Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy Birthday, Internet.

"On New Year’s Day 1983, while the rest of the world slept off a night of partying, a small group of computer experts in the U.S. found themselves hard at work, taking deep breaths with fingers crossed."

What was I doing? Let's see, in 1983 I was 18. Still in high school. I probably heard about this at the time but I was pretty much a stoner (which explained why I was still in high school at 18) so I would have made fun of the person who informed me of this little tidbit of info. I don't remember them making a big deal about it in school. I guess Al Gore was keeping a low profile. (idiot)

Was pretty much a non-issue anyway because in my neck of the woods, we didn't get internet until the mid 90's. I remember using BBS systems first, then dial-up services for years.

However, I was a geek early on. I remember my brother getting a computer when he started his business. As soon as I saw it, I couldn't keep my hands off it. It was an Amiga 500 (or possibly a 1000 or 2000). It had no hard drive, you loaded the ROM and the operating system. And you had to save everything on floppy disk before you shut it down, or you lost everything.

Believe it or not, I spent hours playing text adventure games. I know, it sounds lame, but at the time, it was addictive. Try them for yourself. Mine were not this fancy, imagine all of that on a black dos screen. I had to actually type 'move north' or 'look east' or 'drop knife' all while trying not to fuck up the map (which I had to create myself) so I didn't get lost. And once I learned to do basic programming, forget about it. If your a geek, and of a certain age, you have created random bouncing ball or 'Hello World!'.

Anyway, I hope you find this trip down memory lane informative. How far back in internet history do you go?


Fyr said...

Funnily, in 1983, I was probably hating on my Dad with his little Tandy 200 (?) wordprocessor. He brought it home and used it to type up stuff for work. Man, did I scoff at that thing.

Couple of years later, in came the NCR i-forget-the-number-now ... just slightly more advanced than the Tandy itself. Same principle of booting the ROM and OS but having to save everything on floppy or else lose it.

Don't ask how I got from scoffing at computers, into a full time diploma programme in Computer Studies about 5 to 6 years later. That's a whole 'nother story, for a whole 'nother day.

Nice, Evel. Thanks for the memory-lane stroll! Man, that was a long time ago, wasn't it?

Sherri said...

About in line with you. In 1983 I was only allowed to touch the school computer's under the guardian eye of my mathgeek not-a-boyfriend (although later we would make out in his room next to his Commie 64). Text adventure was where it was at! I remember when I got beyond "Pyramid" to "Zork" and "Leather Goddesses of Phobos". It was two more years before I got my own Commie (via a new boyfriend) and started the BBS/Q-link path that led me to where I am now...where ever that is.

Remember 300 baud modems? And Handshaking? Early ASCII graphic games? Peeks and Pokes?

I feel old now.