Monday, September 19, 2005

the internet as best as i remember it

April 6th, 1992. That's the first day I saw the internet. Not many people can say that they remember when they first saw the web. I was with my girlfriend at the time, one Holly Bender. We stopped at her uncle's house in Raleigh or one of the adjacent suburbs. We went up to his home office and he had some early service; CompuServe or something. When he connected it was like a modern day portal with scrolling windows and other craziness. It could have even had a blink tag. Maybe not. All this is through the haze of my memory which can be very fuzzy at times.

The second time I saw the web was in a second year astronomy course. I don't remember the date. I do remember the introduction we got to computers (some Sun boxes) and the professor asked if anyone knew what HTTP stood for. Why it stuck I'll never know but a kid sat up and said "hypertext transfer protocol." The "duh" was implied in his tone. Well, it did stick. Not just the memory of that moment but the definition of the acronym and I think it branded me as a bit of a geek.

Earlier in this remembrance I made it sound as though the sight of the internet impressed me so much it made an indelible imprint of the date in my head. Not so. What made me remember it was the fact that on one of the scrolling menus it was showing the current news. Isaac Asimov was dead. I didn't know the exact date until I went to the wikipedia article on Asimov.

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