Friday, April 28, 2017

First Internet Interactions of a Not-Quite Digital Native

I recently started listening to the "Internet History Podcast" and Chapter 1, naturally, covers the "first" web browser, summarizing the history of Marc Andressen and the creation of Netscape.

It got me thinking about what a unique time it was growing up at the same time as the internet and some of my first interactions.

The first was purely observational, watching someone at the public library typing in a console of pure green-illuminated text. I don't know how (I probably heard about it somewhere), but somehow I knew he was accessing information beyond the contents of that machine.

My first experiences with a graphical internet and browser were probably around 1995. While the first couple times signing on are a bit fuzzy (once was at school and another was at my friend Zack's house, in which order I can't remember), I very clearly remember the third time since it was the first time I went through the process myself.

It was in Mrs. Hayes's 4th grade on a computer donated to the school. Zack and I had previously gone online at his house after his dad had shown us and we wanted to show our other friend Matt. Up until that point, I had played with graphical computers, but only executing local applications. Having the multi-step process of connecting the modem then launching the browser seemed so complicated.

I have no idea what we did once we got online, but the process of getting there is what stands out the most.
As a not-quite digital native, I'm still amazed by certain aspects of internet technology and can't quite imagine what it would be like to grow up today.

Any defining stories of internet/technology from your youth?
I'd love to hear about them. Please respond in the comments below!

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