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This is a question My First Experience of the Internet

We remember when this was all fields, and lived a furtive life of dial-up modems and dodgy newsgroups. Tell us about how you came to love the internets.

(, Thu 22 Mar 2012, 11:56)
Pages: Popular, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

At a mates house some time in the 90s

Wavy lines

My pal showed me what he'd found via the magic of his 56k modem. Adult chat network was a significant collection of boards covering a multitude of perversions where (so far as I could tell) a bunch of dribbling shut-ins would await a female then compete at flirtation in order to entice the victim into a private chat and 'cyber' them.

Things became nauseating when my (then) friend logged out and signed back in as a bi-curious female named mangina.

Like rubber-necking a nasty road accident, I them witnessed him accept the flirtations of the ravenous horde and soon after engage in private chat with a 'lucky' punter.

I can't remember much detail, but basically mangina put across that 'she' liked anal play and encouraged the gibbering monkey spanker to follow suit. There was something about trying to get four fingers in his jacksie then the typing stopped. An enquiry was met with reply that he was bleeding pretty bad and would have to go.

I've never felt so shocked or nauseous online until some twat on here mentioned jarsquatter and I looked that up.

Oddly enough, I happened to lose touch with the sadistic fucker i'd called my friend.
(, Fri 23 Mar 2012, 13:41, Reply)
When introducing yourself to a stranger, it is essential that you identify as soon as possible their age, sex and location.

"Hi! My name is Jennifer. I see you like computers. What's your name?"
"age sex location".
"age sex location".
"You'll have to forgive me, I'm not quite following..."
(, Fri 23 Mar 2012, 13:26, 4 replies)
I feel old
In france- minitel- probably still running now

Over here- prestel and then cisco or misco I think it was called- my dad (IT teacher) was overjoyed. I was all like 'meh'
Then the internet finally became useful so the pR0n featured heavily in my life.
Then I discovered network play doom and other games;
Our college had 5 big computer rooms and I uploaded network doom and shared it with all student users The file name was 'playdoomnow'. Cue the hopeless administrator running around wondering why the network was crashing\slow as 300 students all learn to play doom in an immense multiplayer match! Many lols were had.
Now I just use it for work.
(, Fri 23 Mar 2012, 11:57, 7 replies)
Before I had the Internet, I dreamt of the Internet; I was 12, so the dream
consisted of me getting the Internet and then watching all of the pornography. I woke up even more excited about my future.

My first concious experience of the Internet was, still aged 12, at a 'net café', but not one of those trendy places with '@' symbols and paninis everywhere. It was quite clearly a man's spare room. My Grandfather took me and I used my allotted half-an-hour to learn about frogs. We had the interwebs installed at home a few months later.

Within a few days of getting online at home, I had a (utterly utterly terrible) website on Tripod. It had a spinning 3D Java clock, scrolling status bar text and countless interesting lists of things I liked. Soon it even had a page about Smurfs, in order of my favourite Smurf to least favourite Smurf. When I was a sad-offline-child, I'd been teaching myself Delphi (a (terrible) programming language); the Internets became the perfect place to flog my (free)wares. Doorz 3000 was a (terrible) Windows shell that somehow made it into PC Format and PC Answers magazines and is still used by some (terrible) people today. I also claim to have invented the word 'blog': one of my (terrible) applications was called 'Web log' and it would live in your system tray, download a static HTML file from your defined FTP server, add your latest entry into it, and reupload it. The executable was called blog.exe, this was before blogging was called blogging. I am aware this is just a coincidence, no one used this piece of software (it was terrible), but it is a good thing to throw out when I'm bored and pretending to be an Internet Millionaire at networking shindigs.

In 2002 I found b3ta, became an internet-pervert (thanks, Rob), bought fucksocks.co.uk and started asking for people to send me photographs of them with socks on their willies to add to the gallery of me and my friends. At the time I was routinely recognised around town for being the 'sock guy', half a million people have seen those photographs.

Since then I've worked freelance, been the eCommerce director for a multi-million-pound-company (it turns out that is quite stressful, I had a bit of a breakdown) and now run my own little venture selling hair dye and other brightly coloured things. It is doing quite well: Look Magazine featured it a month ago and it was in Stylist Magazine yesterday. £10 of samples for an editorial feature is much better than paying for advertising. Soon I will be able to afford to eat real food and heat my flat!

I was a (terrible) reclusive child (über-bullied), I think the Internet stopped me from going completely mad and gave me an outlet. I have a nice balance of geekyness and socialness now, but I do still feel like I grew up online rather than in swing parks. This is fine, the Internet is a nice place to live.
(, Fri 23 Mar 2012, 11:48, 16 replies)
First days of IRC and the joy of Remote WAV file playing.
After a few weeks of exploring the wonders of IRC we'd set up our own channel that mutual online Ultima Online playing friends of ours would use to talk shit. One of the features of the IRC client we used was to be able to play WAV files which would simultaneously play on anyone elses PC who had the file physically on their disk too. The command was something like !play [filename.wav]

This was mostly Simpsons samples such as:

!play simpsons_nerd.wav - which would play the Comic Store Guy saying,"Ok here we go. Alt.binaries.nerd.obsessive."

!play simpsons_eatmyshorts.wav - Bart's "Eat my shorts."

..and so on.

Around this time my mates girlfriend moved in with him and in a drunken conversation she let slip that in the times that he stopped typing on IRC on a Saturday morning was usually when she'd dragged him into bed for some carnal distractions.

One such morning he suddenly stopped typing for a bit longer than normal. So I siezed my chance.

- Mr_AirmanGabber: !play simpsons_hubba.wav - which played a Simpsons sample described as [wolf-whistles, cat noise, a bed squeaking, purring, panting, barking, howling, lip twiddle, Hubba hubba!]


- Mr_Random: "Will you fucking stop that! It just put me off my strokes as she started giggling."

- Mr_AirmanGabber: !play Simpsons_Excellent.wav

- Mr_Random: "Fuck off!"

- Mr_Random has disconnected: (Twat!)
(, Fri 23 Mar 2012, 11:38, 1 reply)
My stepdad regaIed me with the taIe of his first experience of a search engine
He took me aside and said "AII l had to do was type 'steaming dripping cunts' into the IittIe box and you wouIdn't beIieve what came up!"

Er, actuaIIy, yes l probabIy wouId. Porn on the internet? SureIy not!
(, Fri 23 Mar 2012, 11:31, 3 replies)
Early ninties, at uni where we had whatever passed for broadband, so I thought everyone had the Internet relatively fast. 6 months later my new girlfriend was showing off her new dial-up modem - I was utterly bowled over at how slow and shite it was, there didn't seem to be any point having internet access at home if you could read the entire contents of a page before the graphics even started coming down.

First job on leaving uni was at an Internet company with again pretty decent broadband. Totally spoilt. Didn't bother getting the Internet at home until about 2002 when broadband was widely available and relatively cheap - knew I couldn't stand to put up with anything else.

Stayed late at uni and work a lot and, ahem, copied a lot of stuff to floppy.
(, Fri 23 Mar 2012, 11:29, 3 replies)
Just about the first site I saw
Some dimwit at work was going on about the end of the world in 1999. So I got onto the only computer on the floor and fed something into AltaVista. What I got was


Which was instant evidence the net was a home for fuckwits and frauds.
(, Fri 23 Mar 2012, 11:25, Reply)

ah! the memories of owning a bbc model b with disk drives and running up a £300 telephone bill on prestel at 300 baud.

edit: chatted to Gerry Anderson live though! wooooo!
(, Fri 23 Mar 2012, 11:24, 1 reply)
Ahh, 1985
Yes, 1985. University of Reading. A time of steam-powered Amdahl mainframes, VT52 terminals, and Usenet before the Great Renaming.

Ahh, Usenet was great before the coming of spam, AOL and the binary groups. The rec.sf-lovers group was where I hung out, looking into a green screen and communicating with others around the world until the wee hours of the morning.

Like a reverse version of Proust's madeleine, this brings back memories of smells - floor polish, mostly, and the smell of hot toner from the rather weird electrostatic printer in the corner of the computer room.

Happy days. In those days you could have a serious discussion of what the less audible lyrics of "2112" actually were, or share the MIDI specifications for the Casio CZ-101 synthesizer.

Of course these days it's all pirated viagra.
(, Fri 23 Mar 2012, 11:09, Reply)
Command and Conquer online multiplayer frustration
My mate's family had just got a brand spanking new, top of the line 28k modem. The internet was ours! Or so we thought. Spent an afternoon trying to connect to the local games shop (which had a super-powered 56k modem) so we could play C&C online with another mate that worked there. Everytime we got connected we phoned each other to talk about how cool it was, and lost the connection. Took several months to work out why.
(, Fri 23 Mar 2012, 11:00, Reply)
My first Piratey adventure on the Internet open seas with Cable & Wirelesses 50p call deal.
In the days before a fixed fee for broadband you had to pay by the minute for dialup internet access. An expensive game for online addicts such as myself.

Fortunately C&W started to offer a deal that no local call would cost more than 50p over the weekend, clearly aimed at voice calls. As my mate and I were on Demon internet which had local dialup nodes throughout the country we saw a golden opportunity.

ATDT01625509666 *beep beep beep screeeeeech* was the start of our freetard internet nirvana.

It felt good sticking it to the man as we connected on a friday night and stayed connected all weekend for only 50p, disconnects allowing. Sadly there were usually a couple of DCs over each weekend but a whole weekends net for only £1.50 or so was awesome.

Because of this we decided to investigate the newsgroups and amongst the filth my mate and I found a copy of Quake that had been split into 80 floppy disks. We came up with a plan over IRC and I started downloading disks 1-40 and he started down from 80-41. *2* days later we had all 80 disks.

"PKZIP Archive Error. Bad CRC."

"Fuckity fuckity fuckity."

This was the days before PAR files which would clearly identify the dodgy disk. Aaah well, as it cost nowt we patiently started re downloading the archives and only 3 or 4 hours later found the dodgy disk and were able to start fragging.
(, Fri 23 Mar 2012, 10:59, 4 replies)
The first experience of the World Wide Web...
...was "vague, but exciting" (CERN department head's reaction to Tim Berners-Lee's proposed computing network)
Scan of the original here: info.cern.ch/Proposal.html

Also you can see what the original web browser he and Robert Cailliau designed looked like here: info.cern.ch/NextBrowser.html Unfortunately most computers weren't powerful enough to run it, so it took years for average browsers to reach this level.

Met RC just before Christmas. Really nice guy, and ultimately a key player in convincing CERN that they should just give it away for free to the world.
(, Fri 23 Mar 2012, 10:55, Reply)
Auntie knows everything
Wavy lines back to 1981. I'm sitting in the lounge, pounding away on the keyboard of a ZX-81 which is connected to the family TV set. Yes, I was one of those famed 14-year-old computer fanatics of that distant, halcyon era.

My aunt, in her 60s, is watching from the armchair as she does her knitting. She's visiting, and probably hasn't ever seen a computer before. Apparently she's been trying to work out what I'm doing, because she suddenly asks, "So, can you ask it anything, then?"

Oh how I rolled around on the floor, laughing at her naivete! What a dinosaur, I thought, what a muppet. How could anyone be so stupid to think that you could simply sit at your computer at home, and ask questions to get information.

About 15 years later it dawned on me that she was, in fact, startlingly prescient, and if I'd taken her seriously I could have been Bill Gates.

(, Fri 23 Mar 2012, 10:49, Reply)
Not mine, and not my first...
...but it's a good story, so sod you.

Art director I worked with needed a specific type of New York street scene for an ad he was creating, and decided he'd try looking outside commercial image libraries.

He suddenly started saying "oh... no... oh god no... make it stop... cannot unsee..." etc etc. And then a short pause before he announced "never do an image search for steaming manholes"
(, Fri 23 Mar 2012, 10:42, 1 reply)
Unfortunately, as with most people its not too interesting
Back in my college days I was dragged to the computer room by a girl whose name I forget but whose arse I never will. She showed me what a chat room was and I was hooked. Then the college banned chatrooms so I was forced to get the internet at home. Ah the memories, me enjoying a good A/S/L? session in the yahoo clubs chatrooms when drifting up the stairs came the voice of an angel, its sweet angelic tone proclaiming "Phil if you don't get off that fucking chatroom so I can use the phone then your computer is going out of the fucking window!"
(, Fri 23 Mar 2012, 10:41, Reply)
There was an advert recently...
... that showed the major IT developments over the last thrity years or so (no idea what it was an advert for, so that was money well spent by the company involved). When they got to the "e-mail" bit, one of the blokes in the advert says "but what's it for?"

That's exactly how I felt when I first got on the net. Yes there was porn, yes there were shit metal band fan sites, yes you could email people or go on IRC but I really couldn't see any practical application for computers being able to talk to each other.

I also remember having a discussion about games over the 'net in about 1995 and everyone agreeing that no-one would play proper games on the internet and would certainly never, ever pay a subscription to play them.

Shows how wrong you can be, really.
(, Fri 23 Mar 2012, 10:37, Reply)
Compuserve Forums and a David Braben cock-up.
Initially it wasn't technically the internet until they added a Mozilla browser interface but merely global bulletin board full of wonderful moderated discussion forums. Moments that stand out.

1. Derek Smart going postal on the Battlecruiser forums after they slated his latest game.
2. Downloading my first ever high resolution porn image over about 30 minutes.
3. Downloading a 1st day demo of Elite:Frontier uploaded by Braben himself and then noticing that he'd accidentally included a swap file that contained a significant chunk of the source code along with some very unflattering comments. *I* found that. Me! I was a legend on the Elite forum for finding that as we all proceeded to pull the code apart bit by bit looking for tasty morsels.
(, Fri 23 Mar 2012, 10:34, 4 replies)
My first proper interweb experience was during school
I was known as a bit of a computer whizz back then and stumbled upon a little something called Freeserve Chat.....I was on there all the friggin time and even clocked up the minutes at home

ToOnZ SnR. had dial-up....when he saw the bill....well.....lets just say I could not sit down for a few days!

Oh, and I remember downloading a program which was a cat on your desktop who chased your mouse cursor....oh the days of primitive entertainment!!
(, Fri 23 Mar 2012, 9:44, 4 replies)
Creative language
Using Alta Vista to search for smut at school. Circumventing the banned words list by typing in creative search terms such as 'there's something in Mary'...
(, Fri 23 Mar 2012, 9:41, 2 replies)
Things were different in my day
Those were the days. All this were fields of "under construction" animated GIFs. None of that MyFace or Spacebook or this new-fangled twattering whatchamacallit. Back then blogs were still called journals and were happy with that.

And what about this JavaScript remoting gubbins? When I were a lad we used JavaScript to change an image when you moved your mouse over it. I remember the first time I saw that; I giggled like a loon. Height of sophistication that were. Scrolling marquees and MIDi music in the background. We were trailblazers, we were.

Back in my day we didn't have the complicated CSS-based layout stylings. We had to use frames, and sometimes we didn't have them. I remember when my dear daddy said "son, what I wouldn't give for a browser that supports frames." Fat chance getting one of those on a 28.8K modem. How we'd lust over those ISDN lines. I remember this one time father let me look at a picture of an ISDN modem. Such joy!

Tch! Kids today. Don't know they're born.
(, Fri 23 Mar 2012, 9:13, 2 replies)
I don't recall when I first read about the Internet ..
.. but I guess round 1994. It was a very different internet from the internet today, but the hype had started to hit the mainstream media. I would read about the phenomenon in international magazines at the local public library.

This was also the year before I started at university and a friend who had already enrolled at the place told me that they had a dialup to the internet. Being a bit of a hacker he managed to provide me with a telephone number and login credentials. He told me that I would probably have a few days before they discovered and closed the account.

I was a bit concerned about the legality of the whole thing but curiousity won. So I dialed in from my dad's work computer and got a unix prompt. At the time, the whole graphical WWW layer was still in its infancy, and the dialup connection had none of that. As far as I recall I managed to telnet to some server on Hawaii and fetch some files from there. Also, as far as I recall, the dialup connection was a bit slow, even for its time, so I eventually lost interest.

Once I started at university the autumn of 1995, I finally met the WWW. I could reach this from unix based computers in a dungeon-like room in the basement. The browser was called Netscape and the first stop for finding things was called yahoo.com.

There were also ways to pass around electronic things before the internet.

In the late 80's I would get most of the (pirated) software for my Commodore 64 by mailing 5 1/4 inch floppy disks using good old snail mail. Some of the more hardcore "swappers" would cover the stamps in a thin layer of glue, allowing the recipient to wipe away any ink and recycle the stamps. I never did that for fear of getting caught, but I did return their stamps.

There were also bulletin board systems that you could dial in to. At one point my dad got a modem on his PC so I could dial into BBS systems. First experience of being connected.

Early 90's I had a friend who ran a pirate software BBS in his living room. He had a gigantic an very fragile looking external harddisk with a whopping 1 GB of storage space. He would dial up to boards in the US, and people would dial up to his board from around the world. To avoid paying for the phone calls, they all circulated long lists of stolen AT&T calling card codes, God knows from where. I could go to his place and just pick any software that I liked. Also, occasionally you could chat with the people calling in. I recall one time that I chatted to a chap from Chelyabinsk, Russia -- I had to look it up on the map afterwards.

I have kids these days. If I tell them about these things they will think I am a fossil :-)

Sorry about length.
(, Fri 23 Mar 2012, 8:50, 2 replies)
anyone remember Myspace?
Good to see they're still doing well.

(, Fri 23 Mar 2012, 8:32, 6 replies)
The first time I got email
I looked at various dating sites. In those days they were all non-commercial and just had listings with people's email on the site. No one emailed me back. The main difference now is that you have to pay and there are photos of the people who won't email you back.
(, Fri 23 Mar 2012, 7:43, Reply)
When playing poker, one's face should convey nothing
Leaving the science world to join the business world in 1990, I discovered that not everyone was familiar with the Internet. Talking to the company lawyer, I enthusiastically described the wonders of being able to share information with people all over the world. He gave me a disbelieving look and said, "Tell me again, why would you ever want to share information?
(, Fri 23 Mar 2012, 6:53, Reply)
Jumpin' Jack Flash and Elenor Rigby
I remember as a kid watching this epic film starring Whoopi Goldberg. I thought to myself how amazing it would be to meet people without having to make eye contact and smile at the right times.
Then the call came, Hansdown, we have the internet.
It was going to be my first time on this untamed, mystical beast.
Compuserve was the order of the day and in particular 'chat'.

I rushed over.
The modem made shit fit sounds but I was a kid of the 80s and could handle the weird noises computers made - usually when the game started.

She was Swiss and friendly. I found that out because I hadn't legged it. In classic Alan Partridge style (I was so street) we started talking chocolate bars.
This kind, flirtatious girl offered to send me Toblerone from Switzerland. Well fuck me dead, a gesture of kindness and affection.

Sat in my chair I had lost all composure if I'm honest. I was transformed back to the excited 6 year old who would run around the house like a gurning epileptic just at the prospect of having chips for me tea.

She asked for my address. Crikey, stranger danger? Fuck it!
"I've just stuck the toblerone up me, and now it's in the post" Only the small bar then. Bitch.
Rather like the chocolate delight winging it's way to me, I was crushed.
This wonderful new device, this great opportunity for me to be me and to have real meaningful relationships not founded on abject fear had been torn from me as quickly as it had enticed me. I had entered the land where all the lonely people belong.
(, Fri 23 Mar 2012, 5:33, 6 replies)
The first time I heard about the internet . . .
Must have been 1985 or 86. The librarian at my school was telling me and friend about how he had his computer call up the FBI's computer.

"Whoa! Did they know? Did you get in trouble?"

He said no, they expect you to do that. "You can look at pictures of the 10 most wanted, and if you have the right kind of printer you can print the pictures off."

"What a waste of time," I thought. "Seems it would just be easier to write them a letter."
(, Fri 23 Mar 2012, 2:21, Reply)
Internet Cafe
I was about 15. My pal Nick and I went to an Internet cafe in Birmingham. It was in the very early days of the interwebs and we were so excited to have the world at our fingertips. We paid our subs to the cafe, sat at a huge PC and let our imaginations run riot. What did our young, creative minds spend our hour looking at? The meaning of life? Time and space? No...

We spent most of the time looking up Alice the Goon from Popeye.

Edit: Ooh thinking about it, I'm sure we also had a really boring web chat with someone from abroad - wowsers!
(, Fri 23 Mar 2012, 1:03, Reply)
56k Modem
A few years ago I found my old dusty 56k modem in a box at the back of my recording studio, I really missed the sounds it made when connecting.
I plugged the old fella in to see if it works but like a twat I accidentally connected it to my mixing desk.

Still on the upside I invented dubstep and now drive a Honda Accord
(, Fri 23 Mar 2012, 0:19, Reply)

This question is now closed.

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