When Did You First Get Internet, And

Discussion in 'Gadgets & Tech Talk' started by Arlene Richards, Mar 8, 2016.

  1. Arlene Richards

    Arlene Richards Very Well-Known Member
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    what was the first thing you did? (I mean at home, not work)

    For me, it was early 1998. I'd been using an old computer at home and I decided to upgrade. A tech-savvy buddy took me shopping and got me set up.

    I first sent some emails, then I went to AOL chat rooms! Woo boy, remember those? (This was just as the Monica Lewinsky scandal was heating up.) A whole new world! :D Life as I knew it would never be the same.
     
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    Last edited: Mar 8, 2016
  2. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    I was connected to ARPANET in the mid 1980s, before the Internet was born. At that time, it had expanded from a system that was available only to the military to one that was made available to college systems. I was an instructor for Texas Southmost College at that time, and TSC was affiliated with the University of Texas at Brownsville, which had access to ARPANET. There was no graphical interface then. When you logged onto the system, you were faced with a C:/ prompt, and you had to navigate the system from there.

    At around the same time, I ran a computer Bulletin Board System. The BBS was another precursor of the Internet, something that would be more recognizable to Internet users than ARPANET was, as there were graphics, although rudimentary ANSI graphics. I ran my BBS from the early to mid-1980s through 1991, I think.

    In the Rio Grande Valley, public access to the Internet was first made available through AOL on dial-up. Next came Delphi. This was in the early 1990s.
     
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  3. Arlene Richards

    Arlene Richards Very Well-Known Member
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    I remember those AOL disks we got in the mail. Seemed to be endless. For a long time I had dial-up. I remember that sound when I logged on. This was before most of us had cell phones, and when I was online no one could reach me.

    Speaking of BBS, in early 90s a friend used them to try to drum up* business ("gigs") for her fiance's band. *(Unintended pun)
     
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    Last edited: Mar 9, 2016
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  4. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
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    We lived in MO, mid 2000s, before the net was available via the only local phone provider, ITT, using only dial-up service. Very crude, exceedingly slow, sometimes needing 5 minutes to send a sentence of text. So, little real ability learned until we left the area.
     
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  5. Terry Page

    Terry Page Very Well-Known Member
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    I went to computer courses and learnt some DOS in the mid '80s and eventually went on the internet with a PC in the mid '90s with dial-up and have been on ever since.
     
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  6. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    Mid 1990's for me too...shocked to realize that it's 20 years.:eek:..I remember playing games..and made a lot of friends in the games rooms...surprising really just how many , when I think back...but I did, and I still have a lot of those friends (all in the USA) to this day, although it must be over 15 years since I played any of those types of games..

    Email of course was AOL, and Hotmail......( I still use Hotmail to this day along with several others but AOL was gone a long time ago)
     
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  7. Ken N Louis

    Ken N Louis Well-Known Member
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    1998 AOL...Went shopping for a computer and could not even find out how to turn one on!! Why do they hide the on button??
    .
    CLICK ON THE VIDEO
    .
     
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  8. Mari North

    Mari North Very Well-Known Member
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    Wowzers... stretching my memory here. First computer around the mid 80s... it was a Tandy (Radio Shack, oy!) and I bought those programming magazines called "Rainbow" (the TRS-80 magazine.) I punched those thousands of programming lines in for hours and hours just to see something I made. :)

    First experience before the Internet was a local BBS. Wow, remember those?! I was amazed that something I wrote on there to a person on Germany reached them in... shockingly, THREE DAYS! Imagine... to Germany in three days. hehe WELL in a little while, they talked me into trying the Internet and the first email I wrote to the same person in Germany was answered in less than a minute. To say I was hooked would be putting it mildly!

    I should say that I had no concept of what the Internet was. I viewed it at the time, as a huge and very expensive glorified mailbox because that's all I thought I'd ever do.... write emails. After a couple of days, someone asked me if I'd seen a certain sci-fi homepage. My response? "What's a homepage?" :rolleyes:
     
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  9. Ken N Louis

    Ken N Louis Well-Known Member
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  10. Mari North

    Mari North Very Well-Known Member
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    For sure, @Ken N Louis ! Probably one of the reasons I'll never have a smart phone... they scare me, they do! :)
     
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  11. Bonnie Thomas

    Bonnie Thomas Very Well-Known Member
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    Like many, I got my first home computer in the 80's ... a big Dell desktop, with AOL Online (thanks for that memory Ken) .... good ole dial-up! Had so much entertainment at my disposal. Just loved it.

    At work I used an Apple computer. It didn't impress me back then, but I've learned over the years that it was the way I wanted to go.
     
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  12. Terry Page

    Terry Page Very Well-Known Member
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    That sound brings back memories not all good ones though, how far we have progressed since those days.:)
     
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  13. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    My first computer was in 2003, when we just moved to Fresno after returning from 6 yrs in Hungary.

    My son from Illinois came to visit us, mainly his father because he was already sick and did die a year later.

    Anyway, my son bought me the computer and set it up for me. I was afraid to even touch the thing because I thought I would do something wrong. My first email acct was AOL and I barely got any mail back then but would check constantly. That's when I met @John Falcon and we would talk. He helped me wile away those hrs my husband was sleeping. I think he was new to computers too around that time and his wife had died the previous year.
     
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  14. Arlene Richards

    Arlene Richards Very Well-Known Member
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    @Ken N Louis Thanks for the memories! I used to like the "You've got mail!" voice, but now I would find it very irritating.
     
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  15. Molly Hazel

    Molly Hazel Active Member
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    Gosh I must be the newest to using a computer here,
    I had never been on one at all until 5 years ago and did not have a clue.
    Just bought a couple of starter books and went from there.
    I only know limited use but that's enough for me.
    My husband has never been on a computer..
    And know I have an I pad as well,wish I had done it sooner.
     
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  16. Ruby Begonia

    Ruby Begonia Very Well-Known Member
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    It was the mid 80's. My girlfriend's husband had one. One night we drove out to their place for dinner, an hour drive and he turned it on for us, I was amazed. Don't recall the ISP but they paid five cents a minute for access! They were oout in the country. He showed us a website for the Most Wanted list, but that's all I remember. My first home computer was 1997 with AOL.
     
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  17. Ruby Begonia

    Ruby Begonia Very Well-Known Member
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    Oh yes, "The Handshake"!
     
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  18. Arlene Richards

    Arlene Richards Very Well-Known Member
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    @Molly Hazel People learn things at different times for different reasons. In the 1980s I worked with people at a couple of different jobs who were knowledgeable about computers, and I learned some things from them. I read all I could about computers and later took a class at a community college (where I was taking other classes). But a lot was "learn by doing" and things I learned on jobs.

    I bought my first home computer in 1990. This was when word processing and spreadsheets were really taking hold in businesses. (Much more efficient than typewriters and desk calculators with a paper tape.)

    In the 1990s I worked with a few people who really fought the idea of using computers, and got away with it unless the boss insisted.
     
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  19. Von Jones

    Von Jones Very Well-Known Member
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    I first got the internet in the early 90s when I started my word processing service. I never signed up with AOL but another service. I remember my son and DIL got so many emails from me about nothing that my son had to tell me stop very nicely:D.
     
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  20. Gary Ridenour

    Gary Ridenour Very Well-Known Member
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    I first went online in 2000
     
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  21. Linda Binning

    Linda Binning Well-Known Member
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    I worked with computers on my job in the late 80s and early 90s. I didn't get internet at my house till about 1995. My 2nd oldest son brought me my first computer from Sweden in his suitcase. He and his wife bought a new one and gave me their old one. It was in Swedish but most of it he switched over to English for me. I remember how excited I was to get a computer of my own. :) Before that I had messed around with my daughter's some when I visited her. At that time she was single and worked as a bartender so I was always happy when she worked nights and I got the computer for a few hours. I believe back then she paid by the hour so we had to be careful.
     
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  22. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    I worked at a job where we used computers in the 80's; but we didn't have anything online back then.
    It was in the early 90's when I got my first computer at home.
    The whole reason that I got one was because my daughter, Robin, was in the service and stationed in Germany, and I had very little communication with her.
    Because of the distance, the time difference, and her duties with the military; it was almost impossible for us to talk at all. When she could call, it was only for a few minutes, just long enough to send love to each other and then say goodbye.
    When I got the computer, brought to me by my son, and set up for me, and basic instructions on how to use it and send an email; then we had communications again. I could write to Robin on my time schedule, and she wrote back on hers.

    Once I learned how to send and receive emails; I was hooked on the computer. We had Compuserve, and they charged for the time you were online; so I didn't do anything but check for emails every day for a long time after that.
    Eventually, it got to be that you were allowed so many hours each month for the service charge, and I had more available time to become acquainted with the internet.
    Naturally, the first thing that I discovered was online classified ads, and didn't do any of the chat rooms or any of that like most of the rest of the people did.
     
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  23. Ina I. Wonder

    Ina I. Wonder Very Well-Known Member
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    My first experience was horrible. In 1978, I got a job with a brand new Toyota dealership. The largest Houston had seen. I hired into the parts department, and at first I had a great time setting up the inventory schematic system in the warehouse. That took me a good month to do, and then one day they led me to an office with a desk and a great big monstrosity of a machine and told me to transfer all my inventory info into the "monster". "Uh. Do what??? All I remember was I was told it was a DOS system, which meant nothing to me. I pushed all kinds of keys, and tried all kinds of keyboard commands. After three days, I quitely quit, and I didn't even go back for my check. I figured it was going to cost more than my check to pay for the mess I had made.

    Then when I start college in the mid 80's I was scared to death od computers, so I took a course into introduction to computers, and I came out with a grade of 140/100. I couldn't figure how that worked, so I asked my teacher. It seems I didn't understand that a lot of the assignments were for extra credits for those students that were struggling. Well if it was posted on the chalk board I did the work, and it turns out that I was pulling A's, and with all the extra work I ended up with that weird grade. I never took another computer class, because I didn't feel I had a good enough understanding of them.

    But I was a wiz at writing programs, so after I took a couple of course in Statistics, I was ask by the teacher that taught the course to help him computerize it. Here in Houston, our police cadets had to pass Statistics to be able to finish and become a policeman. But most of them were having to repeat the first course two and three times. I don't know why they found the subject so hard, but by computerizing the course it cut down on the need to repeat it as often.

    We finally got Comcast service in our home 1992, and it was AOL, and I still use AOL today. I've had the same email address since then, but I've only been playing with online for maybe 2&1/2 years, and I'm having a hard time learning to use it.
     
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    Last edited: Mar 17, 2016
  24. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    My first computer was a Coleco Adam. I was the treasurer of my church at the time and the church bought a Coleco Adam to keep the books on, in 1984, I think it was, so I learned to use it. Shortly after that, I bought my own. With a Coleco Adam, and other computers in the early days, you didn't get much in the way of software with it, nor was there any commercial software available. The Coleco Adam bundled with its own program compiler so if you wanted to do anything with it other than play a few games or use it as a word processor, you had to learn to write your own programs. Not realizing that this was a complicated thing to do, I wrote several, including the one that we used to maintain the books at the church.

    Neither the Coleco Adam or my next computer, a TRS-80 (Tandy-Radio Shack), came with a hard drive. The Coleco Adam used cassette tapes, while the TRS-80 used floppies. For the TRS-80, I wrote a program that kept the records for the first ambulance company that I worked for. Everything from the run report completed by the paramedic was entered into the program, and it would print out first, second, and third billings on a set schedule, and it would connect to the Texas DPS computer to transmit required reports that we made to them every month, which included information from the run reports for the purpose of statistics. It would also print out my reports to our board of directors.
     
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