Friday, 2 January 2015

A Tour of the Internet in 1993

In 1993, the Internet was both old and so, so young. The network hosted mature services like newsgroups (discussion forums), FTP servers (file downloads), Gopher (for Web-like things before the Web), and so on. But in 1993 things got real when the Mosaic Web browser was released. That year, the PBS show Computer Chronicles spent
a half hour touring the internet, but only mentioned the Web in passing. Let's go back a couple decades and enjoy what the Internet looked like right before the Web took over:

Some favorite moments of mine:
3:02 - The downloaded file is Clinton's inaugural address. Yes, downloading a compressed text file took measurable time in 1993.

4:00 - Hanging out at ARPA, in their version of the Enterprise. I'm here to tell you, Trekkies made this world.

6:00 - "'Net-surf'...that's what the cool kids are calling it."

7:30 - NASA has developed video conferencing with 2 frame-per-second video.

9:30 - Brendan Kehoe gives us a tour of Gopher, and attempts to order a CD online...but gives up because it's taking too long. Kehoe's book Zen and the Art of the Internet was a huge deal in those days. Oh yeah, and around 13:00 he downloads the full text of NAFTA. 90s-riffic!

17:07 - "Internet talk radio." Ahem, podcast prior art?

19:00 - Howard Rheingold, wearing an awesome outfit, explains The Well and predicts that the Internet will be a huge deal.

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