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10 Years of the World Wide Web

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the waiting-for-godot dept.

The Internet 525

NCSA Mosaic was first released ten years ago today (oh, I guess you could mark time from the 1.0 release, but who's counting), marking the first milestone in the evolution of the graphical World Wide Web. HTTP was originally developed between 1989-1991, but didn't take off until there was a useful browser which could display inline images. You can still download old versions of Mosaic from browsers.evolt.org. So, all you folks who think you have a real handle on technological progress: what will information-access-over-electronic-networks look like in 2013?

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10 years... So similiar... (5, Interesting)

E1ven (50485) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512106)

Wow.. After downloading and looking at "NCSA MOSIAC FOR MS WINDOWS" it's amazing how LITTLE the browser has changed..

All major innovations, such as URL bar, Forward/Back buttons, reload and home buttons, as well as bookmarks are allready in place. It even has a Search bar!

90% of the "features" of a browser haven't changed in the last 10 years.. It really makes you wonder how often people re-think an interface, or if they just use and evolve what they are used to.

I'm honestly curious, what major innovations have we seen?
Snapback [Apple Safari]
Tabbed browsing, and related enhancements (such as Open a group of tabs) [Mozilla, etc]

Umm.....?

One other feature I found interesting is that in NCSA Mosaic, there was a "annotate" function.. Presumably this let people add to a page, if the server were set properly, almost like a WIKI situation?
Did anyone ever work with this?

Obviously plagarized (0, Funny)

unterderbrucke (628741) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512129)

How did he get first post rights and manage to download, install, and review software in less than a minute?

Re:Obviously plagarized (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5512162)

because subscribers can read the stories before anyone else.

Re:10 years... So similiar... (4, Insightful)

mccalli (323026) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512167)

I'm honestly curious, what major innovations have we seen?

The DOM. Basically, the browser itself is now scriptable and the page can interact via Javascript or anything else aware of the DOM. Although a result of evolving document standards, that's actually a browser feature since the processing for it has to be done locally.

We also have the mobile browsers on phones/PDAs with auto-resizing etc.

Beyond that, I'd pretty much agree with you. If it's not broken...

Cheers,
Ian

Re:10 years... So similiar... (2, Interesting)

pinballer (655113) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512173)

I couldn't agree more.

Even down to the spinning globe that Mosaic had, plus the very useful "clone window" button.

I think the innovations have happened at the back-end: the move away from static content to dynamically generated on-the-fly content.

Re:10 years... So similiar... (5, Insightful)

L0stb0Y (108220) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512177)

With as little the browser has changed, its amazing how much code-bloat there is in the new browsers of today (ok, not counting Opera, etc...)

Lots of the "improvements" (I use the term loosely) are in the form of supported formats/scripts, plugins, handling of international character sets, etc...

AND a ton of CRAP. BUT- just for fun, have you tried surfing using Lynx lately? It just doesn't fly anymore. Just like if you tried the original Mosaic, you'd lose quite a bit (or at least lots of pages would work).

But yeah, as far as design, and apparent usability to the user, the browser hasn't changed much.

LosT

Re:10 years... So similiar... (2, Insightful)

SirLantos (559182) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512195)

The problem with coming up with a new design interface is that it is VERY risky. What if the consumer doesn't like it? What if it is harder to use thatn predicted?

Innovation is wonderful, it is also VERY expensive. Why reinvent the wheel? Its a tried and true way of doing things. If you are going to innovate, make it worth while.

Just my humble opinion,
SirLantos

Re:10 years... So similiar... (1)

lewp (95638) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512366)

It's not only that. Regardless of whether you can come up with a better interface or not, the users are going to have their old habits to contend with. This means no matter how well your interface works it's going to seem weird to them for a little while.

Thus, if you really want to make an interface change, you need to design an interface that's just so vastly superior to the legacy interface that people will see it immediately. It's the only way you're going to get them to waste their time with the learning curve.

Re:10 years... So similiar... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5512265)

The fact is that the browser, like most of the computer systems in use today is just something that they got right first time. Take the graphical user interface. It was invented by xerox but quickly perfected by Microsoft and has stayed pretty much unchanged in over 20 years. People keep talking about new 3D OS's and stuff but the fact is that that most of the design in current OS's is excellent and needs no improvement, browsers included.

Re:10 years... So similiar... (1)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512268)

How about:

Keyword based bookmarks - Epiphany. Very few people have tried this yet, because Ephy isn't stable, but they look like a pretty interesting departure from the normal heirarchy based bookmarks

Autocomplete? Perhaps not that innovative, but still.

Innovations I like (4, Insightful)

lewp (95638) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512296)

  • Automatic form fill - Saves you lots of time filling out the same info over and over again on a thousand different websites.
  • Location bar autocomplete - Not only does it speed up typing out those long URLs, it also serves as kind of a quick-and-dirty history menu.
  • Bookmark key words - My personal favorite. I love the ability to type "g monkeys" in the location bar and have Google search the web for monkeys. I have these things set up for everything: IMDb, CDDB, RFCs, dictionary.com, and probably two dozen more. Gives you the power of having fifty different search boxes, without cluttering up your interface. I won't even consider a browser that doesn't have this feature, though I think they all do now.
  • Mouse gestures - I don't use them very often because I prefer radial context menus, but I know people who can't live without them. Very cool.

Re:10 years... So similiar... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5512352)

So, all you folks who think you have a real handle on technological progress: what will information-access-over-electronic-networks look like in 2013?

Well I think you will see a browser that is a well done full screen adapation. Your control buttons will disappear leaving you more room to view the webpage only reappearing if you hold your mouse over a certian area. How ever they will be no way to actually close or minimize the windows so that means you have to see every popup and add until the flash progrom closes it.

Re:10 years... So similiar... (4, Insightful)

bheerssen (534014) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512384)

  • Javascript (followed by ECMA script)
  • The document object model
  • PNG support
  • Frames support
  • Embedable multimedia
  • Plugin support
  • Cookies
  • HTTPS Support
  • Cascading Style Sheets
  • XHTML Translations
  • XML Support
  • Themes
  • Integrated Mail and News
  • (imperfect) W3C Standards support


I could go on, but you get the point. Browsers have progressed tremendously in the last 10 years, but mostly in ways that are not immediately visible to a layman - the progress has mostly been in enabling support for various things, although significant progress has also been made in design and usability.

Re:10 years... So similiar... (4, Interesting)

Mr. Sketch (111112) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512389)

There was actually a recent article on nooface [nooface.net] about a Wired interview [wired.com] with Marc Andreesen about what he would do differently if he had to redesign the browser from scratch. Basically things like the Back and Forward buttons weren't supposed to be a permanent part of the interface.

2013 (4, Funny)

genka (148122) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512122)


So, all you folks who think you have a real handle on technological progress: what will information-access-over-electronic-networks look like in 2013?


I do not know and will not know. I will be in jail for stealing AOL/TW revenue by using an illegal 3D pop-up-down-sideways blocker.

Re:2013 (-1)

the_bean42 (415720) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512214)

Don't know, but I hope the pr0n will be even better !

And popup-free, yay.

I predict... (5, Funny)

Ant2 (252143) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512127)

...mostly ones and zeros

the internet is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5512146)

neat

Re:I predict... (2, Insightful)

H3lm3t (209860) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512165)

  • ...mostly ones and zeros

Actually, this can be quite wrong. With quantumcomputing becoming clearer and closer, we might be facing (what was it?) 16 positions in stead of just 'on' and 'off'.

Re:I predict... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5512197)

but the ones and zeros will be driving around in flying cars.

Old Hat, but... (0)

Madcapjack (635982) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512135)

I guess this would be a good time to ponder the revolution that the internet really is.

What if Netscape won? (4, Informative)

wizzy403 (303479) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512141)

news.com.com has an article [com.com] up today asking what would have happened if Netscape had won the browser wars.

Re:What if Netscape won? (2, Insightful)

goosman (145634) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512228)

Is the war really over?

Re:What if Netscape won? (4, Funny)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512249)

Everyone would be forced to eat at Taco Bell.

WHAT!?!?! (4, Funny)

thoolie (442789) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512254)

Netscape LOST!?!?

The War Does Wage On (3, Insightful)

LFS.Morpheus (596173) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512371)

Seriously though, I think we're really starting to see a come-back with the Mozilla/Netscape/Phoenix/Chimera projects. I have turned on a lot of people onto Phoenix in Win32, and they really like it. Be sure to spread the word.

For me, I think this is because of a lack of additional features being added to IE. If IE had tabbed browsing, helpful searching features, and good pop-up blocking/whitelisting, I'd probably still be using it. Of course, supporting anything open source and not-Microsoft is always a good thing; but it was the good UI coupled with good features in Phoenix that got me to switch permanently.

Today IE is just the de-facto standard because everyone has it. It clearly is no longer the best, as it was when it 'won' the browser wars.

Re:What if Netscape won? (2, Insightful)

bofkentucky (555107) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512346)

I'm with the camp of "not a damn thing". If broadband (512k up/512k down) reached 99.999% of the worlds internet users, we could talk about the substitution of the OS with a browserOS that runs remote apps on a central server for the end user everywhere, but it hasn't happened, plus, where are you gonna put your pr0n and mp3z if you just have a "browsing device", not on a central server that could be hacked/stolen/subpeona'ed before deletion. Hmmm, user jsmith has brittney_and_Xtina_does_bubbles.mov and N'Sucks_pop_song_that _sounds_like_the_rest.mp3, throw his ass in the slammer for piracy and being a sick bastard.

MOSAIC! (2, Funny)

_PimpDaddy7_ (415866) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512147)

Man, I remember back in 1993 I was a sophomore in college. My FIRST experience with the web was Mosaic on a DECstation. I was telling people, this sh*t is way cool...

Then...it got MUCH better...

I found p0rn.... ;)

Re:MOSAIC! (5, Funny)

pi radians (170660) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512231)

My first was using Lynx through telnet to a local community college... ... the porn sucked.

Re:MOSAIC! (2, Funny)

IIRCAFAIKIANAL (572786) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512306)

yup, much porn involves sucking.

Web browsing in 2013 (5, Funny)

freeze128 (544774) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512149)

It will take forever for the 3d holograms to load over a broadband cable connection. Also, the psychic popup ads will be a real pain....

Re:Web browsing in 2013 (4, Funny)

cindik (650476) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512361)

It will take forever for the 3d holograms to load over a broadband cable connection.

Well, sure, if you're still using that lousy broadband cable connection. What kind of ancient equipment would you be using? Everyone will be on fiber by then, Luddite!


Also, the psychic popup ads will be a real pain....

Nah, you won't even notice them. You'll be programmed to not notice them.

In fact, you never read this message.

I remember this... (1)

Ummagumma (137757) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512151)

The first time I saw an image displayed on the web, without having to decode it, etc. WOW, that was the COOLEST thing ever. I knew it was going to take off, but had no idea it would ever exceed my wildest dreams. Ah, the web back then, unspoiled by commercial entities, a playground for the intellectuals. Oh, and mostly devoid of any content. :) But it was COOL.

Re:I remember this... (2, Funny)

Archbishop (161322) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512359)

It's still mostly devoid of content :-)

Dont care... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5512157)

as long as it provides a way to stop those damn pop ups...

in stead of it being all porno (4, Funny)

Unknown Poltroon (31628) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512163)

itll be all programs for downloading and creating your very own woman using your biowheel printer.

Ok, a man can dream, cant he?

In 10 more years? (2, Interesting)

Valiss (463641) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512164)

Maybe we'll get the .web registry to go through.

Re:In 10 more years? (1)

xinit (6477) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512364)

Sure, but WHY?

Classifications that define something obvious. Oh. http://company.WEB. Well, why didn't you SAY it was a web page.

.web is almost as annoying as those people who hyperlink the phrase "click here."

Yes ... and what do we have to show for it? (1)

NeoFunk (654048) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512168)

Sites like these:

http://www.matazone.co.uk/feed-the-nine-mouthed-ba by-game.html
Behold, the greatness of the Internet.

Re:Yes ... and what do we have to show for it? (1)

somethingwicked (260651) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512289)

Yes ... and what do we have to show for it?

It appears I have something I never would have had before the web:

Karma that is "EXX-cellent"

*pronouced with my miserable Mr. Burns accent*

Re:Yes ... and what do we have to show for it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5512380)

It's just a blank page that says "Click here to get plugin." How is that interesting?

nongraphical too (4, Informative)

MrChuck (14227) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512171)

When http was spec'd, there were a variety of non-graphical clients out there. Granted it looked like a replacement for gopher, but it had hyperlinks that worked! Ted Nelson's dream, of a sort.



My NeXT was running web clients in 1991 or 1992. Not much to see, if you didn't put it up.


Mosaic was a milestone, but it didn't mark the start line.

Re:nongraphical too (1)

BJH (11355) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512237)

When I started using the Web, I had to telnet to a server at CERN (from Japan, no less) just to run Lynx.

For me, everything after that has been chrome ;)

2013 (4, Interesting)

rf0 (159958) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512172)

I know what I would like to see in that we are all on internet2 living in a free society however I think what we might actually have is that everyones 10GB fibre optic links which will be saturated by people streaming porn onto the 3d holographic projectors and pop-ups will be sales men who literally pop up.

Also spam will acount for 99% of all email which will all be in XHTML v9.0 and people will still be trying to get FP on slashdot :)

Rus

It will look... (2, Funny)

1984 (56406) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512174)

...new fangled and silly. I was 18 when I started using Mosaic at University, and thus it was hip and happening. But now it's all bells and whistles, and everyone went and got themselves in a big damned hurry. And youngsters these days, well...

And then... (1)

q2k (67077) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512176)

And then about two years later some bozo invented the flash tag and irrevocably ruined the internet for all of eternity.

Re:And then... (4, Funny)

IIRCAFAIKIANAL (572786) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512261)

Er, you mean <blink>, right?

Doesn't work in IE, works in Moz though...

Answer: (1)

iamcadaver (104579) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512178)

It will look invisible. But who will care with all the Flying cars, space elevated vacations, and TeamFortress3 action!

Ahh, I remember the begining.... (1)

thoolie (442789) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512185)

In the begining, my 75mhz 486 dx with the 14.4 modem and win 3.1 (i know, i know......some of you guys had the old 2800baud and how you walked to school bare foot in the snow, up hill........blah blah blah), i would get on the net at home (when we first got the net). We used the local company (they charged by minute after x amount of minutes). Since it was so new, i really couldn't figure out just what i wanted to use it for, and since i was so young, i really didn't know or need to know about the cool thing it could potentially do.

But either way, since it was so new, me and my brother would stay up all night (blocking in coming calls, no brodband mind you) downloading Bevis and Butthead saying in .wav. Yea, pretty lame, but it was cool at the time and we thought that it was the coolest thing in the world.

Ahh, when you could download audio w/o worring about breaking a law.......the good ol' days! :-)

(Just fyi, yes, i was young, but before that PC, i was using the Co-Co Trs 80! WoooooHooooooo!)

You're forgetting... (1)

Timbo (75953) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512188)

...that no one will be able to use the internet at by that time thanks to THE GREAT IP CRUNCH OF 2010.

2013 Browsers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5512199)

I predict: Something like CubicEye! [2ce.com]

Look like? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5512204)

Ha! In ten years the internet will be wireless signals broadcast directly into your brain, stimulating your various senses. It will be, "have you 'felt' this site?" Go Porn industry!

Still using it...? (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512206)

Of course a lot of people are still using Mosaic, at least in some sense. Internet Explorer is derived from it (look at the text in the about box).

Re:Still using it...? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5512298)

There's a story behind that. As far as I recall without the help of Google...

1) Mosaic was originally free software.
2) A company (Mosaic Spyglass?) was formed to make it into a commercial product.
3) Microsoft, desperate for a browser, licensed Mosaic from that company, on terms that required a certain percentage of the amount made by Microsoft from each browser sale.
4) Microsoft then turned around and gave away the browser, Mosaic's lawyers all slapped their foreheads in collective shock, and Mosaic Spyglass never saw a red cent from the Borg.

I predict.. (1)

kvman (650796) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512207)

Streams of japanese characters running vertically down the screen...

i'd have to say.. (2, Interesting)

digitalsushi (137809) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512210)

what will information-access-over-electronic-networks look like in 2013?

To the 2003 web surfer, I'd have to guess it's going to be strangley, deafeningly mute of spam and popups and junk in general. And if you casually leaned over and asked the 2013 web surfer where the spam went, I bet they'd go "the whuh?" I'll leave it wide open how I'm supposing something like that could happen...

What will it look like? (1)

The Jonas (623192) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512211)

It will look about the same. TV's still have screens - so will PCs. If anything, it may be in more of a 3D environment.

For 2013? (2, Funny)

electro_mike (658829) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512213)

By the way things are going the internet will probably be 80% porn movies and pics, and 19% 3d porn.

In 2013, Information Accessed over the internet .. (0)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512215)

... will look like ass.

Re:In 2013, Information Accessed over the internet (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5512275)

2013? goatse.cx links have been around for quite a while now...

support the community that supports you!! (1, Offtopic)

mcmonkey (96054) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512216)

Everything on eVolt, including the bandwidth-hungry browser archive, is developed and maintained by volunteers. All the servers, bandwidth, etc. is donated or purchased with donations. I hope the high and mighty at /. dope a dime in the cup for the beating those poor servers are about to receive.
evolt.org's success has brought about costs which our volunteers are unable to meet without your help. None of the volunteers are paid for their work - all money is put to use in providing evolt.org's services.

Re:support the community that supports you!! (0)

mcmonkey (96054) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512258)

"is donated" should be "are donated"
"dope a dime" should be "drop a dime"
"submit" should be "preview"

I thought the web was a fad (3, Interesting)

grungy (634468) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512217)

I remember staying in the CS department to work over spring break one year, and watching the guy next to me play with this new thing called 'Yahoo' hosted by Stanford. I thought the idea of getting data by pointing & clicking a mouse would be a fad. What kind of useful stuff was available that way? Any kind of serious-minded person knew that ftp, and maybe gopher, were fully adequate and easier to use.

Anybody else see "fad" technologies out there now? Anybody have a guess as to which ones will stick?

Predictions. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5512219)

1) Mozilla 2.0 will be released, taking over 10 days to compile on the Athlon Hyperhammer 9000+ and will take up 20 tb of disc space.
2) Konqueror will still be less than 1 mb in size and will support all the features that mozilla does thanks to Qt 7.0.
3) People still stupid enough to use Internnet explorer .net will face 7.1 surround sound 3d holographic pop up in your face adverts from the lastest gator.

4) 99.99% of the worlds e-mail will be spam, and Hormel foods has renamed their product to SPENG.

5) My town will finally be able to get adsl broadband.

2013? (5, Insightful)

Slashed Otter (638972) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512220)

what will information-access-over-electronic-networks look like in 2013?

Television :(

The FUTURE by a pessimist (2, Insightful)

RichMan (8097) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512221)

Tell me I am not an optimist:

1) Retinal scan, thumb print and DNA test required for authentication.
2) Registration and tracking in national and international databases of governments and corporations. This tracks your access point and methods as well as the data you access and networks traversed.
3) Pay per microsecond based on access to copyright data and use of copyright and patented technologies.
4) All govenments, corporations and point of sale terminals are based on the technology.
5) Hardware locked software that enforces all of the above.

Did the person expect to get any other types of comments?

The Semantic Web (2, Interesting)

HRbnjR (12398) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512223)

Well, I won't say for sure, but I think there is a strong chance that the same man largely responsible for the last ten years could play a role in the evolution over the next ten years as well...

The Semantic Web [scientificamerican.com] .

Re:The Semantic Web (1)

Frans Faase (648933) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512387)

Personally, I also would like the semantic web to become true, but I am affraid it will be still a long time, because developments on the internet are mainly driven by commercial reasons, and a real semantic web would need a governmental (or even better, inter-governmental) support. (Remember that web-services are the hype at the moment, and everybody is pushing their own standards.) At the moment the groups developping the semantic web only have come up with some XML based ontology languages, which to me seem to be still on the syntactical level. Only initiatives like www.wikipedia.com are coming close to the idea of a semantic web.

Bah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5512229)

This internet thing is a fad. I am confident it will all blow over by 2013, and we'll all be back to using Morse Code, as God intended.

Mosiac, Netscape, and the W3 (3, Interesting)

thesolo (131008) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512230)

While we may have hit the 10 year mark for Mosaic, we haven't even hit the 9 year mark for the World Wide Web Consortium [w3.org] , which wasn't founded until October of 1994.

The first graphical browser I ever used was Mosaic, followed shortly thereafter by Netscape 1.0. This was before the W3 was founded, back in 1993. It's amazing how little the browsers supported back then. No backgrounds, no text colors, no tables, pages looked awful! I remember how blown away I was at the release of Netscape 2.0, which had background support, a stop button, <sub> and <sup> support, LiveScript (which became JavaScript)...and of course the dreaded blink tag.

Although the general look and feel of the browser has not radically changed in a decade or so, the technologies that browsers support have changed drastically. At this point though, I'm just happy I can browse without using IE. I kind of miss the old days, before popups, before animated gifs, before flash & shockwave.

in 2013? probably about the same. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5512233)

Web browsers haven't changed much outwardly in 10 years, except for the addition of things like frames. If the HTML spec doesn't significantly change, it's not likely that the parsers for it will either :P Plug-ins aside of course.

My First Web Experience (1)

Danta (2241) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512238)

My first encounter with the web was in 94 or 95, with a 28.8kb modem and Compuserve as my provider. I used NCSA Mosaic and Netscape (version 1 I think) as browsers. I even remember using gopher to download shareware at that time.

minority report (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5512245)

hell it will be just like that in 2013

pricepoints (1)

Triv (181010) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512251)

I don't know if this is a prediction or a hopw, but I imagine broadband prices dropping to something affordable - 50 bucks a month cuts a whole lot of people off from the true advantages of the 'net - always on connections, automatic system updates, information on demand, movie trailers and the like. I pay $5 a month now for dialup, I see no reason why cheap broadband isn't too far in the future as well.

Triv

MSN Tech Support SAQ (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5512256)

I work at milton-freewater sykes that takes outsourced msn calls.

MSN Tech Support

Seldom Asked Questions

General

Q: Who the hell are you and why are you writing this?

A: I'm a level 3 tech, and I'm writing this because some truth needs telling.

Q: Is MSN seperate somehow from Microsoft proper? Sometimes I get that impression talking to the techs.

A: Your impression was correct, but for a very different reason entirely.

The reality is that, except for a very small group of testers (The Microsoft Bench Team, who tell Redmond what kind of calls they receive on the floor as techs, and have no more power to help you than any other agents), the technician you are speaking to does not actually work for Microsoft. Instead, he works for such companies as ACS, Stream, Sykes, and Teleperformance. Under no circumstances will the person you are speaking to reveal that himself; that would get him fired.

Q: WTF? I haven't heard of any of those companies.

A: They're call centers. Instead of actually hiring people to man the phones itself, Microsoft has contracts with other companies. This arrangement is known as outsourcing.

Q: So how much are they getting paid?

A: Lower-level techs make a couple dollars over minimum wage. Tier 3 isn't being paid enough to care, either.

Q: What tools are the technicians using?

A: The primary tool every technician uses is something called PAM, Phoenix Account Management. This, like every other Microsoft product, is poorly programmed with a slow, buggy interface. So when the tech says "Your ticket number is.. uhh..", that tech has just clicked "Save Ticket" but his PAM is being too slow and may not give the ticket number for several seconds.

On the Phone

Q: Is the tech/rep just trying to get me off the phone ASAP? He's getting paid by the hour, right- why should he care?

A: Because he is graded on something called Average Handle Time. The contracts drawn up by Microsoft and the outsourcing companies may vary, and are never shown to the techs on the floor, but one thing is true- it is always less efficient for the outsourcing company for its techs to take long calls. This is passed down to the techs in the form of AHT. Lower-level techs are usually much more concerned with AHT than higher-level ones. This is because higher-level techs are more apt to deal with long, complicated issues, thus their AHT is higher and not focused on quite as much.

Q: Sometimes I get the feeling that there's something the tech really wants to say, but can't.

A: You know how the recording says "This call may be recorded for quality purposes?" It often is. There are many things the technician may not say on the telephone- and if you're speaking to anything less than a level 3 tech, those may include solutions. They have to transfer you to a higher tier for that person to try the fix. You may think that's ridiculous, and it is. The reason hinges on AHT. Similarly, Level 3 agents are not allowed to call the phone companies for DSL issues themselves. Why not? It raises AHT and outbound calls cost money. Never mind what the benefit of that might be to you, the user. You are only a bit player in Microsoft and the outsourcing companies' grandiose play.

Q: I think the tech was a bit perturbed at me. It showed in his voice.

A: You must have really pissed him off. Call-center employees have two things preventing them from sounding angry: a general apathy towards you as a customer, and mental discipline preventing them from showing their emotions over the phone. If the technician shows in any way annoyed with you, he personally, fiercely hates you and would love to beat your head into the ground. Relax; five minutes after he gets off the phone with you, the technician will likely have forgotten who you were, except as a story to tell the other techs.

Of course, if he didn't, your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address are all on his screen. And if it's a higher-level tech, he can read your email, too. And send it to your wife and kids. Better hit that Delete button now, Sparky.

Q: Sometimes, when in a conversation with a tech that sounds a little exasperated or perturbed, he stops talking and the background noise cuts out, although I know I've got a good connection. What's going on?

A: He hit the Mute button and is probably swearing at you. Example: "Okay, I want you to click Start, and then Run." (mute) "And then type in C:\SUICIDE\HangYourselfNow, you stupid fucking whore." (unmute) "And then type in R as in Roger, E as in Elephant.."

Q: Wow! Is it because he thinks I'm stupid?

A: Actually, most people who call MSN tech support are quite stupid; smart people don't use MSN. Although Level 1 techs deal more with stupidity than anyone else (solving the simple issues caused by sheer stupidity and not escalating them), other levels get their share of idiots. You have to be genuinely, wholly, aggressively stupid for that to make a tech angry.

Q: I told the tech that nothing changed, but I actually clicked on one of those popups that said "Date/Time Update" last night and now I'm getting all these ads. I would have told him, but I don't want to be embarrassed..

A: Do not, under any circumstances, lie to a technician, even if the tech is incompetent, even if you think he's lying to you. Techs are like doctors- you can't be embarrassed in front of them. Just tell the tech you goofed and put the malignant spyware on your computer, and the tech will at least try to get it off. Otherwise the tech will just say "I don't know what's wrong. Something in your operating system is malfunctioning." and ask you who your computer manufacturer is.

Q: Why do I get this impending sense of dread when the tech asks me who made my computer?

A: This is because the technician is probably going to refer you to your OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) to completely wipe and restore your computer. What this means is that your computer is so fucked up that we can't even try to debug it, and the only way the tech knows how to fix the problem is for you to start from scratch. Better start backing up your files while you have the chance.

Escalations

Q: The tech I was talking to said he was going to transfer me to someone else, but I got him back instead, and he had more stuff for me to do. What happened?

A: His escalation was rejected. The higher-level technician will gleefully reject it, lowering his average handle time (as it only takes a few minutes for him to reject the call) and avoiding dealing with you. Remember, most technicians would, given the choice, rather not talk to you.

Q: Why did the higher-level tech ask me if we did certain things? Didn't the lower-level tech tell you what we did, or put that information in the ticket?

A: This is because lower-level techs, trying to get you off their phones, will lie about what has been done in order to get an escalation. Thus, if you answer 'no' to an inquiry about what has been done (again, DO NOT LIE to a tech, no matter how much lying techs do!), the higher-level tech will probably report the lower-level tech for it.

Q: Wow. I just spent half an hour with two techs trying to fix this weird-ass "Windows Logo Testing Error", and the third tech I talked to just had me type in ' regsvr32 softpub.dll ' and BAM, it was fixed! Why didn't the first guy just tell me this?

A: Because that's outside his support boundaries.

Q: Why is that?

A: Who knows?

Q: Exactly who is the Network Operations Center, why is something sent there going to take so long, and why can't I talk to them?

A: The NOC is a small group of technicians that have special abilities and access to the guts of the MSN data servers themselves, not having to go through PAM. They actually get paid real money, and no tech is allowed to speak ill of them in the least; this can lose them points on call coaching.

In fact, they are so highly esteemed that mere level 3 technicians must get permission, and follow a certain series of troubleshooting steps, just to escalate a ticket to them. If everything is not done, or everything is done but not documented to the NOC/Microsoft's satisfaction, the ticket will get rejected and you'll find yourself getting called back. This is why the tech is often being pedantic with you; he's just doing what he needs to do to have any chance of getting the issue fixed.

The NOC is often very late in responding to issues, often leaving tickets open and ignored for far longer than the (ridiculously generous) ten-business-day deadline. Similarly, after that time, the L3 tech has no power to confront them directly; instead, he must post what is called a 10-day escalation form which the NOC is also free to ignore.

The reason you cannot talk to them is because you are not worth their time.

The kicker? They're outsourced, too.

Q: Wouldn't it be better for all concerned if Microsoft simply hired some Level 4 agents who we could talk to who have NOC-like powers and could fix the problems on the back-end over the course of a few minutes instead of weeks?

A: Yes, but that's not how Microsoft does business. The purpose of the MSN tech support structure is to keep users away from people who can actually do things. There is no technical reason for this. Perhaps they just don't want someone accidentally revealing how shitty their database actually is.

E-mail

Q: What the hell is HTTP email?

A: HTTP email is mail which is not locally saved unless you choose to do it yourself, but instead is left on the webserver. With a POP3 mail account, the server stores your mail, and you download it.

Q: There's really not that much difference. In fact, I've seen ISPs who have web interfaces for their mail, and I look at it at work before downloading it via POP3 at home. What's the big deal?

A: There really is no logical reason. As a way to lock you into Microsoft products, it fails miserably; any Linux-wielding joker can program a Hotmail interface. It's just the way they want to do it, and if that means that your favorite POP3 mail client no longer works with their 'service', tough luck.

Also, outbound port 110 is blocked on narrowband accounts, meaning that you can't directly get your POP3 mail on another ISP. Why? Because Microsoft doesn't want you to.

Q: I've had POP3 for years, now I don't. I never wanted HTTP mail. What happened?

A: You just had to get MSN 8, didn't you? It automatically 'upgraded' your account. What's that? You've been using Outlook 2000, which doesn't have HTTP functionality? Better go buy the latest version.

Q: Doesn't this sort of migration cause large problems?

A: Yes. There's a "Split Inbox" problem where MSN.com mail goes to the Hotmail account, and outside email goes to the POP3 account. Sometimes you can send email but not recieve it; sometimes you can receive but not send. Sometimes it's working half on Hotmail and half on POP3; sometimes it works half on Hotmail and the other half just disappears into the void.

Q: I heard that MSN's been having big problems with email recently. What happened?

A: In the interests of spamfighting, program was introduced that blocked every domain that was sending more than 50 emails to MSN customers a day.

Q: Hey, wait- customers of other ISPs such as AOL, Earthlink, and...

A: You've got it. Even military providers were blocked. And this happened around the 17th-18th of Februrary, a time when people were being shipped en masse to Iraq. Mothers and sons out of contact, servicemen wondering why their wives were sending them messages saying "Please respond! Are you okay?!" when they had just emailed them a few hours ago. All because some bonehead with too much access and too few brain cells decided to block mass mailings the only way he knew how.

Every single one of those providers had to be un-blocked. Individually. After extensive L3 troubleshooting. By the NOC. They're still working on it as of this writing.

Strangely enough, this still didn't stop the spam.

Q: Shit- my daughter was going to mail my free Hotmail account when she finally delivered her child..

A: Congratulations, Gramps.

DSL

Q: My DSL stopped working after I changed my phone company.

A: You're fucked. Dumbass.

Q: I've ordered two months ago and received nothing.

A: Between the phone companies and Microsoft, it's easy for things to break. The phone companies aren't really under much obligation to make things work (as you aren't really 'their' DSL customer) and Microsoft has no liaison into the internal workings of the phone companies. What do you think happens? Orders get stuck in the gateway between Microsoft and your phone company. It gets set up on the MSN side but the phone company never provisions the line. The phone company provisions the wrong phone line and MSN thinks your service should be on the right one. You live in Colorado but the modem is sent to Portland.

And no, errors are not automatically caught by the system, and nobody is tasked with looking over new DSL orders to make sure they're proceeding properly. You have to call.

Q: Well, I'm back on dial-up as, after three weeks of this nonsense, they finally told me that I couldn't get DSL after all. But now I can't even connect through that. What happened?

A: When your account was downgraded back to dial-up, you somehow lost your 'narrowband provisioning'. Of course it doesn't make sense. You'll be off the Internet for a week while the NOC circle-jerks on your account. Enjoy.

Getting to the Boss

Q: I asked to speak with a supervisor, but I could have sworn I was talking to the supervisor just the other day, only he was a tech. Do people get promoted quickly in this business or what?

A: When you ask to speak with a supervisor, this is what is simply called a 'sup call'. Depending on the call center you get (as of this writing, Microsoft has no policy on sup calls, meaning it's up to the call center to deal with you), sup calls may get you a higher level technician, or you may get a 'supervisor' (just another technician) playing a 'non-technical' role trying to calm you down and send you back to the original tech. Under no circumstances will you get anyone technically classified as a boss.

Q: But I want to speak to someone in charge!

A: YOU CAN'T. Don't even try. It doesn't matter what you say or do- nothing is going to get you on the phone with the technician's actual manager. This is the way it should be; managers have better things to do than deal with complaining idiots, such as holding meetings, sending emails, micromanaging their employees' schedules, and playing FreeCell.

Q: What kind of bullshit is this?! I run a business and...

A: You run a fucking business on MSN?! You dumb shit. Hey, asshole, do the words residential use only have any meaning to your thick, under-used head? In fact, the moment you even used the word 'business', you increased the tech's annoyance level a notch. By saying that you run your business on MSN, you have demonstrated four things:

1. You have not even cursorily glanced over the EULA. No one actually reads that monstrosity word-for-word, but one would expect- ahem!- a businessperson to be a little more conscious about that sort of thing.
2. Your 'business' cannot afford even a single real IT person and you are too stupid to actually find an ISP that handles business accounts.
3. Your 'business' is likely a "Home-Based Business" or MLM scam, making you the scum of the earth.
4. You believe that this makes you more important than anyone else, even though you're paying the same amount of money.

If you "run a business" on MSN, you should be putting a gun to your head, not a telephone.

Q: ...I need the problem fixed NOW!

A: Ever see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? You're a bad egg and my incinerator's always on.. really, after reading the rest of this SAQ, you'll understand why complaining to the tech or his supposed supervisor will do you no good.

Q: Okay, okay! I'm not like that. I'm not trying to run a business. I'm just a gamer, and I'm missing out on my Shadowbane beta. This thing's been languishing for weeks now and dial-up sucks. Just who do I have to call to get a fast, working connection?

A: The MSN cancellations department (aka the SAVE desk, whose job it is to feed you bullshit and get you not to cancel), then another broadband provider.

Conclusion

Q: So, in total, is MSN a good ISP?

A: NO. By almost any standard, MSN is a horrible ISP. Serious dial-up ISPs and DSL providers have much more efficient service, no bloated software, and tech support that has the power to actually fix problems on their end without you having to wait a ridiculous amount of time. They need your continued business and generally act like it; this is where the term 'valued customer' comes from. MSN does not see you as a valued customer. MSN sees you as a tiny portion of their market share.

With a cable modem or a big DSL provider, it's a big company, their tech support is also probably outsourced, and you're a tiny portion of their market share as well, but for some reason you're usually not going to get the same kind of bullshit.

This illustrates the core problem. The flaws are not inherent in the way that large companies work, or

Q: But it sure beats AOL, doesn't it?

A: Yes, it does, but that's not saying much. The Information Superhighway provides an excellent metaphor.

In the fast lane of the highway are people in cable-modem sports cars and DSL drag racers. Burning down this electronic autobahn, these Low Ping Bastards zoom their packets to game servers and peer-to-peer networks, downloading whole movies chunk by chunk.

High above are the people in truly ultra connections, the big-server cargo planes, and the occasional jet-setter with his own personal T3. That kind of power is out of reach except by corporations and the truly rich.

In the slow lane are the narrowband users, the mass of bikes resembling Shanghai traffic. The technically inclined who cannot get cable or DSL go past on carefully-tweaked 10-speeds. The AOL users, in the slowest lane of all, are toddlers on plastic big-wheel tricycles, watching the world pass by as they struggle to make their tiny legs move their inefficient transportation, wondering why they left the giant AOL nursery to visit the wider Internet.

Where do you fit into this? You are the dorky-looking 9 year old wearing cumbersome elbow and knee pads, the training wheels on your flimsy, gearless bike rattling as you struggle to keep the adults in view.

Sort of brings new meaning to Parental Controls, doesn't it? MSN is the parent. You are the child.

(With MSN DSL, things are a little better. You're in the driver's seat of an old, half-broken Yugo, and if you're running the software, with a cranky Driver's Ed teacher who has the passenger's seat brake pedal.)

Q: Well, I got this $400 rebate on my computer but I have to have 3 years of MSN, so I'm kinda stuck..

A: WTF were you doing buying your computer there anyway? Any honest, small-time comp shop- or even the computer geek next door- would have sold you a real, custom-built puter, from standardized parts, for a fair price of parts + labor. Instead, you went and bought a proprietary piece of crap from Gateway, Dell, HP, Compaq, Emachines, or (God forbid) Sony. (They make much better game consoles than computers, trust me.) So not only are you shackled to an inferior connection, you're stuck with a wimpy machine that is nigh-impossible to upgrade or repair.

But since you can't go back in time and correct your mistake, the solution is to make a connection in Dial-Up Networking with your username as MSN/yourusername (With no @msn.com part. And if you have a Hotmail email address, you can't do this.) and the phone number as simply one of the access numbers. (If you need to ask what goes into the Password field..) This will take off the useless pads and training wheels of the MSN software, although it's still a crappy bike.

Q: How much of this is confidential information?

A: About all of it, really.

Q: If they find out who you are, won't you get fired?

A: Actually, I'll also probably get sued, and the infamy will prevent me from getting another tech support job ever again.

I no longer care.

2013 (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5512262)


We'll still be using the web to find out the release date for "Duke Nukem Forever".
  • [ ] First Post
  • [ ] Use Linux.
  • [ ] Get a degree.
  • [ ] 3: Profit!!
  • [ ] There's no jobs
  • [x] Duke Nukem Forever reference
  • [ ] In Soviet Russia...

Gimme karma, bitches.

Mosaic was my first (nostalgia) (1)

Daimaou (97573) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512278)

Mosaic was the first web browser I ever used. I used it on what was, if I recall correctly, the first version of Slackware. I thought both things were the second and third neatest things after toast.

It is interesting to think back to that time and compare it to where we are today. In some ways things have improved and changed dramatically, and in some ways, things are still the same. I am very encouraged by the progress made during the last 10 or so years and I am greatly interested in what the next 10 years have to bring.

The Same. Such Boring Times (1)

BlackListedCard (588042) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512297)

The WEB will looking just like it did in the early 90's. In 3000 the WEB will have more controls for big corporations and governments. More porn and advertisements. Why change something when you are making money and power, hand over fist? As a young male, I'm bored to tears of these times. No money, more taxes and more controls on the masses.

Web/Gopher dead-tree directories (4, Interesting)

kill-hup (120930) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512300)

Anyone else remember those books that were thick directories of popular web/gopher/wais servers to visit? IIRC, they even had a special BBS phone directory in the back. The things were out of date the instant they were printed but, man, those were the days :)

As useful as the Web has become, I still feel a bit nostalgic for the days when it was ruled by educational institutions, geeks, government agencies and porn. Life without banners....ahhh :)

Re:Web/Gopher dead-tree directories (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5512351)

useful? without porn what other uses are there?

More of the same at this rate... (4, Insightful)

DAQ42 (210845) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512301)

The current "computer industry" doesn't see the web as an application development enviornment. They see it as an advertising/marketing showplace. Some people (education/individuals/orgs) see it as an information sharing and collecting service (which is what www was supposed to be). However the only new thing that I've seen that made me go "hey, that's pretty nifty, and sort of new" has been the advent of "Web Services" such as XML based applications like Watson and now Sherlock 3 from Apple. Where content is pulled from a source but the source isn't exactly all planned out. It's annoying to have to look at some websites that are just flash animations and pretty fonts that look like scribblings of a demented 4 year old. I want the info, the words that mean something, the movie clip, the data. I don't want your love of the color puce to make me want to retch when I'm trying to look up a flight time, or read and article (web designers, take note, you know who you are, and I hate you because of it).

We should be using the web more as a resource for storing and retrieving data. Graphics and pretty page layouts are nice and all but if I could, I'd abolish most of it and just look for a summary of the info with a little link saying "Want to know more? Click here..."

Blarg.
It's the data.
It's all about the data.
Information wants to be in your pants.
In Soviet Russia, the pants are in the hot grits.

Bleh.

Bah! It's just Gopher with pictures. (2, Interesting)

Jonathan (5011) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512302)

The first time I saw Mosaic was August 1993. I couldn't understand why its supporters were so enthusiastic. After all, it was just Gopher with pictures, right? And Gopher was the standard.

internet in 2013 (0)

snatcheroo (576329) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512309)

The internet will be deemed evil because it can be used as a method to fund terrorism. Shortly after this declaration, all forms of internet will be outlawed in the 'free world'. Slashdotters, who will all of a sudden have no where to socialize, will wander the streets, spouting "In Internet North America, we used to say 'In Soviet Russia..'" In turn, they too will be banished...to greenland... and the U.S. will force greenland to change is name to terroristland.

I KNOW, I SAW IT IN A DREAM!!!!!

12 Years of the World Wide Web (5, Informative)

gbitten (306952) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512310)

The first browser was called WorldWideWeb, more info where [w3.org] . His first release was in Christmas 1990. So, the World Wide Web is 12 years old.

Bonzi Buddy (1)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512312)

and I, after a long courtship, will finally be joined in holy matrimony.

Our children will just seem to pop up out of nowhere, and will all be very friendly and knowledgable. They will even keep track of the places you go, and the things you like.

Ah, love.

If I fart.. (1)

o0o (634334) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512314)

..in ten years, you'll be able to smell it thru your monitor..

Can't wait for smell-o-vision..

In the year 2000 (3, Funny)

scotay (195240) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512316)

In 2013, webservers will have become conscious and slashdotting will be considered the worst act of cruelty by PETA.

YAY!!! (2, Funny)

LooseChanj (17865) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512321)

The pornograph is 10 years old! And I think we all know how to celebrate. ;-)

same as always... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5512322)

because my main browser is:
Lynx Version 2.8.4rel.1 (17 Jul 2001)
libwww-FM 2.14, SSL-MM 1.4.1, OpenSSL 0.9.6c

In 10 years ... (5, Funny)

Paul Lamere (21149) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512327)

I hope that someone realizes that using "www" with 9 syllables is a silly way to abbreviate "world wide web" with 3.

ooooohh! I know! I know! (4, Funny)

chunkwhite86 (593696) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512329)

So, all you folks who think you have a real handle on technological progress: what will information-access-over-electronic-networks look like in 2013?

It will look like CowboyNeal!!

Starting on patent (1)

Mr. Sketch (111112) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512330)

information-access-over-electronic-networks? I'm not sure what that is, but I should probably patent it now just in case it takes off.

I still smile... (4, Insightful)

cliveholloway (132299) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512339)

which could display inline images...

When I remember how excited everybody got with the introducion of the <CENTER> tag

Every damn page became centered overnight.

And the day the <BLINK> tag first made an entry, I wanted to go shoot a large hoarde of web "designers".

Each time a new advance was made, there was always a bunch of people who never learnt the rule - "Just because you can doesn't mean you should".

I think they design Flash web sites now.

My prediction is that they'll still be doing whatever the equivalent is in 2013 :)

.02

cLive ;-)

CERN WWW (4, Informative)

scriptkiddie (28961) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512342)

There was a text-based browser before Mosaic, written at CERN and called www. That's the earliest web browser. I even remember using on a shell account in 1992 or so, though an early version of Lynx was available as well.

In the interests of Internet history, I'd like to see www. It should be able to run fine on a Linux system, as it's a simple line-based program. However, I haven't been able to find a copy, as browsers.evolt.org doesn't go back that far. Does anyone have the source?

In 2013... (1)

euxneks (516538) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512345)

In 2013, the internet will be too bogged down by spam and porn!

History (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5512347)

To see the future, look at the past. After all the Net is much more than just the Web:

Hobbes' Internet Timeline [zakon.org]

Wow been that long? (3, Interesting)

Com2Kid (142006) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512368)

I've only been on the web 8 years but shoot, I remember seeing a ton of changes in just that relatively short time.

I remember when nobody had pop-up ads, and when the banner ad thing first started. Remember the original link exchange rings? Also remember what kind of sites had them? No reputable site would dare have a banner on it!

The no frames movement? Hey that one actually succeeded more or less! Of course it helped that frames where outdated by tables and eventually style sheets of various forms, lol!

I remember when the "Next Big Thing" was VRML. I also remember how buggy the VRML players where. It was crazy, the Japanese did have a few good VRML attractions though.

Best of all I remember being able to do a web search for *COUGH* not so legal *COUGH* applications and not coming up with a ton of porn sites! Heya imagine that! lol

Of course I also remember doing insanely complicated regular expression searches just to FIND any data. Search engines sucked to such a large degree back then it wasn't even funny. And there also was not nearly so much information on the Internet, though there tended to be a lot more net culture history around. Anybody else here remember the BERMs VS Nerds thing that was the hot debate topic for the longest time?

I remember the original incarnation of weird.com [weird.com] and of givememoney.com (now a squatters domain)

Send your Cash, Check, or Valuables to:

Some Homeless Guy New York New York. . . .

*sigh*

Geocities used to be the somewhat lame but legit web host with domain names that where far to long. Crosswinds.net was the little known quality free hosting service. Tripod.com was the somewhat smaller competitor to Geocities.

And Gamespy used to be an APPLICATION not some huge multinational corporation. Hehehehe. Damn that is funny, looking at how far Gamespy has come, LOL! I never even really did like their product! Oh well, hehe. Hey Fragmaster, you rock! :)

Jeez, then the .com boom hit and everything went down the tube. We all kept on hoping that the "Next Big Thing" would come forth from it and we put up with all the B.S. that the bean counters brought in, always waiting for something new to emerge from these new gigantically funded companies.

But. . . .

*sigh*

Same old web, just a ton more banner ads. But hey, now there is a banner ad size standardization group! Some days I think that is all the web ended up getting out of the .com boom. . . .

first chatroom (3, Interesting)

Joe the Lesser (533425) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512370)

Do you remember the first time you were ever in a chat room?

for me it was like suddenly a moment of transcendance when I first realized what the internet was capable of, and that I could actually directly talk to multiple people all over the world.

I remember emailing random people just because it was so cool and easy. (Now I'd be arrested for spamming...)

I wonder what our kids will think of it, having always had it...

My pessimistic take on this (2, Interesting)

pygeek (649716) | more than 11 years ago | (#5512374)

No matter what the web looks like in 10 years, we will still have the same kind of problems as we have today with broken compatibility, blatant disregard of standards (90% makes web sites only for explorer), etc.

Like LISP (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5512382)

It will become more and more like LISP.
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