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Yep...Lynx, VAX VMS for e-mail...I remember those days....actually...I vaguely remember those days since I was occasionally in an inebrieated state, walking into the 24 hour computer labs after hitting the bars at good ol' BSU....
I jumped from a TI 94 to a Mac Plus when I first went on-line. I had 1MB of RAM and a 20MB external hard drive with a 2400 baud modem...used it to play games from a local BBS. I wasn't a computer geek so I didn't get into programming or anything. In university I used ftp and gopher sites for research, and actually upgraded to a 14.4k modem (with an addtional 1MB RAM installed on the Plus)...can you say "screaming fast"?
Although I've been "on-line" for the better part of 10 years, I didn't really start surfing until about 5 years ago...when I finally got a job with internet access
Old school, baby. BITNET since 1987, Internet since 1990, with only a three month gap when I wasn't online. I remember "Gopher crawling," Usenet before spam, text-based MUDs, and quality late '80s porn on the alt.binaries groups. I never spent that much time with IRC, although I played with BITNET chat in the late '80s. Yup, more than once I stumbled into the 24 hour lab drunk, fixated on the VT220 because I couldn't sleep otherwise.
First computer was an Atari 400. I graduated to an Atari 1040ST (UniTerm -- best terminal emulation program ever!), then an Apple Power Macintosh 5200, and finally homemade Intel boxen. My second computer, which I still have to network to schadenfreude (the 1200 MHz AMD WinXP box in the Lian Li case), is zeitgeist - a NeXTStation Turbo Color box, circa 1992, all original. I'd love to add an old Amiga to the museum, but the next computer that will grace my household will probably either be a surplused out old Intel box running Linux, or a G4 Mac running OS X.
Cyburbia got its start on a hacked-open 25 MHz Sun Sparcstation 1.
I went on line around 1992 with Unix and Lynx. There are some things that I miss. University extensions were predominant and easy to find. I learned how to grow nearly everything in my garden that year. The first retail that I remember finding on the www was Celestial Seasons out of Boulder....go Mo!
I knew some people who studied Fortran in college, but they all had slide rules on their belts, had pocket protecters, and called themselves 'triangles'. I played a couple of games of Pong in 1983...not only did I lose, but the machine was not grounded and I got a shock each time I touched the controls. I got an office PC in 1994, and learned how to turn it on about 6 months later. A good friend and co-worker intorduced me to minesweeper, which I got to under 130 seconds (Kathy, where are you now?)
My first PC ran on CPM-80 (not DOS!). It didnt have a hard drive. It had two 5 1/4" floppies. You had to insert the operating system disk in one drive and your program disk in the other, then swap out the program disk with a data disk to save. OK, punch cards it ain't, but wow, we've come a long way since the days of cuffed draw string pants and flipped up shirt collars....