Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Internet Has Grown Up

The Internet turns 20 today and we have all come a long way from the days of chat rooms and that familiar jingle, "you've got mail!" it hasn't been 20 years for me, but there has been a computer presence in my home almost as long. In fact, I remember being able to navigate somewhat through the DOS commands our first computer required. I remember classroom trips to the computer lab to play Oregon Trail and Where In the World is Carmen San Diego. Oh, the nostalgia.

Our first computer with a Windows operating system (the kind that didn't require DOS) was a Compaq Presario, given to us by my grandpa. Another Compaq followed after that. Around the age of 18 I went half-and-half on a Compaq desktop with my family. Soon after that I got my first laptop, also a Compaq, for a whopping $1,000. The last desktop I ever bought is still with me today (it has all of the Sims 2 games on it) and I will use it from time to time, but I haven't lately. After I graduated from community college I was gifted an Acer laptop to take with me to CSU Channel Islands. A year later I jointly purchased a MacBook with Jeff. I gave the Acer to my grandma. I used the MacBook for as long as I could before Jeff took it over full time to use in his last two years in school. February of last year was when my mom bought me the laptop I use now, a shiny red Dell. All of these computers aided me in learning everything I could about the Internet. Years before I learned Photoshop I had Jasc Paint Shop Pro versions 5 & 7. I learned how to code in HTML, DHTML, and later CSS. In the summer of 1998 I asked my mom if I could make a web page. She only had one question; is it free? Was it! I first ventured into Tripod (my screen name was sweetsugar98. Then Geocities sometime later. That very first site had a maroon background with a picture of the Backstreet Boys dressed in yellow, or vise versa. Many summer nights were spent searching for everything related to the Backstreet Boys.

This was all before Google, MySpace, Facebook and Twitter.

It is difficult to imagine what our lives would be like if we never had the Internet. Though I imagine no one really guessed it would change our lives so drastically when the Internet first made an appearance 20 years ago. What will happen in the next 20?

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