Saturday, March 30, 2013
Remember how the Internet was in the mid 1990s?
Brad Plumer, of the Washington Post, provided an old video of what the Internet was like in 1995, narrated by Stewart Cheiffet, with New York Times reporter John Markoff, link here.
The “Computer Chronicles” video, 25 minutes long, was sponsored by companies like HP and Harvard Software.
Gee-whiz, Markoff showed us how the email program Eudora used to work!
He then showed us how to troll Usenet conferences, and how to use an early Mac program called “Anarchy” for software.
In 1995, companies like Compuserve, AOL and Prodigy dominated the home experience, with a lot of proprietary content. It wasn’t until some time in 1996 that AOL started shifting toward being a direct interface to HTML< and it didn’t have a usable personal publisher until the fall of 1996. Then it was called “Hometown AOL”, which was terminated in 2007 (and users allowed to transport to Blogger). In those days, you could have one AOL site per user name. Personal computers sold around 1993 (like the PS-1) came with AOL and Prodigy. I did not start using email (AOL) until August 1994.
Nevertheless, by 1995 companies were starting to set up conventional corporate sites, but search engine practices weren’t really well developed until late 1997.
The video does pose some beginning questions about security, and early questions about caution in posting on the Internet. But one grasped how controversial reputation and identity security problems would get after the year 2000.
I remember learning about the Oklahoma City bombing on AOL before I saw it on the television news.
When my employer was bought in a friendly acquisition in late 1994, employees followed the news feeds on Compuserve.