[thechat] Memory Lane... Internet clients from '97

Jorah Lavin madstone at madstone.net
Fri Oct 24 22:51:52 CDT 2003

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "John Handelaar" <john at videoisland.com>

> '97?
> You're going to reference something called 'Archie', I thought I knew what
was coming at the other end of the link.  Archie, WAIS and gopher were all
around the same time iirc - '92?
> /me has had the address john at gn.apc.org since June 19*88*.

Well, I was doing a little bit of BBSing by around '94 or so, over a little
old modem... what, 2300 baud or something? using an XT clone with a 20 meg
hard drive. I was living out in the woods in central Mass. In the spring of
'96 I got a "fast" Mac Quadra with a staggering several megs of ram and got
online... lucky for me, I was earning my living doing online work by the
fall of '98, all without any school, and no tech background.

I certainly thought, in '96, that I was a latecomer to the scene! Now, to a
lot of people, I sound like an old timer... only in Internet time can you be
an old timer after 6 and a half years. I don't know when Archie and Veronica
and such got started, but they were fading by the time I got online. I was
doing searches for such things because of the Lonestar.org account I just
got. They offer gopher space on the server, which I thought was fun. I had
friends who were part of the Free Software Foundation or some such
organization, and they were online long before I was, so I was somewhat
aware of the fact that the Internet was out there by the early 90s, but if
you weren't in the college world, there wasn't much chance to get online
then. I was working as a roofer's helper or in print shops.

Still, '96 seems like a very different online environment to me now, looking
back at it.


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