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It's over 20 years since I first went online...

(184 Posts)
HollowTalk Fri 18-Jan-19 21:01:49

I was just thinking how different life is now - then we still had five channels (just) and a dial up connection. We'd only just started using emails at work and mobile phones were huge and expensive to use. You got what was given as far as entertainment was concerned and you paid by cash or cheque for everything you bought.

What difference do you think another 20 or 30 years will make?

thenightsky Fri 18-Jan-19 22:26:27

Was anyone on breathe.com? I made friends on there back in the late 90s that I'm still friends with today.

Lovestonap Fri 18-Jan-19 22:30:35

Encarta! The wikepedia of its day!

howrudeforme Fri 18-Jan-19 22:30:39

Oh blimey - back then i had dial up with clarinet. They were good.

Then dh years later got me blackberry and my words were ‘meh - who on earth wants email and internet on their phone.’ Gawd!

HollowTalk Fri 18-Jan-19 22:37:11

I didn't know breathe.com, but I met lots of friends in pretty dodgy places back then. Still friends now - all completely normal.

RippleEffects Fri 18-Jan-19 22:43:33

I think in 20 years time we won't have so many overlapping devices. Like phone, tablet, pc with common functionality. We'll have one device that does all.

I think tv's will be less common with people watching on personal devices but maybe homes will have projectors that link to devices or devices will project to allow group viewing.

The biggest change I forecast is with transport. I'm really excited by the possibilities of driverless cars. If you take the labour element out of short taxi rides and replace with a driverless car, it'd be cheaper for most people than to own a car. It'd be great for the young getting places safely yet independantly, old, unable to drive, disabled.

If you book your driverless route you could do it as a sole occupant or car share where you pay less but may pick up others going the same way. The traffic conjestion savings with an automatic journey system could be fantastic.

I wonder if we'll end up renting right to car use almost like a phone tariff system with x miles a month off peek, commuting only, in city zones or county or country wide. Premium payments for posher vehicles, faster availability, peek time availability, options to prebook and block book. No parking costs in cities as the car would take itself off to its next booking.

More than 20 years ahead but I feel fully feasible is brain wave control of devices. Homing in on our telepathic abilities. If we have even miniscule energy flows with our brain functions there must be a way of taking signals from this and using those signals for control.

thugmansion Fri 18-Jan-19 22:44:52

I remember when I first started texting friends in the 90s. DH was furious because every time I sent or received one the TV or anything electrical would make that da da da da da da da da da da interference noise. He was well pissed off I had friends and he didn't grin

pastabest Fri 18-Jan-19 22:55:16

I think health services are going to be where there will be significant change in the future aside from all the technological changes/ improvements that are inevitable.

We are already seeing online GP services becoming increasingly popular, I can see this becoming the primary way to speak to health professionals in the future for anything that doesn't physically require going into the surgery. This will include technology to take basic health measurements such as blood pressure, better ordering and management of prescriptions including home delivery rather than standing in a queue at Boots for 3 hours.

I also think paper will largely only be used for art and wiping bottoms with (although I suspect there may also be a future push for more sustainable bottom wiping methods too). Paper receipts and documents will be seen as wasteful.

Disposable nappies I think will have to dramatically change to be more environmentally friendly. I Think the disposable nappy companies are on borrowed time already (I say that with 2 children under 2 who are both in disposables and I feel immense guilt at every nappy change).

Hydroponics. In the future most of your veg and salad etc will be grown this way.

HollowTalk Fri 18-Jan-19 22:56:24

Driverless cars - not sure whether I'd want them to pick up just anyone, though - there's safety in having a driver (personal safety) and if you were on your own in a car and it stopped for someone dodgy, you wouldn't feel safe at all, would you?

I think it's driverless cars that I find the hardest to accept - just feeling you have no control whatsoever would be really tough.

RippleEffects Fri 18-Jan-19 23:09:40

For every problem there's a solution. As I see it a driverless car booking system could have filters for you to select.

An easy one would be a premium for sole use of vehicle.

Another would be manual control of car once driverless delivered - so more of a hire car than taxi.

The cost and conjestion at peek time savings would come from multiple occupancy so through filters when booking you could select female occupants only or no detours direct route only so any pickups would have to be on your known route. The more filters you select there would be a risk of less availability with the whole supply and demand business but that's life. You work out your priorities and cost/ benefit of the service you want. I like to travel first class on the train (thank you Virgin for you first class family to London saver fares, about the only time I've used first class) but the cost is much greater than the benefit for me vs other activities those same pounds could fund.

Notreallyhere2 Fri 18-Jan-19 23:14:26

Ah the excitement we had when encarta had a song file on the page of a band you liked (obviously nirvana)!

It’s just occurred to me that me and my friend once spent an afternoon sending texts to random numbers when she got her first mobile (she was richer than me and so we were quite early adopters of texts in our school) and I ended up really good friends with someone who responded- he wrote in his first snail mail letter to us that he turned 19 on 19/1/1999 so that would be 20 years ago now. Bloody hell time moves fast!

TrendyNorthLondonTeen Fri 18-Jan-19 23:37:25

We first got the internet in our house through the TV! This was before smart TVs, my parents had some super fancy Virgin package that let us browse websites and play basic flash games on some browser. We had a keyboard for it and everything!

It was shit.

Then my dad "borrowed" a laptop from his work and the telly internet was quickly ditched. I spent so much time on forums and Yahoo! groups. I met my first boyfriend via an internet forum!

JaiNotJay Fri 18-Jan-19 23:41:23

As a teenager, I used to go to the internet cafe (remember those?!) and email my uncle at his work because he was the only person I knew with an email address! grin

Blibbyblobby Fri 18-Jan-19 23:48:00

First online in 96, home connection with dialup in 97. We had a home network with a freecycled old 486 box sharing the connection!

Streaming stuff surprised me but I knew online shoppng would be huge. I think I did Christmas shopping in 1999 all online just to see if I could. And not only did I buy shoes online, I bought them from Boo.com!

Ideas I had and parked then saw someone else make a fortune from: solid state music players so they wouldn't skip (I was sooo excited when mp3 players finally arrived! My first had a parallel port!). And about 98, when me and my geeky friends were all registering domain names and putting up a few personal web pages: "hey it would be really cool if when you weren't online people could leave messages for you on a kind of "wall" that everyone would see"...

Future stuff...
Driverless cars ... why would they look like 2+3 with a boot? I reckon you'd have one person pods, couple sofas (or beds!), maybe you could hire one with a treadmill...or a disco! Family sized ones with a table to sit round... you'd just dial up what you need for that journey. Your luggage could go with you, but could also get picked up by a separate luggage pod that takes a cheaper, unscenic freight route while your family pod takes a nicer route and stops for a picnic.

And commercial transport would change as well - the plumber (assuming she's not a robot - roomba with a soldering iron) could cycle over for the exercise while her tools make their own way over.

Less travel in general though, more telepresence stuff.

3D printing, especially if the plastic can be reusable. Single use plastics you print, use once then throw back in the printer ready to print the next thing.

AI agents to represent you interacting with AI agents of companies. So instead of spam and adverts, you train an AI that knows what things matter to you. It exposes interfaces that marketing bots can engage with and together they negotiate: is it something you'd want to know about, what deal is available to you? Then your agent says - "hey, I think this is up your street, any interest?"

ErrolTheDragon Fri 18-Jan-19 23:53:43

I started using email at work in about 1990 - I was working in a remote office in the US, dialled up about 3 times per day (remember the noise of the modem... a sort of screech then bing-bong, bing- bong, bing- bong). Then in 1995 I was back in the UK, working from home ... and had an ASDL line installed for work use. Early adopter...but I still haven't really learned to love a smartphone.

But I was playing Mornington Crescent online using uni computers in about 1984.grin

bruffin Fri 18-Jan-19 23:56:43

I got asked in a job application today , how long had i used excel. I put 30 years but not entirely true as i used Lotus123 first.
Im sure they wont believe me

Tony2 Sat 19-Jan-19 00:21:09

A very clever mate of the exes worked at London Uni computer place. Around 83 had quick tour, I think it was a Cray XMP1, liquid cooled, seats around it, possibly the fastest computer around. Stunning, as we were using pdp11 with typewriter type input. Some guy wrote book, Victorian Internet. In 1880 shorthand, text speak effectively was well established, you could live in a hovel in the middle of nowhere, save up your pennies, walk down a dirt track to the post office, and fairly quickly find out the price of gold on the nyse. Telegraphic romances developed, OLD, 1880. When chaperones were required, telegraphers would tap out more say intimate messages to each other on the table. Code for woman, YL, young lady; code for wife,XYL, ex young lady! I know, plus ca change tho eh?

AornisHades Sat 19-Jan-19 00:28:15

It's 30 years since I first used the Internet. It turns out that I am useless at picking tech trends.

Fstar Sat 19-Jan-19 00:37:14

Urgh dial up! I pay with my apple watch if under 30 quid and its such a pain to get my purse out if its over lol (pin protected). Remember first emails at work, didnt have a clue how to use them. Bought phone cards to call home when on hols but last time i was in usa i skype video called via free wifi

theoldtrout01876 Sat 19-Jan-19 00:38:48

My first internet search was "big mans pants" grin. trying to find trousers for my dad that my mum could afford, using my new fangeld internet. That was a shocker. I think it was 1998.
I used to go to a chat room called "Down the Pub" on yahoo, its where I met Dh in 1999.
I had 4 letter passwords and chatted to people all over the world, weirdos were easy to spot and avoid. The internet in those days was fun

Mumblers Sat 19-Jan-19 01:10:48

20 years ago going in an internet cafe and paying about £2.50 for 30 mins internet use.

Getting my first mobile at 22 & having to phone landlines because nobody else had a mobile phone & saying "Guess what! I'm phoning you from a mobile phone!" The SIM card was the size of a credit card which you put in a slot like a card reader. Don't think you could even text on it back then.

A few years ago I used to teach a History unit on 'changes in technology' to primary-aged children. I would take in my collection of old mobiles (i kept every single one) and got the kids to try & make a timeline of the phones' ages from oldest to most recent. Their reactions to the old phones (especially the Nokia 3310 & the interchangeable front covers!) was amazing. Some had never seen a vinyl record and most children could not tell me what a video tape was when I held it up and were very intrigued by cassette tapes. I'm only 44 but wow, it used to make me feel old!

Mumblers Sat 19-Jan-19 01:23:52

Just had to get them out lol

Adversecamber22 Sat 19-Jan-19 01:31:11

DH was online in 1989 as at Cambridge I was first online in 1994 so 25 years ago. I used to teach students how to use online resources and databases all very much in its infancy and I wrote some web pages.

WakeUpFromYourDreamAndScream Sat 19-Jan-19 02:03:01

I first went online in 2001 into the MSN chat rooms, met my now DH in one! Waiting for dial up was a nightmare and as it was through the one phone line it meant the phone line would be 'engaged' the whole time I was online! My parents used to go mad grin

If you wanted to know your bank balance you had to go to an actual cash point!

DinosApple Sat 19-Jan-19 06:12:24

When our internet goes down at work we still have a carbon paper swipey card thingy to use and I always get someone else to do it. I enjoy the novelty of someone waving their phone at the card machine, but that blew my mind the first time someone used it.

I can't remember my first online search at all, but it was 1997 when we got it at home. I used to use emode a lot at do the personality quizes as a teen and MSN to instant message my boyfriend who lived in another country (but we met in the UK).

My parents were giving me advice (that I didn't want to hear) about using the internet, and online stranger danger waaaay ahead of the game.

In twenty years I can still see myself having a phone and tablet. Probably not a PC though.

I still think we'll be using cash, but not as much. I don't think or rather hope that we won't become a cashless society.

QuaterMiss Sat 19-Jan-19 07:26:12

Well. That's just great. hmm

So first I remembered accompanying my then boyfriend to the Computing Dept in mid-80s Cambridge, and feeling bored while he 'emailed' someone at another university in the US.

That prompted me to wonder what another early adopter undergrad friend (with whom I'd lost contact) might be doing now. Looked him up ...

He's a prominent UKIP member.

Weekend ruined before I've even got out of bed.

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