Unhappy Embuggerance Coincidence

Anyone who knows of Discworld author Terry Pratchett would likely know that he has a form of early onset Alzheimer’s.  He’s been able to fight it for the past 7 years, but it’s finally caught up to him.  He’s had to cancel an appearance.  This is quite unfortunate, but not unexpected.

The reason I said it was a coincidence is that I finished reading his novel Moving Pictures this week.  There were some elements in the book that were similar to his situation.  I don’t want to spoil it, but I thought it was unusual.

Anyway, I’m hoping he’ll be able to attend future events and hold off this embuggerance a while longer. Good luck, Mr. Pratchett.

Internet Veterans

I have a question for you all.  How long have you been using the Internet?  Do you consider yourself a veteran, a casual user, or a newbie?

I got my start when I started university back in 1995.  I had a custom built PC with Windows 3.11, a 540 MB hard disk drive, 8 MB of RAM, and a 14.4 dial-up modem.  That squeal was a very familiar sound to me until 2001 when I graduated from university and moved back to my hometown, where I used cable.  Now, when I started using the Internet, the popular web browser was Netscape.  Not just any Netscape, but 1.0.  I quickly found myself on Usenet newsgroups, surfing the web, and eventually a MUD (multi-user dungeon, a text-based chat and game system) called The Chatting Zone.  I learned html, made a rather crude website, though I honed my skills over the years.  I used IRC, became an administrator on the previously mentioned MUD, and when I moved to Japan in 2005, I retired from the administrative duties.  I started a blog in 2004 to chronicle my move to Japan, though I never really did get much done on it.  It was a blogspot blog, too. In 2007, I discovered YouTube and WordPress soon after.  I started a space and science blog on WordPress, though it’s been abandoned (it still exists, though).  I started my Japan blog in 2009, and it just celebrated its 5th anniversary.  I started my YouTube channel in 2009, as well.  I joined Facebook in 2009, as well.  In 2011, after the big earthquake in Japan, I joined Twitter for information about the earthquake.  I later joined Google+, and it wasn’t until this year that I started Pinterest.  As for this blog, it started nearly 2 1/2 years ago.

It’s been a wild 19 years.  More than half of my life has been spent using the Internet now.  I was at the right age to start using it, as in 1995, mostly university students used it.  I got my access through university.  What amazes me is how much it’s changed.  In 1995, I used dial-up, in 2014, I use broadband.  In 1995, I used Netscape, in 2014, I use Firefox (which is the descendent of Netscape).  In 1995, having images on a website was amazing, especially if it was an animated gif (pronounced jif).  In 2014, a website filled with animated gifs would be irritating.  In 1995, my hard drive was 540 MB.  In 2014, my hard drive has 1 TB, or 1,048,576 MB.  In 1995, I had 8 MB of RAM.  Now, I have 8 GB of RAM.  In 1995, my processor speed was 2.66 MHz.  Now, it’s 1.80 GHz (though my previous computer was a dual core with 2.2 GHz, and the one before that was 2.4 GHz Pentium).

Amazing how things change, isn’t it?