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Old October 9th, 2011, 08:39 PM
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Default The Internet

How soon after the invention of the internet by Al Gore did you buy a computer ? What were the first things you did on line ? Do you use the internet as much as you did initially ?

I began using the internet at work in 1998 and bought my first PC in 1999 . I bought a book listing the amazing sites one could find on line . I was a internetaholic (I believe this was a word initially used by Seymour Pepper) .I would be on line from 9PM to 1AM on work days and sometimes as late at 5AM on weekends . Currently I am only on line from approximately 7PM to 10PM ,sometimes much less .

The only site that I still post on is an AOL Doowop board that I discovered in 1999 .
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Old October 9th, 2011, 09:45 PM
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Like many people, I bought my first home computer quite a while before the internet came along. It's completely incorrect to think that home computing didn't happen until the internet showed up. Quite the contrary.

I believe my first one was in 1984. We had already been computerized at work for a couple years, had rudimentary file sharing with dumb terminals. When we switched over to the early PC's, I got one for home right away because it was easy to carry work around on floppies (initially those 5" jobs that really were floppy) and work at home without having to duplicate effort. I remember that the hard drive was 20 megs. You can't find an operating system that small today. I became quite adept at the early DOS operating system, and learned enough Boolean logic to be comfortable using the early dbase from a dot-prompt. Our word processor was an early verison of WordPerfect, and we had some sort of spreadsheet. Can't remember if it was an early Excel or something else.

By 1991 we were very well networked internally at work, but I honestly can't remember whether we had full internet access by then or not. I doubt it. But I do remember that it was in that year that #1 son was a freshman at university, and he called one night to say that AT&T had just wired up all the dorms and put computers in all the rooms, and that he had access to something called e-mail to send messages at will to others who were hooked up.

I was intrigued and asked one of my pals in the IT department what this e-mail stuff was. She grinned, cocked her head, and said, "Where'd you hear about that?" I told her.

She said that was great because they'd just begun to beta-test some version or other of this newfangled thing, and that since I had a kid who was already on it she'd make me one of the testers. So through the in-house network she got me access to the e-mail beast and I started corresponding with Matt regularly. I immediately realized what a boone it was, because the nature of communication was instantly altered forever. I'd get a message saying, "Went to a concert tonight. Really cool." It hit me instantly that you'd never phone to say that, and you'd certainly never write a letter about it. This was going to be a big damn deal.

Well, I never looked back. Kept upgrading the computer at home, got into the early dial-up World Wide Wait stuff with Prodigy and its successors. I have no idea how many machines I've been through since. And, of course, we eventually became a two computer family when Terry got one in her home office too.

Today we take lightning-speed fiber optic internet connections for granted, have an internal network in the house, etc. Pretty much the same as most people, I guess.

But I was definitely one of the early adopters.
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Last edited by AR; October 9th, 2011 at 09:54 PM.
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Old October 9th, 2011, 09:53 PM
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I bought my first home computer long before there was an internet which was NOT INVENTED BY THAT IDIOT Henry mentioned.

I, in fact, got to use ARPANET before there was an internet. When I got my first mac, there were a number of bulletin boards that I used.

Marc
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Old October 9th, 2011, 10:59 PM
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My first true Internet exposure was in the mid-eighties when I worked for Bell South and was introduced to the technology and the world of TCP/IP. Actually it was TCP at that time.

I had done email for years using IBM's PROFS system and DEC systems.

My first home, non-work related, was the old Compuserv system using an IBM PC. I think that was around 1986. They provided email and file sharing and file transfer. It expanded to full Internet sometime in the late eighties. However it was expensive and work would only pay for "work related" use.

I tried Prodigy but really didn't like it and then later I used AOL. Where I lived it was the only option and I, to this day, DETEST AOL.

In the late 90's I went to work for a Bell South division and I had a full T1 1.5megabits/second dedicated line into my house. I was in heaven for the next seven years. I switched companies during that time and they picked up the tab for the T1 because there was no DSL or cable in my area. While others were using dial-up I was surfing the Internet at speeds no home user had or even hoped for. Now I'm on DSL and it is getting slower by the month as more people are added to our DSLAM.

BTW: Al Gore did not invent the Internet and he actually never said he did. Sort of like how Sarah Palin is quoted as saying "I can see Russia from my house". Gore did sponsor quite a bit of technology legislation, in the 80's and 90's that did open the door for commercial use of the Internet and also to encourage and expand the building of systems to support it.

Take care,
Mike
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Old October 10th, 2011, 04:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike M View Post
BTW: Al Gore did not invent the Internet and he actually never said he did. Sort of like how Sarah Palin is quoted as saying "I can see Russia from my house". Gore did sponsor quite a bit of technology legislation, in the 80's and 90's that did open the door for commercial use of the Internet and also to encourage and expand the building of systems to support it.

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Mike
There is a lot of mis-information in this world. And now with the Internet you spread it much faster.

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Old October 10th, 2011, 09:21 AM
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This is an easy question for me. Our first computer was purchased in 2005. Up to that point we could not afford one.

The kids used it in the beginning, but one day I purchased cruise tickets, and after returning home from the TA, realized I didn't know how to cruise.

I had used e-mail from work, but that was about it. Jim is the one that said that I should Google cruising, and up popped you guys. I had never been on a message board, which is why to this day, you see my full name, as my screen name.

I read for hours, before I got up the nerve to type anything, and was shocked when someone responded.

I have come a long way since then. I love the internet, and agree there is a lot of misinfo, but over all, I believe it keeps us more informed, as well as in touch, more than we have ever been.

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Old October 10th, 2011, 09:30 AM
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Now I'm beginning to wonder if this is going to turn into a "Who had it first?" thread, and if so, I want to put in my bid!

I was familiar with computers --- the room-sized tube jobs, that had to be programmed in machine language --- from working in the Research Center during my college days. So when the first personal machines came out, I bought one in 1978. Anybody else out there remember Kaypro? It was a "portable"; only weighed about 40 pounds, and looked kind of like a sewing machine case. It had 16 K (yes, K) of internal memory and dual 5" floppys; the inner memory bands of the floppys were used for temporary storage while you were working on something. It came with Perfect Writer, Perfect Calc, and a database program I don't remember the name of. I did many of my grad school papers on that machine and Perfect Writer remains the best word processor I've ever encountered.
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Old October 10th, 2011, 10:44 AM
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I started computer work on a Kaypro also. Had one at work and had one installed in my home so I could work from home. Had a small toddler at the time and a decent (at that time) boss.

I missed the 5" disks when they were eliminated by the 3 1/2" disks and then the flash drives, mini drives, etc. I was always carrying work back and forth on those floppies. Now, I can carry darn near the entire computer contents on a flash drive or a mini. So much nicer!


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Old October 10th, 2011, 08:51 PM
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Default Marc

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc View Post
I bought my first home computer long before there was an internet which was NOT INVENTED BY THAT IDIOT Henry mentioned.

I, in fact, got to use ARPANET before there was an internet. When I got my first mac, there were a number of bulletin boards that I used.

Marc
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Old October 11th, 2011, 10:25 AM
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Talking Here's my claim

Well, if we are playing Old Time Tales --

I first programmed in SOAP language in 1962 on a vacuum tube machine. I learned SUBALGOL, closely related to BASIC, in 1965 on an IBM 7090, a huge machine in an air conditioned room we were not allowed to enter.

Consequently I got my first computer long before the Internet, in about 1983. It was an Atari 400, with 8K of memory. Additional memory came in 8K units at $100 per unit. It used a cassette tape drive, and a couple of years later when I got a 5" floppy drive it seemed like a miracle. Hard drive? Not available til several years later, and at a huge price.

I started learning about this internet thing in the late 80's, but it was not until DD went away to college in 1991 that we thought it was worthwhile. (I think Al Gore invented it a couple of years later.) We signed up for AOL BEFORE AOL connected to the World Wide Web, just to get email.

I actually remember when Archie came before Google, and when ftp came before http.

Does that mean that I understand this 200 gig monster that now sits on my desk? Not for a minute! I still have to call my daughter to adjust my screen brightness!
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Old October 11th, 2011, 11:02 AM
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Mike:

If you are running a system with 200 gig of memory (actually 192 GB) you must be running one expensive monster and using Windows 7 Home Premium or better and running a lot of 64 bit applications. You must like to do a lot of gaming.

Then again you could have an AIX SMP system running AIX.

That's one heck of system for home use.

Take care,
Mike
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Old October 11th, 2011, 08:56 PM
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Quote:
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Al is always cordial to you
Henry, I don't think you were there the one time I did cross paths with Al.
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Old October 11th, 2011, 09:14 PM
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Default Al Gore

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Henry, I don't think you were there the one time I did cross paths with Al.
I've never had the pleasure of meeting Albert .
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Old October 12th, 2011, 11:07 AM
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The only thing Al Gore ever invented was global warming.
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Old October 12th, 2011, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike M View Post
Mike:

If you are running a system with 200 gig of memory (actually 192 GB) you must be running one expensive monster and using Windows 7 Home Premium or better and running a lot of 64 bit applications. You must like to do a lot of gaming.

Then again you could have an AIX SMP system running AIX.

That's one heck of system for home use.

Take care,
Mike
Well, I did spend megabucks on a fancy gaming system. I play a dwarf champion in Lord of the Rings Online and am currently riding through Dunland with the Gray Company carrying Arwen's banner to Aragorn. (see avatar)

But I think it is the hard drive that is 200G. See, I don't even know how to figure it out! When I had 64K memory, I knew exactly what was in every single byte of that memory and could do a complete core dump if I need to! Now I just flip the switch and start swinging my axe at orcs ... gotta do something with my time after I finish Cruisemates for the day ...

The Internet is such a valuable tool, isn't it??
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Old October 12th, 2011, 01:54 PM
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This is what a 20GB hard drive looked like in the early 80's. This is a string of 3380 IBM BE4 drives. It was actually 16 seperate drives. Eash one of these eight units was about the size of a 25 cubic feet refrigerator.



One more thing: Each unit was about $110,000 so the whole string of 20GB would be close to $1,000,000. Now you can buy 50 times that amount of storage, at Costco, for about $100.

My how things have changed and one of the things that amazes me on how computers have evolved.

Take care,
Mike
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Old October 12th, 2011, 02:18 PM
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Mike--

It is really unbelievable how cheap both bandwidth and storage have become.

But guess what: most people still don't run backups at home. Of course, some people really don't need to, because all they do is look at their e-mail and the internet, and maybe play some games. But even people who create significant files don't protect them, which I find amazing in this day and age, when it's so easy and there are so many options.
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Old October 13th, 2011, 10:11 AM
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Talking Computers and cars

Quote:
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My how things have changed and one of the things that amazes me on how computers have evolved.
So Bill Gates is talking to Lee Iacocca. "Lee," Bill says, "if Detroit operated like Silicon Valley, you would have a car that gets 600 miles to a gallon and sells for $699."

Lee says, "You're absolutely right, Bill! And it would crash four times a day, and this year's car would not run on last year's roads."
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