#027: Getting internet for the first time
So my dad got this new thing called dial-up internet.
I remember vividly how I had to get off the internet because I “clogging up the phone” and none of my mom’s friends could reach her, because our phone line would have a busy signal.
I was in middle school and I remember telling my friends about this strange thing called the internet.
I remember hearing rumors from uncles in our neighborhood that there were sites online where I could download songs and games like DOOM and Duke Nukem, but I didn’t know where to go at the time, so it was an urban myth at the time. These files would be shared on forums and chat rooms.
They would have rules where you have to upload 1 MB of music before you can download 1 MB of music. It was a barter system where you contribute music first and then you can download a song for free. Well it wasn’t free, it tied up the phone lines and we only had like 30 hrs of dial-up 33K internet per month for internet. So only 1 super valuable hour per day.
Napster launched 2 years later in 1999. The standalone app let you download MP3’s directly. It was incredible. Looking back the app still looks clean and looks more functional than iTunes since all the music is free.
So it’s 1997 and Spice Girls were a new British group taking over the world.
At the time, Yahoo was the search engine of choice.
I was using Internet Explorer because it was free until I found this new browser called Netscape.
Netscape was growing fast because it would let you load and view webpages before images were downloaded.
Whereas Internet Explorer would display a blank page until the entire page loaded in the background.
So you would end up waiting for a few minutes before the page loaded.
The song Aqua Barbie Girl was being played everywhere.
Oh how far we’ve come.
Part 3: Internet growth today.