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View Full Version : Celebrating 25 years of the World Wide Web



Raz0rEdge
03-13-2014, 08:52 AM
There has been a lot of stories about the 25th anniversary of the Web and talks with people who were there from the beginning and what they thought it was going to become..

I think we have quite a diverse member base here ranging in ages from those that saw the progression of the Internet and Web and those who just knew that it existed for all time..:)

Me, personally, I started my "online" career through BBS' and had one of my own for a couple of years before I went off to college. I used the Internet a little bit through FTP/Telnet/Gopher and so on..

When NCSA Mosaic came out, I used it and HTML to create my first static webpage that had ALL the required flashy/shiny/bouncy things that people needed to put on their web pages. :) With the advent of animated gifs (someone should have stopped this guy! :) ), I saw the grotesque ways our poor little pages devolved into a sea of animated gifs with no content, but just crazy headers, footers, bars, lines and rotating stars, circles and what not..

I remember Geocities..

I went through the progression of browsers..Mosaic->Netscape->Firefox->Chrome..

I went through the progression of search engines..AltaVista->Lycos->Excite->AskJeeves->Yahoo->Google..

What about you?

cwa107
03-13-2014, 11:28 AM
I started out online somewhere around 1992 with a 2400 baud modem connected to an Amiga 600. At the time, it was mostly connecting to local BBSes big and small. Eventually I was able to afford a used Amiga 2000 and upgraded to a semi-proprietary USR 19.2K baud modem that would scale back 9600 if it couldn't handshake the same model modem.

Around 1994 I started hearing mention of the WWW and the Internet. I remember trying to imagine what it would be like to connect to BBSes all over the world. I couldn't even envision what the web would look like.

My first real personal exposure would have been at PennState around 1996. I remember using Netscape on Windows 3.1 and '95 machines back in the day. Eventually, a few nascent browsers came out for the Amiga, as well as some 3rd party TCP/IP stacks (the Amiga OS had no native networking capability at the time). I remember pining for a real 14.4K modem so that I could actually have a functional web browser at home.

Those were fun times. Things weren't as easy as they are now and it could take hours of tweaking TCP/IP settings to get everything to work right. You had to truly understand what you were doing with a computer in order to use the Internet - and tweaking/tuning/experimenting was half the fun.

dtravis7
03-13-2014, 11:50 AM
Some dates are a bit fuzzy but here goes! :D

I started online with BBS's in 1986. Had a Commodore 64 with Vic 300 Baud Modem! Horrible modem but called my first BBS. Was hooked! Went to the Atari 8-Bits and better first 1200 Baud then 2400 Baud modem.

Then in 1988/89 got my first Atari ST so used the 8-Bit Atari for my own BBS. That was down in the Pasadena Calif area.

Moved up where I live now in 1991 and used the Atari ST for a BBS that really caught on here. At that time it still 2400 Baud. I had so much demand for online games I went to a 286 with first Telegard then later Renegade BBS software. This was all in 1992.

First I got a 14.4k Modem then later a 28.8. Got my first Netcom account around 1993 or around and used my 486/33 with Windows 3.1 and got on the net. First browser for me was the very first Netscape Navagator. I set up Eudora for Email. Netscape at that time was the browser to use and it was on both Mac and PC so I could use the same browser on both systems. I did have a Mac Plus but WEB use was limited to a Text based browser as there was not enough RAM to run a Graphic browser like Netscape. I shortly after got a Color Mac and used that on the Web. It was a Quadra 700. Used Netscape and Eudora on it also.

Shortly after on the PC I switched to OS2, first 2.5 then WARP 3 and used that on the Net in place of Windows.

I then started around 1994 or around to make my first simple web page.

I kept the BBS though going till there was no one calling anymore and that was right around 1999-2000. I will always miss the Local BBS but the Internet sure is nice also.

Like Ashwan I remember Geocities. Also used Altavista, Lycos, Excite, Infoseek, Web Crawler, Northern Lights, Hot Bot, Megallan, Yahoo and all the rest of the search engines.

One thing I missed was when I first moved up to Central Calif I bought an Amiga 500. Never used the Amiga on the Net but it sure was a great computer for many other uses.

RadDave
03-13-2014, 03:37 PM
Our start was in 1980 (IBM's first PC had not yet been released) w/ an Apple II+, in part purchased so that I could sign my X-ray reports from home - added a 1200 Baud (could have been even less?) Hayes modem which was internal but made no sounds (definitely not an acoustic coupler type). We did internet the 'old way' w/ text-based entry - used PINE as our first email program and did a lot of local BBSs.

In the mid-80s, my department switch to PCs and good ole' DOS - our second machine had a modem in which one could hear the dialing (son loved that sound!) and a 20 MB hard drive; but we continue w/ text-based emailing (different client) and BBSs. With the arrival of Windows 3.1 for Workgroups (believe that was the version) and Mosaic, the WWW entered our home - what an absolute PAIN at first trying to keep connected; then, Windows 95 & Netscape which started to feel like using the 'real' thing. Dave :)

dtravis7
03-13-2014, 03:47 PM
I remember setting up Pine! Brings back memories! :D

vansmith
03-13-2014, 03:48 PM
There has been a lot of stories about the 25th anniversary of the Web and talks with people who were there from the beginning and what they thought it was going to become..

I think we have quite a diverse member base here ranging in ages from those that saw the progression of the Internet and Web and those who just knew that it existed for all time..:)

Me, personally, I started my "online" career through BBS' and had one of my own for a couple of years before I went off to college. I used the Internet a little bit through FTP/Telnet/Gopher and so on..

When NCSA Mosaic came out, I used it and HTML to create my first static webpage that had ALL the required flashy/shiny/bouncy things that people needed to put on their web pages. :) With the advent of animated gifs (someone should have stopped this guy! :) ), I saw the grotesque ways our poor little pages devolved into a sea of animated gifs with no content, but just crazy headers, footers, bars, lines and rotating stars, circles and what not..

I remember Geocities..

I went through the progression of browsers..Mosaic->Netscape->Firefox->Chrome..

I went through the progression of search engines..AltaVista->Lycos->Excite->AskJeeves->Yahoo->Google..

What about you?There's so much nostalgia in this post...so much. Geocities was where I started web design and thinking back on it, my own skills and the technologies made available to me have become so much more complex and amazing. Animated GIFs used to be huge! I remember seeing people's pages as nothing more, like you mentioned, collections of animations that did nothing more than burn holes in your eyes. Oh, and the bright colours...

I'm admittedly a little younger than most here but I do remember the world wide web growing. I remember when our school got its first internet connected machines back in the 90s. We had to sign out time to use it, an experience that was heavily monitored by the librarian. Now that I think of it, I think those machines were Macs (I remember the grey title bars and those annoying title bar buttons that collapsed the window into the title bar). At home, our second machine was a computer with a 56k modem which never actually reached 56k. I remember seeing how high the speed could get, sometimes seeing it reach 49k or so. And now, here I am with two wireless devices connected to a network that is nearly 380 times faster.

chscag
03-13-2014, 04:00 PM
Aw, that's nothing.... I was right there alongside with Al Gore when he invented the web! :P

dtravis7
03-13-2014, 04:10 PM
There's so much nostalgia in this post...so much. Geocities was where I started web design and thinking back on it, my own skills and the technologies made available to me have become so much more complex and amazing. Animated GIFs used to be huge! I remember seeing people's pages as nothing more, like you mentioned, collections of animations that did nothing more than burn holes in your eyes. Oh, and the bright colours...

I'm admittedly a little younger than most here but I do remember the world wide web growing. I remember when our school got its first internet connected machines back in the 90s. We had to sign out time to use it, an experience that was heavily monitored by the librarian. Now that I think of it, I think those machines were Macs (I remember the grey title bars and those annoying title bar buttons that collapsed the window into the title bar). At home, our second machine was a computer with a 56k modem which never actually reached 56k. I remember seeing how high the speed could get, sometimes seeing it reach 49k or so. And now, here I am with two wireless devices connected to a network that is nearly 380 times faster.


That is very cool Van. I wish I could have been more your age and grown up with the Net but when I was your age nothing at least for home use. The ARPA net which was the original internet was just starting around that time but few like me knew about it.

With 56K the closer to the Telco you were the more chance of full speed connect. According to the specs max connect was 53,333k. I got that when I moved to my house below Downtown here in Modesto. I was close enough to the CO to get it. Before I moved there it was 42-48k at most.

Forgot to mention. Geocities was where I started learning HTML also. Cool days for sure. :D


Aw, that's nothing.... I was right there alongside with Al Gore when he invented the web! :P

:D Grin

Tell Al Gore hello for me! :D

RadDave
03-13-2014, 06:22 PM
I remember setting up Pine! Brings back memories! :D

Hi Dennis - since I got back into the Apple OS X last spring, I've been going through the book below just to learn a 'little bit' about the terminal - there are a lot of text editors w/ of course the 'vi Editor' being the one often recommended but for the occasional user like me, I just keep forgetting how to use it - UGHH!

BUT, there are others, including Pico & Nano - now these are derived from PINE (I believe), so much easier for me to use - in fact, will certainly bring back memories for previous users of PINE. Dave :)
.

vansmith
03-14-2014, 07:25 AM
Hi Dennis - since I got back into the Apple OS X last spring, I've been going through the book below just to learn a 'little bit' about the terminalYes! Now you just need to convince Sly. ;)

dtravis7
03-14-2014, 07:28 AM
Yes! Now you just need to convince Sly. ;)

Sly does not know what he is missing! Some things are just easier in the terminal.

Poor Sly! :D Grin

cradom
03-14-2014, 10:33 AM
Having started with a Tandy Color Computer 2 and 3, I'm very familiar with using a terminal as they had no UI as such. 300 baud modem pack and tape recorder, fun times.
Started with Mosaic and Netscape on a Tandy 1000. Really got into usenet. Remember Usenet? Would still be on it if Time Warner hadn't killed it. Claimed they were stopping 'child porn'.
Remember my first 56k modem, WOW. Those were the days.

chscag
03-14-2014, 12:59 PM
Remember Usenet? Would still be on it if Time Warner hadn't killed it.

Thank goodness someone killed it. There were a lot of good people and information available on usenet at one time but it became loaded down with forums on just about anything illegal you can think of. Piracy, hacking, and yes, Porn.

MacInWin
03-14-2014, 03:21 PM
Started with a Tandy Radio Shack Model 1, 16K of memory, 8080 chip at 1 Mhz clock. First modem was 110 baud. I had to write the assembly code interface to use the modem to connect to a mainframe at my graduate school that expected only 110 baud teletype terminals (Remember them?). Built an external board to allow connection of floppy disk drive and add 48K of memory. Then modified the inside of the machine to have lower case characters and to add an option to boot into CP/M operating system. I remember when I graduated to 300 baud that it was life changing! Now I could call BBSes and really start working with other users. Later on I supported Bitnet at a University I was consulting with. Good old "store and forward" technology over 56k lines, including one satellite connection to Saudi Arabia. Good times, overall.

dtravis7
03-14-2014, 03:31 PM
MacInWin holds the record so far for slowest modem! 110 baud! WOW. Heard of them but never owned one. I can just imaging how much faster 300 was when you switched to it! :D

Jake, I did own an old Xerox CPM machine though. It had the computer in the monitor case with external Floppy Drives. It was a Xerox 820.

http://classiccmp.org/dunfield/miscpm/h/x820ii.jpg

MacInWin
03-14-2014, 03:40 PM
Yeah, CPM was great! I remember it had a 100 byte address restriction at the bottom of memory where the boot loader ran. That boot loader detected the top of memory and put the rest of the operating system up there. All addressing was relative and no application was allowed to fence off any hard addresses for anything. What that meant was that to add more memory, you just kept adding memory chips. No (reasonable) upper limit and no need for that mess that Microsoft created when Bill Gates decided nobody ever needed more than 640 K and took that 640-1024k address space for his own. Ah, the good old days!

lclev
03-14-2014, 08:08 PM
In 1973, when I was in college, we had access to the internet - which was in it's infancy and limited to large colleges. Basically we used it for researching. Everything was about Boolean searching skills. All programming was done on punch cards and mainframes. To do a search took time and usually required you to come back to the computer room or library and get the results later.

In 1980, I started teaching computers in a high school on Radio shack TRS-80's (trash 80's) using tape recorders to save data. We eventually (not sure what year) had a phone coupler modem which I believe ran at 110 baud. A huge upgrade came in 1981, when we bought 12 IBM-PC's with 128KB of memory and two single-sided 5 1/4" drives - no hard drives.

I purchased, in 1984, for my home an IBM-PC junior with 64KB of memory and an external 300 baud modem. My first home encounter with the internet was a couple of local BBS's and I had a blast. My first internet service was through compunet(?) I think that was the name.

At school we had a service through the state for basic research and news feeds. Remember everything was text on a screen, no fancy pictures or graphics, etc. One day in class we were doing research and one of my kids found a site that was posting information on what was happening in Chernobyl - which was the nuclear meltdown, which had just happened. We watched streaming readings from the various scientific sources that wasn't even on the news yet. I think that is when I realized if this internet thing ever took off just how immense and powerful it could become.

-Lisa

chscag
03-14-2014, 08:36 PM
My first internet service was through compunet(?) I think that was the name.


I think you meant CompuServe. I had an account with them for several years back in the 80s. Man, this thread is making me feel as old as I am! Now, where did I put that bottle of Grecian Formula? ;P

dtravis7
03-14-2014, 08:43 PM
I think you meant CompuServe. I had an account with them for several years back in the 80s. Man, this thread is making me feel as old as I am! Now, where did I put that bottle of Grecian Formula? ;P

Don't feel too bad Charlie, I am right there with you on it all! :D

I left out one thing as I forgot. Before Netcom I used first a CompuServe account then a Geenie account! Remember them? A friend had an extra Geenie account and let me use it till I could get with Netcom. Those were the good old days! :D OLD! :D

so far I do not need any grecian formula though. My dad was the same way till he was at least 75. :D

Edit: Oops, Genie. Spelled it wrong.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GEnie

chscag
03-14-2014, 08:56 PM
Yeah Dennis, I had a Genie account before I had the one with CompuServe. I remember it was such a big deal back then to get on the G.E. network. I don't even remember what the membership fee was. I do seem to remember that CompuServe had several types of memberships back then. I think I was paying $7.00/month at the time.

dtravis7
03-14-2014, 09:12 PM
Yeah Dennis, I had a Genie account before I had the one with CompuServe. I remember it was such a big deal back then to get on the G.E. network. I don't even remember what the membership fee was. I do seem to remember that CompuServe had several types of memberships back then. I think I was paying $7.00/month at the time.

Not sure on cost as my friend was paying for it for me to use but it was cheap compared to today. Under $10 a month I think.

TattooedMac
03-14-2014, 09:19 PM
I remember in the Mid 90's while I was in the Military we would have this new www connection via the the only ISP in Australia. Back then we were in barrack Blocks as per Squadron/Troop and we use to move troops every year so the Army had to change over and pay for all the re-connections, that use to run in a $100+ each and every time.
I loved it, as i played Leisure Suit Larry on PC and i could go online to a Gamer Board and get a walkthrough.
Leisure Suit Larry was hard :P

The sad thing is, ill NEVER forget that connection sound in the 56k Modems :( Gives me nightmares lol

RadDave
03-14-2014, 10:10 PM
BOY - such memories; we had CompuServe for a number of years; also remember my son & I using CDNow pre-web to order compact discs - loved it but text-based ordering seems now so out dated - :)

NOW, the discussion on old modem transmit rates, i.e. Baud brought back a lot of thoughts - what did it mean vs. Bps (bits per second)? I used to read about Emile Bardot (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emile_Baudot) (1845-1903), quote from the beginning of his Wiki article below. He invented a 5-bit telegraphic code patented in 1874, which predated the later 8-bit (byte) ASCII code that we all know now.

SO, this coding system was based on 'signals/sec' which early in the history of modems was also 'Bps' - these two terms were pretty much the same when understanding 1200 Baud or less, but when more bits could be added per signal the terms diverged and were not equivalent (some info HERE (http://www.physics.udel.edu/~watson/scen103/projects/96s/thosguys/baud.html)) - BOTTOM LINE - Baud vs. Bps was OK in the old days, but I guess that Baud is no longer of much use despite the contribution of Emile - probably one of the first analog to digital transitions in history achieved so many years ago! Dave


Jean-Maurice-Émile Baudot (September 11, 1845 – March 28, 1903), French telegraph engineer and inventor of the first means of digital communication Baudot code, was one of the pioneers of telecommunications. He invented a multiplexed printing telegraph system that used his code and allowed multiple transmissions over a single line.[1] The baud unit was named after him.

lclev
03-15-2014, 06:29 PM
I think you meant CompuServe. I had an account with them for several years back in the 80s. Man, this thread is making me feel as old as I am! Now, where did I put that bottle of Grecian Formula? ;P

Yeah that's it...CompuServe. I know I'm old....but as long as Lady Clarol is around no gray for me!

Lisa

420para
03-21-2014, 02:12 PM
My father in law got me started with an Atari 800/floppy drive. Then upgraded to the 1600.
Learned to program with DOS. My first time on the net was with WebTV. Then Macintosh, to
Mac mini. Now I love my iPad.

Ctrl-Opt-Del
04-11-2014, 12:47 AM
I must admit that, while I am more-or-less OS-agnostic & am equally happy on almost any platform, it does seem somehow more - for lack of a less hyperbolic word - appropriate to surf the web on a Mac or iDevice; given how OS X & - by extension - iOS are the "spiritual successors", so to speak, of the NeXTSTEP operating system used by Sir Tim Burners-Lee to originally create the World Wide Web.

MBP17•David
04-11-2014, 06:15 AM
I just dug up my old business card from 1992 - the email is in the format of 100435.1234@compuserve.com :Grimmace:

I remember almost everyone was asking me - what's that? ... oh ... and what would you use it for?