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Old 12-05-2018, 08:56 AM
Location: equator
3,410 posts, read 1,524,633 times
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Was it mostly in your work, or was your first experience at home? What year? What was your initial reaction?

For me, it was around '95. We had an early-version laptop and my ex was so excited waiting for his pages to load, he wouldn't take the time to get off the couch to pee. There he squatted, bouncing in anticipation, totally naked. He couldn't tear himself away to get dressed either.

Back in the early 80s, my other ex had built a Heathkit personal computer, if anyone remembers those. But I can't remember what he did with it, since there was no internet for civilians such as us, then.
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Old 12-05-2018, 09:11 AM
Location: Tennessee
23,549 posts, read 17,535,380 times
Reputation: 27586
I've always thought this was an interesting topic.

Let's take someone who is 73 years old today. Even if they weren't in a technical role, they probably had computer exposure by the end of their careers. Windows 95 really brought it mainstream. They'd have been 50 then, and in their mid 50s by the time Windows XP came out.

I think you'd really need to find people who retired before 2000, or whose job never involved computers, to not have been exposed to computers/internet at work. This would be mostly people in their 80s today.

Personally, I was exposed to computers and the internet much earlier than most of my peers. My aunt had an internet-capable IBM 386 and Prodigy internet service - this was probably 1993/1994. We got our first computer at home in 1995, and had dial-up internet immediately after. My aunt worked at the cable company, and was able to get our family into a PILOT program for cable modems in 1999. I think the service was either 256k or 512k down - at the time, this was a massive increase over the 33.6K phone modems we had (yes, my local ISP didn't have full 56k service, and I don't know why I remember this). In terms of "digital proficiency," I'm probably more like someone ten years younger than me than someone my own age. A lot of kids I grew up with didn't have internet access, even in the mid 2000s.

My peers were mostly computer nerds/science types as well. Virtually all of us work in some STEM position.
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Old 12-05-2018, 09:30 AM
Location: Western Colorado
11,080 posts, read 12,461,714 times
Reputation: 26084
Free porn!
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Old 12-05-2018, 09:34 AM
6,529 posts, read 1,339,947 times
Reputation: 16543
I have always been resistant to change, which made it difficult as I was an office manager at the time such things when e-mail, fax machines, and the Internet came into existence. (I also had a problem with word processing programs -- as there seemed to be major changes every year or two in the 80's and 90's -- but now I could not live without Excel and Word.- (Just kidding, kind of, LOL.)

So my INITIAL reaction was a lot of grumbling and frustration -- and I still grumble at the fact that social media has had such a huge impact on society -- and, IMHO, mostly a negative impact.

However, I love being able to find info about anything in about a minute or so. -- and I do now LOVE Google and e-mail and City-Data (usually, that is!)

P.S. Good thread topic, btw!

Last edited by katharsis; 12-05-2018 at 09:47 AM..
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Old 12-05-2018, 09:43 AM
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
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My work immediately embraced it so I had too as well. Took a bit of frustration and patience then all was great, what a wonderful "invention"...
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Old 12-05-2018, 09:59 AM
221 posts, read 115,868 times
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Rookie year for internet introduction was early '98. Self taught in small town library. Operation questions were hastily answered by other patrons, much younger than I. Personal computer purchase was many, many years later.
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Old 12-05-2018, 10:24 AM
Location: Florida -
8,760 posts, read 10,832,098 times
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Internet-wise, I started using the Mosaic browser in 1993/4 when I was developing computer-based information resources and networks for a large corporation. I began my computer introduction in 1978-79 when I sold he new IBM 5110/20 personal computers (which competed with the Burroughs B80 and Dec Rainbow.) - from there, I built my entire career (marketing, business/strategic intelligence) around computers.

Even in the mid/late 1990's, many corporate leaders still thought computers were clerical tools and discouraged the use of small computers by marketing and even engineering as 'hobbies', not business tools. (Of course, even Thomas Watson, President of IBM in 1943, had once projected an annual worldwide demand for computers of about five!)

Computers and the internet have changed the U.S. from an industrial economy into an information-driven economy. They have certainly changed the way people view and interact with the world. As Artificial Intelligence, robotics, nano-technology (and hundreds of adjacent technologies) continue to expand, it's difficult to speculate where it will lead in the next 50 -- or even 10-years.
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Old 12-05-2018, 10:31 AM
13,313 posts, read 25,546,272 times
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I got my first Mac in 1987 and it cost more than the car I drove it home in (admittedly, a very old rusty VW). To boot it up, you had to insert and reinsert a floppy startup disk 14 times, which the instructions failed to mention, and I thought it wasn't working right.

I first had it in the early 1990s from home, when friends were all using email and not calling or writing letters. My first internet was a dialup that was a long-distance call because the infrastructure hadn't yet made it to my then-town outside of Boston.

My job didn't have it for a few years and a few people did get fired for using porn and gambling sites on work time!
I really love the internet. I did so much research for my retirement move on it and got so much information, and did a lot of connecting with new people on Facebook before my move.

I don't think I could have moved this non-metro town in Colorado without the internet, which came later than to metro Boston.
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Old 12-05-2018, 10:35 AM
Location: Southeast Michigan
1,163 posts, read 970,797 times
Reputation: 1317
I could look up anything I wanted to know more about, in my house. A library in my own home...I was euphoric! Still amazes me.
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Old 12-05-2018, 10:45 AM
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I'm seventy three and the first time I was introduced to a computer was at my job, in the late eighties. Computers were being utilized at a pretty low level in the manufacturing sector, but they were already doing the heavy lifting in the company's (aerospace) engineering sector.

I thought I would get a fair amount of training on company time, but that wasn't how they rolled back then, we were encouraged to seek training on our own time with the company paying for local community college courses ranging from intro to the more advanced user levels. In the early nineties we were told that the entirety of the specs and blueprints were going to a computer based intranet system, thousands of "early retirements" were soon announced.

The best thing I ever did was to go out and buy a computer as soon as I could, yes, they were pretty cumbersome, but having one to play with made the company workstations much less intimidating. I remember asking my niece's husband ( a great cook) about what the everyday uses of a computer would be, he replied with " it's a great way to keep your recipes in order," and so it went, and grew, into the most unfathomable but delightful device we have today.
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