Wednesday, June 10, 2015

My Online Beginnings....

I've been thinking about my online beginnings a bit lately and thinking about just HOW LONG I have actually been online. When I think about my online beginnings I realize not only how much of my current life is lived online but how much being online shaped me.  This will be a series of posts but here's my post about the early early years.

I got online in 1996 when I returned from my Rotary Youth Exchange from France.  That's when we got our first family computer.  I remember the awe of the bing-bong-bing-bong as it connected to the internet through our telephone line.  I remember our ISP had some type of chat channel where we could chat with others on the same ISP.  I was hooked from day one!  Eventually we had to get a second phone line installed so I wasn't constantly tying up the main telephone line.  One of the first "chat lines" I remember was ALAMAK chat which had different chat rooms (by interest, age group, and geographic region).  You could even eventually change the colour of text you were using when you typed - imagine!  There was the ability to private message people but it was so clunky.  I spent endless hours talking to people from all over and it was amazing.

When I was in highschool, and I'm dating myself now, POW WOW was the chat system of the time.  I believe you had to download the software to make that run and it was mostly about one-to-one conversations.  Tribal Chat!  Looks like it was a platform that started in 1994 (I was in grade 9/10) and shut down in 2001 (I'm surprised it survived that long!).   I remember it was also the time of file sharing (and viruses became A thing) either pics and wav's.... sound clips from movies (I remember a Donald Duck one clearly and sound clips from the movie "Tommy Boy") being exchanged.  MIDIs were the music files of the times (instrumental renditions of popular known songs).  I started my father's first business website around this time.  We bought our own domain ( and I got started learning to build websites (one of his early designs included Bruce Hornsby's "The way it is" midi which played automatically when the page loaded - we thought we were so cutting edge!).  Now that I could create webpages, using HTML and Paint Shop Pro to hack together and resize images, I was online like it was my job.  I met my first, second, and third online boyfriends using POW WOW chat. When I wasn't at school or doing homework I was online, chatting, and creating.  I had found my niche! 

Those were the early early days....more to come.....

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