It’s easy to get to take today’s technology for granted. But at the risk of sounding terribly old, we should remember that the internet only really took off in the mid nineties. From being an attraction at the Danish libraries (“this computer has internet-book a time at the counter”), it subsequently found its way into people’s homes via the telephone line – at a speed of as much as 28.8 k.
Since then, things have gone fast – really fast even. So if you were a bit tech-nerdy in the mid-nineties, you’ll probably be able to recognize a lot of the things below. And if you weren’t, well, then you can rejoice at how much better everything has become.
Here are 5 network activities that were very very different in the early start of the network in the mid 90’s.
THEN: Before people filled their hard drives with mp3 files, the best possible was to listen to music from the web through Realplayer or startups Winamp. In relatively poor quality, it must be said. Later Napster came in and changed the way music became available, leading to tighter legislation. But it was also a clear indicator for the music industry that there was future money to be collected in music on the web.
NOW: The key word today is “accessibility”. Nowadays, people primarily use iTunes and other music services for the legal purchase of music. Illegal music, of course, is still to be found, but the legal methods are user-friendly and straightforward. Film and TV have also joined the streaming bandwagon. With a myriad of streaming providers that can instantly play content locally on your smart TV, computer or mobile phone, there’s virtually no waiting, independent of your media. Here you can bl.a. read reviews of various streaming services.
Think about it the next time you get annoyed that your Netflix has to do buffering for 3 seconds.
THEN: In the mid-90s, it was almost the net itself that was an attraction. In other words, one was still finding out where the possibilities for entertainment could be. I still remember that one of the great attractions back then was a live webcam – yes, live! – of a coffee machine at Cambridge. And the image was updated every 30 seconds.
NOW: Thanks to our Quick Access today, it is almost only the imagination that sets limits – even on less powerful systems, where you can stream even large, commercial games that are then run remotely in the cloud. Our confidence in the providers has also increased. Where it used to be unthinkable to have to buy things online or gamble for real money, there are now a myriad of online shops, slot machines like these and poker sites whose name we trust.
THEN: Not only did Microsoft have almost a monopoly on operating systems – after the disappointment of Word Perfect 6.0, MS Office was the only word processor that really mattered. However, this was not the case on the browser front, where Netscape Navigator 4.0 was the far better choice in terms of ease of Use and functionality. In relation to the size of the programs, it was either a download of very small files or a physical purchase on CD-rom. Especially because a hard drive was at around 2.5 gb – if one was lucky.
NOW: Although Netscape disappeared into oblivion, mainly because Explorer was fully integrated into the Windows operating system, it is still not Internet Explorer that is the king of the browsers. Google Chrome has been sitting on that space for a number of years. Fortunately, it has also become easier to buy and download programs online, so you do not depend on your local dealer and physical storage. CD-rom has been discontinued as media, and so it is also going in general for physical storage, which is why many computers today do not come with drives.
THEN: It was not until 2002 that Friendster launched the social network that MySpace was ”inspired” by the following year. But before that, there was chat with random people on mIRC, browser-based chatrooms, AOL and ICQ. It was in a way a more innocent time, because the wonder that it could be done was in itself reason to talk to new people. And yes, some of them were slaves and murky, but they were among the few.
NOW: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and all the others take up a lot of our time on the web. Our mobile is especially the focal point around these networks, which is one of the reasons why we use the mobile to go online with, and that data is an important point in the sale of mobile subscription. (see B.ex. programs like Skype and Facetime have made it easier for us to get audio and video into the experience, but it also makes us much more likely to only contact people we know. You can of course go on chatroulette, but there is of course the risk that some of the people are trusty and murky…
THEN: Google was first founded in the autumn of 1998, and before that it was the Wild West in terms of search engines. Statistically speaking – you asked 10 different people in 1997 which search engine they used the most, 2 would answer the same thing, 5 would give different answers, and 3 would ask, ” what is a search engine?”Ah, the good old days.
NOW: In Denmark, Google is clearly the leader in search. We have become so used to receiving relevant results that we no longer enter page 2 of the many thousands of search results we receive, and this has created a struggle in business around the top places. Today we know where to find our results.
The internet-a look back!
It’s easy to get to take today’s technology for granted. But at the risk of sounding terribly old, we should remember that the internet first really took off…
Martin M. Jørgensen & #13;
Written d. 4 jun 2014-5 comments