Friday, December 17, 2010

Ah, Those Good Old Internet Days

A Stephen Colbert skit a couple of nights ago reminded me about a special anniversary today.

Fourteen years ago today (1996) I treated myself to a special present:  my first computer.  A smart phone today is probably more powerful.  This beauty, a black Toshiba desktop, set me back (with service contract) nearly $2,000.  Its Pentium I 133Mhz processor, 1.6 GB hard drive and 16 MB of Ram were state of the art.  It ran Windows 95.

My son still owns it. It's part of his unofficial electronics museum.

Approximately one month later, I went online for the first time, using CompuServe.  The browser was Mosaic. It used a 14,400 bps modem to access the Internet.  In those days, Internet service was dialup, and not only that, providers charged by the hour.

This is what the Yahoo site looked like in January of 1997.  This is the Weather Channel site in April of 1997.

This was the home page for eBay later that year.

It is hard to remember the Internet of early 1997.  Many sites were basically text oriented.  It took time for those pages to load.  I wasn't exactly an online pioneer, but it sure seems like it now.

I even still have my very first email stored.  It was request for information to find out how to build a potato "battery".  That's what happens when you have a science oriented son.

I was the last generation who knew more about computers than their young son.

Hearing the sound of a modem in that Colbert skit really brought back old memories.

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