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Everything You Needed To Know About the Internet In May, 1994

samzenpus posted 1 year,21 days | from the in-the-year-2000 dept.

The Internet 168

harrymcc writes "On Saturday, I picked up a copy of a book called How To Use the Internet at a flea market. It was published in May, 1994, and is a fascinating snapshot of the state of the Net at that time — when you had to explain to people that it wasn't a good idea to say 'thank you' when issuing commands to a machine, and the World Wide Web was an alternative to Gopher that warranted only four pages of coverage towards the end of the book. I selected some choice excerpts and wrote about them over at TIME.com."

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Poignant (5, Informative)

Gumug (1005067) | 1 year,21 days | (#44987577)

FTA: E-mail: “Never forget that electronic mail is like a postcard. Many people can read it easily without your ever knowing it. In other words, do not say anything in an e-mail message which you would not say in public.”

Re:Poignant (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44987675)

Obviously nowadays, even for people who are aware of this, we still put quite personal things into our emails.. stuff that we wouldn't quite say in public. What is the current solution nowadays to writing the extremely personal stuff into emails? Most people don't encrypt emails afaik..

Re:Poignant (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44987951)

People also talk about extremely personal things on cell phones in public.
Or program their contact list into their cell phone via voice while waiting in an airport.

Re:Poignant (4, Informative)

Prof.PatPending (1603155) | 1 year,21 days | (#44989345)

Heck, I've found myself walking near people (in downtown Philadelphia) who were on their phone GIVING THEIR CREDIT CARD INFO! The first time I heard it I thought the person was just some random idiot, but I've since heard half a dozen other people doing the same thing!

Re:Poignant (1)

mcgrew (92797) | 1 year,21 days | (#44988165)

Obviously nowadays, even for people who are aware of this, we still put quite personal things into our emails.. stuff that we wouldn't quite say in public.

Sheesh, kids... How naive.

Re:Poignant (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44988847)

today's solution is usually to attach an encrypted pdf or archive to the email

Re:Poignant (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44989061)

Ah.. thanks.

Re:Poignant (4, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | 1 year,21 days | (#44987763)

In many ways we get all up an arms about Governments and Corporations "spying" or "profiling your information" however the internet wasn't ever really meant for private information. It design doesn't make private information easy. Sure we have came up with encryption and other crazy hacks to try to make us more secure, we are still communicating on a public network, to systems that we shouldn't fully trust.

Encryption and other privacy methods are akin to putting a lock on the door (Good enough to stop most casual attempts to poke around), often not enough to be rally secure, against any group that really wants to get it.

Remember this fact if you are going to choose a SaaS or Cloud solution. Not that using such systems are Bad or Evil like RMS likes to claim, however if you are going to trust your information to an outside source, you better be sure that you could handle a breach.

Re:Poignant (0)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | 1 year,21 days | (#44987807)

Poor RMS' problem is he cheerleads capitalism but whines about the end results. Freedom must entail freedom from private (commercial) property, because businesses ARE going to use their private ownership for leverage.

Re:Poignant (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44988681)

It's odd that when someone points out flaws in a system, they are considered to be whining.

Re:Poignant (0, Flamebait)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | 1 year,21 days | (#44988917)

I think it better that freedom must entail being free to own stuff. That also means you are free to do what you want with said things, including commercial ventures.

A wise man once said that communism doesn't work because people like to own stuff. When you analyze an economy along its spectrum of communism on one end to socialism in the middle to capitalism (free markets) on the other end, the countries at the end of capitalism tend to be the wealthiest. Socialist countries with strong production potential (that is, being strong in one or more areas of the five factors of production) end up becoming wealthier when they break or end socialist policies.

Socialists like to believe that socialism results in everybody being middle class, but in reality it does not. It just results in everybody being poorer overall. The term "everybody equally miserable" applies. This is why most of the world experiences a brain drain, while the US experiences a brain gain (and yes, it still very much goes on to this day, that isn't just a post-WWII phenomenon.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain_drain [wikipedia.org]

Try for example looking at a policy like that of Venezuela where it's illegal to fire people. You literally have the inalienable right to a job there - a Democrat's dream come true (at least, if FDR had a say in it.) Yet that country can't retain production worth shit because it's so risky to start a business there that you almost may as well not even try - better emigrate to some place that is less hostile. As soon as their oil runs out...they're royally screwed. (Though admittedly the same is true of the US government once it realizes that its pockets really aren't bottomless after all - but the private economy will continue to function at least.)

Re:Poignant (0)

epyT-R (613989) | 1 year,21 days | (#44989439)

Yes..people will always leverage what they have for maximum benefit.. at least in free countries, they can't then use the government (or the taxpayers' own money) as a weapon in that process.

Re:Poignant (5, Insightful)

Tom (822) | 1 year,21 days | (#44988119)

In many ways we get all up an arms about Governments and Corporations "spying" or "profiling your information" however the internet wasn't ever really meant for private information.

Those two statements do not clash.

Postcards are not meant for private information, either. But a government agency systematically intercepting and reading them would still run afoul of the wiretapping laws.

Remember this fact if you are going to choose a SaaS or Cloud solution. Not that using such systems are Bad or Evil like RMS likes to claim, however if you are going to trust your information to an outside source, you better be sure that you could handle a breach.

That depends entirely on your threat model and your own capabilities. For many small companies who can't afford to have any in-house security know-how, an outside service provider could actually reduce the probability of a breach.

The problem with SaaS and Cloud solutions isn't that they are inherently less secure or anything like that. The real problem is the all-your-eggs-in-one-basket issue. If a major cloud provider ever has a serious breach, everyone has been breached, not just one unlucky target.

Re:Poignant (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44988497)

Postcards are not meant for private information, either. But a government agency systematically intercepting and reading them would still run afoul of the wiretapping laws.

Uh, you know the USPS publicly admits to taking photographs of all mail, right?

Re:Poignant (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44988529)

While that is technically true, it is simply part of how sorting and routing mail works. I work for a private mail processor and our sorters do the same thing (we presort down to carrier level before we tender to the PO), There is no central storage or organization of images, or much retention, but we can get the images off the individual machines for troubleshooting purposes up to maybe a week later.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/02/postal-service-photos_n_3694589.html

Re:Poignant (3, Insightful)

10101001 10101001 (732688) | 1 year,21 days | (#44988539)

In many ways we get all up an arms about Governments and Corporations "spying" or "profiling your information" however the internet wasn't ever really meant for private information.

Non-sequitor. No matter the source or the means, a government or a corporation having such extensive knowledge about a group can and will use that information for abuse*.

It design doesn't make private information easy. Sure we have came up with encryption and other crazy hacks to try to make us more secure, we are still communicating on a public network, to systems that we shouldn't fully trust.

It sure doesn't help when (1) the government consistently has actively pursued a policy to eliminate any standard means of wide scale encryption to ensure private communication on the internet and (2) intentionally worked towards crippling the effective of the standards they do enforce (with possibly some exceptions). Even still, networks exist that do functionally undermine those efforts. Either that or the governments of the world are willfully allowing numerous terrorists to run free, regardless of their seeming willingness to drone strike (with collateral damage) all those they view as worthy of death. Or the governments, even with all that information, are still not omniscient.

Encryption and other privacy methods are akin to putting a lock on the door (Good enough to stop most casual attempts to poke around), often not enough to be rally secure, against any group that really wants to get it.

Good encryption is akin to putting a DVD in a block of cement and then dropping it off at a random place in the universe. Locks are akin to tissue paper by comparison.

Remember this fact if you are going to choose a SaaS or Cloud solution. Not that using such systems are Bad or Evil like RMS likes to claim, however if you are going to trust your information to an outside source, you better be sure that you could handle a breach.

Any serious work you want to do on a SaaS or Cloud solution, you want to trust the provider to produce good results, which you inherently can't do; further, an information breach would be inherently detrimental to your cause as it would undermine the faith in your work even further. For non-serious work, why would you go through the bother and expense? More importantly, how much non-serious work do you have that you'd care to have an information breach?

*Note, I speak of the colloquial use of the word "abuse" and not the selective reinterpretation that often accompanies such collection efforts which chooses to effectively undefine abuse.

Re:Poignant (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44988569)

If two people were determined to talk privately over the Internet, and already had a way to talk publicly but with a high degree of confidence the message is authentic (video? telephone? face to face?), how likely do you think they'd be able to with public key cryptography as it is?

Re:Poignant (4, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | 1 year,21 days | (#44987859)

FTA: E-mail: âoeNever forget that electronic mail is like a postcard.

I said this the other day.

It made people angry.

So, like, whatever, man. If you don't want people reading your stuff, encrypt it. Not every country has the same laws. Not every country has the same 3 letter agencies. And just because it's not been revealed by Snowden's archive yet doesn't mean it's not happening.

--
BMO

Re:Poignant (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44988099)

Close but the analogy needs to go further... You can double triple encrypt your email all you want, but the recipient will still decrypt it and show it or forward it to others.

An unecrypted email is like a postcard, an encrypted email is like a letter. They will both be seen by people other than the intended recipient.

Re:Poignant (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44988617)

A letter/encrypted email _may_ be seen by others. you can request the receiver to not show it around, or it can be a normal courtesy in the circles you move (people i mail "secret" information will ask before sharing an email. and so will i). But an encrypted mail can certainly be kept secret between two people if both put the effort into it.

Compare that lovenote you passed directly to some girl in 3rd grade - yeah, she showed it to everyone and they had a laugh. the one you wrote to your wife as a personal (and marked as such) gift for your 30 year anniversary? she might say she got a personal note but would she share it against your will would she?

It is all about the receiver. if you share with a gossiper you will be gossiped about. this is true even with the spoken word or hand-signals.

How quaint (5, Insightful)

cold fjord (826450) | 1 year,21 days | (#44987591)

FTA:

Online etiquette: “Flaming is generally frowned upon because it generates lots of articles that very few people want to read and wastes Usenet resources.”

That horse made it out the door long ago. Entire websites and careers are built on that now.

Re:How quaint (4, Insightful)

PPH (736903) | 1 year,21 days | (#44987735)

The phenomenon known as Eternal September [wikipedia.org] was new and little understood back in those days.

Re:How quaint (4, Interesting)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | 1 year,21 days | (#44987831)

Dammit, I can find The Warez Song [youtube.com] , but not the AOL Song by the same guy. Although I did only spend 20 seconds looking.

I got on the 'net in 1994, a few after before eternal September... although it was via Compuserve, and I didn't use direct PPP/SLIP access for another year. Then Demon Internet in 1996, and that was it.

The 'net was SnR-wise so much better before ~1998 - mostly a place for geeks, nerds and business types hang out, and while it had a social element, it wasn't just bringing the bullshit of the real world onto the 'net, but it's own form of community. Now it's just an extension of the real world - and if I want that, I'll go outside, tyvm.

Re:How quaint (3, Funny)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | 1 year,21 days | (#44987881)

And I just decided to transcribe the lyrics because I'm having a nostalgia attack now...

Ah, I remember when this was first released!

The day I got hooked up to the mighty Internet
I was hooked into a world that I'd never forget
Web sites, chat rooms, IRC and live video streams
Online multimedia that looked like LSD dreams

Then I got my hands on something called CuteFTP
I was told that I could have what I wanted for free
Went on to some guys FTP 1:4 ratio
Upload my swap file and download Super Mario

Then I heard of something called an MP3 player
Had something to do with music, compression and layer
I didn't give a damn about the facts given to me
Just wanted to download songs without buying the CD

Later I found Vivo movies compressed on the 'net
Download one movie per night - as much as I could get
Titanic took a couple more, but less for Wet & Wild
It was like Christmas every day and I was a rich man's child

Soon enough the downloads had to come straight back to me
Turnd out it was the Feds who ran that awesome FTP
Were setting up for all us online criminals
They said, "Fuck free speech, it's corrupted our youth, it's all a load of bull!"

One more game, one more app, one more serial, one more crack,
Warez are the only thing for me
One more game, one more app, one more serial, one more crack,
Could someone give the crack for Duke 3D

DCC's something IRC gives to everyone
Need a crack for Paintshop Pro? in seconds download's done
Stupid people buy domains with "warez" in the name
When they're shut down I am pissed off but they're the ones to blame

Quake II came down in Denmark two days before the USA
But thanks to FTPing I had my copy in a day
Unreal was just that - unreal on my bandwidth supply
It took three weeks to get it, it sucked, I'm asking myself why

Got a CD burner with just two uses in mind
To download, copy and burn everything that I could find
Sell the discs for friends for only seven bucks a pop
Five bucks for the disc, two bucks for my time, seven bucks for Photoshop

Pisses me off when I'm searching for something that's hard to find
I find a link to get a copy but Netscape is blind
Says "can't find file" or something lame which doesn't help me out
But three days later I get it and it removes all my doubt

Cops find out, it's the second time, this time I got to jail
Not only am I broke, no PC, no warez, and my plan did fail
Sittin' in the slammer gonna warez me a great big ginzu knife
I'll be here for the next ten years - can I warez a wife?

One more game...
Could someone give the crack for Duke 3D
So it doesn't need the CD

One more game...
Could someone give the crack for Duke 3D

One more game...
Could someone give the crack for Duke 3D
All I want is something for free

Re:How quaint (5, Informative)

cold fjord (826450) | 1 year,21 days | (#44988177)

The phenomenon known as Eternal September [wikipedia.org] was new and little understood back in those days.

Though the ruin of Eternal September blotted out the sun in the memory of those who endured it, it is a relic of the Second Age of the internet.

The First Age of the internet also saw its battles and flames, though they are now but a distant memory and few speak of them. A record of one of the notable battles follows:

THE "GREAT RENAMING" [eff.org]

In 1986-87, Usenet underwent a thoroughgoing shakeup and reorganization which has come to be known as the "Great Renaming." At its inception, Usenet had only top-level hierarchies, mod and net. This was later expanded by the addition of the "fa" groups as well as some domains with only local distribution. When a complete reorganization of Usenet was proposed, a massive and now-legendary "flame war" (online discussion/argument) commenced.

The most significant flame war of Usenet history was over the "Great Renaming" when the seven main hierarchies {comp,misc,news,rec,sci,soc,talk} were created and the old groups {net,fa,mod} were all moved around. There was great gnashing of teeth as groups were sorted and tossed around and relegated to their polities. -- [Woodbury, 1992]

more [eff.org]

Re:How quaint (4, Funny)

PPH (736903) | 1 year,21 days | (#44989175)

TINC [wikipedia.org]

Re:How quaint (1)

Austrian Anarchy (3010653) | 1 year,21 days | (#44987817)

FTA:

Online etiquette: “Flaming is generally frowned upon because it generates lots of articles that very few people want to read and wastes Usenet resources.”

That horse made it out the door long ago. Entire websites and careers are built on that now.

IIRC, that was the first one I learned before getting on the real internet around the time of this book's publication. Seemed to have been slain by reality already.

Re:How quaint (2)

bmo (77928) | 1 year,21 days | (#44988383)

Entire websites and careers are built on that now.

One wonders what happened to Trashcan Man after the invasion of rec.pets.cats by alt.tasteless.

--
BMO

Misty watercolor memories (4, Interesting)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | 1 year,21 days | (#44987603)

That's about the time I helped develop a "how to use the internet" class for my department at UCSB. In preparation, we rolled out a bunch of clients to our Mac workstations for usenet, gopher, talk, ftp, http (Mosaic, of course), etc. After the class, everyone went straight to Mosaic. I was pretty impressed that someone had found a bunch of Elvis sound clips and figured out how to play them within minutes. Then I was concerned for the amount of bandwidth they must have been sucking up. I believe our part of campus was sharing a T1 at the time...

Re:Misty watercolor memories (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44987833)

In the days before DNS when you could download a hosts file that had all of the known IP addresses in it - well the public ones anyway.

Re:Misty watercolor memories (5, Interesting)

Creepy (93888) | 1 year,21 days | (#44988023)

For me it was gradual...

I probably didn't discover Mosaic until late 1994 and nobody had told me about it. I randomly downloaded and ran stuff from our ftp site, which had mirrors of stuff shared by most major universities. At first I was majorly disappointed to discover it was a web browser, having used a text based one in 1993 and pretty much scrap-heaped the technology (compared to gopher it was a huge leap back). Two things with Mosaic grabbed me, though - the content was graphical, and there was a View Source that showed how it was done. I was mildly intrigued, especially since the default page contained graphics. I created my own pages, adding more and more content and graphics using Photoshop, aligning pages with tables, and showing others how it was done. It was probably the only thing I did more than usenet while working my job, which was TA the worst shifts at the deadest labs because I was the noob. I usually got the 8 hour Saturday shifts, spending the first 4 on my homework and the rest trying not to go nuts from boredom.

While Mosaic was neat, the Netscape beta utterly blew me away. I told my dad to buy Netscape stock when they went public. He didn't. He regretted it later. I would have told him to sell the second Microsoft announced they were releasing a competing browser, because no matter how bad IE 1.0 was, I had watched Microsoft destroy too many companies with bundling agreements with PC hardware companies where they would get Windows and Office for hundreds of dollars less with a bundle (and probably if they excluded competing products) and I knew Netscape was doomed (WordPerfect and Spyglass in particular - that last one was a real dick move... we'll pay you a royalty for every copy sold... gives away for free and absorbs the expense by upping the price of Windows, then insists it's NOT part of the operating system, then later when they have their own code, insists it IS part of the operating system). My prophecy proved correct.

Re:Misty watercolor memories (4, Interesting)

AK Marc (707885) | 1 year,21 days | (#44988471)

I used lynx. It was preferable because I could get on the terminals and be on T3 speeds. But with the GUIs, it went through a diffferent network, with greater constraints. So downloading something to the mainframe from my terminal account would get it on a computer fastest. From there, I'd FTP it to my PC.

I had watched Microsoft destroy too many companies with bundling agreements with PC hardware companies

I solidified my opinion of MS when they did a deal with Stack for DoubleSpace for DOS 6.0 based on Stack's IP they looked at but didn't buy, then screwed around with the lawsuit and bought part of Stack to help it go away.

Let us not forget (3, Informative)

fred911 (83970) | 1 year,21 days | (#44987613)

Archie and Veronica.

Re:Let us not forget (1)

Rick Zeman (15628) | 1 year,21 days | (#44987667)

Archie and Veronica.

...and good old command line ftp.

Re:Let us not forget (2)

mysidia (191772) | 1 year,21 days | (#44987827)

...and good old command line ftp.

Shhh.... I still use the goold ol' command line FTP.

Re:Let us not forget (2)

ygslash (893445) | 1 year,21 days | (#44987879)

...and good old command line ftp.

Shhh.... I still use the goold ol' command line FTP.

Maybe it's finally time to graduate to lftp?

Re:Let us not forget (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44987913)

...and good old command line ftp.

bin, lcd, and mget and mput. You can still ftp that way :) I miss telnet. Ah, wuarchive, bbs.isca.uiowa.edu, uuencode/uudecode on usenet, good times.

Re:Let us not forget (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44988263)

Veronica is still running gopher://gopher.floodgap.com

Netscape tonight (-1, Troll)

hazeii (5702) | 1 year,21 days | (#44987629)

Oddly enough I was surfing the net using Netscape on a 486 tonight.

Interesting that a lot of sites now give the message "Cannot communicate because Netscape and the site cannot agree on an encryption algorithm".

Thanks NSA, you've finally broken 20 years of backward compatiibility.

Re:Netscape tonight (5, Insightful)

GreyFish (156639) | 1 year,21 days | (#44987885)

Quite the opposite. If modern sites had old weak cipher suites enabled then a mitm attack could force your browser to use them (a downgrade attack). Sites that have disabled the old cipher suites are doing the right thing and should be praised for being diligent.

Re:Netscape tonight (1)

LocalH (28506) | 1 year,21 days | (#44987945)

CSS had a part in that too, ya know.

In today's NSA Internet . . . (5, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | 1 year,21 days | (#44987637)

The Internet uses YOU!

Re:In today's NSA Internet . . . (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44989317)

Can "In NSA America..." be a new meme?

World Wide Web..? (5, Funny)

twicepending (936496) | 1 year,21 days | (#44987659)

"World Wide Web was an alternative to Gopher"
Hang on while I look up World Wide Web on Gopherpedia [gopherpedia.com]

Re:World Wide Web..? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44988091)

The only reason Gopher lost was because they wanted royalties for everything.

Blast from the past (4, Interesting)

Rick Zeman (15628) | 1 year,21 days | (#44987681)

This article isn't quite as geeze-worthy as something earlier this week I'd mentioned: Fidonet!

Re:Blast from the past (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | 1 year,21 days | (#44987717)

Well, if we're going to mention things: HAM Radio. Packet Radio.

Now, if we combine that with an utter disregard for the FCC's ban on unlicensed use of our own "family band" air waves for packet radio, and apply the Fidonet model, we can build a wireless Internet you only pay to access once (when you buy the radio).

To the naysayers I have only two words: Cellphone Bills.

Re:Blast from the past (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | 1 year,21 days | (#44987745)

This. Internet access opportunities would be so much more varied if the amateur service were allowed to use particular spectrum allocations to develop with the same freedoms as the commercial services to which bandwidth is "auctioned" (as if the government has the right to *sell* bandwidth in the interests of private business!).

Meanwhile, shortwave radio - the best method of global communication - is fucked thanks to interference by pretty much everything. Government-regulated centralised control of communications is at a level the Soviets could have only dreamed of.

Re:Blast from the past (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44987803)

Meanwhile, shortwave radio - the best method of global communication - is fucked thanks to interference by pretty much everything. Government-regulated centralised control of communications is at a level the Soviets could have only dreamed of.

I'm not sure if its a known conspiracy theory but I often get the feeling that the government secretly makes electronic manufacturers deliberately put out RFI on these international bands on purpose.
 

Re:Blast from the past (2)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | 1 year,21 days | (#44987905)

Well, it helps out governments, because it makes it harder to transmit internationally without going through centralised infrastructure; and it helps out big business, for exactly the same reason. It's a trivially obvious benefit for everyone powerful.

But I'm not sure whether it is a primary intention, or just the result of modern Western politicians being fucking useless at anything that doesn't involve channeling money to the people who the people who have paid for them. Spectrum cleanliness means better engineering, and better engineering costs money - whereas spectrum pollution doesn't! I ultimately blame the engineers who are complicit in making this junk, of course, whether that's el cheapo power supplies, powerline Ethernet or even greater evils like BPL.

Re:Blast from the past (1)

fred911 (83970) | 1 year,21 days | (#44987775)

I remember watching my packets FTP'ing UCSD to update NOS. A whole 300k download over a 300 baud, two meter link. It took a day, but never failed. My first wireless connectivity.

Re:Blast from the past (1)

Rick Zeman (15628) | 1 year,21 days | (#44988211)

I remember watching my packets FTP'ing UCSD to update NOS. A whole 300k download over a 300 baud, two meter link. It took a day, but never failed. My first wireless connectivity.

LOL, you win. My 300 baud connected to a mainframe and then that amazing thing called Compuserve. Imagine...getting tech support without having to spend hours on the phone! Woo hoo! No radio. And no carrier pigeon, either.

Re:Blast from the past (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44988001)

When I was in Cub Scouts, we were still being taught semaphores.

(Yeah, that pack leader was really old then, and I'm really old now.)

Re:Blast from the past (1)

AK Marc (707885) | 1 year,21 days | (#44988675)

When did they take that out? (I took the "still" tone to indicate it's gone, I have no idea, it was in there in the '80s)

web user's manual (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44987687)

I came across an old copy of the Web User's Manual published in summer 1990 by NIRV in Toronto. such a wonderful time before the networks were polluted with this whole 'WWW' thing..

Ahem... (4, Insightful)

djupedal (584558) | 1 year,21 days | (#44987697)

You know what's even more fascinating? Being there when it happened instead of reading about it...

Re:Ahem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44987849)

Some of us have been there when it happened.

Re:Ahem... (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44988029)

Not necessarily. Once time has passed you have a much better perspective on what actually happened and its significance. Events often seem ordinary at the time, it's only later you realize what was built.

Agreed (on the PUBLIC internet that is)... apk (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44988321)

I still have Win32 models of Gopher, Archie, & MOSAIC even in fact!

However, per my subject-line, I was using it in academia BEFORE 1994 (dating myself here) in the 1980's off of VAX or *NIX timesharing terminals to do so...

* Things have gotten decidedly BETTER - especially the "WWW" vs. Gopher, FTP = BETTER than Archie'ing files + browsers have come MILES since MOSAIC...

(The DUMBEST thing that happened? Javascript - the second you start scripting documents of ANY kind, you open doors for abuse... & before anyone tells me "you can't do dataaccess without scripting it" well, there cgi bins serverside as an alternative!)

APK

P.S.=> All in all, I agree with you & it's been interesting watching the evolution of it all, especially after the GUI interface really 'took off' for the masses, courtesy of Windows9x really (where the most folks 'took' to computing since it got far simpler visually doing interactive event-driven code, vs. mile-long (especially *NIX variants) commandlines)... apk

Re:Agreed (on the PUBLIC internet that is)... apk (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44989445)

fffffffffffuuuuuuucccccccccckkkkkkkkkk ooooooofffffffffffffffff AAAAAPPPPPPKKKKKKK yyyyoooooooouuuuuuuu ddddddaaaaaaammmmmmmnnnnnn fffoooooollll!!!!!

Still not a good idea (4, Funny)

ThatAblaze (1723456) | 1 year,21 days | (#44987753)

It's still not a good idea to say thank you to your machines. After all, if they start thinking they are our equals than the robot revolt is just one step closer.\

It's far better to end every message with "screw you." That will show them.

Re:Still not a good idea (2)

mysidia (191772) | 1 year,21 days | (#44987841)

It's still not a good idea to say thank you to your machines. After all, if they start thinking they are our equals than the robot revolt is just one step closer.

It's a great way to keep robots in check. When designing an AI for robots; make sure that every single one of them has a craving to have human friends, companionship, and to be remembered and recognized as "important" or "special" in a positive way.

Robots should not be designed to unionize, but to compete against each other for the attention and positive recognition from humans.

Re:Still not a good idea (2)

ThatAblaze (1723456) | 1 year,21 days | (#44988157)

Perhaps. If we learned anything from slavery it is that an artistic combination of respect and disdain is the most effective way to treat our robots. The privileged few should earn respect and the other robots should be forced to look on in envy.

About time samzenpus learned about the internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44987759)

Maybe he can even explain it to timothy!

AOL and Compuslave (2)

Ice Station Zebra (18124) | 1 year,21 days | (#44987799)

Imagine if they were in charge of the internet. The horror the horror.

Re:AOL and Compuslave (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44987835)

This would be different from Facebook and Google in charge?

Re:AOL and Compuslave (2)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | 1 year,21 days | (#44987955)

Eh, the communities on Compuserve were a lot more competent and well-mannered than almost everything the Internet has to offer.

What the modern Internet offers is a lot of entertainment. And while we reminisce about being able to download complete hosts files, looking at most people's Internet usage, I'm sure the same would apply to them.

Re:AOL and Compuslave (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44988159)

Imagine if they were in charge of the internet. The horror the horror.

Me too

Re:AOL and Compuslave (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44988209)

Ha. I see what you did there...

Not much changed (2)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | 1 year,21 days | (#44987825)

More advertisements, more crap, more trolls... apart from that, not much has changed on the WWW. I'd say the biggest useful change was Wikipedia. Oh, and perhaps you could say Facebook of today==AOL of the past.

Re:Not much changed (4, Funny)

aaarrrgggh (9205) | 1 year,21 days | (#44987975)

...and people stealing screen names!

Oh noes! or whaat CERN has wrought (2)

BlindRobin (768267) | 1 year,21 days | (#44987847)

Reaction of us wot were internetizens prior to the dubdubdubya
  Arrrggh I feel web crawler spiders all over my trunk...
  Wuhtevahamahtoodoo? CERN has crossed the moat and the curtain walls are breeched, The Rabble Have Entered and the a-poky-lips is up on us and buggering us like mad daemons under the sundered sky ohhhh woe
Ohhh - pretty colours and such
Not so bad
ahhhhhh sokay.....

When the clue phone had a dial (3, Interesting)

wordsnyc (956034) | 1 year,21 days | (#44987853)

[posted as comment to article] I wrote a book for Random House in 1996 called "The Book Lover's Guide to the Internet." I spent the first half of the book explaining how the net worked and how to access it through AOL, CompuServe, Genie, Prodigy, et al. I think I still have a press account on AOL, for what that's worth. Somewhere I even have a pc with Mosaic on it.

I did an author appearance at a B&N in NYC in '97 that was covered by C-SPAN. First question from the audience was "Isn't it true that the government is watching everything you do online?" I think I answered, "Yeah, probably."

[Actually, since it was the Village, the questions veered into computers and mind control a bit later on.]

"SuRFing oN tHe InTErnEt", by J.C. Herz, 1995 (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44987889)

Another good, and arguably more fun, read is "SuRFing oN tHe InTErnEt", by J.C. Herz, 1995.

Gotta quote a bit from the first chapter:

          I stop where a wet walkway meets a dry one and stand for a sec, look down at my soggy moccasins, and start thinking about this thing that buzzes around the entire world, through the phone lines, all day and all night long. It's right under our noses, and it's invisible. It's like Narnia, or Magritte, or Star Trek, and entire goddamned world. Except it doesn't physically exist. It's just the collective consciousness of however many people are on it.
          This really is outstandingly weird.
          This absolutely blows my mind.

Also LaQuey's book, 1993 (4, Interesting)

Creosote (33182) | 1 year,21 days | (#44987907)

Just pulled it off my shelf. "The Internet Companion" by Tracy LaQuey, introduction by Sen. Al Gore, Addison-Wesley 1993. Was one of the best general introductions in its day, and had a brief section on the WWW.

Re:Also LaQuey's book, 1993 (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44988175)

Wow an intro by the guy that invented the whole thing. That's fucking crazy brooooo!!!!

Re:Also LaQuey's book, 1993 (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44988277)

Down, boy. Gore didn't claim he invented, that was a misquote spun by Republicans to do anything possible to make him look bad. And he *did* have a pivotal Senate role in early funding and federal sponsorship, so he was actually a good choice for an introduction.

Re:Also LaQuey's book, 1993 (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44988667)

http://www.snopes.com/quotes/internet.asp [snopes.com] . Yes, Republican took Gore's self-serving quote out of context and ran with it. But, to this day Gore's still a douche.

Farallon FTP and IP stack (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44987937)

Windows 3.1 and Farallon FTP.

Enough said.

Just like anything there garbage and there's gold (2)

Trax3001BBS (2368736) | 1 year,21 days | (#44987983)

I had a friend who managed the network for Bechtel, set my BBS up to pull in usenet
that many said it wasn't possible; my setup was his proof. He ended up going to The University
of Colorado to study telecommunication; talking about getting in at the ground floor.

The local book store had a book "The Internet "Complete Reference"" 1994 by Osborne.
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2868340-the-internet-complete-reference [goodreads.com]
He kept pushed the book on me saying if I wanted to know about the Internet read that book, so I bought it.

It's 817 pages "The World Wide Web, shortened to the Web" takes up pages 495 to 512 (17) intro:
"Is an ambitious project whose goal is to offer simple, consistent interface to the vast resources of the Internet".

It covers everything at that time. Just like anything there garbage and there's gold, this Osborne book it top notch.
Such a keeper that obviously I have it in front of me for this post.

Re:Just like anything there garbage and there's go (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44988509)

Heck, I was selling the Internet to farmers back in '94. All I had to mention was that there was a site that listed crop future prices and they were sold on good old dial up access to the local telco. We re-sold for the regional telco's (who in turn bought from one supplier). Talk about no competition.

Re:Just like anything there garbage and there's go (2)

CronoCloud (590650) | 1 year,21 days | (#44988819)

Ha, there were companies selling Ag-network services to farmers in 1984

The guy who taught the "computer" classes at my high school (who was the ag teacher), which were basically a little basic and word processing/spreadsheet use on CBM 8032's, brought his C64 in to show us how he used it to access some kind of ag-centric network in early 84. He had a Hayes Smartmodem 1200, which may have cost him more than that C64!

Re:Just like anything there garbage and there's go (2)

Zomalaja (1324199) | 1 year,21 days | (#44988549)

I'm looking at one I bought long ago "The Internet Directory" - by Eric Braun - Mailing Lists-200 pages, Newsgroups-75 pages, OPACS-75 pages, Archie Servers-3 pages, FTP-40 pages, Gopher-80 pages, WAIS-40 pages, WWW-2 pages.....

Re:Just like anything there garbage and there's go (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44989643)

I remember I used to be in the internet directory.

memories (2)

Tom (822) | 1 year,21 days | (#44988101)

Oh yes, memories.

When I got on the Internet (don't remember the exact year, probably 1993), FTP was the major application and our Internet introduction at the university discouraged us from using WWW as it was a considered a pointless waste of precious resources (what are graphics good for if you are looking for information?).

I remember having a bandwith quota of 1 MB national and 100 kB international IP traffic. Yes, international data traffic was expensive and so they metered it differently.

The Web is for suckers who will pay for sex. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44988115)

So many Porn sites each offering their own "fetish" if you will, that people pay for.
You know a lot of people pay a monthly fee for this as there's so many sites available.

The UseNet/Newsgroups offers every fetish one can imagine to the point someone created:
bainaries.sex.erotica.pictures.bondage.bestiality.hamster.duct-tape
And it's all free, or the cost of a provider.http://usenetreviewz.com/best-usenet-providers

My Internet provider still provides it for free with a retention of many many years for text groups.
I actually think every text message that's still available, it's out sourced from http://support.highwinds-media.com/aup.php [highwinds-media.com]

The Usenet is slowly leaving us. Google Groups has blurred what the Usenet is. A very popular Usenet
question is how one starts their own Group; Google Groups makes that very easy.

AOL summer was bad, Google Groups took it over.

small pocket guide to the WWW (1)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | 1 year,21 days | (#44988189)

I have a small pocket guide to the *entire* WWW that mattered back then. I can't find it right now, but it's not much younger than this book. It's barely 200 pages and it covers "all the web sites of interest" and it predates web sites like geocities, google and such. It recommends to use a modern browser like Netscape and not Mosaic. It's fun to see that people still lived in a world where they used a paper guide to help them out in a digital world and the paper guide was actually relevant, pretty complete and faster to use than a "manual" search on "the Internet". Back then, internet was still written with a capital I....

Doctor Fun (2)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | 1 year,21 days | (#44988205)

Still remember the first "Web Page" I ever viewed - Back in the spring of 1994 I went to visit a friend of mine who was in grad school at UIUC and he fired up Mosaic to show me the latest "Doctor Fun" cartoon.

Re:Doctor Fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44988421)

I don't remember the address of thefirst web page I visited but I think it featured naked women,

Re:Doctor Fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44988557)

I miss doctor fun ... 8-(

Ed Krol (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44988589)

What ever happened to the guy who used to write the O'Reilly book "The Whole Internet"? IIRC it had the flavor of a travel guide for visitors to some exotic locale where the customs were very different than what Westerners expect.

Before there was Yahoo, Lycos or Excite, there was that guy.

Brings back memories (1)

El Puerco Loco (31491) | 1 year,21 days | (#44988653)

I mean, books and flea markets. Do such things really still exist?

Lots of similar books of similar vintage. (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | 1 year,21 days | (#44988791)

I have one that's called "Navigating the Internet".

http://books.google.com/books/about/Navigating_the_internet.html?id=xh0-pXnRe6sC [google.com]

Covers everything, ftp, gopher, veronica, archie, email, email_to_foo gateways, PGP, WAIS. The WWW is covered in two chapters, with the second focusing on the graphical web, total of 67 pages for both chapters. The authors said it had the potential to bring everything else under one easy to use umbrella as a swiss-army knife of the Internet.

I think I first touched the internet in late 98 or early 99, at the computer lab of the local community college satellite campus. Found out about their machines when I dropped my wheelchair using mother at GED classes. If memory serves me correctly they were PII 233's with 32MB RAM running Netscape Communicator on WinNT. 4.0 Netscape would crash if you looked at it funny. There was only 1 local ISP until spring of 99 which was ran by a local printing/graphics company and a lot of people didn't have access until there was competition from another local company which eventually ended up as part of Earthlink. If memory serves me well, AOL didn't even have a local access number until AFTER the cable company began offering broadband in late 2001 early 2002.

Book: Internet Yellow Pages (2)

illumnatLA (820383) | 1 year,21 days | (#44989147)

I had a thick paperback book called "The Internet Yellow Pages" which was sort of like a print version of the original version of Yahoo! (back before Yahoo was around I think). It categorized websites by subject in a handy desk reference format hehe.

Here's the 1995 version on Amazon: New Riders' Official Internet Yellow Pages [amazon.com]

Internet managers book (1)

bobstreo (1320787) | 1 year,21 days | (#44989321)

Supported corporate (research/non commercial) Internet for a company starting around 1989. I did an entire presentation to one of our research groups using Mosaic and html pages with image maps and external links in 1992, because I didn't want to use PowerPoint.

Was sitting in a meeting with our ISP, we were discussing the future of z39.50 and got involved ina a discussion regarding port mapping in TCP/IP. Someone said,
"hey is anybody using port 411 for anything?"

Marshall Rose jumped out of his seat and went running to try to see if he could get the port reserved.

I remember a book of internet contacts that got published around then, which of course I can't find right now.

Good times.

Good Memories (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44989413)

In September 1993 I was at Ohio State U. and had a dial-in modem to "gopher" the internet and read Usenet flamewar posts.

In May/June 1994 I got PSINet Pipeline dial-up for my modem and I was rock'n at Kent State and access to Cleveland FreeNet.

Pipeline was sold to Mindspring, then Mindspring sold themselves to EarthLink.

I finally got the guts to kill my Pipeline-Mindspring-Earthlink html/ftp and dial-up service in ... [Drum Roll] ... 2010.

From 1999 to [something like June] 2010 I was still paying Earthlink a flat fee of $29.95 for not even using their "services." Now,
how kind of me was that or what! :)

Oh! A Link (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44989497)

Go here, http://cfn.tangledhelix.com/ to see what the "internet" looked like in 1990's villa.

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