Friday, August 8, 2008

The way we were.

A timeline of Internet memes.

I got first useful computer after I graduated high school in 1994, back when the Web was still relatively unknown. At the time, I had a job as a computer lab assistant, so I had many hours to search out all I could online. Yahoo was actually useful back then, when a browsable list of categories was possible because there wasn't much to categorize.

I remember these memes going back to the Trojan Room Coffee Pot. I remember thinking this was the coolest idea ever. A short time after I discovered it, someone put their rabbit cage on a Web cam, and the rest is history. Some other highlights of early online life:

  • One of my guilty pleasures in the mid 90's was the now-defunct Spot. The Spot was a Web site about a group of people living in a house and all the soap-opera stuff that happened to them. Think of it as a cross between Melrose Place and reality TV, only with some crazy clowns in bathtubs thrown in every once in a while.

  • When the Jelly Belly site first launched, the first 50 visitors to their page every morning got a free sample of Jelly Bellys. The race to be the first was intense. Eventually the traffic became too much for them and they cut that shit out fast.

  • In my lab assistant days, I had some creepy guy ask me how to use Usenet use to find binary files, and how to put the files together. Why would he want to do that? For a class project? Nope - Porn has always been readily available online, it just used to take a brain to find it and and even bigger brain to view it. I told him he'd need to help himself, so to speak.

Back in my day, we didn't have no high-speed broadband. Nooooo. We had to dial in and hope all the modems weren't busy. It took all day to do damn near anything. And when we did get a Web site to load, it was full of random blinking shit that at that time was the coolest thing we'd ever seen.

I wish I had a copy of my first Web page. It was awesome in its lameness. I think it had a single grainy picture of me centered on the page in a table with raised borders. There were rainbow colored bars involved. And maybe some spherical bullets next to links to places like The Spot and Yahoo.

I wonder what the Web will look like in another 10 years? Will flickr and google and youtube become obsolete? Will I look back on this blog and think it's as lame as the page I made in 1995? We'll see.

1 comment:

  1. So I am obviously catching up on my reading tonight. Anyway, I hope the creepy guy you mentioned was not me. LOL

    Although I believe it was a computer lab that I first found porn.

    Fortunately, I eventually learned how to score the good stuff on my own which I hope qualifies me as a brainy person.

    I hope no one I know reads this, but if they know me it would probably not be that much of a surprise.