Welcome! You Have Porn!


logo_netcom_comI first got on the World Wide Web about fifteen years ago.  I had been connecting to computers for years, primarily via bulletin board systems.  However, I could only connect to one computer at a time that way.  And – unless I had a lot of money to put towards the phone bill – I couldn’t connect to a system unless it was nearby.  I signed up for my first web account via a company called Netcom.  I remember getting the setup floppy disk in the mail (before they started just sending them to you by the gross).  I installed it and spent the afternoon slowly looking around the cyber neighborhood.

My mom had used my TRS-80 in the past, so she knew what a BBS was and how to send e-mail.  She asked me what the Internet was all about and why it was so different.  I explained how all these computers around the country and around the world were connected together and if I hooked into one, I could pretty much look at stuff anywhere.

“What kind of stuff can you see?” she asked.  At the time, Yahoo was The Search Engine on the web.  They had a button on the front page that sent you to a random site somewhere.  I clicked the button and after a moment found my computer connecting to a mail order bride site in the Philippines.  While it wasn’t exactly the impression I wanted to make, it was powerful demonstration of the Internet’s connectivity.  I’ve never forgotten it… mostly because my mom has never let me live it down.

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