Monday, March 2, 2009

My email address was: 2:293/608.23

Yes, really.

While looking for some older post I once made, I discovered one of the first I made.
Ever. At least on the internet. It was 1995. Thats roughly a decade and a half worth of live on the tubes that google searched through, in the blink of an eye.

Impressive, but people forget that life did not start with this "internet" stuff.

Before that, I used "FidoNet". It's logo was this:

/ \
/|oo \
(_| /_)
_`@/_ \ _
| | \ \\
| (*) | \ ))
______ |__U__| / \//
/ FIDO \ _//|| _\ /
(________) (_/(_|(____/

Yes, younglings, that's a logo, from the days when a "GIF image" was a state of the art extravagance (which required switching to another application). And just in case you are wondering, that's a dog holding what we use to call a "floppy". Not the fancy-smancy 3.5 inch hard-plastic kind, but the good old "five and a quarter" slab of floppyness.

Those were the days of booting up an XT, firing up a "fancy" editor to type in your email, "packing" it, "tossing it", firing up the modem, listening patiently for it to connect (you could diagnose many connection problems by listening to the "handshake sounds"). Then off your mail went, and if you were really lucky, there was a zipped email waiting for you at your providers location. Mail was routed organically, and could take several days to travel across continents. "Discussion group" post could take a couple of days to reach everybody in the country. And attachments, although technically possible, would get you flogged by every "sysop" down its route.

The good old days... men were men, women didn't exist. Modems were big enough to stop a bullet for you (maybe even a runaway bull). And had blinking lights!

What it did not have were things like "the wayback machine", or "" to act as a historian of all these years of content. There is no way to ever find the text again of my first shy post. Or the "really funny joke" about the carrot and the nurse. Or the discussion that founded some companies are architecture setups that are in use still today.

"All the moments will be lost in time, like tears in the rain."

Now get off my lawn!


Kris said...

What .. you only became a FidoNet point (not even a node) in 94 ? Late adoption I'd say :)


Jon said...

It may have been 94. On 93. The problem is that its nearly impossible to look up.

I did release my first "Shareware" program before then, and ran a small BBS (though not a node).

One thing I remember is being username "ping1819". So I was in the first 2K people to sign up for an ISP. :)