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?