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willbrawn's avatar

What's a memory you have from how to Internet use to be?

Asked by willbrawn (6606points) April 11th, 2009 from iPhone

The Internet has changed. What’s something you remember from the old Internet days. Well as far back as you can remember.

Inspired by our friends and dead websites.

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37 Answers

willbrawn's avatar

I remember before myspace everyone was on AOL. It seemed everyone had a screen name. And my buddy list was like 50 people. And I would ignore half of them.

You’ve got Mail!

essieness's avatar

I remember when it took forever to download music because of dial-up on Napster, which used to be free, or whatever other program you used. I remember too that it seemed like everyone had AOL and AIM. When I hear that little, brrriiing from AIM, I’m transported back to high school all over again!

eambos's avatar

The 56k modem.

SuperMouse's avatar

I remember using dial-up, forgetting to turn of my call waiting, and being knocked off line every time someone rang through.

forestGeek's avatar

RealPlayer for audio & video.

andrew's avatar

The 2600 baud modem.
HTML chatrooms.
Hacking HTML chatrooms.
Downloading fonts.
Collecting icons.
Collecting sound files from AOL.
Emoticons as a “new thing”.
The MIDI version of “Bittersweet Symphony” on my webpage.
Descent 3 Clans.
Discovering alt.*

Kelly27's avatar

ICQ that is old school ;)

SuperMouse's avatar

This isn’t internet related but I remember before Windows when my PC just ran on DOS, having to install menu software in order to access my programs without having to type c:/.

andrew's avatar

@SuperMouse I know! I remember having to fiddle with HIGHMEM just to get games to run.

crisw's avatar

Most of what Andrew said.
The whole Usenet universe.
Telnet, Archie, Veronica.

thebigdriver's avatar

Using one of the first browsers on a Mac and saying “This is so slow, why would anyone do this when you can FTP?”

babiturtle36's avatar

Oh god, I remember having to pay per min of use. Then the $500 bill coming to my house and my father having a shit fit.

willbrawn's avatar

I remember when Gif images were cool. I tired collecting them from all over the Internet. Fool I was.

essieness's avatar

Netscape. Being told I had to type in the http:// before the web address…

chyna's avatar

My first computer at work was a TRS 80 from Radioshack. The disk was the size of a regular album. We had to write our programs in basica and transfer them via a dial up modem through a service provided by GE. I shudder when I think of how long all that took.

laureth's avatar

300 baud modem – like filling a bathtub with an eyedropper.

IRC – when it was The Thing, and when there was only one.

ASCII art.

The ASCII graphics game called “Moria” (or “Nethack,” a close cousin).


FTP. Pine.

And, while it’s not Internet related, the first computer I learned on was a Commodore PET – Yes, that’s a cassette tape drive there.

Lupin's avatar

I used Archie and Veronica as search engines. Gasoline powered search engines!

SuperMouse's avatar


kevbo's avatar

Discovering BBS’s
Having to type “http://”
The amazing hyperlink
The transcript of “The Meaning of Life” that was circulated via e-mail
When e-mail was like writing an electronic letter
Gopher and Mosaic
Sneaking looks at in the computer labs at college
Books about collections of internet Web sites
Personal web pages

Why the f#$@ didn’t I register every corporate domain name so that I could lease them all later in life and make money for nothing?

cwilbur's avatar

I remember the first time I got spam, and how horrified I was.

mcbealer's avatar

I remember how sad I was when altavista got rid of email.
Mostly I remember how bland the internet was without all the cool videos of today’s internet experience – and how excrutiatingly slow dial-up was.

andrew's avatar

Remember when software didn’t have updates? At all?

Mr_M's avatar

“You got mail”

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

My earliest memory of the Internet my was manually typing in modem strings to connect with a 56k modem.

kevbo's avatar

Oh, and specific to Telnet, the “finger (username)” command, to see if my flavor of the month was online.

heh, heh. i said “finger.”

seekingwolf's avatar

Sadly, I don’t remember much of dial-up. We had broadband the second it came out.

I def remember using these really old IBM computers when I was 6. We played reading games on them. The headphone port was constantly coming loose and the screen itself probably weighed 25 lbs.

Jamspoon's avatar

@andrew gets serious props for that list.

@kevbo Typing the “http://” is definitely something I have gladly forgotten.

Before P2P sharing or Napster, IRC was where it was at for filesharing, I spent inordinate amounts of time on IRC.

tiffyandthewall's avatar

web tv!! does anyone remember those things? was i the only one who had one? they were such a pain in the ass, but it was super high tech to me.

phoenyx's avatar

Wow, pretty much everything @andrew said.

@laureth I had a 300 baud modem that I’d borrowed from my computer teacher. I could read the text faster than it displayed.

I remember arguing with a friend that gopher was awesome and this “world wide web” stuff that he was into would never catch on.

Dutchess12's avatar

Gosh..I remember seeing one of the early chat rooms…it was weird. And in those days, the chat rooms themselves were weird!

andrew's avatar

@phoenyx I know! Me too! “World wide web, ha!”.

Of course, I thought the same thing about blogging, youtube, and twitter. Go figure.

Zen's avatar

Where are the grammar mods? Hello> What is this question: What’s a memory you have from how to Internet use to be?

I remember small, green screens, noise, clunky brick-like cellphones, and blurry eye-sight.

loser's avatar

That stupid modem sound you always got with dial-up!
Can’t say I miss THAT!

Zen's avatar

@Dutchess12 I was a “mod” back then in the weird (doesn’t begin to describe them) chats.


casheroo's avatar

Listening to it connect to the internet (is that what dial-up is?) the AOL chatrooms…

wundayatta's avatar

Anyone remember having to download photos in several parts, then stitching them together so you could see them?



Dialing many a number to get a connection?

When every BBS had it’s own phone number?


Going down to the local monthly computer geek gathering to find software to read your CPM disks to DOS?

DOS as a command line language that you actually used? dir? cd?

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