View Full Version : Retro Internet

JP Sauve
01-14-2005, 11:48 AM
I've posted this on another board, but it's a fun discussion, so here goes.....

Just how long have you been working online? Remember any or all of these....

All Advantage
14.4 Dial up modems
Free domain name registration (this was before my time)
Network Solutions charging $100 per domain.
Pets.com & Computer.com spend Millions for Superbowl ads. (more than half their venture captial)
Treeloot.com punch the monkey campaign.
Bach Systems
Free Yahoo directory listings (that mattered!)
Alpha sorting of Yahoo directories (with hundres of sites called "100% Whatever" getting listed first)
CJ charging 20% fees instead of 30%.
AltaVista.com sold for $3.3 Million.
Pets.com & Computer.com spend Millions for Superbowl ads. (more than half their venture captial)

01-14-2005, 01:27 PM
I remember having to wake up at 6 or 7 am at weekends so I could dial into compuserve on my dads laptop with 14.4kbps modem (early so I didnt tie up the phone line :)) it was a painful experience!

01-14-2005, 04:05 PM
I remember my first internet experience outside of email was lynx. I thought it was the coolest thing. Then several months later, my isp got the graphical web. It was awful on my computer thoguh as I had a 9600 baud modem...just upgraded from a Hayes 300 baud! I think I still have it in a box somewhere. I should install it and try to navigate some sites like the old days. That thing made lynx pages slow. Trust me...i'm really not that old. Still in my 20's. Just goes to show how fast the net has grown up.

01-14-2005, 04:33 PM
I also remember the 300 baud. I really was excited when I was able to upgrade to something which then I thought was really fast.

I remember the birth of Prodigy as well as America Online which came later.

I remember when the first browser when the Mosaic browser became available. I remember when Mosaic became Netscape Navigator.

As the gauntlet said a lot has happened over the years.

Looking way back I think now the thing I miss the most was not having to worry very much about a virus. That was great.

01-14-2005, 04:42 PM
Hayes Modems. lol, I never had one, I only had a Hayes Compatible Modem, kind of like my SoundBlaster compatible sound card, now most people don't even know who makes most of their cards. The first domain I ever bought was $85 through Network Solutions, now I can buy 10 domains for that price.

01-14-2005, 05:50 PM
we're getting pretty advanced here, but i was the first on my block with a shotgun modem! it connected to two phone lines!

i would also drop in html chat :) refresh refresh refresh...

01-15-2005, 09:24 AM
I remember paying average AOL monthly bills of 160 per month (over $300) for a single dial-up 56k connection before the days of unmetered, fixed price access and Broadband.

Ah, the good old days - not.

01-15-2005, 10:41 AM
I remember life before the web, when people were buzzing about The Well and similar BBSes, debating whether or not the internet would degrade our conceptions of societies bound by locality. Emoticons were born to make text-based exchanges a little more personal and empathetic and the hacking scene was actually an interesting world filled by curious, groundbreaking programmers - not script kiddies trying to satisfy their cravings for attention by defacing sites and using pre-built tools to generate data-threatening viruses, DDOS attacks and to otherwise exploit newbies.

Role playing gamers hung out in multi-user dungeons (MUDs), which were completely text-based, but served as precursors to Ultima Online, Everquest and the other MMORPGs of today.

Mosaic was a breakthrough, as were Yahoo and 'Cool Site of the Day' - both of which could generate instant online and offline buzz for even the smallest site, simply by showcasing them as 'new' additions. The Starting Point, Excite, Lycos and InfoSeek were huge, as was AltaVista (even though it didn't have its own domain name). Google didn't exist. 'Surfing the web' was a cutting edge pastime. For most sites, webring membership and meaningful link exchanges drove more traffic than search engines.

Amazon started to generate buzz, but it only sold books, so the likes of CDNow, CDWorld and CDUniverse still held market share. People started to appreciate the commercial value of the web but most big 'old economy' retailers and distributors remained on the sidelines. Every man and his dog foresaw the total industrial domination of the New Economy and it wasn't uncommon for listed dotcom companies to trade in PE ranges of 200-600 (or more) - and those were just the profitable ones!

Affiliate marketing was born. Wired ran an innovative graphical ad unit dubbed a 'banner ad'. Wired readers were outraged that the publisher had 'sold out' through its support of such an outrageously intrusive ad format.

'Internet incubators' CMGI and Idealab were valued in the tens of billions. An ISP bought the world's largest media company.

And to think that all of that happened no more than a decade ago. :eek:

01-15-2005, 12:34 PM
I remember the good 'ol days of Delphi. Was all text based...they called it the internet, but it was basically one big BBS. I then switched to AOL and used my 5 hours for $9.95 almost daily. And there still was no internet access. Around this time, I broke down and bought a cutting edge 486 SX 33 with a 20 MB HD. I had some extra money, so I doubled the ram to 2 MB and added a dual spin CD drive...I couldn't find anything on CD...even the MS Office I bought came on 32 5.25inch disks. Several months later I had a harddrive crash...damn windows 3.1 so I bought 200 floppy disks 5.25 and backed my entire HD up on floppy. Just thinking of how long it took to install software from 32 floppies freaks me out. Where did I ever find the time?