Thursday, April 26, 2012

Remembering the World Wide Web.

When did you first get on the World Wide Web? I honestly don’t recall exactly when I started using it, but it was prior to starting my Ebay account in December 1999.

The lone computer belonging to the household was in a spare bedroom. It was big and clunky. Bell Atlantic was the internet provider (remember them?). I didn’t fight for internet time, because it wasn’t all that interesting to me; now there are three laptops in a household with two people. 

Oh, it wasn’t my first computer. Actually bought one in the 1980s. It held 75,000 bytes of information (in other words, it held nothing) and had Lotus on it and maybe a word processing program (Word Perfect?). The screen was black with orange lettering. Oh boy! Guess I just wanted to tell people that I had a home computer! I paid $850 for it, which is about $1,750 in today’s dollars. Wow! 

That computer never had internet access.

However, I was on the internet long before 1999, because I can recall a major event that was World Wide Web related. I found a dog. On a site called Cyberpet. It’s still there and still very cheesy looking! Basically, the site lists breeders and I located a poodle for sale about two hours away that was about a year old. He just wasn’t cut out for the show dog life that the breeder was grooming him for. So, the World Wide Web brought us together. That was February 1996.

And how long has the World Wide Web been around? The debut date is listed as August 6, 1991; thank you Tim Berners-Lee. It would be several years before the masses would start arriving though. An article on the history suggests that the first push to consumers was in 1994. Hmmm. That could make me an early adapter!

The general idea was to make information available to anyone, anywhere. And that’s exactly what the World Wide Web is. Yeah, I know, we don’t even say that term anymore! What would we do without it?

  • How many of you order stuff on Amazon?
  • How many times have you looked up a definition on
  • How often do you run a search and the first thing that comes up is Wikipedia?
  • How many social networks are you a user of?
  • How often do you email someone?
  • How many childhood friends have you become friends with all over again? Oops, you may be regretting finding them; sure hope not.

Our lives have changed. And there’s no turning back.

This is W for the Blogging A to Z Challenge. Here’s U and V.

Is it a love/hate relationship? Todd Rundgren certainly was frazzled in the year 2000 over his internet provider and made his discontent known in a song.


Anonymous said...

Wow! I think I started using the web in 1996 at work, personally not until '98. Such an integral part of our lives now and as technology keeps growing, it seems like the World Wide Web has been here forever! Great Rundgren tune!!! - Tim

SnowyWestie said...

There was a Mac in my house in 1984, but the kids had to use the Apple II, then //e. Sure wanted that Mac... Remember when "You've got mail!" was a favorite greeting... Mom shopping online via WebVan in late '90's... The SOCK PUPPET!! Amazon sent our house a logo'd metal commuter cup in 1999 or so... AIM instant messaging was our parents' nightmare, not Facebook!

Jennifer Macy said...

I got online in 1995. That's when I got my own PC and moved to Silicon Valley. I was immediately addicted staying up til 3 or 4 in the morning poring over random information. Back then there were amazingly cheap last minute web fares and I would grab them up as soon as they were released. Every day there was more and more available online. It was a really exciting time!

Tami Parrington said...

Wow, I remember those days. I, too, had a computer in the 80s that never had Internet, and then in the early 90s, I had a laptop that was capable of getting online, but back then it was locked in channels relegated to your own network (I had AOL) and just basically a bunch of chatrooms. Slowly, whispers started about this magical thing called HTML that only geeks really understood, but would someday break open the boundaries set by the Internet networks and everybody would be able to talk with everybody else. What's more, there would be things called websites, and much, much more. They weren't lying!