Sunday, 11 March 2012

This here intarwebby...

Something that someone said on UKS (UKScrappers forum) triggered a thought about when we first connected to the internet. We first joined up in 1995. It was just before Christmas and we didn't really get going until the January of the following year.
around 2002
At the time I was writing Freeform Roleplaying Games, both on my own and as part of a team. My freeforms were murder mystery ones while the team I wrote with did fantasy ones based on a roleplaying game called Ars Magica. It was just so amazing to be able to send a message to someone at two in the morning, without disturbing them, and have a reply when we connected again the following day.
Of course it was dial-up and the modem was the smallest and slowest available - the only one available when we first started. Within the year we had upgraded to a 56k modem and couldn't believe how fast it was.
The hard drive of the computer was 100Mb and we thought we would never fill it! Actually, we never did fill it. Mr M had his game of the moment and I would go online - for an hour at the most because otherwise it was very expensive - and look at websites and write and answer messages on Rootsweb. A fabulous genealogy and family history site where you could talk to other addicts  like minded people about your obsession hobby.
This was also when my innate ability to kill computers was first made manifest. I would press the button to fire up the computer and all sorts of unexpected things would happen, all ending in the same way with the puter "falling over". Mr M upgraded to a bigger better faster machine with - pause for effect - 128Mb of RAM. I was given sole charge of the older machine, together with a scanner, a printer and use of the modem. Heaven.
At this point, for a joke because the machine still fell over if I touched the ON button with my finger, I used a pencil to push the button. The machine started perfectly. Next time I used my finger, nothing happened. I used the pencil and the machine worked. I continued to use the pencil for the rest the life of the machine. OH and we had slots for the 5 and a quarter floppy disks as well as the 3 and a half inch ones. Actually my present machine has a slot for a floppy disk. I suspect that I should go through the disks and see if there is anything I want badly enough to transfer it to a stick shouldn't I?

It is nothing short of amazing just how far technology has come in those 16 years. We now take our mobile phones for granted and complain when we can't get a signal and yet they were the exeption rather than the rule back then - and it is only 16 years!!
Isn't life just full of wonderful stuff?


Sian said...

Yes, it certainly is!

Amy said...

I just about remember floppy disks, and dial up internet. As a teenager I would get frustrated having to unplug whenever anybody wanted to use the phone, and of course I could only go online to carry out my very important teenage business after 6 when the rates where cheaper. These days I'm paying for my own internet in a student house and we complain when the computers slow down as we attempt to stream three different films/ download music/ surf the web at the same time. Funny old thing, you're right :p