When you had your own “personal computer”, checked the news on zie net just about everyday; took part in non-nerdish discussion boards,* googled (or “altavisted/yahood”) instead of encyclopediabritannicaed, and so forth, without the feeling of “wow, this is something new, like… like OMG cyberspace!” - But more like, [sigh] “What’s on tonight?”, “And who’s Bobby Hull, again?”, or “I better send that message to that guy today…”
Thinking back, about which year did you *really *begin using Internet?
Me, I think it’s about 2001. Perhaps late, but I don’t know (yet).
First experience with FTP at college: late 1992 or early 1993. Very brief use at Sheridan College. When I was at university in 1982-3, we non-CS people did not have access to the internet. Even colleges did not get access until the early nineties.
Modem connection to BBS to send and receive email: late 1994/early 1995. I used the late lamented Canada Remote Systems.
Dialup access to the Internet: mid-1995. Through Interlog, back befiore it got bought out and went to pieces. Later I switched to Bell dialup.
High speed access to the Internet at work: 1996ish.
High speed access to the Internet at home: 2003ish. Rogers Cable.
I’m 41, I really started using the Internet at home and at work in late 1995. We started on the old 14400 AT&T Internet service that preceded Worldnet. I was Yahooing early on, hitting the Sport sites, spreading the Gospel of Amazon early on when they were still a great bargain and losing money. (Too bad I was too stupid to invest in it.)
I was downloading game demos and shareware. I was on a Tolkien Message Board way back then.
I had occasionally used Email and FTP prior to 1995.
ETA: I got High Speed Cable internet through Cablevision back in 1999 or 2000. It was awesome. I had a partial T-1 at work as early as 1998.
If Usenet counts, it was in 1990. But that was at work, going through one of the Bellcore UNIX systems. For browsing the Internet, it was Mosaic at work in 1993 on pc’s running Windows for Workgroups. At home, on a Windows 3.1 box, I got Navigator sometime in 1994. The very first time I did anything via a modem was in 1982. I’m 52.
I had AOL since '94, but real internet usage probably wasn’t until the late 90s. I was an early adopter of Google when hardly anyone I knew had heard of it. One of my friends actually bought a Google ball cap “so that they would get a little bit of money and be able to stay in business.” That makes me laugh now when I think of it.
For just about anybody who’s been working a decade or more, the answer is almost invariably 1995-98. For me, 1996. The working world took to the Internet in a big way back then. I still remember all those Web sites with gray backgrounds, big black text and bright blue lines around all of the clickable images. What layout skills we had!
1987 or 88. I came back to the U.S. and the summer program that I worked for was really pushing students to use the Internet, which meant that all faculty had to become more familiar with it. After that, I had off-and-on access during regular academic year. I think my first private office with a computer and access was in 1994. I don’t remember when I started using dial up from home because my sister worked for AOL and gave me one of her accounts, so I didn’t pay for it. Maybe 1996?
Hmm… well, I got exposed to the university through University, and… and even though I didn’t have a personal computer capable of getting online, between the college lab and the computer science building I think internet was definitely more than a ‘novelty’ and something that I really used around the fall of my junior year, say October of 1997
My parents got a home computer with a 56k modem around December '97-January '98. I took a credit and a half of summer classes over internet correspondence that summer. Which is what finally pushed us away from ‘AOL Canada’ and its 50-hour-a-month limit to an unlimited dial-up internet service