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Poll: Which year did you get your first home internet connection?

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  1. Retired from video stuff MackemX's Avatar
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    I didn't realise so many of you would have been pre 1996 (you computer geeks :P). This would be a cool front page poll to get a few late comers like me to fill the stats and make it more general

    I'm in the UK and just ignored PC's during all the 90's as my interests women, beer, bars & nightclubs, convertibles and football (OK maybe a few more women, beers and maybe another woman or 2 :P)

    I got my hands on a PC in late 1999 when I stood on my mother's IBM laptop after drinking heavily and she was on holiday. I didn't realise I'd broken it until a few days later when I opened it and saw the screen all cracked . I was shitting myself as I knew how expensive those things were (in 1999 they were expensive). Luckily she had accidental damage cover and the insurance agreed to replacing it with a Desktop which then became mine

    p.s. I still have my beer, convertible and football but not so much of the women, bars & nightclubs . Damn internet!!!!!
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  2. 1997 with a 28,8 k modem (use to surf the web and go to some bbs).
    2001 with a broadband connection (4 Mbps).

    I tried first Netscape 3 then switch to ie3 (a lot faster on win 95), IE4, IE5, IE6 and now firefox.
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  3. Banned
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    Started with Compuserve in the late 80's, switched to AOL around 1990, and haven't looked back since. I've switched internet carriers since then and will be making another switch next year, but I'll still be maintaining AOL. Their browser is the worst but their service is top notch and the quality of the AOL experience keeps getting better and better.
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  4. Originally Posted by offline
    Sounds right. Some say they were home users before 1995 which is impossible. The true internet (dissolving of ARPANET) occured April 30, 1995.
    Yeah, it might be useful to have a second poll that ask "What year did you first get on-line to a BBS or other connection?" My first computer was a Tandy 1000 (I think), 8088, no modem, but this was 198... ? Can't quite remember. Anyway, it ran from 5 1/4" floppies -- dual floppy drives!!! -- and it served me pretty well until my first "real" computer, a 386DX with 4megs of RAM and a 2400bps modem that cost me $$$$$$, had to take out a loan but what a monster! 256 color monitor!!! 80mb hard drive!!! That woulda been about ... 1992 or 1993? Anybody remember when the 386 came out?

    I was connecting to several BBS back then, using newsgoups and whatever (ymodem rules!) and I distinctly remember that somewhere in there, my brother (who was going to school at UC Boulder) had some funky email address that I couldn't reach ... something like "a.granados@physics.uc.edu" ... and I finally found a BBS that would "relay" email from me to him and vice-versa, for some $$$ for X length of time or messages, can't remember. So I suppose that was probably my first form of "internet" communication.

    But I was also working at a couple of colleges back then, early 90's, and I remember we had this Lynx terminal in our library (where I worked) that was connected to our card catalog system, but you had to "boot" the terminal when you came in in the morning and if you didn't connect to the catalog correctly, it'd dump you at a Unix prompt. I didn't know jack about Unix at the time but hey, it was a library so I found a few books. And while I couldn't do a heck of lot (my access was extremely limited), I could use gopher. What a revelation!!! Yow, that takes me back ... you could get to some pages that had links in the text (underlined) and do some pretty good searches and just plain wandering from there.

    My first taste of a graphical web browser would have been in '93 or '94, again working in a college library (Lewis and Clark, PDX) where I wandered over to the open-access Mac terminals, which were on the network, and they had Mosaic running on them. I distinctly remember sitting down at one, opening Mosaic, clicking on a link and getting -- a picture!!! Not just text!!!

    And of course the guy next to me was looking at porn. How far we've come, eh? :P
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  5. Member FulciLives's Avatar
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    I first experienced the internet in the fall of 1991 as I entered my second year at college.

    Back then I mostly spent time on IRC and NEWSGROUPS. If I recall there was a really weird thing called GOPHER and then MOSIAC (sp?) came around quickly followed by NETSCAPE.

    I had my own personal home account through a local provider (not AOL or CompuServe etc.) in the summer of 1993 ... maybe 1994. My first home modem was an external U.S Robotics 14.4kbps or whatever.

    Been a damn addict every since 1991 though

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  6. Retired from video stuff MackemX's Avatar
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    whoah!!!!!!!, what happened to the results all of a sudden? Looks like I made the front page for the first time in my life. I'm famous and anyone wanting autographs please form an orderly queue

    I wish I'd realised that people would have been voting pre 1996. I was just thinking most would have been general internet users that started from 1996 and onwards due to the increase in users . Will be interesting to find out though as I would have thought that a lot more people would have joined in the last 10 years rather than pre 1996
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    Originally Posted by ozymango
    Yeah, it might be useful to have a second poll that ask "What year did you first get on-line to a BBS or other connection?" My first computer was a Tandy 1000 (I think), 8088, no modem, but this was 198... ? Can't quite remember. Anyway, it ran from 5 1/4" floppies -- dual floppy drives!!! -- and it served me pretty well until my first "real" computer, a 386DX with 4megs of RAM and a 2400bps modem that cost me $$$$$$, had to take out a loan but what a monster! 256 color monitor!!! 80mb hard drive!!! That woulda been about ... 1992 or 1993? Anybody remember when the 386 came out?
    The 386dx was released in 1985 with the 386sx being released in late 1987. Followed quickly by the 486 in late 1988/ early 1989. It wasn't until 1993 that 32 bit computing made the home computer a truely mass produced experience. I never owned a 486 at that time but instead jumped from a 286/10mhz up to a Pentium 60Mhz. I still have the old 286 and wouldn't trade it for the world.
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  8. Renegade gll99's Avatar
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    I was dialing BBS numbers individually in the early 90"s (maybe late 80's) using a 300, 1200 and 2400 baud serial modem. The ones I visited mostly were Vic20 or C64 boards. That wasn't really "the internet" but just people sharing a common interest.

    I used a free ad assisted internet service in 1996/1997 and used my first paid service in 1998. I've been on cable broadband service since it became available in my area (possibly 2001).
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  9. Originally Posted by ROF
    The 386dx was released in 1985 with the 386sx being released in late 1987. Followed quickly by the 486 in late 1988/ early 1989. It wasn't until 1993 that 32 bit computing made the home computer a truely mass produced experience.
    And we've been upgrading ever since!!!

    I must've picked up the 386 in 1991 or 1992, then -- I remember the 486 had come out but it was still way too expensive for me; it cost me just under $2K for my 386, with as many bells and whistles as I could afford, and for a comparable 486 it would've been another $500 +.

    My friend Bob had told me I should save up for the 486 as it would "last much longer when you need to upgrade" (he was a true geek, used to program Atari computers to do wire-frame modeling, and taught himself Assembly language, yikes), but I thought, "Heck, I'm just gonna use it for writing stories mostly, this should last me ten years." Don't forget, up till then I was writing on a typewriter (Brother electric) and even the cheapest word-processing program was like manna from heaven.

    I'm pretty sure the price of my 386 dropped about $300 the week after I got it. But ain't that always the case?
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  10. I don't remember the specific years, but I used my Commodore64/128 to connect to a service called Q-Link at a whopping 300 baud. At that time I purchased a lifetime membership for about $200US. This service eventually evolved into AOL and I still receive 5 free hours of access a month to honor that lifetime membership. (Although I have had to fight for that on a couple occasions when AOL changed management). This has allowed me to maintain the same email address for as long as there's been email. Unlike my hi-speed connection that has changed hands and names (currently Comcast) and forced me to change my email address with each change.
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  11. Retired from video stuff MackemX's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by gadgetguy
    I don't remember the specific years, but I used my Commodore64/128 to connect to a service called Q-Link at a whopping 300 baud. At that time I purchased a lifetime membership for about $200US. This service eventually evolved into AOL and I still receive 5 free hours of access a month to honor that lifetime membership. (Although I have had to fight for that on a couple occasions when AOL changed management). This has allowed me to maintain the same email address for as long as there's been email. Unlike my hi-speed connection that has changed hands and names (currently Comcast) and forced me to change my email address with each change.
    wow , so you don't get something like 1000 spam emails a day from your orginal email address?
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  12. Banned
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    Originally Posted by ozymango

    I must've picked up the 386 in 1991 or 1992, then -- I remember the 486 had come out but it was still way too expensive for me; it cost me just under $2K for my 386, with as many bells and whistles as I could afford, and for a comparable 486 it would've been another $500 +.

    I'm pretty sure the price of my 386 dropped about $300 the week after I got it. But ain't that always the case?
    My 286 cost me almost $1000USD and I don't think it had any bells or whistles at that time. I had sold my Apple to a friend which covered almost half my costs. No HDD, 640K RAM, 8 inch floppy drive, and my old monochrome(still works) monitor.
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  13. wow, so you don't get something like 1000 spam emails a day from your orginal email address?
    Actually, no I don't. AOL's spam filters probably work overtime, but I don't usually get more than fifty emails a day, of which only about half of those would I qualify as SPAM and go directly to the spam/trash folder. The rest are from sources that I recognise and have done business with in the past. I could opt out of those easily enough, but every so often they have something I'm interested in.
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  14. Banned
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    @gadgetguy

    Check your Spam bin. AOL provides one. Mine was quite full when I realized last year that it existed.
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  15. I included the SPAM bin when I said I only receive about 50 emails a day, and that's where the emails I would classify as SPAM go directly to. Also, because this is my "public" email address I've always expected it to have a high ratio of SPAM, but in reality, that just hasn't been the case.
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  16. Banned
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    AOL is extremely good at filtering spam. Because of my business and net presence I get offers and spam mails from just about every marketer available. It's not uncommon for my spam box to have 300 or more pieces in a single day. Thank goodness for AOL. I know there are those who dislike their service but for me since day one they've always been top notch.
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  17. i don't recall the year, but i started on the internet with internet in a box running on windows 3.1. prior to that I ran several bbs's with Wildcat multiline being the last one i ran. That was running on a 486 with 2 x 1gig WDCs 2 pioneer SCSI dvd changers and 2 mitsubishi cd-roms, a USR v.everything sysop specialprice modem and a regular 28.8 modem. the 486 was running a dos multitasker to run the two instances of the bbs s/w. I also had another computer or 2 tied into it running modems via Lantastic. Before that RBBS and other bbs s/w i don't recall.

    I joined Compuserve via a volksmodem 300 baud modem. later on 2400 baud then 9600 baud then 14,400 baud. I also belonged to the source (?) a Compuserve competitor.

    Had a service that I dialed into at night only locally that let me dial out in other locations for a flat rate per month. they were generating revenue selling that service to little guysd like at night and businesses by day at a higher rate. using that service I was a regular member on many bbses on the other coast and in between too. At least on of the bbses i dialed into was running CP/M.

    1st computer a XT clone at 8Mhz that I built with dual 360k floppies and two (!) 20 megabyte seagate Hard Disk Drives. I never ran out of space on those babies!

    cheers
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  18. Member edDV's Avatar
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    I started with Compuserve and local BBS in 1983-84. I recall Compuserve costing $5 per hr @ 300-1200 baud. BBS was "free" if they were in your local dialup zone but most wanted "donations". Email bridges to the internet started in the mid 80's. I got on AOL as well starting '89 from a MACIIci. Back then the internet was mostly about email and early newsgroups.

    In 1993-94 I was at a software convention at Moscone Center in San Francisco and came across PSInet and their first Windows (v3.11) TCP/IP stack packaged with a full suite of UNIXlike internet apps that would run on dialup Windows (email, newsreader, ftp, gopher, etc.). I think it was called InterRamp. The introductory show special was $99 and I signed up on the spot. So then I had Compuserve, AOL and PSInet internet dialup at home. I was also a beta tester for Apple's eWorld on both the MAC and PC.

    Around 1996 I had the beta Windows version of the Mosaic web browser running. Caldera also intoduced their first Linux for Intel package around this time and it ran the UNIX Mosaic browser.

    By then both Compuserve and AOL were offering increased links to the internet world but I don't think they had web browsers until 1997. I recall AOL having a Netscape beta but then they signed for MS Internet Explorer as their exclusive web engine. By then Netscape was firmly established on Linux and on the PC.

    Later PSInet sold off their consumer dialup business to Mindspring of Atlanta. They were later acquired by Earthlink and this became the foundation of the nationwide Earthlink ISP. Then Compuserve was acquired by AOL.
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  19. I was all over the BBS's all during the infancy of the computer era. I had my TI 99/4A and accoustic couplers (300 baud) calling up BBS's. And if I rotated my chair the wrong way it would sometimes squeek and screw up my download!

    I remember when the internet was still somewhat new (94/95 ish) I was able to connect to the internet through some of the BBS's. Then I got a connection through my college but it was only text. So I used a program called Slipknot to get a graphical interface similar to Netscape back then.

    Man! It's come a long way.


    Darryl
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  20. Member ebenton's Avatar
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    I used to have Compu-serve back in 1982 with a 300-baud modem and a VIC-20.
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  21. Originally Posted by ebenton
    I used to have Compu-serve back in 1982 with a 300-baud modem and a VIC-20.
    At this rate, we should be comparing our experiences with abacuses and slide rules pretty soon!!!
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  22. Member Sifaga's Avatar
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    i remember slide rules, the yellow log books and fountain pens from school

    i was a milk monitor
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  23. Member ebenton's Avatar
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    Yeah! I remember mud tablets and sticks. And writing in cuneiform. Or was that heiroglyphics...I can't remember. I do remember that before the VIC-20, we had smoke signals, then two Dixie-cups and a string.
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    Yewp, 1981 here too. With an Apple II and a 300 baud modem that could also do 110 baud, so that it could be compatible with some sort of teletype. Still have my old downloaded manuals from CompuServe (.10 a minute) and The Source.
    Did anyone else subscribe to MCI Mail in 1982 or 1983?

    Matt
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  25. Originally Posted by ebenton
    I do remember that before the VIC-20, we had smoke signals, then two Dixie-cups and a string.
    Ah, two Dixie-cups and a string, I remember those days ... of course, there were always those users who prefered Apple-sauce cans, said they were so easy to use, but me, I liked the Dixie-cups. Then of course there was the great "plain paper cup" movement, your generic setup that refused to pay into the coffers of Dixie, something about a GNU ...
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  26. Mod Neophyte Super Moderator redwudz's Avatar
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    I went on line in about 1986 with a Amiga 1000. And a 300 Baud modem. I had to wait till after 9PM to save on long distance rates. The closest bulletin board was in the next state, some 200 miles away. The BB was in black and white, like a DOS screen. Took an hour or two for a couple of megabytes file. I upgraded to a 19.5K modem a year or two later, still have the thing for nostalgia purposes.

    Technically that wasn't the Internet, just linking to a bulletin board. This link is to a internet history site, if you're interested:

    http://www.isoc.org/internet/history/cerf.shtml

    I remember a few years ago showing my dad, then 87, how he could connect to any place in the world in a few seconds. He was a avid stamp collector and surface mail was the way he had communicated with the rest of the world his whole life. That really made me realize how far we have come in such a short time. Now I have broadband and I cringe every time I have to use 56K dialup.
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  27. Retired from video stuff MackemX's Avatar
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    you could get online with a Vic20? . I was still busy playing with my ZX Spectrum and the likes of Manic Miner/Jetpac etc in those days

    but thinking back I did have a BBC computer in 1983/4 and I'm pretty sure that had something you could do with a telephone but probably didn't realise what it was . I was too interested in playing games at such a young age
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  28. Member Timoleon's Avatar
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    In 1986 I bought a Leading Edge computer (anybody remember that name?) and was so excited because it had a 1200 baud rather than a 300 baud modem inside it 8) I immediately got "online" by joining GENie, which stands for "General Electric Network for Information Exchange", which back in the early days was a viable competitor for CompuServe (this was before AOL came onto the scene). Lots of time spent on messageboards and early Usenet groups.

    The thing that I remember about those early days was that a lot of the early "pioneers" that you ran into online were ham radio geek types --- home electronics freaks who were anxious to try something new. A lot of the early Usenet posts and binaries were ham radio related. Anyway, seems like yesterday but at the same time seems like a generation or so ago...

    Wait a second! It *was* a generation or so ago!
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    I don't remember the year but it was probably about '89 I think. I connected to GEnie with a 300 baud modem hooked up to my Tandy 1400HD laptop.
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    Originally Posted by reboot


    300 baud... That was my first - manual dial too... Nice thing about the 300 baud was that it was a comfortable speed for reading text.
    The fun part, was listening on the reciever, and slamming it into the foam cups at just the right second, otherwise you had to hang up and redial.
    If that was the fun part the not-so-fun part was when your sister wanted to use the phone so she picked up the other line screaming because she know she was causing tons of unwanted ascii characters to appear and your connection would die.
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