Eleven years it's been. Eleven lo-o-o-o-o-o-o-ong years.
We first came aboard the Internets in January 1996. If my memory serves, we had been given a used 9600 bit/sec modem. We had also been gifted with an AOL disk, with their FREE TRIAL!
The Dread Dormomoo and I went to a filk-singing convention as dealers that snowy weekend, and wound up with a $600 phone bill for dialup charges. It was an innocent mistake by the kinder, and us, and marked the need for Due Diligence, and recognizing that TANSTAAFL is a Universal Verity.
(I was at the mall yesterday, and heard a clerk ask her customers if they "had an Internet". Made me wish for a coupon: Good for One Free Internet.)
Online communities entered our ken, and the magic began. Back when, there were amazingly funny and entertaining sites, like Yodel Dodel (The world's ugliest webpage. It was intentionally a Lesson By Bad Example). Alas so many have gone the way of all cyber-flesh (and I don't mean THOSE sites...). There are sites like the badly animated B&W face that barked "HA.........HAHAHAAHHAHAHAHA......, and then changed color and breathed in: Ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.........HA!
I have no idea why it was funny, but it was.
To recycle a bit from my early bloggery:
Yes, I love the internet. Since 1996, and slo-o-o-o-ow modems, I have loved the 'net; back when every URL was a new discovery, and each web search unearthed untold treasures, and HTML was as mystical as speaking in tongues. Journey with me now to those thrilling days of yesteryear, before searches for "dominion theology" yielded sites full of people in odd black costumes, when search engines were egalitarian, unsullied by ranking for dollars. Back, way, way back when surfing the Web....was FUN!
What got me started on this was taking stock of ALL the computers we have gone through, and the utter wired-ness of our North Alabamastan menage.
We began with a blistering fast 286 business computer, back when Winders was on three 3.5 inch diskettes, as was CorelDRAW . Flying toasters were the rage. We learned that you ALWAYS unplug a logic when you work on it.
I remember our first CD-ROM computer. JOY!
It was amazing. It came with...GAMES. Not just side-scrolling goodies like Commander Keen,
but stuff like Retal, Pushover, Robocop, and Life & Death II ("Say 'Alice'."). Great sound, great graphics. As we emerged from life in Flandersville, we were introduced to Doom! Thanks Maalac! Then came Rise of the Triad, and (ZOMG!) X-Com.
This has all gotten entirely out of hand. We are now in Wireless Router Land. Each family member has his own logic. There are also older systems specifically rehabbed to run old-school DOS games. We are not a wealthy family by any means, but bits of our business are online, not counting eBay, and we all have friends across the planet (and a few we suspect may be from Somewhere Else). I know at least one cyber Superintelligence. The Internet has become an amazingly important part of our lives.
And like shaving my head, it's cheaper than a Corvette!