posted on Dec, 23 2015 @ 06:21 AM
I had a "Trash-80" (TRS-80) back in the day, complete with the cassette storage media. I saw all the evolutions of DOS (pre-MS days).
I learned BASIC on a mainframe, because PC's were too new and too limited to handle anything this "complex".
I can remember when dial up modems were separate devices, and later when they were an 'option' on a PC.
I remember asking... what is this thing they call the "Internet"?
I remember looking in the back of magazines at BBS ads, and looking to see if any of them had local or toll free numbers.
I can remember the first time someone told me about a service called CompuServe, and how amazing it was. I signed up. I used CompuServe for many
years. In later years people would comment about how low my 5 digit registration number was (one of the first 75,000 users to register).
Heck, I can remember the very first time I got a reply, the very first time another human being replied to me using electronic media. That very first
time "You have (1) message" showed up when I logged into my account, in that moment a wave of amazement came over me. I knew the entire World
had just changed. Things would be different now.
Until that moment I had thought the whole thing a sham, a gimmick. How foolish I had been. I'd sat there in front of my computer thinking, 'let's
see, what is the most difficult and obscure question I can ask (for which I know the answer) to see if this whole "internet" thing was real'.
Then, low and behold, a couple days later..."You have (1) message" I remember snickering to myself as I opened the message figuring it just to
be some gimmicky advertisement or something. To my amazement it was a comprehensive reply, from a real person, who had found, read and actually
thought about my query. I felt bad in a way, somehow guilty, for asking a question I already knew the answer to. Someone had taken the time to
assemble a coherent response to a difficult question. And while my question had been polite, my motives had been somewhat cynical, skeptical even. I
felt bad for wasting this person's time. But I'd seen it with my own eyes, and a wave of amazement and fear almost swept over me...The World would be
different now. Humans were talking to other humans using computers, and this represented a fundamental paradigm shift.
Computers had been around for a couple decades by the time terms like "The Internet" and "World Wide Web" became part of our vocabulary. Heck,
mankind had been to the Moon already (...although this is debatable here on ATS!), but prior to that moment digital interaction across electronic
media remained for rarified crowd. Things would be different alright.
I remember MS Windows 3.0, and I remember how Windows 3.11 was supposed to be such a dramatic 'upgrade' to 3.0. Heh, I remember figuring out what
'File', 'Edit' and so forth did.
Oh the memories!
Thanks for the mental walk down memory lane.