Author Topic: When did you start using the internet? and What does it mean to you?  (Read 258 times)

Sunshine Meadows

  • Global Moderator
  • Super Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7705
I first got a computer back in 1999 and so started using the internet about the same time. Back then then there was no such thing as Facebook or Twitter and shopping online was not much of a thing. Interestingly enough the other day I noticed my Amazon account was started in 2002. Anyway I remember using Msn chat which was a bit like the Wild West, but it was also a time when naive nellies like me went exploring and met all sorts of people without a thought to their true motivations. Early on I came across MSN Communities which were message boards that had a basic framework which could be used much like the software I am using to talk to you right now. By the following Spring I had seen enough to know I wanted to give start my on Community and that is what I spent most of my time on for the next three years.

Earlier today I was looking back into my Bookmarks aka Favourites and noticed I have still got links that go back all the years I have been online. it is so disorganised and I could not find the link I wanted. I keep thinking it is time to let go of the feeling that my Bookmarks are like some historical artefact and delete at least half but  >runforthehills< NNNNOOOOOOOOOOO!  >lol< >biggrin<

For me the internet has meant I have the freedom to be me and I am not defined as someone's little sister or daughter. In someways although I was 32 when I got online I feel like I grew up here, blossomed and discovered I am good at allsorts of things I never had the opportunity to do in the real world aka on land. Actually the longer time goes on the more I believe my online life is as real and means as much as my life sitting her at my desk thinking how nice a come of coffee would be right now.

lankou

  • Charter Member
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2840
Re: When did you start using the internet? and What does it mean to you?
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2018, 04:05:33 PM »
I have been communicating by computer since 1990 when it was the equivalent of two tins connected with a tight string.

https://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Play-Telephone

Frances

  • Charter Member
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 811
Re: When did you start using the internet? and What does it mean to you?
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2018, 04:23:43 PM »
Well Ry was 11 so that means I taught him how to use very basic puter back in 1992/3. Blimey how quickly time flies !
You need to give love to receive it.

Fiz

  • Charter Member
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3985
Re: When did you start using the internet? and What does it mean to you?
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2018, 06:52:47 PM »
I suspect our first computer was around the same time as yours sunshine. I was with AOL dial up and they had hundreds of chat rooms on every subject under the sun and I made several good friends irl that I made in the health chat room. I remember it being a complete scream when several of us were trying orlistat at the same time to try and lose weight and the hilarious repercussions and side effects of those. The whole group was really supportive, every member had either a health or mental health problem  and we had some good meet ups. Once off AOL I lost touch with them all and occasionally I wonder how some of them are. AOL had an excellent reporting system where at a click of a button a screen shot of the conversation for the previous 30 minutes in the chat room would be sent to moderators and trolls and bullies would be banned from the chat rooms. Therefore they were well run, felt safe and were friendly though as in here we all chose unidentifying member names.

I was grocery shopping online by 2001.

I haven't owned a computer or laptop for a number of years and I've discovered when I was in hospital and in the library that I no longer know how to use one. So my computer days are over. Thankfully my eyesight is good enough to see my phone, just. No idea what I'll do as my eyesight gets worse. As it is the screen puts itself to sleep when I'm still trying to squint and make out words as it is! I do have reading glasses but they need updating as I'm well overdue an eye test. My long distance glasses live in the car ready for me to drive.

SteveX

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1378
Re: When did you start using the internet? and What does it mean to you?
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2018, 07:16:13 PM »
Discounting consoles like the Atari 2600, my first real "computer" was a Sinclair ZX81 that my mum got me in 1982, it had 1kb of memory (that's 1kb, not 1mb or 1gb!), black and white image only and no sound.  but oh my it was so amazing and more exciting than I can put into words.  To actually own your own computer back then was a superb feeling as they were kind of 'sci-fi'.

From the ZX81 I went to a BBC Model B, then to a ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Amiga 500, Amiga 1200 and then finally to a PC in 1999. 

But from the very early 90's I used a modem on my Amiga and phoned bulletin boards (before the net existed), it used to cost me a fortune as I had to pay normal phone line rates when using it and even downloading small files took a long time.   From 1997 to 1998 I actually ran my own BBS, it was only a small one and rarely got visits but it was immense fun to set up and tinker with.

From early 2000 I sold my PPC/060 Amiga 1200 and bought a PC and then I got connected online and found out how amazing the internet was.

Been online since, first with Demon Internet at 56k dialup speed, then onto Zen Internet with an ADSL connection and then once Zen got too expensive for me, I switched to PlusNet which is where I am now, on an unlimited fibre connection.

What does it mean to me?   Everything!!  the net is my only means of communicating with others these days as I only go out when I have to.  also the net is a great way of connecting me with other people with the same loves.   ie:- Autosport forum for F1 fans, World of Spectrum for my Speccy love (yes, to this day I still own a working ZX Spectrum and I use it quite frequently as I prefer the old classic games as most new games are a: expensive as hell and b: same old, same old.   I now have a special adaptor for the Speccy so I can load games from a microsd card and don't have to load from the old cassette tapes anymore, so load times have gone from 3-6 minutes to 1-3 seconds.

I am not one for social media, quite frankly I loathe it and think it's a cause of lots of modern problems.  (just look at all the iZombies walking down the street with their phone glued to their face) So I don't use twitter and I won't use facebook as I value my privacy and am not willing to give these companies all my data.

I have run several websites through the years, I ran one with 200+ free flash games for people to play games on, then I ran an Elder Scrolls fan site (it's an old role playing game), then I did one on retro classic emulation (which got my hand slapped and I was forced to close it) and the last one I did was just a simple weblog 6-7 years ago on me trying to learn how to program.   But that's long in the past and I don't run one these days and have no intentions of doing so again.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2018, 07:17:55 PM by SteveX »
Member of POMMAS

SashaQ

  • Charter Member
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 804
Re: When did you start using the internet? and What does it mean to you?
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2018, 07:42:45 PM »
Amiga 500 and 1200 were my favourites  >biggrin<

I first went on the internet in an internet cafe in the mid-1990s.  It took until 2005 or so for me to do more than just download and print pictures of celebrities to put in scrapbooks, but then I found BBC Ouch and went on from there  >biggrin<

Now it is very important to me as it is my link to great people around the world  >magicfairy<

Sunshine Meadows

  • Global Moderator
  • Super Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7705
Re: When did you start using the internet? and What does it mean to you?
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2018, 09:18:00 AM »
I love the way you have been telling your stories here thank you.

I am not sure the cans with string went around corners so I figure when my brother and I used to play that game we must have talked loud enough to be heard from the next room as in

"Can you hear me?"
"Can you hear me?"
"CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?"

"YES I CAN HEAR YOU?"

I remember the old ZX81 a friend had one and it took what felt like all afternoon to program a 'butterfly' to move on screen. My brother had a ZX spectrum I remember spending a lot of time playing a game that had monsters and heros in it.

Computers became something other people in my family had and they were a mystery to me.

It so strange that I ended up working in IT support and at the same time given I taught myself how to do stuff I was going to have more sympathy for people who were stuck.

Does anyone remember how if you Dial Up 56k modem that gave a connection via a phone line was down you could get online using a service that was a penny a minute?

Its nice to see AOL mentioned I think back in the early noughties the software you computer came with often determined the route you took eg AOL or MSN.

Did any of you meet people you met online in the real world? I ended up having American friends who brought me out of my shell and I ended up going to America.

Quote
Now it is very important to me as it is my link to great people around the world  >magicfairy<

Yes  >biggrin<
Much like Fiz I lost touch with my old friends and it seems to me that it is a bit like school, as in there comes a time when we move on.



oldtone27

  • Charter Member
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2733
Re: When did you start using the internet? and What does it mean to you?
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2018, 10:05:56 AM »
I am hazy on dates but first bit of 'computer' technology I had was a very early Pye calculator which was one of the first with an LCD display rather than the little red characters before.

Shortly after I had a ZX81 which was always very touchy loading or saving programs to tape. I remember the 1Kb memory and as I recall using tricks like programming  something like 'A=NOT PI' because it took fewer bites than 'A=0' when initiating a variable.

Then came the wonky 16Kb extension which hang of the back of the ZX and would loose contact a crash if you much as sneezed nearby. But it did allow for useful programs. I wrote my first simple engineering program on that.

Next was its thermal printer accessory as I could now keep a permanent record of the results from my program. Somewhere hidden in some archive there may still be little metalised paper strips with faded results of those calculations.

A major breakthrough was the BBC Micro which had a brilliant implementation of Basic as proper grown up language and much easier to get to grips with the Fortran much favoured by 'real' computers. not only that it was quick and easy to use with decent graphics. I was never much for games but I do recall many happy but frustrating hours playing 'Elite'.

It was then I first went on line via Prestel. Remember that. It was a teletext based service. It was on that I had my first online bank account with the Nottingham Building Society. Ahead of its time then. It worked well.

The engineering office I worked in used a main frame at that time  which was tedious as one error in a punched card input meant another total re-entry of data and a days wait of the run and results.

All hail the PC which we tried out and in searching for suitable engineering software I discovered a company which was to be my  future employers.

That's when I started using the Internet often to contact our regional and overseas offices. By this time Nottingham BS had ceased its online service but my high street bank now offered a similar one so took that up. I have used it with no significant problems since.

Nowadays I keep social media at arms length usually only responding to family events.  Email helps me keep in touch regarding my voluntary activities although text messages tend to be more convenient when arranging individual meetings.

SteveX

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1378
Re: When did you start using the internet? and What does it mean to you?
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2018, 08:19:06 PM »

Then came the wonky 16Kb extension which hang of the back of the ZX and would loose contact a crash if you much as sneezed nearby. But it did allow for useful programs. I wrote my first simple engineering program on that.


That drove me bonkers at first.  I forget how many dozens of hours I lost typing in code and one tiny wobble.. BLAM! lost the lot.

But a few months in I hit upon the perfect solution which meant I never suffered again..    Bluetack!!  A strip of Bluetack stuck the rampack to the ZX81 like glue and it never wobbled after that.   >biggrin<
Member of POMMAS

Fiz

  • Charter Member
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3985
Re: When did you start using the internet? and What does it mean to you?
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2018, 03:55:34 AM »
I had a Sinclair ZX didn't mention it before because it wasn't Internet based so didn't automatically think of it as a computer! I loved spending hours programming in songs so it could play my favourite songs to me. Oh how easily pleased and what a daft waste of time! It was complete in its box and everything but I left the house with my daughter and a bin bag of clothes each and we're both upset at the fact that xh threw everything of ours in a skip later.

But I consider the ZX a toy rather than a computer. I played endless tennis on it and no one could beat me. And space invaders. I was actually a child then to be fair. My Godfather bought it for me on the one and only time I met him. I think the role of Godparent is meant to be more about God than Sinclair ZX's but there you go.

SteveX

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1378
Re: When did you start using the internet? and What does it mean to you?
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2018, 08:13:04 PM »
But I consider the ZX a toy rather than a computer.

(I guess you mean ZX Spectrum rather than ZX80 or ZX81?)

oohhh, them's fighting words.  hahah  >lol<
Some forums I frequent would have you shot for saying such a thing.  ;-)
Member of POMMAS

Sunshine Meadows

  • Global Moderator
  • Super Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7705
Re: When did you start using the internet? and What does it mean to you?
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2018, 07:33:20 PM »
Oldtone and Steve,

Reading you internet computer related posts is interesting eg the blue tack fix and online banking all those years ago.

It reminded me of how Mr Sunshine's stepfather used a computer to design stuff for the business he had but the only other use he has for it is playing solitaire.


Fiz,

When I was a little kid I had one of those mechanical soft toy dogs that moved and I think maybe yapped then I pressed the button on the end of a cable attached to it. I think it was the same time my twin brother got an electronic car and it was a big thing to have control of something that we could make move or light up without keeping hold of it. I think when it came to the ZX range some of us thought of them as serious tools and others toys.

Your ex husband throwing you possessions away would have been horrible  >hugs<. a
Having access to information online about various types of abuse has helped me work with my counsellor to better understand how my family were with me and each other.

Everyone,

There is a thought .... does the fact we can each find a lot of information online about many topics lead some people to think they are experts in the field?

Fiz

  • Charter Member
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3985
Re: When did you start using the internet? and What does it mean to you?
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2018, 12:30:29 PM »
Well Google is a qualified Doctor isn't it? And it's taught me a lot for well over the 7 years full medical training so I'm trawling through senior registrars posts every day at the moment ...