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Showing posts from February, 2011

What life was like before the Web

It's kind of shocking that the Web has only been around since the mid-1990s, but a lot of younger people that I work with have no idea what it was like to use the Internet before the Web. I'm not that much of an old-timer, but I thought it would be amusing to talk about the pre-HTTP Internet. A few reminisces of the good old days...

Everything was text-based;There was (almost) no spam;There was no such thing as a search engine;You did everything using these crappy UNIX text-based command-line tools.
I first started using the Internet back in high school, around 1990, on an IBM RT UNIX system connected via dialup from school. Back then, there were three main uses of the Internet: email, USENET, and FTP. Email was not very common but some universities had it, and by the time I started college in 1992, you automatically got an email address as an undergraduate.


USENET was a huge distributed newsgroup system. It was based on peer-to-peer file exchange well before we called it…