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mowens's avatar

What did you used to do on the internet of old?

Asked by mowens (8387points) May 17th, 2012

I was just thinking to myself that the internet in the early days had a lot of things that no one really does anymore. For example, I had AOL in the early 90s, and I used to play something called Slingo all the time. I am aware that you can still play slingo… I just don’t. Also, I used to frequent chat rooms in AOL. Something else that I haven’t done in years.

So what did you used to do on the internet before it was the beast we know of today? Do you miss it?

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12 Answers

Blackberry's avatar

When we were teens, my friends and me would try to meet girls in chatrooms. We talked on the phone with a girl from Wisconsin. I always remember that vividly because she kept saying a-boot (about) and Ore-gone instead of Ore-gin and it made us laugh.

jrpowell's avatar

Back in the day when I was in high school PHP and MySQL weren’t around. The internet was pretty much a one way street. It was more like a library. A library with porn that took three minutes for a single image to load and not be pixelated.

There wasn’t any back and forth, you just consumed static HTML pages. And people weren’t in it to make money. There was very little advertising. It was just nerds writing about stuff they thought people might want to learn about.

mowens's avatar

@Blackberry I did the same thing, only we never even thought to have a phone coversation. (which was probably a good thing, considering we were young enough to sound like women) We used to chat up girls for hours. What is even funnier, is that when I was 22 I came out of the closet.

@johnpowell I do remember those days as well. I gradauted high school in 2002… and they were just starting to do some interesting stuff. Amazon was just starting to get well known…. ebay was just starting to take off with everything. My friend Adam, had an Ebay “get rich quick scheme.” It didnt work out… we are all still not millionares.

SavoirFaire's avatar

I didn’t use the internet all that much when I was younger. When I did, it was to play Quake online, to chat on AIM, or to build silly websites.

wundayatta's avatar

I used to belong to all these alt dot “newsgroups” on a number of topics. There were porn newsgroups and you had to download three to six different posts and then stitch them together and decode them in order to get one dirty picture. It taught me about decoders and steganography. In those days, pcp was still not hobbled by the government.

But the most important list I was a member of was the list for folks with infertility. It was mostly women, unusual in those days, and me. It was through that newsgroup that I found out which hospitals had the best programs and that there was a new technology available in the Big Apple that might help.

Without the nascent internet, I would not be a father for as long as I have been, and I suppose I might not be one at all. But I was making all kinds of connections for work and hobbies and other interests through the internet before it even was the internet—back in the days of BBSes and FidoNet and 300 baud dial up connections.

YARNLADY's avatar

I was a computer hold out until about 5 years ago, when I joined Yahoo Answers, and began my computer answering hobby.

My husband, however, has been a professional in the computer science/programming field since the early 1970’s, and is now at the top of his field.

Our oldest son was known as a Bixen “The BYTE Information eXchange was a BBS system maintained by BYTE Magazine, for the distribution of current information, software, etc., to its subscribers (known occasionally as bixen), and featuring numerous user discussion areas divided into conferences and exchanges. Similar to Compuserve and its kin, BIX is a very early example of the national-scale bulletin board systems.”

My youngest son grew up with computers. When he was just two years old, in 1982, with our very first Apple, he could turn it on, put in the boot disk, take it out and put in his play/learning disk (which Dad had programmed for him) and go for hours. He learned to type and read as soon as he could talk.

ratboy's avatar

Web browsers didn’t exist and most monitors were monochrome CRTs, but usenet newsgroups and anonymous ftp were still preferable to working.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I used to frequent chat rooms too, ones designed for teenagers (which I was at the time). I’m willing to bet that many of the people who I chatted to were not teenagers themselves but I never felt weirded out by anyone. I used to visit all the time. It still exists but is very different from how it was when I used it. It was there that I found my love of Q&A as they had “tag books” which were questions or polls that you could ask the community. Before even then, I woukd use it to find pictures of my idols or animals to stick on my bedroom wall.

Berserker's avatar

Back when I started using it, it had most of the basic stuff it does now, although a lot of that has been buried by a slew of new things. Since it was new to me, I kept to the simpler stuff. Like checking fan made websites about Sailormoon and Final Fantasy, reading character bios and taking tests to see which character I was like the most.
Lots of video game fan pages were really well made and interesting, and I learned a lot about my favorite games. I think a lot of those got killed by the advent of huge guide sites like GameFAQ’s though. Where, might I add, later after my first encounter with the net, I spent a hell of a lot of time at, helping people with their faqs where I could, or messing around on the social boards.

There was also this cool site called TheBelly that I was a big fan of. There was a chat room, and I made a friend there. I didn’t have a computer at home though, so I had to use the school computers, so we couldn’t talk all the time. We did send letters through snail mail back and forth, and eventually just drifted. It was a fun site though, with a bunch of games you could play. Like some tank strategy game, where users in the site messed one another up.

Harold's avatar

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OpryLeigh's avatar

@mowens I’ve checked and it doesn’t seem to exist now. It was the first “social networking” site I ever joined.

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