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Old 11-02-2016, 07:32 AM
3,455 posts, read 2,326,093 times
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Originally Posted by NoMoreSnowForMe View Post
All I can think of, when I think of the early internet days, is how SLOOOOOOWWWWWWW it was! You dial up a web page, and go make yourself a sandwich, come back to see if it's loaded yet...nope, still loading......go eat the sandwich, come back.......hey the page loaded! Hmmm, interesting link, think I'll click on it......page loading.....go watch some TV, wait for the page to load......


My good memories about the early internet days, was when Ebay was new and I could actually make money on it LOL. You could actually scroll through an entire category in about 3 pages. Those were the days.
Heheh, I remember trying to buy Christmas presents online in the "early days", somewhere around 1997-1998. The pages loaded so SLOWLY. And then you clicked on something, like you said, and WAITED. And going through the checkout process? Oh, my. Get out your copy of War and Peace. But in my mind, it was still way better than going to the mall.

We were on eBay early, too. Mmm, those were the days. Stuff went for way more money than it does today. Once people realized most stuff wasn't uncommon, prices fell. But for a while, we made a pretty good living on eBay. I remember trying to keep it a secret from other auction-goers. LOL
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Old 11-02-2016, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by nightbird47 View Post
I got involved in the big computers first. I was working as a cobol programmer when we got our cool new spiffy turbo xt. It had a green screen monitor, and was set up to print too. It was the latest you could get in 1986. I felt like this new age had arrived, and all the sciffy movies were coming true.

I kept that for the longest time, argued with boyfriend/housemate over sharing as we had one machine and one phone line and he liked online games. A year or so later, we got our first 'real' pc. We still had to share the phone line but had our own machine.

And there were bbs's. I STILL miss bbs's. We had our own, and the local bbs's had a club where we met. It was sad when they started to fall by the wayside as the internet started getting easier to use.

I saw a recording of Disney's House of the Future. One room had a box which was their network center or something, not computer. It marveled at how people would order anything they wanted, look up all sorts of information, and it sounded almost magical. My laptop doesn't look much different than their 'box' but it and its 'stuff' has reserved space in the living room since I don't want to be stuck away from the food and the tv.

I still marvel at this wonderful toy we've all started to see as just one of the necessities and its rather special to be of the first generation to make them part of life.
We had a BBS in our house, too! My husband belonged to quite a few local BBSs, and I remember going to meet-ups. That was fun.
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Old 11-02-2016, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Tooluser View Post
I remember the first time I saw a Digital Watch. Maybe 1971. I was 19. I had asked an older friend about the watch he was wearing. No numbers, just a black face where the dial should be. He held it up where I could see it, put his other hand up to it and red numbers appeared with the time! The future hit me right between the eyes. I thought it was the coolest thing I ever saw.

Yep, I bought my Dad a watch just like that at JCPenney right around that time. He would ask anyone around him, "You want to see the time?" and then proudly hit that button so the red numbers would light up. I had completely forgotten about that watch until I read your post.
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Old 11-02-2016, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by kevxu View Post
The internet? I went to work a low-level functionary in a newly funded projected multi-million buck computer center in late 1973. Our director was a main player in the establishment of Bitnet in 1981, one of several nets (e.g. ARPANET, JANET) that eventually led to the internet. But prior to that Usenet was established in 1980, and it had a form that would remind you very much of C-D, with various forums and threads and participants from across the U.S. and the U.K. Of course being able to get on it meant that you had to work in an environment with equipment you could personally access, or which allowed you to have the equipment at home and dial-up your home institution. (We were using what were called "terminals" then, which looked like and were almost the size of a 1960's portable TV with a metal housing.) Thus, the knowledge of something like Usenet, much less the ability to access it was not available to the general public. I was fortunate to be in a large computing facility and was participating on Usenet from the mid-80's on. (It was a virtually spam-free environment, by the way, and was totally non-commercial.)
My husband only recently gave up using Usenet. I'm not sure it even exists any more?
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Old 11-02-2016, 09:46 AM
Location: Greenville, SC
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I wrote my first computer program in FORTRAN in 1962, so I'm what you might call an "early adopter" of technology.

My first exposure to the internet was as a grad student in computer science at the University of North Carolina, in 1983 where I became a Usenet user and contributor. A few years later, I joined the CompuServe crowd (remember them?), A guy I worked with at Research Triangle Institute, Tom Truscott, was one of the originators of the concept of Usenet back in 1979. Usenet was retired in 2011, so it's not around any more.

Before graphics supporting Pong became widely available on machines in bars and home consoles, we played text-based games like Colossal Cave:


> go south

Ah, the good old days.
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Old 11-02-2016, 10:18 AM
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^OMG! I have a vague recollection of seeing something like that on a home built computer in the 80s.
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Old 11-02-2016, 10:46 AM
Location: NYC
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The roads not taken.... As a young'un vagabonding in 1971 I met & hung out a bit with a couple of older guys who had grad degrees in computer languages from Berkeley, I had never heard that term before & when I returned to school the next year I took BASIC & FORTRAN courses but it didn't take with me, I was too antsy to "sit & figger" for long periods of time at that age.

2-3 years later I read about the "phone phreaks" who were tech hackers who had figured out how to use Ma Bell's phone network (remember her?) worldwide for free with their black boxes, I was intrigued with the idea of outsmarting the "system" but I had moved to the midwest & was removed from any phreak contact & had never had any real technical ability for science projects in school anyway, I wasn't a born tinkerer, just curious.

In 1985, just as the Mac was introduced I worked at a job connected with tech & we had several Apple & other (IBM/Microsoft? .... horrible things for non geeks) computers in the office & several were connected to The WELL & Compuserve networks, but again my lack of patience learning this new tech served me poorly. I didn't take advantage when I couldn't immediately get it & I was busy with other job things, it was 7 more years before I got my first Apple & signed on to AOL, almost 20 years after my first attempt at tech learning.

It's now 25 years on since that first Apple & I am amazed at how prominent the net is in my life & how many people around my age aren't proficient, or interested, at all in it... to me it's like not wanting to learn how to use a phone or drive a car, a crippling attitude. I also wonder if I had a different temperment & actually learned to program in the early 70's & possibly moved to the Silicon Valley... But it's like saying what if I had the patience & focus to learn to play the piano really well back then, a similar thing.
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Old 11-02-2016, 10:48 AM
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On September 2, 1969, Chemical Bank installed the first cash machine in the US at its branch in Rockville Centre, New York. The first cash machines were designed to dispense a fixed amount of cash when a user inserted a specially coded card.

For the normal man on the street the ATM machine was first introduction to the computer age. No more going to teller window and running to bank before 3 pm.
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Old 11-02-2016, 10:50 AM
625 posts, read 381,651 times
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My favorite part about Pong and first electronic video games was they were easy to fool. We used to take fishing line crazy glue it to the end of a quarter and bounce it up and down to get tons of free plays.
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Old 11-02-2016, 10:51 AM
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Back in the old 300 baud days (seems as though that was 3 lifetimes ago now but it was only just over 40 years I guess), I was doing research via the internet long before it was ever opened up to the average person. It was simply a way for (mostly governmental agencies) to share their files with others without photocopying them and paying for postage. Never really occurred to me at the time though that it was going to a) look like this some day - especially the 'social' or commercial aspects or that it was b) mind blowing - at least in its infancy.
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