- Checked on a flight cost for Gary
- Submitted an online application for student financial aid
- Looked up the dictionary meaning for the word by-law
- Figured out my BMR and calorie requirements
- Checked what time the Biggest Loser started on Direct TV
- Looked up a recipe for Gingersnaps
- Balanced my checkbook
- Paid a few bills
- Read blogs
- Order a book and a CD from Amazon.
Now, as I sat there doing all these tasks, it made me think.... holy Mother of God, how did I get by before Al Gore invented the internet? When some people ask "Do you remember where you were when Kennedy was shot?" or "Where were you when the shuttle exploded?"... they want to know if you remember where you were on a momentous occasion.
It amazes me to think that right now, we are the youngest generation who can be asked..... "Where were you when you first experienced the internet?" My daughter won't be able to answer that question as she has grown up with it. It's always been there.
When I worked for the cable industry, we participated in a Home & Food Show every year in our town. One year back in the late 80's, we had as our display "The Future of Cable" and a bright future it was. This was before High Speed was even a word and the internet was just a fledgling of normalcy in our lives. Not many people I knew even had a computer at home and some might have used one at work. We had computers at work but everything was done in MS-DOS. It's freaky for me to even try to remember what working with that was like. When we started using Windows based programs, we always ran everything at the same time on DOS or as we called it.... The Dark Side. "Look at this Priscilla," I'd say to my co-worker, "does this look right to you?" She'd reply back "I'm not sure, but you can switch to the Dark Side and check to see if it's right." We just didn't trust that new-fangled Windows based stuff yet.
The internet set-up we had that year was the hit of the show. It didn't matter that it was only a 28Kbs dial-up connection..... DSL and Broadband weren't even around yet. The local dial-up company had set up a booth next to ours and I think they did a huge business that day. I know Gary & I signed up and we didn't even have a computer. We were so excited we were going out that weekend to buy the best computer we could afford. It was top of the line.... it had a 486 processor and a hard drive capacity of 2gig. Oh my fuckin' word, we thought we were the cat's ass! The monitor was huge and bulky and the printer was frightfully slow but we were online! Wow! We didn't even know what to do online or even what or why we needed to be online .... but we did know we wanted to be part of this exciting new technology!!
The first thing I ever typed in to search for on the internet was...... Bass Fishing. I think 223 sites came up that day. When I Google it now... 8,820,000 different references are brought up in .25 seconds.
Can you imagine a 486 processor now? or 28K dial-up?
Question to you, dear readers:
Where were you when you tried the internet for the first time and what did you do?