX-33 PC while in college back in 1994. Got the America Online 3" floppy and installed the program. Life was good spending hours in the chat rooms, flirting with babes and eventually meeting them in person at AOL chat parties. Yes, AOL was a dating site.

The rub was the bill I got after going over the free 10 hours spent online.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 12-12-2015, 04:01 AM
 
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
12,895 posts, read 12,976,560 times
Reputation: 20730
Quote:
Originally Posted by John7777 View Post
Before the Internet browsers were invented, the Internet was text based, I believe, and was mainly used by researchers at universities and the like. I remember logging on back in the mid 1980s, through a connection made available by a University, but it didn't seem so exciting and so I didn't try that again. Instead, there were commercial services like Compuserve and Genie, both of which charged by the hour. And if you weren't careful, your monthly bill could run into the hundreds of dollars. Also, many people used an assortment of dial-up bulletin boards. This was all happening for me from about 1982, maybe 1983.

Fast forward to the mid 90s and things began to change. Was it Netscape that made the first web browser? Things developed fast after that, and many people began to get cable broadband connections. Of course, the hardware continued to improve. Some people caught on quickly, others eventually caught on, and some never bothered. Today. it's almost universal. One of the most important human inventions, ever.

The smart phones resulted in another giant leap forward, but that's another story.
The big search engine was Gopher, named after a college mascot, the Golden Gophers. I forget what college. Usenet was big before AOHell, and there were actually good conversations before the bozos showed up with their CB handle user names. You could get into a conversation with 2 or 3 Nobel laureates at the same time. I met Douglas Adams on Usenet when he was researching Last Chance To See.

The first browser was Mosaic on the NeXT platform. NeXT was the brain child of Steve Jobs after Apple forced him out. Mosaic was ported to Unix X Windows and the Mac, but Microsoft stubbornly refused to support TCP/IP so were very late to the party. The WWW was invented at CERN in Switzerland. The first time I saw Mosaic run on the NeXT there were only 3 sites on the web, CERN, SLAC and one other that I forget.

The NeXT is a story all of its own. When Apple forced Steve Jobs out, he moved to Roseburg, Oregon, a rural timber community, and proceeded to invent the next generation of computers. The NeXT Step OS was unix based and the prototype of OSX. The NeXT had a CD drive but no floppy. I helped remodel his house, and his name was not pronounced Jobs as in "get a job" but like the biblical character. When Apple ran into serious difficulties in the '90s, they begged him to come back. He agreed on the condition that he have total control.

Anyway, the internet was a pretty cool place until AOL connected. You never heard such whining and wailing in your life when AOL users found out that the internet was not moderated and we could say anything we wanted and actually be rude to them. Then the frauds and scammers got online. Email programs didn't have any way of blocking emails, so your inbox filled up with incredible amounts of trash. If you think things are bad now, you should have seen it 20 years ago. Internet software was public domain written by very smart computer science grad students. It didn't take them long to implement the automatic Bit Bucket.

Every September there was a new crop of moronic college freshmen who generated a huge amount of dreck. It would take a solid month to add most of them to a killfile so their traffic automatically ended up in the bit bucket. The Nobel laureates had better things to do and moved to private discussion groups, which was a terrible loss for most of us.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-12-2015, 03:37 PM
 
548 posts, read 658,857 times
Reputation: 568
A comment about 'new computer every year' reminded me that everything was still so new and relatively low-capability that indeed, you really noticed PC upgrades, and going from one version of a browser to the next could dramatically change your experience. And of course speed upgrades, whether from 9600 to 56k dialup or to better and better versions of broadband.

And of course, PC equipment was more expensive then. A middle-of-the-road desktop plus monitor cost me, adjusting for inflation, the equivalent of $2,600 today in 1993.

Bottom line is that even as a poor grad student, I spent a _lot_ of money on computer equipment, and a lot of time upgrading software. Even everyday tasks like word processing and simple spreadsheets benefitted obviously from going from one year's CPU speed to the next, or more memory, newer software versions. Figuring out what to delete off my hard drive to make room was a constant source of pain. I did (and still do) some statistics and graphics work, which I couldn't even do on my home PC until several years into graduate school.

These days, I could probably run Word 2003, and do my checkbook, and browse the web on a 2003-vintage PC until I retire and never feel that I needed better performance. The speed and capability and reliability are all more than good enough. Even the higher end work I do doesn't really make me feel much upgrade pressure. I did notice big batch jobs in Photoshop, Google Earth renders, or transcoding vidoes for my iPad get faster last time I bought a new PC, but none of that was a huge deal. Thus the tough state of the PC manufacturing industry....
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-13-2015, 11:46 AM
 
Location: USA
591 posts, read 936,031 times
Reputation: 443
Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanCrossroads View Post
The internet back then may not have been as exciting as it is today, but that's only because it didn't have much of a selection of things to do. There was no social media, no Youtube, etc. And webpages were very basic. Even so, the internet was interesting nonetheless because it was something new and different.

I do not understand why some people think the internet didn't begin to catch on until the late 90s/early 2000s. Where the hell were these people during the mid 90s?????? THAT is when the internet begin to catch on, not later. These people must've been living in Mayberry during the mid 90s.
UC,
Go easy on us Mayberry folks. One reason or the main reason was the price tag of IT stuff back then.
I have mentioned that the first PC I bought was around the $1,200 mark, now days you can buy a modest desktop, bigger size monitor, color printer and with more capacity/storage for a lot less than that.

Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-13-2015, 12:13 PM
 
1,609 posts, read 1,031,714 times
Reputation: 3150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Caldwell View Post
The big search engine was Gopher, named after a college mascot, the Golden Gophers. I forget what college. Usenet was big before AOHell, and there were actually good conversations before the bozos showed up with their CB handle user names. You could get into a conversation with 2 or 3 Nobel laureates at the same time. I met Douglas Adams on Usenet when he was researching Last Chance To See.
Gopher was University of Minnesota, team led by Mark McCahill. Farhad Anklesaria - who retired from the university earlier this year - Paul Lindner, Dan Torrey, Bob Alberti were the developers writing Gopher. McCahill is widely credited with coining the phrase, "Surfing the net" (he did a lot of wind surfing on Twin Cities lakes back in those days). McCahill was developing virtual world protocol (GopherVR) when he left UMN for Duke in 2007.

What Gopher looked like:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=fx7hCQeuEaE

McCahill and Anklesaria discuss developing Gopher:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dNY9RscP-lI
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-14-2015, 07:22 AM
Yac
 
5,965 posts, read 6,630,788 times
I was 12 or 13 (so it was 95 or 96.. 96 more likely) and got my wish - a 33600 (or was it 36600?) modem for my pentium 133 Connecting it took a lot of effort, we didn't have AoL here in Poland but we had TPsa, which was basically the same thing - you couldn't use the telephone at the same time etc. When I finally got online, I remember .. not knowing what to do there, really. I asked my older friends from our local area network (there were 4 of us connected) and they said: Porn!
Long story short: I managed to download a whopping 1/3 of an image with a naked woman, I got a lot of blurry background plus half of her head, when my parents came home. That's when I decided the Internet was stupid and I never used my modem again (really!).
Within a year though, we got a landline! It had a top dl speed of 12kilobytes per second, upload was right 1/3 of that. And we had to share it, as this was so expensive only by pitching in we could afford it. It was enough to download music, movies (although it sometimes took.. weeks ) and to play some Quake/Unreal Tournament online
__________________
Forum Rules
City-Data.com homepage
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-14-2015, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Keller, TX
5,669 posts, read 5,268,901 times
Reputation: 4081
I remember explaining how big the internet could be, all the things it could be used for, back in 1994, and getting scoffed at by friends and family. Same sort of ignorant apathy I get today explaining VR.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-14-2015, 02:23 PM
 
2,563 posts, read 2,871,197 times
Reputation: 3498
Quote:
Originally Posted by cholo57 View Post
UC,
Go easy on us Mayberry folks. One reason or the main reason was the price tag of IT stuff back then.
I have mentioned that the first PC I bought was around the $1,200 mark, now days you can buy a modest desktop, bigger size monitor, color printer and with more capacity/storage for a lot less than that.

Back in the 80s, PCs were even more expensive than that. As I recall, a small hard drive back then could cost $3500, in addition to whatever you spent on the computer. Most of the early PCs consumers could afford didn't come with hard drives at all. Just two floppy disk drives. And a 56K modem was a major upgrade when they were available.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-22-2015, 11:07 AM
 
136 posts, read 85,917 times
Reputation: 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yac View Post
(although it sometimes took.. weeks )
This reminded me of those harrowing adventures where you'd download a huge file (really huge, like 5 MB): if there was an interruption... you'd always have to start all over again.

And then one day came along streaming videos ("What? You mean I don't have to wait for the whole thing to download?? This could work...)

Also, I remember being way into planets/space back in elementary/middle school, and I remember starting a download of a hi-res photo of Callisto*, going to the library for a few hours, and then coming back to find it not even 25% finished. Disappointing, but the little that was there was still pretty cool.


*Nerd alert: without using google, I think I remember the following about Callisto:
Spoiler
it was the 8th satellite from Jupiter, after Metis, Adrastea, Amalthea, Thebe, Io, Europa, and Ganymede. I believe some smaller ones have been discovered, so 8th is no longer accurate. Anyway, Callisto's diameter is very close to 2000 miles, and its surface is pockmarked with many craters - among the most in the solar system. Yeah, elementary school me was pretty hard core... (edit: oops, fact-check: actually close to 3000 miles)

Last edited by ElectronicOverlord; 12-22-2015 at 11:26 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-26-2015, 05:48 PM
 
2,056 posts, read 2,546,727 times
Reputation: 3813
I thought it was great, especially google. You could really get some great information and learn some neat stuff doing random searches. Now, google is awful. They are just too busy trying to drive search results to ad placements, which destroys the whole experience, not to mention the integrity. I just don't get it w/ that company. How much more money do they need?

Just like eBay. It was pretty neat and friendly in the early days, but it's a corporate monster now that has fees that constantly go up. Again, they're fixated at ignoring some search criteria in order to drive traffic to where they want it to go.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Science and Technology > Internet
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:50 PM.

© 2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top