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Old 01-02-2015, 12:50 AM
protoboard protoboard is offline
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When was the earliest you could use the Internet at home?

AOL, Compuserve, etc have been available since the 80s, but they weren't "True" ISP's until 1994-ish when they started allowing links to Usenet and more importantly the Web.

From what I've read, Internet-based email was available on a commercial basis from 1988-89 onwards, and fuller Internet access was offered in a few places by 1989-90, but being that the Internet wasn't fully opened to commercial traffic until 1995 I imagine they're talking about business and research connections, not connections to home PCs right?

Alternet started selling connections in January 1990 but from what I gather due to the government still having a large grip on the Net they could only sell to highly qualified people who would use it (at least ostensibly) for research purposes.

However, Commercial Internet Exchange of the UK claims to have offered email and Usenet was back in 1988! Again though, not sure if an average Joe could have had their PC linked up that early.

Last edited by protoboard; 01-02-2015 at 12:53 AM.
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Old 01-02-2015, 01:02 AM
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I had Usenet, email and telnet access at home by 1990 or very early 1991. This was granted to me by the University of North Carolina, but I was not a student nor a resident of the state. They would give out access to anyone who filled out a form and mailed a copy of their driver's license.

At about the same time I had a similar account via the Cleveland Free-net, but only ever bothered with that when my UNC access was down for some reason.

I had my first paid ISP account in mid-1993 and first used a graphical browser by late '93 or early '94.

ETA: all this was terminal-style dial up until I switched to a PPP account in that late '93 window.

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Old 01-02-2015, 01:20 AM
Spectre of Pithecanthropus Spectre of Pithecanthropus is offline
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Some time around 1993 or so I joined Genie. In spite of the illustration in the linked Wiki article, I remember it as a mostly greenscreen based utility. You could download graphic content from various sites--very slowly!--but I don't remember being able to enter any URL with this.

Around the same time, I joined "EAASY SABRE", a utility for booking and purchasing flights on American Airlines, and also a distant ancestor of Travelocity. In turn, EAASY SABRE was a subset of SABRE, which was the airline's original in-house computer-based booking and ticketing system, going all the way back to the early 1960s.

I also got offsite access into the computer systems at work, around this time.

All of the above were greenscreen-based utilities based on dial-up access. I didn't actually have to put a telephone handset into the pair of rubber cups on a modem, but the throughput speeds were almost that slow.

I don't remember for sure when I got browser-based internet access; I'd already had it for a few years when I joined the SD in 1999, but I was never a big fan of AOL, which seemed to be the route most of my friends and colleagues took by way of getting started. I remember using the Netscape browser, before AOL took it over, but I don't remember who my ISP was back then.

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Old 01-02-2015, 01:20 AM
Sarabellum Sarabellum is offline
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At least around where I lived at the time, being "online" before about 1994 generally meant that you dialed into a BBS or were using AOL, Prodigy, or one of the other GUI online providers, which did not include web browsing back then. Maaaaybe you had a proper email address, but totally possible that you didn't, though you could exchange email with other users on your BBS. I think BBSes started getting popular in my area in the late 80s, and peaked around 93-94, before the WWW really took off in popularity. I remember at least one dinosaur of a BBS that claimed to have been operating in 1981.

There was a brief and weird hybrid phase where the BBSes themselves were acting as early internet providers. I remember buying an hourly package from the one I used at the time, I think it was something like 60 hours of use-as-you-go internet time for $30. Then the cheap dial-up internet providers started advertising and getting large numbers of customers. Didn't hear much about the BBS guys after that, and within a year most were gone. I know that after I signed up with my first real ISP and had access to unlimited web browsing, I sure didn't feel much need to dial in to the BBS anymore!

I think the first time I heard the term "internet" was probably around 1988? And the first time I saw a commercial on TV with the term "dot com" (as in, visit our webpage at xxx.dot.com!) was around 1994 or 1995.
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Old 01-02-2015, 01:22 AM
protoboard protoboard is offline
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Originally Posted by Pork Rind View Post
I had Usenet, email and telnet access at home by 1990 or very early 1991.
Interesting - would you say that's the earliest it could be done, or was it possible to do this even as early as the late 80s? And wow it was free? :O

Last edited by protoboard; 01-02-2015 at 01:23 AM.
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Old 01-02-2015, 01:31 AM
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Interesting - would you say that's the earliest it could be done, or was it possible to do this even as early as the late 80s? And wow it was free? :O
It was sort of free. The accounts at UNC and at the Cleveland Free-net cost nothing, but to keep the call local, I needed a nearby dial-in for telnet access. I got that 'free' from my university, assuming you don't count tuition as part of that.

As to whether you could have done that earlier, yeah, I suppose so. My uncle had a VT100-type terminal at home, but he was a systems admin at a university, so I don't know if that really counts. I have no idea what degree of access he had beyond the campus network, as all I cared about was being able to play Adventure.
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Old 01-02-2015, 01:38 AM
guizot guizot is offline
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Originally Posted by Pork Rind View Post
I had Usenet, email and telnet access at home by 1990 or very early 1991.
I had those things, too, in 1992, as a grad student at UCLA. I could dial in from home and use all of those, plus I remember connecting to things like The Well with it. To be honest, though, I don't think I used the term "internet" at that time.
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Old 01-02-2015, 01:40 AM
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I only remember being able to use the internet for the first time in '97 or '98. I was still like 7 or 8 years old but the internet looked so bland that I only REALLY started to get into it during the early 2000's.

But according to history, they had the earliest possible access to network access to computer sharing during the late 80's. Maybe even the early 80's when it first started to circle around as a rumor.
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Old 01-02-2015, 03:20 AM
Shalmanese Shalmanese is offline
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Do you mean the Internet or the World Wide Web? The movie Wargames from 1983 famously demonstrates Matthew Broderick connecting to computers remotely using an acoustic coupler. This site claims that remote time sharing systems were available in 1972 using acoustic couplers and claims his wife was one of the first people to get a home terminal. The University College in London joined ARPAnet in 1973 so, presumably, from relatively early in the development of ARPAnet, researchers would have been able to access it from a home terminal via acoustic couplers.

TCP/IP was first proposed in 1974, along with the first use of the word Internet and was deployed around 1978. The adoption of TCP/IP is considered the birth of the real Internet so from the very beginning, there would have been people using remote terminals to access the Internet at home.
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Old 01-02-2015, 03:32 AM
Asympotically fat Asympotically fat is offline
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I remember in the early nineties (as early as 1990- I can't remember exactly) having a mainframe terminal in our house that could access the internet.
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Old 01-02-2015, 03:51 AM
HoneyBadgerDC HoneyBadgerDC is offline
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I had a 486 computer in about 1989, the lady that set it up for me told me I could go online with it, she was online. I set mine up about 1992 I believe but never used it much.
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Old 01-02-2015, 04:14 AM
Hilarity N. Suze Hilarity N. Suze is offline
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I had Compuserve in 1984 and shortly thereafter I could somehow connect to my local library, which gave me access to lots of things. But it was very, very slow, and highly likely to crash, plus I had to do this silly thing with my phone and I only had one line (as did most people, I think, at the time).

In late 1981 I used that phone thing at work to get into some remote database. I don't know if it was the internet or the world wide web or what it was. Occasionally one of the ad people would come in and use the coupler thing for something else. Again, it took forever, and had a pretty high failure rate. I do know the phone line could be used for other things (actual phone calls).

Also I remember something called Netscape Navigator, which I could load up starting in the early 90s--maybe '93?--that took forever to load. By which I mean I would start it, go upstairs, load the dishwasher, sweep and mop the kitchen, go back downstairs--almost done! Once on there I could select a search engine and...find stuff. Some stuff. Sometimes.

I really think the golden age of this was about 1995. At that point, if you were writing a story and needed some info, you might be able to go online and find it, and if you did, it would be pretty reliable. Then more stuff appeared, and less and less of it was reliable.

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Old 01-02-2015, 05:34 AM
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In 1988, we used the first commercial ISP, The World in Cambridge, MA, dialing in from Kansas City. One huge long distance bill later, we got a Telnet session going, connecting via an Amiga 1000 VT100 emulator to an AIX computer to our Unix account in Cambridge to get email and Usenet.
  #14  
Old 01-02-2015, 05:52 AM
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engineer_comp_geek engineer_comp_geek is online now
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I was logging into Vax systems from home (300 baud modem, whee! I could type faster than that thing could send data) back in 1984, and from those I was able to get onto this brand new thing that they were calling the Internet. It was still very much in the primitive stages, and there were other networks as well. West Virginia had WVNet, for example, and you could get to the Internet through WVNet, but it wasn't all anywhere near as easy as it is today. It was also something that your Average Joe home user didn't have a prayer of using. It required too much computer knowledge. I had an e-mail account through college and I could access usenet in 1984, so it was possible.

Things started getting easier in the late 80s, but most folks on the net were accessing it by logging into unix or vax machines, most of which were run by universities. FTP sites started replacing BBS services, but finding things wasn't easy. High tech companies put their technical data information on FTP sites, which meant that us engineers could get to the data right away instead of sending away for data books. Of course, downloading tech data on a 2400 baud modem (much faster than the old 300 baud!) was still a rather painful experience.

There weren't many Average Joes on the internet back in 1988. Commercial Internet Service Providers were a new, up and coming thing then, and most of the folks using them were fairly tech savvy. The modern Internet as we know it didn't come about until a few years later. I remember the day that they announced that WWW traffic had finally surpassed FTP traffic on the Internet. This was probably sometime around 1990 or 1991. After that came the flood of Windows users, who were very much ridiculed because they weren't very tech savvy. 1991 or so is when the Average Joe would have really started on the Internet. There were a few oddballs before then, but they were a very small percentage of the overall Internet population.

I still remember printing out a directory of every WWW page on the Internet. It was a 2 page list, which had grown quite a bit from the first I had seen it, when it was about half a page in length..
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Old 01-02-2015, 10:02 AM
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Like others, CompuServe and BBSs starting in 1983 or so. I clearly remember having an acoustic-coupler type modem for my Vic-20, and used it to call CompuServe, which, at the time, was a long-distant call from where I lived and thus I had to beg and plead with my parents to foot the bill for an hour or so. The BBSs were local, and thus, free.

Later on, I moved, and CompuServe was cheap, so I had that up into the early/mid-90s. I may have had some other dial-up form of internet by around 95/96. I remember lying in bed with my laptop around that time period with a big long phone cable stretching across the room, all so I could check my email.

In 1997, the first ISPs showed up in my neighborhood, and I got a real, non-dial-up connection (finally!). And it's been that way every since.
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Old 01-02-2015, 10:33 AM
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Let's see... in college (1991), we could dial in from home and get at telnet, gopher, elm, usenet etc...

A year or two later, that weird hybrid phase that Sarabellum1976 mentions was in full swing- I could log into a BBS and send/receive real internet email and browse usenet.

The next year (1993), we were just starting to fiddle around with the WWW via Mosaic, and we *could* do that from home, but it wasn't really very handy yet. By the time I graduated (1996), we could easily do dial-up and all sorts of WWW browsing, as well as the text-based stuff mentioned earlier. ISPs were fairly commonplace in Houston at that point, and supported 56k modems.
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Old 01-02-2015, 10:34 AM
AHunter3 AHunter3 is offline
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When I started as a grad student in 1988, the IBM 3090 minicomputer upstairs was online. We could log onto a VM session and send email, fetch shareware apps via FTP, and so on. From home, I could connect to it using a 2400 baud model + MacKermit, a terminal emulation program with dialup. For a few years I wrote my emails in a plain text editor, used a weird arcane type of software called an FKey to modify the clipboard so that hard returns were replaced with linefeeds, then pasted into the terminal app. File attachments had to be encoded (BinHex or UUEncode) then appended to the email.

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Old 01-02-2015, 12:43 PM
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I remember dialing into my AOL account, and then Juno, in the early to mid 90s, when they had a pretty simple email, but no real Web access. I found a book titled something like "Access the Internet via Email! ". In the pre-Google days, this allowed me to send an email to Archie, which would do a search for me, and email me back a list of hits, wirh directions how to get an email of each of those articles. It really worked, but was so tedious that I did it only a few times. Surfing is so much easier!
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Old 01-02-2015, 01:35 PM
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While an undergraduate, I had dial-in access to my college's computers, and thereby the ARPANET, from off campus starting in late 1979 or early 1980. Possibly I could have gotten access earlier, but that's when I got my first home computer. The college was MIT; I don't know how many others were offering it to students at that point. I've had access to the 'net through one means or another since.
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Old 01-02-2015, 03:09 PM
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My story is the same. I started with a 300baud acoustic modem in 84. Dialing into a Honeywell mainframe to do classwork. I got Compuserve in 85. There were several local BBS that I visited. I upgraded to 1200 baud around 87 or 88.

The university got a Vax 11/780 cluster for students in 85. Much easier to use than the Honeywell. The first Internet connections were for Faculty research only. I can't recall what it was called. It wired together Universities around the country. Very restricted access. I doubt we had more than 20 to 30 Faculty accounts that accessed it.

Internet for students and staff became available in 92 or 93? Quite slow but it was available. Mostly FTP sites we found with Gopher and we had Usenet.

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Old 01-02-2015, 03:15 PM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is offline
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I put a modem in my PC and joined CompuServe in the fall of 1995, when I started grad school.
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Old 01-02-2015, 03:21 PM
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I met my husband on AOL in 1995. That's the internet, right?

We were the third household in Seattle to have cable internet installed. That was 1998 or early '99.
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Old 01-02-2015, 03:45 PM
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The dates are pretty fuzzy, but around 1990 I got a surplus UNIX PC from workand brought it home. I could use it to log in to work and from there I had full access to the Internet, including Usenet. Back then there was one low traffic alt.sex group.

We signed up with a local ISP probably around 1992 or so, in Archie and Veronica days. We looked at the on-line card catalogs for several university libraries.
At work I used it well before domain addressing.

We also had AOL a bit, but back then that was not the Internet.
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Old 01-02-2015, 04:12 PM
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If anyone wants to get technical, even email alone counts as the internet. But I think that for quite a while, its colloquial meaning refers specifically to surfing on the www.
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Old 01-02-2015, 04:28 PM
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I was sneakily allowed by a math professor I befriended at a Minor Emergency Center where I part-timed at to acces a college's Net connection from home 'puter in mid-90. Makes me nostalgic to remember using ARCHIE and other similar-themed protocols' to 'browse around' as no practical 'browsers' were available (IIRC) other than third-party stuff like Compuserve or such. True Net, not a 'gateway service' so to speak.

And then came Mozilla! Thick books of domain addresses/sites with content description were for sale commonly since there was so little 'search' ability compared to nowadays. Seems so long ago...
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Old 01-03-2015, 08:52 AM
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People were accessing other networks by the mid-80s and of course the Internet existed for researchers. It didn't take much to access ARPAnet back in the day, but there were many other resources that existed outside of ARPAnet that attracted home attention. When I bought my first computer in 1984, only the store geek used a modem and DLed files and software. Within a year, certainly by the middle of 1985, I was doing the same. "Internet" was probably a bit grand for what we were doing. Fidonet was a popular relay system, but we certainly knew who to call and how to get around. Then came Gopher...
By 1991, the internet as we know it was available to me both at work and at home (at 2400 baud, but I was patient).
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Old 01-03-2015, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by engineer_comp_geek View Post
I was logging into Vax systems from home (300 baud modem, whee! I could type faster than that thing could send data) back in 1984, and from those I was able to get onto this brand new thing that they were calling the Internet. It was still very much in the primitive stages, and there were other networks as well. West Virginia had WVNet, for example, and you could get to the Internet through WVNet, but it wasn't all anywhere near as easy as it is today. It was also something that your Average Joe home user didn't have a prayer of using. It required too much computer knowledge. I had an e-mail account through college and I could access usenet in 1984, so it was possible.
As an aside, it's likely that it was still being called ARPAnet back then, even if it was widespread and no longer strictly an ARPA project. Not sure when the name gradually transitioned to "Internet", but I didn't start calling it that until probably the late 80s. If one associates the name change with the commercialization, the first commercial ISP (according to Wikipedia) launched in 1989.
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Originally Posted by engineer_comp_geek View Post
I still remember printing out a directory of every WWW page on the Internet. It was a 2 page list, which had grown quite a bit from the first I had seen it, when it was about half a page in length..
I remember having a "directory" of WWW sites that was about the size of a paperback book, kind of like a miniature "Yellow Pages" phone book. From the fact that Alta Vista launched in December, 1995, I would guess that this would have been sometime in the early to mid-90s. After the launch of Alta Vista the whole search engine field just snowballed incredibly fast.
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Old 01-03-2015, 11:15 AM
Hari Seldon Hari Seldon is offline
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I got my first computer in April, 1982 and also bought a 300 baud acoustic modem. You had to plug an old fashioned dial phone into it. I could call my university and have files there, but there was no general access beyond that and, in particular, no email. I had a coauthor in Cleveland that I wanted to exchange files with. With the help of the computer center, we arranged that he could call a network called Tymnet in the US that could connect with a Canadian network called Datapac and then sign on to my account and upload or download files. In those days, mail between Cleveland and Montreal took a minimum of two weeks, so this was enormous. And not much more expensive than mail. At the end of 1964, McGill got email, specifically bitnet. So I had a bitnet address and, by that time, a 1200 baud modem board. It still took up a phone line, but I didn't need that acoustic modem. My coauthor was by then also on bitnet and we started exchanging files by appending them to email. So much easier and free! I don't recall when we had full usenet access, but certainly before 1990, I was using ftp to get stuff. Then a McGill grad student wrote Archie, what we would now call a web crawler that indexed ftp sites and you could search the index. Then better ones came along; one was called Veronica. I used dialup (with, in the end, a 56 kilobaud modem) until 2000.
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Old 01-03-2015, 12:41 PM
Francis Vaughan Francis Vaughan is offline
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A lot of the answer will depend upon how you define "Internet". Since the OP asks the question about "the Internet", and not "an internet" we can be very pedantic, and define access as requiring an IP connection. Simply accessing another computer over a phone line/modem isn't enough. You need to have an IP connection over your link, and that essentially means you are limited to after when SLIP was developed. That means sometime after 1984.

It was common for universities to provide modem pools to staff, and as the staff use became more sophisticated, things moved from taking a dumb terminal home to using a home PC of some form and running SLIP, and later PPP. Commercial provision of such services came soon after things settled down, and the modems became fast enough (no more acoustic couplers) and 56kb/s became common. That was very late 80's to early 90's.

Once you had an IP connection to your home machine you could use all the usual protocols - so SMTP got you email, NNTP got you news groups, FTP simple file transfers, telnet remote access and so on. However you still needed access to those servers - although things were very open back then, and it was surprising what you could get to, albeit sometimes rather slowly.
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Old 01-03-2015, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Spectre of Pithecanthropus View Post
Some time around 1993 or so I joined Genie. In spite of the illustration in the linked Wiki article, I remember it as a mostly greenscreen based utility. You could download graphic content from various sites--very slowly!--but I don't remember being able to enter any URL with this.
In 1993 URLs hadn't even been invented yet. (Or at least, not formally adopted as an Internet standard.)
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Old 01-03-2015, 01:43 PM
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I was running Apple’s eWorld on System 7. eWorld existed from 1994 to 1996.

Before that, on a Mac LC, I used ZTerm, a Mac terminal emulator for the modem to get onto bulletin boards. It was released in ’92 and is still around. But I abandoned it when eWorld came about.

Then came Netscape and the world was saved from AOL.
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Old 01-03-2015, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Pork Rind View Post
I had Usenet, email and telnet access at home by 1990 or very early 1991.
I had the same access at the same time by dialing up to Rice University (where I was a student) via a 2400-baud modem using my Mac IIsi. The university kept my account active for a couple of years after I graduated. It was the only access to the internet that I had, so I kept using the account as long as it worked (until 1994 or so), but had to call long-distance once I moved away from Houston.

At that point, I signed up for Delphi, CompuServe, and AOL, in sequence.
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Old 01-03-2015, 02:43 PM
Joey P Joey P is offline
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I know I had it in the house I grew up in. We moved out of that one in 1994 and we had it for quite a while. We started with Prodigy and moved to AOL.
I couldn't say when exctly we had the internet at home, but it was at some point in the early 90's.
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Old 01-04-2015, 04:20 PM
race_to_the_bottom race_to_the_bottom is offline
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I got my first computer in 1997, Packard Bell. It had 8 MB of RAM an a 1.2 Gig HD, 60 mhz processor which I overclocked to 66 mhz, (don't laugh!) a CD read only drive and no USB, of course. Dial up, 33 kbs. Windows 95. It cost about $800. It was wonderful! I still have it sitting in storage.I bought a used monitor and a used dot matrix printer.

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Old 01-04-2015, 04:26 PM
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My first BBS was DICE. Originally: only in SF, only for IS/IT/DB/MIS consultants.
1990.

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Old 01-04-2015, 04:37 PM
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I remember using NetZero as a (very slow) free dialup. I used Netscape Navigator as a browser. Around 1993-1994, I think. The very first things I ever searched for were X-Files related. I used to get pissed when my husband would pick up the (landline) phone and disconnect me. It seems like a million years ago.
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Old 01-05-2015, 08:56 PM
rbroome rbroome is offline
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Originally Posted by Francis Vaughan View Post
A lot of the answer will depend upon how you define "Internet". Since the OP asks the question about "the Internet", and not "an internet" we can be very pedantic, and define access as requiring an IP connection. Simply accessing another computer over a phone line/modem isn't enough. You need to have an IP connection over your link, and that essentially means you are limited to after when SLIP was developed. That means sometime after 1984.

It was common for universities to provide modem pools to staff, and as the staff use became more sophisticated, things moved from taking a dumb terminal home to using a home PC of some form and running SLIP, and later PPP. Commercial provision of such services came soon after things settled down, and the modems became fast enough (no more acoustic couplers) and 56kb/s became common. That was very late 80's to early 90's.

Once you had an IP connection to your home machine you could use all the usual protocols - so SMTP got you email, NNTP got you news groups, FTP simple file transfers, telnet remote access and so on. However you still needed access to those servers - although things were very open back then, and it was surprising what you could get to, albeit sometimes rather slowly.
Thanks!
You brought back some memories... I had completely forgotten about SLIP, though I used PPP a few years ago when I still had a need for a serial connection.

I agree with F. V., defining the "Internet" as requiring an IP address is, in retrospect, reasonable. Though at the time, it was just another protocol and I at least didn't guess that it would define the future.
  #38  
Old 01-07-2015, 02:10 PM
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Omar Little Omar Little is offline
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1983. My college roommate had a Osborne portable computer with a modem and a tiny 5" monitor built into the device. We would dial in to local BBS's and do a lot of stupid stuff.
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Old 01-07-2015, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Sarabellum1976 View Post
At least around where I lived at the time, being "online" before about 1994 generally meant that you dialed into a BBS or were using AOL, Prodigy, or one of the other GUI online providers, which did not include web browsing back then. Maaaaybe you had a proper email address, but totally possible that you didn't, though you could exchange email with other users on your BBS. I think BBSes started getting popular in my area in the late 80s, and peaked around 93-94, before the WWW really took off in popularity. I remember at least one dinosaur of a BBS that claimed to have been operating in 1981....
Many BBS's did offer "real" Internet email addresses by the late 1990's (e.g. if you had the username KillerG on the Joe's Dungeon and Hacker Lounge BBS, you could be killerg@joesdungeon.someisp.com), but real dial-up Internet (e.g. PPP or SLIP) was pretty rare. I only remember one that I think did it, and I think you did have to pay, or maybe the access was seriously limited.

I still played door games (mostly LORD and TradeWars) on one local BBS as late as 1997, but by that time it was pretty clear that the BBS was yesterday's technology and was probably on the way out. Sort of like payphones in 2000 or 8-track tapes in 1980 - they were still around and pretty easy to find but the user demographic was getting older and younger people disdained them.
  #40  
Old 01-09-2015, 09:24 AM
robert_columbia robert_columbia is offline
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Originally Posted by wolfpup View Post
...
I remember having a "directory" of WWW sites that was about the size of a paperback book, kind of like a miniature "Yellow Pages" phone book. From the fact that Alta Vista launched in December, 1995, I would guess that this would have been sometime in the early to mid-90s. After the launch of Alta Vista the whole search engine field just snowballed incredibly fast.
These were pretty common in the 1990's and there were a few different publishers that put their own out. There were essentially like an Internet phone book that you had to replace every year or so. For example, if you were interested in My Little Pony, you could look in the "M" section to find the appropriate entry, and see printed links to Sue's My Little Pony Princess Paradise as this url and the Two Sisters MLP Comprehensive Fan Compendium at that url. Needless to say, these got obsolete pretty quickly, even in those days.

Last edited by robert_columbia; 01-09-2015 at 09:24 AM. Reason: grammar
  #41  
Old 01-09-2015, 09:31 AM
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It just depends on how much patience you have. In the 80s I could connect with a 9600 baud modem, which probably had an effective rate about half of that. I did connect in the late 80s just to see what it was about, and at that time it wasn't about much. Just 2 or 3 years later I was connecting with an 18Kb modem, getting that rate, and it was working pretty well.
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Old 01-09-2015, 10:08 AM
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The earliest I can remember accessing the Internet was via AOL in 1996. I can clearly remember being absolutely amazed that you could view porn for free. I had a 486 computer and a 9.6k modem. A simple .jpg image would take 4 or 5 minutes to download and you would get the top of the picture and it would slowly fill in. Of course there was no thumbnails so it was a crapshoot as to what you might see. But Wow! There were boobies out there on that Internet thing!

Thinking back, life was good and God I was a little pervert back then.

I re ever the day I upgraded to a 14.4k modem. That same day I upgraded to 8mb of ram. The 4mb of ram cost me $85!
  #43  
Old 01-10-2015, 02:44 AM
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We got (dial-up) modem interenet access probably around 1994-1995. I would have been 13 or so, but I remember being the one pushing it at least at first.

We had had Prodigy probably a year or two earlier, but this was basically a BBS service with a very early-90s looking front-end.

I do remember trying to sell my parents on why we needed a proper internet provider. ("But *what* do you *do* on the internet?) Thankfully, my dad's firm decided they all needed to get email addresses to be current. Truth be told, at the time, I wanted an internet connection to see blocky, pixellated naked ladies.

...though I guess this whole internet thing did end up doing other useful things.

Last edited by GameHat; 01-10-2015 at 02:45 AM.
  #44  
Old 01-10-2015, 03:11 AM
MichaelEmouse MichaelEmouse is offline
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May I tack on a related question?

When was the first time you looked at porn online?

I'm curious to know how that developed.
  #45  
Old 01-10-2015, 03:28 AM
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Early 90s with alt.binaries.pictures.blahblahblah.....

What was that called?

We've come a long way, baby.

And you had to run a conversion program of some sort. The downloaded information was in ASCII and it needed to be decrypted before the picture was revealed.
  #46  
Old 01-30-2015, 12:54 AM
GameHat GameHat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelEmouse View Post
May I tack on a related question?

When was the first time you looked at porn online?

I'm curious to know how that developed.
Oh man,

We had a legendary floppy disk that got passed around all our friends. It had probably 20-30 pixellated, terrible jpegs of porn images downloaded from some seedy BBS. That would have been 1994 or so, though I suspect said BBS images went back to the late 80s.

By 1995, once I had proper internet - well, I was an adolescent boy, so fill in the blanks. There were plenty of lousy jpegs floating about on the internet and usenet by then, and I was thrilled to have them.

Last edited by GameHat; 01-30-2015 at 12:56 AM.
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