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forst

Earliest Internet/World Wide Web memories

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Reading about the twentieth anniversary of the "open" World Wide Web and the very first website (read more at Ars Technica) got me to thinking about my earliest online memories. I think my family got its first modem sometime around 1996/1997. I remember playing the original Command & Conquer online and that would have been possible starting sometime in 1996 with the release of Command & Conquer Gold. I also have a very vivid memory of finding Aqua's "Barbie Girl" in RealAudio format and that player was released in May 1997.

I can still hear the sound of the modem connecting, which anyone who used one regularly will know well. Websites had very few pictures and certainly no video. Audio "clips" were all the rage at fan sites for TV shows back in those days. Everything seemed to be hosted by GeoCities and there were flashing GIFs all over the place. Lots of "under construction" pictures.

I do not know when I first visited StarTrek.com. The Wayback machine has screenshots dating back to December 1998.

My fondest memories of the early Internet/Web involve playing StarCraft every night with friends back in 1998. Also chatting on AIM. Everyone had AIM in those days. And there was so much talk about the danger of chatrooms. I do not think I ever actually went into a chatroom.

Edited by forst

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Aw. I kinda miss the flashing gifs. I was online in late 1996. I don't remember much about it, but I know my dad died in January '97 and I was online before that.

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My first encounter with the www was at work. We all had Macs on our desks for doing paperwork and PCs for doing real work. The Macs, at least, were networked. I recall an Israeli coworker pulling up a weather site using Mosaic. That would probably have been 1995. It was another year before there was a dial-up provider with a local access number in our area for home use. I may still have the box for Netscape Navigator.

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My brother used to collect the AOL floppies and CDs we were sent. I do not think I know anyone who actually had AOL.

Also, who remembers playing games online only to have someone accidentally pick up the phone and knock you offline?

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