Internet-stalgia Friday

Do you have a story bout yer first experience with The Internet?
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Hey Todd!

Well, I suppose I'll share my little memory of the Internet back in the day. My family first got a computer when I was in 4th grade, but not until months of bugging Dad did my sister and I get the Internet when I was in 6th...around 1996-1997. DA DA DUM! We were actually some of the last of our friends to welcome the World Wide Web into our homes and boy, were we excited! We got AOL, which if anyone remembers, hasn't always been as crappy as it is now. The first screenname my dad set me up with was something cheesy like GymnGirl3, and I was SO excited to go to all the chat rooms and message boards. My best friend and I would stay up real late on the weekends and talk to guys online; I even got a "boyfriend" for all of two Internet seconds. But hey, let's keep that on the's pretty embarrassing.

Eventually, but not soon enough, we got rid of AOL, but not before I got into numerous fights with my dad for the time limit he set for me on that thing. After learning about my late night escapades, he set things so I would automatically get booted off at 10pm and wouldn't be able to sign back on until 6 or so in the morning. Now that I'm older I understand he was just trying to keep the crazy psychos at bay. Thanks, Dad.

And there's my story.
I love your site, Todd!!


Okay, this isn't really about the internet.  Its about our first home computers.  And it's not my first memory but I still think it's pretty good.  Back in the late 80s and early 90s we bought a new PC about every two years as technology was changing rapidly (anyone remember 8086, 186, 286.?).  Our kids were getting into it right along with us.  At the time we had just four boys and they all viewed the PC as their personal toy.  We had lots of cool shareware games and after Windows we got Wolfenstein and they all became addicts.  They bugged us all day long about "when are  you getting off" and 'can I get on after you" and "whose turn is next" and "he's lying; he's been on for an hour, not a half-hour".  They were driving us crazy.

One day I was talking to someone who happened to mention that they had the same problem.  They decided to have their kids earn time on the computer by doing chores.  I immediately took this idea "and made it my own" as they say on American Idol.!  We decided to hold a family meeting and told the boys that from now on they would earn minute for minute computer time for time spent doing chores.  Anyone who has ever been around pre-teens can appreciate the sight of four boys with their mouths hanging to the floor.  Finally our oldest regained the use of his voice and validated the whole idea when he said, "That's the stupidest idea I've ever heard of in my entire life." 

We are still using this system and it works great.  Our oldest son never did come around to the idea and decided he didn't want to use the computer anymore.  (That was okay with us because he was just gaming anyway).  With the others, I found I could get my spring cleaning done, attic vacuumed, garage cleaned out and mowing done without any complaining.  Finally, the next two bought their own PCs.   The youngest bugs me all the time to see if I can think of anything he can do to earn computer time so he can chat with his friends.

Incidentally, they didn't realize that we even knew what MySpace was last year when they posted their profiles.  We lurked quietly for months and then busted them all with one fell swoop, but that's another story.  




My first internet memory was in 1988/89. I was a freshman in college 
and a guy in the dorm was a computer science major. This was back 
when they were still teaching Fortran and Cobal as high end stuff. 
Anyway, each of the dorms had a terminal room where you could access 
something called the VAX mainframe...but what we figured out by 
accident, trial and error and a little intuition was that you could 
substitute another university name during your sign-on and see who 
was on their mainframe....Meaning you could talk on-line with anyone 
who could figure out how to respond to you from any of 100's of 
universities around the world. I remember striking up random 
conversations on-line with strangers in europe, canada and across the 
US from a dorm in Knoxville, TN.


Hey! What's your first internet memory? Contribute to Friday's Internet-stalgia!

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