Stumbled across this video this morning; had to share!
When I first got onto the internet, it was in 1999 (I think). I made my first email account (which is still active!) on Hotmail, used Yahoo! for search (sorry Google, I didn’t even know anything about you), and downloaded tons of game demos (eh, not really!) and got every single possible cheat code for a game that was possible. We didn’t have Facebook, Orkut, YouTube, Myspace, Gmail with 1GB storage space (Hotmail gave us 2MB, IIRC. My essential emails tally up to at least 500MB today!), or Twitter. I didn’t have the luxury of being able to make a phone call to a relative while talking to a distant friend online while arguing with a stranger on the internet while watching cat videos. I’d be the happiest person if the connection held up for six hours without someone wanting to make a call. I’d go crazy if my USRobotics 56K High-speed modem would connect at 49.2Kbps (that’s about 5 kilobytes per second, or a tad over three minutes for 1MB), but I was fine with the regular 42/48Kbps as well. Sometimes it’d connect at 50.6Kbps and I would never want it to disconnect – an emergency call can wait! And it wasn’t always-on. We couldn’t keep our computers on stand-by and instantly whip up results. We listened to dubstep to connect to the internet. Listening to a slowed down version today, I find that it was actually extreme speed metal (like 15k bpm or something) with whale song thrown in for good measure. Reminds me of Gojira’s ‘Whale Song’.
My top three websites were Hotmail, Kids Domain, and any website with Flash (it was called Shockwave back then?) games. Kids Domain had all these little games that my 10yo-self loved. I found Army Men from there, and also Greatest Paper Airplanes (arguably one of the greatest pieces of software EVER made). Unfortunately I don’t think it’s up anymore. : Shockwave was my favourite source for Flash games, followed closely by Lego and Cartoon Network. I used to do research (if you can call it that) to know if there was a way to download these games to my computer so I didn’t have to wait for them to load each time I wanted to play them. 🙂 Spyhunter and Stormrunner were some of the best Lego games I played. Unfortunately Lego took them down, but I know you can find them online if you look hard enough. They were amazing.
Today, though, it’s a whole new world. You have gigabit internet, wireless internet, YouTube, Soundcloud, Twitter, Facebook, Orkut, Myspace, Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo!, torrent files, simultaneous phone and web surfing… We didn’t get ADSL at home until 2010. Prices were prohibitively expensive to afford one at home. But that was how Kuwait was. Things’ve changed now. But I learned some things with dial-up and the ‘early’ (not ARPANET, obviously) internet that today’s internet cannot teach me – patience and satisfaction, the lesson that in life you can’t always get what you want. You get three wishes and not one more. Army Men’s demo was 100MB. It took me six hours (left overnight) to download and I played the hell out of it, and I loved it to bits. Today I can download gigabytes in that span of time (or even more if I have a faster connection) and I wouldn’t even think about it after a while.
That was my age of the internet. *sigh* The nostalgia of those days. But hey, you’ll never be as cool as us – the kids with the 450MHz Pentium III, 128MB RAM, 56K modem, 20GBHDD and working floppy drive computer.
Now, if you’ll excuse me…*cue dial-up dubstep*