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In My Day, The Web Was…

29 September 2010 Lies and Entertainment 5,678 views One CommentPrint This Post Print This Post Email This Post Email This Post

In my day, the web was small. It wasn’t even a billion pages yet. You could surf the entire thing in under a hundred years. And it was a kinder, more homey place; you knew all your neighbors, including the guy who ran the foot fetish site. Nice guy, but he always needed to be told, “Um, Bronco? My eyes are up here.”

In my day, the web was accessed through America Online, an “Akira”-like living machine that grew large enough to engulf Time magazine and Bugs Bunny. Even now, several years after the machine was finally unplugged and its reign of terror ended, the AOL continues to produce mass mailings of CD-ROM installation discs even though no one has owned a CD-ROM drive for at least eight years.

In my day, there was no Facebook, no Twitter, no LinkedIn, no Flickr, no LiveJournal, no MySpace. We didn’t even have Friendster. In those dark ages, if we needed to get a hold of someone to wish them a happy birthday, we had to commit the unconscionable act of composing an email, or by sending a “webcard” that was neither a card, nor appropriate.

In my day, if you wanted to post a picture to the web, you had to baby-step through a 700-part process that included scanning an image, finding a server to host it, sending the image to that server via file-transfer protocol, building a page for the image with a forgotten mystic art called “HTML,” then sending that page live to the web. Today, it’s more difficult not to post a picture. That photo at the top? I didn’t put that there. Just happened.

In my day, we kept our music on “compact discs.” Yeah. And even when we managed to “rip” the music from those CDs (seriously, that’s what it was called — “ripping”), we had to “burn” the music to another CD if we wanted to share it. This was before Napster introduced the notion of sharing music via the web, and before Metallica and the Recording Industry Association of America galvanized the idea in the public consciousness by suing everyone who partook in it.

In my day, the web was not accessible by telephone. I don’t know how the world kept from falling apart during this era of reduced connectivity. Sometimes, you’d have to wait hours to check your email.

Speaking of: In my day, there was no Gmail. Most people used an email program created by Microsoft, a little-known electronics company that would go on to achieve worldwide recognition with the Zune portrable music player.

In my day, you could actually buy nonsense web domain names like “Hulu,” “Zebigo” and “Whrrl” without adding alphanumeric characters to avoid impinging on an existing copyright.

In my day, friends and relatives simply passed on email hoaxes without bothering to check their veracity on Snopes. Thank God that’s over with.

In my day, we believed that the web could make us money. Ha ha ha. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Geoff Carter

PHOTO BY LENORE EDMAN

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One Comment »

  1. Geoff, what a gem of a posting. It perfectly captures that moment of the transition known as the 90s. Brought me back to high school. I remember living online when cyberspace was on the verge of blasting off and AOL, ripping, and HTML were key aspects of that time.

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