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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)
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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)
Was all your software shit?

(, Fri 23 Mar 2012, 11:54, closed)
Absolutely. I've since found some freeware review websites
that have reviewed the awful stuff I used to churn out. They are very polite and always comment on how fast the application is (software tends to run faster when it doesn't do much).

The PHP/C# monstrosity that runs Rowdydow is less shit, but it's still quite shit. I have a proper-developer-friend who gets very angry when he sees my code. I am self-taught, he studied computer science at uni and I studied art: this shows.
(, Fri 23 Mar 2012, 11:58, closed)
I recently got a ZX Spectrum emulator up and running..
...and miraculously a good portion of my old cassette tapes still loaded (who says they would degrade, eh eh eh?)

Turns out the awesome games I wrote 25 years ago all turned out to be shit.
(, Fri 23 Mar 2012, 12:03, closed)
I remember being so excited about Doorz getting in PC Format at the time.
I've reread it since, it is not a complimentary article. It worries me about how much of the stuff I'm doing right now is also shit and that I'll only notice that in another ~fifteen years time.

What were your games? I wrote a four-player version of Pong, it was.. well.. terrible.
(, Fri 23 Mar 2012, 12:06, closed)
Most of mine were Adventures using Gilsoft tools like the Quill & PAWS
They were quite epic in scope actually and the graphics I did were pretty awesome for the speccy.

The rest were BASIC games such as network battleships I wrote with a mate to use the Interface 1's RS232 port.

Did write a pretty competent graphics tool to help with some of my loading screen$ design. And a nice font editor. Aaah happy days.
(, Fri 23 Mar 2012, 12:10, closed)
I've always been disappointed I started my compute-tar-ing with Windows, all
of the best geeks I know used Spectrums and Basics and things. It looked a little more exciting than using an IDE!
(, Fri 23 Mar 2012, 12:18, closed)
Not that other languages aren;t the same
but I found having started with BASIC in the early 80s, that it laid down the logic for understanding almost every aspect of computing.

Like a lot of other geeks, almost all applications just make sense to me, I never really have to work hard to learn how they work.

It must just be because if you understand how they were created, you understand how they work.

The only significant exception was Dreamweaver, for some reason. The minimal interface and slightly odd terminology they use make for a steep learning curve.
(, Fri 23 Mar 2012, 12:26, closed)
I think learning BASIC first fucked me up. I could have been such a good programmer. Doing Fortran at uni didn't help.
(, Fri 23 Mar 2012, 21:57, closed)
Modern development languages do too much for you nowadays.
It's a case of stitching a load of premade tools together. Back then all you really had to start with was:

(, Fri 23 Mar 2012, 12:27, closed)
Me too...
I even once wrote a game called 'Crapattack!'
The game itself was probably around 8k, the sound sample of me saying 'CRAP ATTACK!' (barely understandable through the patchetic speaker) was a lot more :D
The game itself was a centipede clone, but it looked like a length of poo, hence the name!

I also wrote an epic text adventure, but the only thing I can actually remember about it was cutting up pages of White Dwarf magazine for picture for a mock up tape inlay...
(, Tue 27 Mar 2012, 21:04, closed)
ucksocks.co.uk doesn't work any more
(, Fri 23 Mar 2012, 14:34, closed)
Lost the domain at a time of zero-pennies,
I hadn't touched it for a long time though.
(, Fri 23 Mar 2012, 15:39, closed)
And you have Stargazer lipsticks on your site!
But, like every other seemingly reputable place I've found selling them, don't ship to the US. Alas. My unrequited crush on Stargazer will continue.
(, Fri 23 Mar 2012, 17:19, closed)
That's due to insurance. I can ship to anywhere in the world for
minimal business insurance (public liability), but because - and this is according to my insurer - of the sue-happy culture over in the US, my premiums would go up to the point that I'd have to put prices up! Sorry!

I suspect it's the same for other UK websites. Try emailing Stargazer themselves, they have no order minimum (apart from possibly the first order, I cannot remember that) and are more likely to ship internationally.
(, Sun 25 Mar 2012, 3:34, closed)

You used the word 'kewl', I hate you.
(, Fri 23 Mar 2012, 17:31, closed)
Hahaha, yeah, I hate me too.
In that post, you could almost think I was trying to be funny with the 'kewl'. I was not.
(, Sun 25 Mar 2012, 3:31, closed)

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