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Jurassic Web

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the set-the-wayback-machine dept.

The Internet 430

theodp writes "It wasn't so long ago, but Slate's Farhad Manjoo notes that The Internet of 1996 is almost unrecognizable compared with what we have today. No YouTube, Digg, Huffington Post, Gawker, Google, Twitter, Facebook, or Wikipedia. In 1996, Americans with Internet access spent fewer than 30 minutes a month surfing the Web and were paying for the Internet by the hour. Today, Nielsen says we spend about 27 hours a month online (present company excepted, of course!)." I thought in 1996 all we did was idle in IRC channels while we wrote code in other terminals.

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430 comments

"Wasn't So Long Ago?!" (3, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982015)

It wasn't so long ago ...

It was 13 years ago. Maybe I'm just young but that is an eternity in the world of computer technology.

I would argue that you should really be looking at the hardware & communication infrastructure because internet usage (in my opinion) is really a product of how cheap the hardware makes the connection and usage.

No Huffie Post!?! Oh My GOSH!!! (1)

TrisexualPuppy (976893) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982219)

No...Digg, Huffington Post, Gawker...Twitter, Facebook...

So times were terrible back then! Imagine. I sometimes had to go to "friends' houses" and to the "theaters" and even step outside once or twice. I am very glad we have come this far.

Re:No Huffie Post!?! Oh My GOSH!!! (4, Funny)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982295)

Nerds were nerds long before the web. What is this "outside" of which you speak?

Re:No Huffie Post!?! Oh My GOSH!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26982521)

What is this "outside" of which you speak?

It is a fairy tale. I hope you're too grown up to believe in such nonsense.

Re:No Huffie Post!?! Oh My GOSH!!! (4, Funny)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982565)

What is this "outside" of which you speak?

It's where you had to go when you were traveling to the dungeon masters house ;)

Re:No Huffie Post!?! Oh My GOSH!!! (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982571)

News flash: amateur astronomers are nerds, as are geologists and peleontologists. You can hardly do any of thet that without going outside.

Re:"Wasn't So Long Ago?!" (5, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982519)

It was 13 years ago. Maybe I'm just young

See my sig, kid.

But you're right, I didn't get on the internet until a year later. It only cost me $12.95 per month, with "unlimited access" which really was unlimited. It even included an unlimited amount of personal web space that I abused horribly, trying to find the limit to my unlimited access and never could. I think all the game demos, patches, etc I posted was part of what made my Quake site so popular; once I got them uploaded to my ISP's server (which took quite a while to download, then to upload) others could download them from my site FAST.

I wasn't paying by the hour as TFS says; I had paid Compuserve by the hour ten or so years earlier, but I never was on AOL. I did appreciate all the free floppies they mailed me, though.

I would argue that you should really be looking at the hardware & communication infrastructure because internet usage (in my opinion) is really a product of how cheap the hardware makes the connection and usage.

The infrastructure was mostly the phone line and modems. They really weren't that expensive, and neither were computers so long as you built your own.

IMDB was up (3, Informative)

LotsOfPhil (982823) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982025)

The first (non obvious) big site that pops to mind is IMDB. Other than that I just remember IRC and BBSes.

Re:IMDB was up (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982263)

In 1994/5, I used lynx through a telnet gateway via the local community college bbs. Of course, i didn't know what to do or where to go. In 95,I had access to Mosaic (and then netscape). jpeg images needed a helper application. playboy.com and whitehouse.gov were the earliest sites I can think of, having read of them in newsweek, perhaps. And of course the university homepage.

Re:IMDB was up (5, Insightful)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982341)

Most of the current stuff is either refined, or regressed versions of what we had back then.

Digg => Slashdot
Huffington Post => There wasn't any shortage of bullshit artists back then either
Google => Yahoo, AltaVista, etc..
Twitter => IRC > Twitter. Twitter is like IRC, except there's only one channel, and everybody's on ignore by default.
Wikipedia => Everything (up to the reader whether this was progress or regression)
And there's the things that social networks and tag clouds replaced..... AOL, Web Rings, Geocities, etc...

What should be more shocking is that in 12 years, there isn't actually all that much out there that is truely new.

Re:IMDB was up (2, Insightful)

cbiltcliffe (186293) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982389)

What should be more shocking is that in 12 years, there isn't actually all that much out there that is truely new.

Probably the closest thing to "new" is P2P filesharing. And major companies want to crush it.
So there's your proof. Corporations really do inhibit progress.

(Yes, I realize P2P networks existed well before Napster came along, but not in the same sense.)

Re:IMDB was up (1)

jd142 (129673) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982495)

Does hosting your own bbs count as peer to peer? I didn't do that, a little before my time, but many people did host files on their bbs boards.

Re:IMDB was up (5, Insightful)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982501)

Nah, we were trading files back then too. The only thing that's changed is the protocols.

Re:IMDB was up (2, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982425)

Wikipedia => Everything (up to the reader whether this was progress or regression)

Wikipedia has roots right back in the first versions of WorldWideWeb. TBL's idea was that every web browser would be a web server as well. Every user would serve a few pages and browse a lot. His design also incorporated editing directly into the browser, so you could edit any page you had permissions for.

This didn't really catch on, because a lot of users were on dial-up connections which were too slow for serving and were only online for a small amount of time per month and so could not be used for anything that people might access at any time. Now, the average broadband connection is fast enough for lightweight web serving and is always on. Run a small server in the router and set the headers so ISPs can aggressively cache your content, and you've got a proper, distributed, Wikipedia.

Ah, the era of homepages (5, Informative)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982029)

With terrible blinking text and eyesore backgrounds.

They were all on geocities then. Now they're all on facebook/myspace.

It was a nicer, gentler internet. Less advertising, less malware. Less crap and less people too... e-Commerce was a rarity. Naive users and online shops would transact via card-detail containing emails.

There was still all the porn you could imagine though.

Re:Ah, the era of homepages (1)

thered2001 (1257950) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982159)

Bring back blinking text! And while you're at it, bring back the cowbell to rock music! Can't have too much cowbell...

Funny how porn was one of the first major uses of the 'net. I think that was one of the major motivators of early-adopters. I can remember one of my buds signing up for that express purpose.

And yeah, I spent many a night frittering away my time on IRC in 1996. Route66 was the place to be! Now I fritter on Slashdot.

Re:Ah, the era of homepages (3, Informative)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982393)

Funny how porn was one of the first major uses of the 'net.

Not really. Porn is often one of the first major uses of a new media. Videotape built its success on porn.

Re:Ah, the era of homepages (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982487)

Not really. Porn is often one of the first major uses of a new media. Videotape built its success on porn.

On the other hand (heh) porn built its current, epic level of success on videotape.

Re:Ah, the era of homepages (5, Insightful)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982183)

Is myspace fundamentally different to the homepage?

They are still gaudy shrines to the ego, constructed of copy-pasted crappy code.

Re:Ah, the era of homepages (1)

Smidge207 (1278042) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982191)

They were all on geocities then. Now they're all on facebook/myspace.

Yep. Those awful 90's Geocitites user-generated content pages get my vote for worst use of disk space EVAH. Here's my resume (identical to every 90's college student CIS rez) here's my girlfriend (identical to every 90's college student g/f pics), here' my Honda Civic (ditto), here's pics of my g/f's cats.

=Smidge=

Re:Ah, the era of homepages (4, Funny)

Xest (935314) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982249)

"There was still all the porn you could imagine though."

There was also all the porn I couldn't imagine too.

Re:Ah, the era of homepages (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982287)

Gentler and nicer but with a whole lot less information, delivered at a much slower rate, and even if the information was out there, most search engines were far too inadequate to actually find anything worthwhile.

RE: Ah, the era of homepages (2, Interesting)

sean_nestor (781844) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982325)

With terrible blinking text and eyesore backgrounds. They were all on geocities then. Now they're all on facebook/myspace.

If you ask me, the facebooks/myspaces of today are way worse aesthetically. The worst you had to fear in those days was an embedded MIDI; now I've got high-quality MP3s streaming themselves without asking and fucking up the music I'm already listening to.

Also, maybe they just didn't have the technology or bandwidth to piss away, but people didn't leave high-res 1562x968 pictures in comments sections (whose parallel I guess would be a "guest book", in 90's web terms).

I'll take blinking text, frames, and animated GIFs over that any day. (I know, I know...get off my lawn!)

Re: Ah, the era of homepages (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26982461)

now I've got high-quality MP3s streaming themselves without asking and fucking up the music I'm already listening to.

Not to mention alerting my co-workers to the fact that I'm browsing sites in the office that I probably shouldn't be. Damn you embedded music players! Damn you to hell!!!

Re:Ah, the era of homepages (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982391)

With terrible blinking text and eyesore backgrounds.

It did make looking at porn much more annoying, but part of me misses the challenge.

1996 nothing... (3, Interesting)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982031)

I remember seeing Mosaic in 1992 or 1993 and saying, "this will never replace Gopher."

Re:1996 nothing... (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982051)

It didn't Netscape Did.

Re:1996 nothing... (5, Funny)

WillAdams (45638) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982147)

Spyglass corporation's Mosaic was licensed by a company called Microsoft as the basis for a browser which they named Internet Explorer --- Spyglass had an absolutely fantastic deal where they got royalties on _every sale_ of the browser.

William

Re:1996 nothing... (1)

cptnapalm (120276) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982345)

heh that's harsh. Was there ever a period during which MS sold copies?

Re:1996 nothing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26982559)

Actually I think there was a time. If I remember correctly it was about 30 bucks a copy. My googlefoo isnt working well today. If you were on 14.4 buying it for 30 bucks seemed like a good deal instead of downloading it...

Re:1996 nothing... (1)

N1ck0 (803359) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982137)

Who would use this internet thing when you could download warez and play doors on BBSs.

Re:1996 nothing... (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982227)

Actually back then that was the bulk what I was using the internet for. As some BBS's were going TCP/IP so you can telnet (days before encryption of you communication wasn't a big deal) in and go to these BBS's online without having to pay long distance, and Play Doors and downloads software world wide. As for world wide messaging that is what the FidoNet was for. Heck you can even send internet emails with horrible email addresses threw FidoNet.

Telnet and FTP was the big way of doing things back then. Gopher and Web were less so.

Re:1996 nothing... (1)

xaositects (786749) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982365)

ahhh 9600 baud

Re:1996 nothing... (1)

N1ck0 (803359) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982511)

9600...I remember blowing $450+ for an internal 14400 baud modem when those came out. It was a full length ISA board that was slightly beyond spec in width so you couldn't have anything sitting in the next slot.

Re:1996 nothing... (1)

N1ck0 (803359) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982427)

Actually back then that was the bulk what I was using the internet for.

Yeah I was thinking more 92-93ish...hell I think 94-95 was the last time I used POTS for net access.

In 96 a company I worked for had the crazy idea of trying to use javascript to write webapps and running some sort of dynamically generated content in on the webserver using java and some sort of templating system. I'm glad that never went anywhere it would have been such a mess...

Re:1996 nothing... (1)

Mucky Pup (21317) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982317)

I remember my first job as a sysadmin, spending days trying to get Mosaic to compile on my schools DecStation 5000. When it finally built and ran, it was a proud achievement of mine to show off to all my geek buddies!

Sitting on a fractional T-1 thinking I was the Sh!t!

Re:1996 nothing... (1)

lorax (2988) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982515)

If you were using Mosaic it must have been 1993 or later.

Funny thing though, I remember saying pretty much exactly the same thing in 1994. (Although I was looking at serving GIS related files at the time)

IRC channels? (3, Funny)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982033)

"I thought in 1996 all we did was idle in IRC channels while we wrote code in other terminals."

Yet another person who does not know he can find porn on the net.

Re:IRC channels? (5, Interesting)

epiphani (254981) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982107)

"I thought in 1996 all we did was idle in IRC channels while we wrote code in other terminals."

Yet another person who does not know he can find porn on the net.

Yet another person who is apparently unfamiliar with DCC. Why do you think we idled on IRC to begin with? It sure as hell wasn't for the intelligent conversation.

Re:IRC channels? (1)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982351)

God, I'm such an idiot. Despite the fact that I used IRC to download MP3s back in the 90s, I forgot that it's not merely a chat program. Bad Anita Coney, go to your room!

Re:IRC channels? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982579)

God, I'm such an idiot. Despite the fact that I used IRC to download MP3s back in the 90s, I forgot that it's not merely a chat program. Bad Anita Coney, go to your room!

No, it really is only a chat program, in the way that MSNM is only a chat program. There's other features in there, but it doesn't really do any of them well. IIRC DCC is based on xmodem. There's an advanced forms of DCC based on zmodem. No joke. Why don't we just fucking UUCP each other while we're at it?

The thing about irc that made it appealing for transferring files is that you didn't have to spawn another program, figure out how to run a server, et cetera. But with the appalling overhead of the combination of SLIP (usually not even with compressed headers!) and DCC, anyone who actually could figure out how to get some kind of server running (say, FTP) was way way out ahead of everyone else.

I'm trying to remember what year I lived at the Marshmallow Peanut Circus, a by-then already well-established geek house near downtown Santa Cruz. It is by no means one of the oldest examples of such, but it is one of the better-known (though with nowhere near the fame of sites like The Armory.) I guess I was 18 or so, which would make it around 1995 or 1996. The former server for the house had been one roommate's desktop system, a NeXT Turbo Slab. When he moved out we replaced it with a 486-based Compaq server with (IIRC) 16 MB RAM and 1.2 GB disk. scruz.net provided a 28.8kbps CSLIP connection via a matched pair of Hayes modems over which they routed us the full 165.227.17 network. Six housemates, five bedrooms, 28.8kbps, class C. Good times.

That cute lil' 486 provided apache, ftpd, samba, netatalk, and various other services for a good long time until it got hacked by Kunt and got rebuilt :) Luckily all they did was overwrite all index.html files (I rebuilt the server anyway.) All of mine were stored in RCS. Everyone else lost theirs and learned the importance of backups.

Re:IRC channels? (1)

Chris Pimlott (16212) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982119)

Alright fine, all we did was idle in IRC while we downloaded posts from alt.binaries.pictures.erotica in other terminals for later uudecoding.

Paying for Internet by the hour? (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982041)

Maybe y'all were, but not me. I had an unlimited dialup account from a provider called FlashNet, prepaid by the year. It translated to like $8.95/month.

The Web sucked in 1996 compared to today.

Now get off of my lawn.

Re:Paying for Internet by the hour? (1)

Swampash (1131503) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982085)

In 1996 I was playing multiplayer Quake online. I was reading email, hanging out in group chats on IRC, browsing websites, and chatting with online contacts via instant messaging.

Sheesh. It's not like it was THAT different.

Re:Paying for Internet by the hour? (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982205)

  • Multiplayer Quake was too slow.
  • IRC was getting flooded by clueless n00bs.
  • Most websites were brochureware, e-commerce consisted of Amazon.com. Slashdot was yet to be born.
  • Instant messaging == AIM. Without file transfers, voice, etc.

Re:Paying for Internet by the hour? (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982481)

Multiplayer Quake was too slow.

It was okay for 2 players. QuakeWorld was released in 1996, however, and made things a lot better. 4-8 player games were quite playable over my modem in '96.

IRC was getting flooded by clueless n00bs

It still is. People with a clue have moved to SILC.

Instant messaging == AIM. Without file transfers, voice, etc.

In 1996? Really? AIM was released in 1997. Back in '96, ICQ was the only option for IM.

Re:Paying for Internet by the hour? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982493)

I was thinking the same thing. Except Usenet was a lot more useful, email was a lot more useful, the web had some great sites on them. I loved exploring the web for new interesting sites.
The problem now is that Google is too good. You want to learn something you just Google it or use Wikipedia.
The signal to noise ratio was much better back then. It was even better in 94 even if you had to use Trumpet WinSock on Windows 3.1

Spam? (4, Insightful)

Jacek Poplawski (223457) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982091)

And what the hell is Huffington Post and Gawker to put it inside this list?

Re:Spam? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26982197)

Probably gave the article author a warm fuzzy feeling to include their own opinion about sites of import and gravitas.

When I think about the internet in 1996 (3, Interesting)

mandark1967 (630856) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982105)

I don't think about what was there, then, I think about what we have lost since then.

So many sites that were popular in that timeframe are no longer around. Internet Archives doesn't capture all those funny, cool sites that used to be there and are, sadly, no longer around.

Re:When I think about the internet in 1996 (1)

Murpster (1274988) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982443)

These sort of articles always focus on what the AOL plebes and other digital immigrants were doing back then, and totally ignores most of what actual internet users were doing. Aside from the numerous cool web sites that nobody mentions... where is IRC? Gopher? ICQ may not have existed, but lots of people used unix talk (or ytalk, if you knew better). There were lots of FTP sites that were incredibly popular. And of course, usenet... which was for many years as essential to the net as the web is today.

Re:When I think about the internet in 1996 (5, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982475)

What, like Hamster Dance? Shrines to music stars? MIDI background music that sounded awful on the hardware of the day? Streaming RealPlayer files so blurry you needed to be half-blind to make them out? Web Rings containing hundreds of links pointing to nothing at all? Personal homepages consisting of an export of Netscape bookmarks? Company web pages that were little more than brochures? (Often less than that!) Everyone on the interwebz thinking they're 1337 h4x0rz? (The 'z' was real popular back then.) XTrek competitions? MSN-only Startrek.com? Pages that would only render in Netscape or IE? (Complete with a "this page looks best in X" buttons.) Frames?!?

The web was definitely a more innocent place back then, but it was in no way a more useful place. What you are remembering is the subculture that went with the web of the day. If you had Internet access... man, you had something special. This crazy ability to make friends from around the world, to meet people who like the same shows or games as you, the ability to load up your computer with all the shareware it could hold, to access amateur content like MODs, MIDIs, animations done in GIFs, fan fiction, web comics, and even Java Applet games!

It was an exciting and fun time to be alive and I'm glad I was a part of it. But like all things, its time has passed and very little content of value was lost. In fact, most of the truly interesting content is still around. It simply doesn't shine very well in the face of what the modern Internet can do.

idle in IRC channels (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982117)

I thought in 1996 all we did was idle in IRC channels while we wrote code in other terminals.

No, that was 1991.

It wasn't so long ago (2, Insightful)

wiredog (43288) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982141)

But kids who were not even in school then are driving now. People who were first graders then may well have voted in the last election.

How many of us even had cell phones then?

Even from a 43 year old's perspective, thirteen years can be a long time.

Ugh (5, Funny)

sean_nestor (781844) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982163)

It's 1996, and you're bored. What do you do? If you're one of the lucky people with an AOL account, you probably do the same thing you'd do in 2009: Go online. Crank up your modem, wait 20 seconds as you log in, and there you areâ""Welcome." You check your mail, then spend a few minutes chatting with your AOL buddies about which of you has the funniest screen name (you win, pimpodayear94).

I can't believe I read this and immediately thought "...but AOL didn't allow screen names over 10 characters until 1999..."

I'm a loser.

I know no one likes a smartypants but ... (1)

jabberwock (10206) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982179)

... in 1996 I was dating someone I met online, downloading porn, streaming video, playing with VOIP and writing about how everyone who wasn't, would be, soon.

Of course it was different ... at 28.8kbps and at 56kbps. But it was recognizable, and you could tell a lot about what it would look like when it grew up.

Re:I know no one likes a smartypants but ... (1)

james_orr (574634) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982557)

I married (and am sill married to) somebody I met online in 1995 :).

lol (1)

zoomshorts (137587) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982201)

"I thought in 1996 all we did was idle in IRC channels while we wrote code in other terminals."

Those of us on DARPANET did other things, like play Colossal Cave on the old DEC machines, running RT-11 and using up a ton of thermal paper to remember our moves, or played similar games using TTY's. Punched cards and paper tape. We thought the world was perfect when MYLAR tape became available.

1978. LOL and BBS's were a few years in the future. Woohooooo.

Downloading at 1kb a sec !!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26982203)

Brings back good old memmories :)
I remind using hotbot/metacrawler/ftpsearch a lot.
King of the hill with my 33k6 modem !!

Re:Downloading at 1kb a sec !!! (1)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982395)

Not so bad given the size of the pages.

Do a "view source" on the linked Yahoo archived front pages--they're super-tiny by today's standards.

In some ways it was much better in 1996 (4, Insightful)

owlnation (858981) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982237)

No Google, true -- but choice of search engines. While Google was great between about '97 and '03 or so, it's become so gamed to be as bad as Altavista was in 1996 -- but now there's no real choice.

No Facebook, no MySpace, no Wikipedia, less spam and far less Flash-based sites -- yes, those were better days. Not to mention a lot less Buzzwordery and fuckwittery.

There was more porn, and it was more extreme and less restricted -- not so much video based, of course. And if you were a producer you could throw a site up and make money easily, now it's so hard as to be really not worthwhile.

While there's definitely improvements, I can't help looking back fondly to a lot of things that are no longer with us. And the massive intrusion that some things on the web have become.

Re:In some ways it was much better in 1996 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26982463)

And the massive intrusions that some things on the web have become.

This is a good thing! I don't get it: we give you the extremest of porn, and you're still whining?

Web? (3, Insightful)

Chih (1284150) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982245)

In 96, I was still a teenager. All I did was play doorgames on BBSs. LoD, LORD, etc.. I suppose you could say I surfed the web, but it was really only for pron :D

At least we had Kickban (1)

meist3r (1061628) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982265)

Oh how I wish someone would swing the banhammer on Facebook or Myspace sometimes. Good thing I don't read either :P

The Pink Kitty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26982311)

persiankitty.com's links to free porn has been up since then... still probably the best maintained list on the web.

Its not too late. (3, Insightful)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982321)

With a little work we can get rid of Huffington Post, Digg,Twitter and Myspace. The rest can stay, but only if they behave themselves.

Re:Its not too late. (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982449)

We should never have upgraded from Web 1.0

I'm still waiting for the Web 2.0 SP1 that removes all the bloat.

Huh? (1)

cbiltcliffe (186293) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982355)

I thought in 1996 all we did was idle in IRC channels while we wrote code in other terminals.

Isn't that what we do now?

can't live without it (1)

AmherstburgVision (1486659) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982361)

our local Verizon hub went down yesterday and we were without internet for 12 hours. It's amazing how critical the internet is to business now. We had to get back up access running with another provider to limp through the day.... then you always get the old-timers who reminisce about the âgood old daysâ(TM) when they didnâ(TM)t have to worry about computers going down because everything was done with a pen and paper⦠For some reason, when thinking back, they always think they did just as much without computers.

Ah...1996 (1, Informative)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982433)

I was surfing the Eudora e-mail forums on my company's dial-out internet (in an office of 80 people we all shared a 26K Baud modem), trying to figure out how to share address books. This was before Eudora went POP/IMAP and was still just LAN mail. Mail was queued up in the gateway, and once enough was stored, the modem would dial out and release.

In late 1997 we'd gone from dial-up, to ISDN, to 1/4 T-1...but that's a whole other era.

IRC?? What's that? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26982445)

Pre-1996 I was using UNIX talk [wikipedia.org] (and ytalk) to chat with my friends via IP addresses.

IRC? Pfftt. You kids and your newfangled technologies, although it is an entertaining observation that both the ancient talk program and IRC were both pretty vulnerable to various exploits over their history.

Anyway, get off my lawn.

1996 not like the article (1)

mu51c10rd (187182) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982467)

I get the impression that the article author was not on the web then. I used ATT Worldnet back then and paid a monthly fee for unlimited dialup. I recall using Infoseek and Excite to search for information, as well as use IRC. My tinkering on the net back then launched my IT career. Can't say I ever used AOL...

Only 27? (1)

martas (1439879) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982533)

I'm quite disappointed by that. That's only 1/30th of the month, or about 1/20th if you don't take into account sleep time. I probably spend 95% of my waking hours next to firefox. Of course I'm not always using it, I just keep it open so I feel less alone when I'm destroying my soul in java and matlab... But still, I do click on "Check mail now" in GMail once every 20 minutes or so.

Yeah (2, Insightful)

sootman (158191) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982543)

No Slashdot, no Facebook... all we did was work! ;-)

I know some people complain about Google having been taken over by spammers, but it still works for me and what I search for. Anyone else remember doing every search twice--once at Yahoo! and getting too few matches, and then AltaVista and getting too many?

MMORPGs (1)

loom_weaver (527816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982547)

Existed back then and there were lots to choose from. The MUDs were text. Ah, no need to download a GB client. Good ol' telnet was enough.

It wasn't that bad... (1)

Improv (2467) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982573)

Back then we still had a functional usenet, people generally used IRC a lot more, altavista was one one of the most popular search engines, anon.penet.fi was still up, and the personal webpage was a lot more important than today.

We may overall be better off today, but where we were had its own charms, some of which are now lost.

A David Pogue by any other name. (1)

Steauengeglase (512315) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982583)

So he says that back then people were self-important pricks who seldom went past AOl for their online experience. I didn't know everyone in the past was named Farhad Manjoo.

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